8 Family-friendly camping spots to check out for a fun bushwhacking experience

2019-02-23 20:37
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Can there be anything better than the smoke of the braai swirling, the kids making friends with the neighbouring site’s kids (think back to your own childhood camping fun) and hopefully not a digital device in site.

But seriously folks, we’re on the downhill to summer and if you haven’t already planned a camping break  for this holidays, you may want to check out one of the following.

We’ve rounded up a few suggestions from the laidback, to the fully loaded bushwhacking experience.

Round-up the gang and hit the road to lekker, camping bliss…


Berg River Resort, Paarl, Western Cape

Berg River Resort near Paarl offers excellent family-styled camping in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Just 60km outside of Cape Town the campsite offers 150 stands with grass for tents or caravans, most of which also have electrical outlets. 

There’s a café for daily essentials, a play area where kids can enjoy ball games, as well as an animal farmyard with goats and donkeys and free trampoline and tractor rides for the kids. The surround area also offers lots of explore fun, with a number of museums, art galleries, restaurants and wine farms nearby as well as the Drakenstein Lion Park, Bien Donne Herb Farm and the Paarl Bird Sanctuary nearby. Arrival time is  14:00 till 18:00 and till 20:00 on a Friday and camping is first come first serve basis except for Easter weekend/December holidays and special event weekends.    

Contact: Berg River Resort is best suited to families. Berg River Resort Bookings: Call 021 863 1650 / 52 or email them.


Wolfkop Camping Villages, Citrusdal, Western Cape

For those who want to rough it in style. Wolfkop Camping Villages takes  the hassle and logistics of a camping weekend.

Offering  a 100-hectare citrus-buchu-rooibos farm located about 20 km from Citrusdal, with the campsite located right on the banks of the Olifants River.

Each camping village comprises a 7.5 or 10 square Bedouin free form marquee with an excellent outlook over the water, and one to three (depending on group size) canvas tents pitched underneath and equipped with three-quarter high density foam mattresses, cotton percale bedding, blankets, towels. Then, there's a fully equipped kitchen area with a braai grid and utensils, chairs, tables, electric light and cooler boxes.  Every village has its own power point and hammocks, lest you forget that camping is hard work. Ablutions hot showers and flush toilets are communal, as is the fridge for the frosties, freezer and microwave.  Canoes and kayaks are available for hire - but bring your own if you have. A minimum of two-day stays is required. 

Contact: Tel: +27 83 260 4822 or email them.


Mountain Sanctuary Park, Privately-owned Reserve, Gauteng

Mountain Sanctuary Park is not only the perfect daytime getaway but allows for a wonderful natural experience in this privately-owned reserve.

Each camp site comes equipped with braai and grid and some of the sites have access to power points. The reserve also offers freezer facility for all campers.  Ablution facility are well kept and offers guests the comfort of hot water showers, private toilets and basic kitchen use. Some of the sites have access to power points, this needs to be requested on booking and is charged at an additional R150 per site per weekend.

Activities on offer include rock climbing, abseiling, walking and hiking trials as well as a beautiful swimming pool near the campsite or several natural rock-pools scattered around the park. 

Contact: Tel: 0145340114 8am-5pm/0827075538 or email them.

Vaal River: River Run Resort

A riverside getaway filled with fun and relaxation waits on the Vaal River. Bird watching and fly fishing are favourite pastimes and you can pitch your tent right next to the Vaal. River Run resort can be found between Potchefstroom and Parys. River tubing and canoeing adventures beckon!

Each of the sites can accommodate up to 8 people and facilities at this grass-covered site include putt putt,volleyball, swimming pools, trampoline, table tennis, tuck shop, river tubes and television

Contact: Visit the website here or call 072 457 6260.

8 Fun spots for water-loving campers

The Lonely Bull Backpacking Trail  

This one will give the teens in your family the time of their lives.  The Lonely Bull Trail is a primitive backpacking trail starting from Mopani Rest Camp. Be warned, this is bring your good, carry your own goods and setting up and taking down the equipment is all part of the adventure.

The Lonely Bull Trail is a primitive Back Packing Trail which starts from Mopani Rest Camp and is conducted in the large wilderness area between the Letaba low water bridge and the Mingerhout dam along the Letaba River. The trail stretches over four days and three nights, with departures every Wednesday and Sunday between 1 February and 30 November. 

Guests are expected to provide their own camping equipment and food for the duration of the trail. There are no overnight huts on this trail. As the safety of hikers is of major importance, all participants have to bring tents and sleep in them every night while they are walking the trail. NB: Requires a good level of fitness and only children older than 12 allowed to participate. Also only biodegradable products – including all soaps and detergents – are allowed on the trail 

Bookings: Email Bridget Bagley or Hesther Van Den Berg or phone them on 012 426 5117.


Albert Falls, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal

This family-oriented campsite is located just 24km from Pietermaritzburg in the 3000-hectare Albert Falls Dam and Game Reserve. Excellent bass fishing, and watersports on the dam are all part of the magic in this idyllic setting. The campsite offers camping for at least 20 tents and caravans, well-maintained ablution facilities with hot and cold water, electric lights and power points.

This protected nature reserve is the perfect place to escape to nature with the kids. As South Africa's fourth largest dam, it offers the works when it comes to water sports and fishing, so come prepared.

Albert Falls Bookings: Call 033 569 1202 or email them

Dolphin Beach Resort, Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal

A family escape at the Dolphin Holiday Resort offers peace of mind and a family run resort that will ensure the entire family is catered for.  Situated in Ballito on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, just 50km from Durban and now only 20km from King Shaka International, this resort is just a short walk from the sandy beaches where dolphins are frequently spotted surfing the waves of the Indian Ocean.

Based in sub-tropical forest like surroundings, the kids have a choice of a onsite swimming pool, trampolines, giant chess boards, volley-ball is offers peace and tranquility which is a must for any holiday maker who needs to put up their feet and just relax.

Contact: Contact them on 032 946 2187. 

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