Camping for South Africans is not so much a fun holiday idea as it is a tradition. We are fortunate to have so many stretches of vast, untouched wilderness that make the perfect base to set up camp, light a braai, and take in the reprieve from the usual chaos of city life. As April’s Easter Weekend (the first of four long weekends this year) speedily approaches, perhaps it’s due time to start planning a camping trip to one of these peaceful, pristine and breathtaking spots.
Nestled in a valley of the Cederburg, Beaverlac Camping site is sprawled along the river that runs through it. The shelter from surrounding mountains makes it the perfect spot to sit back and relax for a few days. The river and various rock pools make it great for children to explore the rugged natural environment, plus this spot is pet friendly!
Bontle, Marakele National Park
Bontle Camping Site is the epitome of “the middle of nowhere” – perfect for those who want the ultimate off grid escape. It lies in the heart of the bushveld in the Marakele National Park, and its Setswana name literally means, “beautiful.” The sunrises and sunsets in this stark landscape are truly unmissable.
Cape Vidal, Isimangaliso Wetland Park
Cape Vidal lies not only mere meters from the beach, but within the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site due to its prolific bird life and pristine coastline, a paradise for snorkelers! The site only offers 50 spots so booking is essential, and we guarantee that the natural scenery here is simply unmatched.
De Hoop, Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
This is the ideal spot for those wanting to reconnect with nature in its purest form. De Hoop has no electricity or hot water, but the desert-like landscape hides a surprising array of wildlife, including plants, birds and animals of all shapes and sizes.
Ebb and Flow, Garden Route National Park
Ebb and Flow lies in the Wilderness region of the sprawling Garden Route National Park, and is the epitome of lush. Aside from the dense greenery, the campsite offers a wide host of activities, including forest hikes on the mountainside, as well as canoeing and whale watching along the coastline.
Fiddlers Creek Rest Camp, Orange River
The Orange River cuts a jagged horizontal line through South Africa and is the longest river in the country. Fiddlers Creek sits on its lush banks, and is the perfect getaway to enjoy all river-related activities, from 4×4 trails to swimming and, of course, mandatory river rafting.
Mazhou, Mapungubwe National Park
Mapungubwe National Park flourished as an African Kingdom between 900 and 1300 AD, and is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While traversing through the wilderness and ancient relics of the park, Mazhou Camping Site offers an overnight stop with space for 10 tents.
Pyper se Boom, Tankwa Karoo National Park
You’ll need a 2×4 or 4×4 to access it, but once reached, Pyper se Boom is a welcome respite amid the vastness of the park. The park itself has no tar roads or shops, so be sure to arrive prepared, however homely comforts are soon forgotten with visitors reporting frequent sightings of wildlife, including tortoises and Oryx.
Camping offers the ultimate mental and physical reset. Venturing into the sparseness of nature and escaping the mayhem and stresses of day to day life is not only a holiday, but an essential chance to completely turn off. We hope one of these local suggestions will be perfect for your next wilderness respite!
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