South Africa is full of gorgeous camping spots – but deciding where to stay can become a little overwhelming. Whether it’s beside a river, somewhere in the mountains or within walking distance from the beach, getting back to basics and being out in nature is one of the best parts of a holiday in South Africa. Fikile Hlatshwayo’s book, “Blacks Do Caravan”, aims to inspire families to take a step back and prioritise what the essence of a holiday is. It is about simplifying your needs and realising what is available just a #shot’left away.
Fikile motivates that camping and caravanning provide the opportunity to travel to local destinations and enjoy the beauty of South Africa, its people and vibrant culture. Fikile’s travels took her to over 60 caravan parks across the country, a mode of travel she’d never considered before, where she discovered that caravan camping can be used as a tool to unite South Africans.
“I learnt many things during this journey. Most importantly was about how close a camping community can be and how people look out for one another. This was a life-changing and enriching experience for me and my family.”
Caravan camping is one of the most affordable ways to enjoy a holiday or short break. “Camping is very cheap and gives one access to all the “hotspot” holiday destinations in South Africa. Many people do not know that there are campsites in Kruger National Park, where a couple pays R250 a night for a campsite. Now, this is worth it! Money that is saved from accommodation can be then used for activities to entertain loved ones.”
“In a caravan park there is no sense of fear, no walls and all the security features. There is a sense of belonging, connecting with your inner self and, of course, the liberation nature has to offer.”
Here are some great South African camping sites
1. Fiddlers Creek Campsite is nestled on the banks of the Orange River. This campsite has 200m of river waterfront and 14 grassed campsites. This is a traditional campsite with modern amenities such as undercover kitchen facilities, lights, power points and built-in braai areas.
Contact: +27 761 8953
2. Tietiesbaai Beach Camp in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve is on the West Coast, near the fishing village of Paternoster. It is the furthest westerly destination in the Western Cape and is a rustic, relaxed campsite. If you enjoy “rough-it-up” camping, then Tietiesbaai is the place for you. Make sure you have a sturdy tent though; the south-easterly wind is mighty on this west-coast camping site.
Contact: +27 22 752 2718
3. Beaverlac in Cederberg, Western Cape, is a picturesque natural heritage site that boasts plenty of deep rock pools and beautiful waterfalls to cool the summer’s heat. The caves around the farm are decorated with well-preserved rock paintings. This is a noise-free campsite so treat it as a tranquil getaway.
+27 22 931 2945
4. Gecko’s Place, in Port St Johns, is a secluded campsite on the rugged Wild Coast. There is a bumpy 7km dirt road to contend with, but once you arrive, it is all worth it. Enjoy the 5km of unspoilt beachfront or go for a scenic hike in the surrounding hills. If you enjoy angling, then Poenskop Beach is well worth a visit when in the area.
Contact: +27 47 564 1237
5. Sterland Caravan Park and Campsite in Sutherland, Northern Cape is the gateway to the clearest night skies in the southern hemisphere. Sutherland is perfect for long evenings around the campfire with friends and family. The campsite is just outside town and has seven stands tucked into tidy secluded little areas. This camping spot is secluded and excellent for star gazing, fireside stories and peace and quiet.
Contact: +27 23 571 1481 or +27 82 556 9589
6. If you enjoy camping but not all the packing and planning, then stay at Borakalalo Game Reserve, a beautiful tented camp in the North West province. All you are able to hear when you sit down and close your eyes in Phudufudu Tented Camp is the birds, making this a perfect getaway from the busy city. With just 10 safari tents, a communal kitchen and braai facilities, it’s ideal for a group getaway. In this small tented camp you can also view animals such as waterbuck, kudu and hippo.
Contact: +27 12 252 0131