Lifestyle/ Travel

8 Camps to visit in South Africa’s national parks

For nature lovers autumn is the last opportunity to squeeze in a quick camping trip – unless you’re one for camping in the cold. There are countless options on offer for camping in South Africa’s national parks. But some sites offer a little something special when you’re on a lookout for an extraordinary adventure…

8 Camps to visit in South Africa’s national parks

1. Knysna camping decks, Garden Route National Park

This elevated camp is tucked away in the forest canopies and provides a nature experience as well as basic amenities, including a plug point. Pitch a three-man tent, have a braai and wake up to forest birds chirping away.

Price: R190 for the first two people (max four), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child. 

2. Mazhou Camping Site, Mapungubwe National Park

Situated 40km from the main gate in the Western side of the park, this beautiful camping area allows you to camp under giant trees in the riparian forest near the Limpopo River.
Note: Not fenced and there are leopards, lions and elephants in the park.
Price: From R265 for two people (max six), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child.

3. Bontle Camp Sites, Marakele National Park

This is the camp where wildebeests, impalas and other game “mow the lawn” around the camp. It is not inside the Big 5 area, so no need to worry about lions sneaking up on your little ones!
Price: From R265 for two people (max six), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child. 

4. Lang Elsies Kraal   camping– Bontebok National Park

Situated on the banks of the Breede River; this is a great option for time away with family and friends. Bring the fishing rods, canoe and hiking boots to keep busy.
Price: R210 for the first two people (max six), R82 for additional adults and R41 per child. 

5. Nqweba Camp Sites – Camdeboo National Park

This setting on the floodplains of the Nqweba Dam is ideal for a relaxing time away from home. Grab your sundowners and head to the viewing deck at sunset to watch the changing colours over the water.
Note: No access to the dam from the camping area.
Price: R225 for two people, R82 for additional adults and R41 per child. 

6. De Hoop Campsite, /Ai/Ais – Richtersveld Transfrontier Park

This is the most popular camping site in the park, and the closest to Sendelingsdrift. Situated right on the banks of the Orange River, you are bound to wind down at the sound of the thundering rapids. At night, fireflies and millions of stars decorate the night’s sky.
Note:
4×4 required to drive in the park.
Price: R225 for two people,
R82 for additional adults and R41 per child. 

7. Groen River Camp Sites – Namaqua National Park

The park has a number of campsites to choose from scattered throughout the coastal section.  Situated on a rocky shore, just south of the Groen River mouth overlooking white sandy beaches, this site is sure to satisfy your coastal cravings.

Note: It is rustic – expect environmental toilets, and bring your own water for drinking.

Price: R135 for six people.

8. Pyper se boom – Tankwa Karoo National Park

Keen to get closer to nature while roughing it? The Tankwa Karoo National Park has a number of sites to choose from. Come prepared with all you need, though!

Note: No ablutions or running water. A 2×4 might be required, depending on road conditions at the time.
Price: R120 for two people, R60 for additional adults and R30 per child.

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Words and photographs by René de Klerk 

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