Planning a winter getaway this July? We’ve helped narrow down the search with our list of the best camping sites in South Africa.
If you want to save some money without compromising on a true wilderness experience, then look no further!
Here are our choices of the best camping sites in South Africa to visit during July:
Mazhou camp site, Mapungubwe
Fulfil your forest fairy fantasies (although your wings had better be tough because you’re entering wild territory) and book a spot at the Mazhou site near the Limpopo River.
This beautiful area in the western side of the park allows one to camp under enormous leafy canopies in the riparian forest, which happens to be a mecca for the bird-watching enthusiasts (keep a sharp eye out for tropical boubous).
Don’t just get back to nature, become part of nature as you recline under the sun-studded shade of a baobab tree.
Note: There is no fence and elephants, lions and leopards occur naturally in this area, so don’t get too complacent, because this is shared territory.
Price: from R265 for two people (max six), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child.
Groen River camp site, Namaqua National Park
If you’d prefer to wake up to the symphony of crashing tides and the salty smell of sea air, this campsite is sure to satisfy your coastal cravings.
It’s impossible to disregard the wild beauty of Namaqua from the tent-dotted rocky shore, just south of the Groen River’s mouth, which overlooks glistening white beaches.
This site is the perfect blend of tranquillity and rusticity – bid farewell to your cellphone connection, prepare for some informal ablution, and get your fill of hiking, nature walking, and picnicking before watching the sun set over the ocean.
Note: It really is rustic – expect Enviro loos, and bring your own water for drinking.
Price: R135 for six people.
Knysna Camping Decks, Garden Route National Park
Perhaps you don’t quite believe in sleeping directly on the ground, but also don’t want to miss out on that ‘spirit of adventure’ camping experience. Look no further than Knysna’s Camping Decks, which provide unrivalled high angle views and a rather luxurious version of ‘roughing it’.
Tucked away in forest canopies and elevated above the dew and dust, each deck boast a three-man tent, a dining and braai area, and electric points. You can occasionally descend for picnics and mountain cycling, or simply decide lounge in your aerial forested paradise.
Price: R109 for the first two people (max four), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child.
Lang Elsies Kraal Camping, Bontebok National Park
Situated on the banks of the Breede River, this site is ideal for those who need some quality time with friends or family. The tranquil silence of open grasslands essentially mandates relaxation, so just sit back and watch the sun glimmer on the rippling river.
Once faced with the near-extinction of its titular antelope, Bontebok National Park has since become one of South Africa’s most charming natural conservations and is a national cornerstone of biodiversity.
Bird-watch, swim, canoe, hike or simply sit and appreciate the stillness of the air at this beautiful site.
Price: R210 for the first two people (max six), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child
Bontle Camping Site, Marakele National Park
You can’t get a more proudly South African experience than braaing in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains while a wildebeest ‘mows’ the lawn nearby.
This is the ideal spot for those who don’t mind sharing some space with non-predatory animals, as a parade of impalas, zebras, and warthogs are rather commonplace, and make for some entertaining wildlife interaction.
If the peace and quiet just aren’t giving you that wilderness thrill you were seeking, be sure to take a drive through the idyllic mountain pass with a picnic basket and sundowners supplies.
Price: From R265 for two people (max six), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child.
To book at one of these wonderful places listed above, visit the SanParks website.
By René de Klerk, SANParks Times (www.sanparkstimes.co.za)