Adventure Travel

Beautiful South Africa Camping Grounds

South Africa Camping
Written by Jane Sophia
All that you need to know about the choicest and beautiful South Africa camping grounds.

Which nation is better than South Africa for staying a night or two in a canvas tent pitched up in a game reserve or in front of a waterfall? South Africa is the ultimate tourist destination in the entire African continent. It has so much to offer to every age group of tourist that includes:

In addition, South African tourism department has been continuously enhancing the infrastructure, thus making it the most tourist-friendly country in Africa if not the world.

In their efforts to attract more and more adventurous travelers, the South African Government has developed numerous South Africa camping grounds with sufficient facilities.

The Most Beautiful South Africa Camping Grounds

Camping sites are not only places where you pitch up your canvas or acrylic tents but also can park your motorhomes (Recreational Vehicles), (Caravans).

Tourists who prefer to stay in an air-conditioned space can hire a motorhome that comes with on-road assistance.

Here are the choicest South Africa camping grounds that are located on:

  • Riverbanks
  • Mountains
  • Game Reserves
  • Sanctuaries
  • Beaches
  • Mazhou South Africa camping grounds

The wilderness and the range of exotic birds of Mapungubwe National Park will thrill you beyond description.

The Mazhou camping ground is located inside the Mapungubwe National Park, South Africa.

Your campsite where you can also park your motorhome is right on the banks of Kolope River. A short distance away is another place to erect your tent on the banks of a confluence of two rivers namely Limpopo and Shashe rivers.

The Mazhou Camping ground can be easily found as it is only 16 km from the famous Venetia Diamond Mine.

The campsite offers great views of the Mapungubwe Hill. The rich ecosystem and wonderful wildlife have earned it a World Heritage Site certificate from the UNESCO.

Mazhou is a fairly big camping ground that offers facilities to stay inside a tent or in your hired RV.

You will have electricity, just two adequate restrooms, and two shower cabins.

Wildlife that you can spot freely roaming in Mapungubwe National Park are:

  • Elephant
  • Springboks
  • Impalas
  • White Rhinos
  • Hippos
  • Leopards
  • Lions
  • Spotted Hyena
  • Wildebeest
  • Zebra
  • Meerkats
  • Bushbucks
  • Monkeys
  • Giraffe

Ah, a typical African game reserve-eh?

In addition, you can spot hundreds of fruit-eating bats hanging upside down on the trees below which your tent will be.

Avifauna species are the ones that you will be thrilled to see. You will hear a range of bird-calls from brilliantly colored birds.

Bird watching at Mazhou camping

Some of the birds that you can identify in Mazhou if you are lucky are:

  • Black Eagle

Black Eagle

  • Several species of cuckoos
  • Southern Pied Babbler

Southern Pied Babbler

  • Crimson-breasted Shrike

Crimson-breasted Shrike

  • Natal Spurfowl

Natal Spurfowl

  • Yellow-bellied Greenbul

Yellow-bellied Greenbul

  • Kori Bustard

Kori Bustard

  • Tropical Boubou

Tropical Boubou

  • Wattled Starling

Wattled Starling

  • Grey-crowned Crane

Grey-crowned Crane

Oh, what a beauty!

When you are inside your tent, get into a safe sleeping bag as there are numerous reptiles such as rock monitor lizards and numerous snakes.

When you have decided to set up your camp at Mazhou camping ground, pre-book a ‘heritage tour’ with a guide so that you don’t miss out on any wildlife sightings.

  • Tietiesbaai Beach South Africa Camping

I think I have lingered too long on Mazhou campground. I guess I got carried away with the avifauna range in Mapungubwe National Park, South Africa.

Well, were you curious about any campsites that exist on the western coast of South Africa? If so, here is a terrific place to spend a weekend, gazing at the sea from the comforts of your motorhome.

The Tietiesbaai Beach Camping ground is located on the fringes of Cape Columbine Nature Reserve that is facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Tietiesbaai Beach South Africa Camping

This South Africa camping grounds can also accommodate RVs and there are beach-facing sheds. You will love this oceanfront camping ground because the beach and the ocean is all yours. Yes, there won’t be much local crowd.

Tietiesbaai provides powerless campgrounds. However, if you hire your motorhome, you need not bother about that lacuna.

  • Bruintjieskraal South Africa Camping Grounds

I know it is very difficult to pronounce the name of this South Africa camping grounds. It is located at Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve. It is a Dutch name (Dutch name in South Africa?) and it means the ‘Valley of Baboons’. Yes, you can guess an army of Baboons Bruintjieskraal Camping ground.

Bruintjieskraal South Africa Camping Grounds

This campsite is set amidst two picturesque mountain ranges namely:

  • Baviaanskloof
  • Kouga

The nearest city to Bruintjieskraal Camping ground is Port Elizabeth.

When you go to any camping ground in South Africa, you will come across a board announcing there is a ‘brai’ facility. It means a facility to cook your own barbeque.

Bruintjieskraal Camping ground offers the brai facility apart from other essential amenities such as washroom, hot water, and good drinking water.

If you don’t carry your camping gears and accessories, you can opt to stay in one of the many chalets (surely a misnomer) where you can cook (if you know) your food.

There is a river nearby the campsite and it is called  Groot River. If you are a skillful angler, you can catch juicy river fish for your relaxed lunch. Well, your catch may even include an eel!

Allocate some time to go bird watching. Ask around from any guided African safari and if you find one, don’t miss it.

  • Augrabies, South Africa camping grounds

This is Augrabies Waterfall that is located inside the Augrabies Falls National Park, South Africa.

The Augrabies Camp offers a good view of the waterfalls. I wouldn’t say it is a gorgeous or voluminous waterfall but the Orange River below that receives the water from the waterfall is a sight to behold. It is flowing in full force, the swirling and gushing water is a breathtaking sight.

Since the noise is thunderous when the Orange River is in full flow, the natives of Northern Cape province of South Africa (the location of the Augrabies waterfall) gave it that name which means ‘very noisy’.

If you choose the Augrabies Rest Camp to spend your weekend, you would feel two days are not sufficient since there is so much to see that include a wide range of African wildlife.

To go to the Augrabies Rest Camp, you have to drive nearly 10 hours if you are staying in a hotel at Johannesburg.

This South Africa camping grounds offers your basic comforts such as kitchen, potable water, electricity, and restrooms. I think even a laundry facility is available in Augrabies Rest Campground.

After your sumptuous African breakfast in the restaurant (yes, you need not cook your own food), you can go on a hiking session on the pre-trodden hiking trails.

Then After your lunch, you can go for a wildlife-watching evening along with a local guide.

After dinner, your guide will offer to come with you if you opt to take your car for a night drive which is a good time to spot the big African animals.

Flora and fauna of Augrabies:

You will quickly spot the so-called ‘Quiver tree. You cannot miss it. It is also called ‘aloe tree. Below is an image of the quiver tree.

Quiver tree

The native Africans who survived by hunting, used to make arrows out of the quiver tree branches.

The leaves looked devoid of life-right? However, during winter, the tree is flocked by hundreds of nectar drinking birds and baboons.

Fauna of Augrabies campsite:

Buddy, this is South Africa, the land of wildlife. You would be excited to watch those animals and birds in front of you for the first time.

The most scary-looking reptile is the ‘Water Monitor, a lizard.

My Goodness! It looks monstrous-isn’t it?

Other animals and birds of Augrabies National Park:

  • Black Rhinoceros
  • Clawless Otter
  • Springbok
  • Gemsbok

Gemsbok

It looks bulky and powerful.

  • Caracal (wild cat)

Caracal

  • Black-backed Jackal

Black-backed Jackal

  • Double-banded Sandgrouse

Lovely looking bird-eh?

  • South Africa camping grounds: Mahai River Campsite

A riverside camping ground is the most suited for adventurous travelers and families. You can do fishing, swim, go river kayaking, have dinner by the campfire on the banks of the river, etc.

Mahai Riverside Camping site is located in the Royal Natal National Park. The backdrop of your South Africa camping grounds is the picturesque Northern Drakensberg Mountains.

South Africa camping grounds Mahai River Campsite

The nearest town to Mahai Riverside campsite is Harrismith, located 70 km away. Both the big cities of Durban and Bloemfontein are about 300+ km away.

Mahai Riverside Camping ground is ideal to park your RV or a multi-purpose jeep.  Some tents are non-powered with electricity. There is a restaurant too that making it convenient for non-cooking adventurers.

You can indulge in various outdoor activities that include:

  • Swimming on the Mahai River
  • Bird watching
  • Horse riding
  • Walking along the course of the river Mahai
  • Motswedi Luxury Campsite, South Africa

Here is one more South Africa camping grounds that is located inside a national park. Motswedi Campsite is inside the Mokala National Park

South Africa Camping Motswedi

That’s a sight that you have seen many times on the web-remember? It is a typical sight of game reserve in South Africa, the land of adventurous camping grounds and RV parks.

You need not worry about the Springboks to take a peep into your tent as all the camps seem to be fence-protected by thorny trees.

Facilities at Motswedi Campsite:

  • Kitchen
  • Toilets
  • Stove fueled by gas
  • Hot water
  • Restaurant

Be prepared to live without electricity and internet connection as your South Africa camping grounds is located in a national park and game reserve that is too far away from modern civilization.

Bird watching in Motswedi Camping site

It is advisable that the campers allocate quality time for bird watching as there are just too many exotic birds of typical African nature.

So, please carry your binocular and don’t forget to take a high-end camera with you. Some of the birds that you can spot and identify in Motswesdi Camping site apart from finches, tits, and warblers are:

  • Southern Fiscal

Southern Fiscal

  • Crimson-breasted Shrike
  • Fiscal Flycatcher

Fiscal Flycatcher

  • Fork-tailed Drongo

Fork-tailed Drongo

  • Northern Black Korhaan

Northern Black Korhaan

  • Ant Eating bird

Ant Eating bird

  • Tsendze Rustic Campsite, South Africa

Without the mention of Kruger National Park as a South Africa camping ground, the list of South Africa camping grounds will appear drab-right?

South Africa Camping Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is located in the northeastern part of South Africa. Undoubtedly, it is Africa’s largest game reserve attracting millions of wildlife enthusiast every year.

Look at its size folks, comprising approximately 20,000 sq.km! If you want to gauge such a large area in layman’s language, it measures 360 km in length and 65 km in width.

Such a big park cannot have just one gate-right? It has as many as nine gates making it easy for the ardent campers to access the campsite from many directions.

The Tsendze Rustic Campsite in Kruger National Park allows your motorhomes as well if you are not comfortable in staying non-airconditioned rustic forest lodges and canvas tents.

Adventure lovers love to park their RVs and jeeps mainly to enjoy living in a South African game reserve and capture all those African animals in their camera.

Wildlife at Tsendze Rustic Camping site

The three big cats, elephants, buffaloes, and the zebras freely roam the area surrounding your campsite.

At water holes, when the big mammals have finished quenching their thirst, birds return that include:

  • Storks,
  • The big forest scavengers (martial eagles and lappet-faced vultures )lappet-faced vultures
  • Saddle-billed Stork

Saddle-billed Stork

  • Ground Hornbill

Ground Hornbill

The Kruger National Park has nearly 30 camping grounds with all the basic amenities such as kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. Of course, being a major South Africa camping grounds, the Tsendze Rustic Camps are fitted with electric power points. This means you can have a hot water bath.

I guess you can find many more South Africa camping grounds as the nation is too vast and the campsites are ideal for both canvas tenting and RV parking.

About the author

Jane Sophia

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