8 SA camping spots for a feral and free spring escape

2018-08-13 12:30
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Spring into the new season at one of these 8 stunning SA camping spots.

Ah, spring is on the cusp of arriving and it's time to start planning your next road trip for when the sun comes out and the birds start chirping sweet nothings into the morning air.

And what better way than to spend it out in nature surrounded by fresh sprouting buds and newly awakened trees - unless, of course you have chronic allergies or hay fever, then do take precautions.

Otherwise, it's the optimal season to sleep under the stars and the surrounding, blooming beauty.

Grab the fam or friends and trek to these stunning local camping spots around South Africa.

Algeria Campsite, Cederberg, Western Cape

You are guaranteed sunshine and warm weather in the Cederberg, and CapeNature's Algeria Campsite is the best place to set up your headquarters to immerse yourself in the cultural and natural landscape of this wilderness.

The campsite is very shady with grassy spots, and you don't have to hike up steep mountains to get to a rock pool - the camp has its very own making for little hassle when your older kids want to go swim. All sites have power points and ablution facilities, and the road to Algeria from the main road is easy-going compared to other routes in the reserve.

If you are a climbing enthusiast or want to escape the crowds of Algeria, there's also camping facilities at Kliphuis near the quiet town of Wupperthal with easy access to Rocklands - a world-famous bouldering spot.

Rates: Camping rates start at R120 per night and, if you prefer, you're welcome to book a self-catering accommodation which starts at R580 per night - more details on this can be found here.

WATCH: Explore the wonders and secrets of Cederberg

Glen Reenen Rest Camp, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State

Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Maluti Mountains of Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The park derives its name from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun on the park's sandstone cliffs, especially the imposing Brandwag rock, keeping vigil over the main rest camp.

Although there are rondavels a-plenty, get in touch with the honest soil of the province by pitching your tent in the stunning, shady Glen Reenen Campsite. There are braaing facilities, well-maintained bathrooms and a variety of activities to indulge in.

Also if you still feeling the Black Panther craze, many scenic shots in the movie come from this park, so this is the best place to live out your Wakandan fantasies in real life!

Rates: Camping rates start at R233 per night and an extra fee is charged per extra adult (R89) or child (R45) added to the campsite - read more about rates here.

SEE: #BlackPanther: You can visit Wakanda IRL at Golden Gate National Park

Klein Paradys Caravan Park, Brits, North West

If you enjoy something a bit less wild and less admin, Klein Paradys Caravan Park is an hour from the glittering Sun City, but you don't even need to leave the resort to keep you and your squad entertained.

Besides the obligatory swimming pool, it comes with a super tube, trampolines, tennis courts, golf, putt-putt and water activities on the dam where you can set up camp on the river's edge. All sites come with electricity and portable braais.

Rates: Camping rates start at R460 per night - read more about their rates here.

SEE: Climb like a spider with Sun City's newest attraction

Olifants River Lodge, Presidentsrus, Mpumalanga

Falling asleep to the rush of a roaring river is quite a dreamy experience, and the Olifants River Lodge offers camping grounds right on the massive river. The area has enough activities to keep the Brady Bunch busy, from hiking in the lush green forests to fishing its deep waters - and if you're in the need of an adrenaline jumpstart they also offer paintball.

They have heated indoor pools in case the winter turns up early and a restaurant and bar is available if you love the sleeping part of camping but hate the food-making part, and the area is malaria-free. For hiking trails, the lodge is the main point where you need to check-in before going on any trail.

The area, called Presidentsrus, is known as an eco-community and was once a rest stop popular with President Kruger and became a popular suburb where wildlife is on your doorstep.

Rates: Camping rates start off at R230 per night and has an extra fee of R85 per night for each extra camper - read more about their rates here.


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SEE: I went glamping and now I don’t want to camp any other way ever again

Mountain Zebra National Park, Eastern Cape

Mountain Zebra National Park may have been originally created as a conservation area for the once-almost-extinct Cape Mountain Zebra, but it also has one of the most exciting game walks you can take in South Africa. Instead of heading to an interaction centre that keeps these long-range animals in small compounds, you can get up close to a cheetah in the wild for only R400 - an experience that surpasses even the most riveting game drives.

Its campsite has 20 units and although the sites vary in terms of ground cover and shade, you cannot pre-book a specific spot. It comes with a swimming pool and is safely fenced so that a roaming 'dagga boy' doesn't come upset your camping experience.

The park is a great Eastern Cape escape if you're looking to do more than just sit in a game drive vehicle, but have a truly wild bush experience that doesn't come with a luxury price tag. Just don't try to outrun a cheetah.

Rates: Camping rates start at R298 per night and an extra fee is charged per extra adult (R89) or child (R45) added to the campsite - read more on this here.

SEE: Eastern Cape Escape: Track cheetahs on foot in Mountain Zebra National Park

Natural Moments Bush Camp and Diving, KwaZulu-Natal

Some prefer their camping trips to include some fun in the sun on a beautiful beachfront or exploring the underwater magic of the sea, and Natural Moments gives you the chance to get your scuba diving certification while enjoying their eco-camp.

You can get discounts if you combine the camping with a PADI-course and the spot is a real beach bum paradise.

Rates: Camping rates ranges between R105 and R150 per person per night - read more about their rates here.

SEE: Conservation meets fun at the revamped iSimangaliso Sodwana Bay Festival

Mahai River Campsite, Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal

Nestled in one of Drakensberg's most beautiful valleys, this campsite offers campers a secluded forest setting with the added feature of a flowing river.

The venue offers a wide range of hiking trail options (for both novice and seasoned hikers), horse riding, swimming and fly-fishing close to the camp.

Just be sure to zip your tent closed when you venture out to protect your things from baboons lurking about.

Clean ablution and washing-up facilities are available as well as electric and non-electric campsites. There are 44 campsites with plug points and 40 without. A maximum amount of 6 people are permitted per campsite and braai facilities are available.

Rates: Camping rates start at R120 per night - read more about this here.

CHECK OUT: #LongWeekendEscape: 4 SA camping spot ideas

Augrabies Falls National Park, Northern Cape

Why not camp in the same place as the thunderous and powerfully beautiful waterfalls in Augrabies Falls National Park? Campers can take in the magnificent site of the Orange River as it plummets down the 56 metre cliff edge during its full flood season.

Visitors can also take in the amazing range of game that roam the reserve. Both the northern and southern side of the river provide sanctuary to a range of species, from the very small succulents, birds and reptiles to the Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok, gemsbok and giraffe.

The rest camp offers campers the option of caravan or camping sites in a shaded area with a maximum of six people allowed per site. There are power points at each camp, a communal camp kitchen with two-plated stoves and sinks, communal ablution facilities, laundry and ironing room available. The Park also has chalets available for those who prefer a more home-like setting.

Rates: Camping rates start at R253 per night and an extra fee is charged per extra adult (R89) or child (R45) added to the campsite - read more on this here.

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