Get closer to nature and your loved ones at one of South Africa’s best campsites.
Best Camp Sites on the Coast of South Africa
BUCCANEERS LODGE & BACKPACKERS, Chintsa (formerly known as Cintsa), Wild Coast
Perched on a hill of Wild Coast forest overlooking Chintsa Beach and the Chintsa River mouth, this campsite is a piece of paradise. Wake up in your safari tent to truly spectacular views of the fairly untouched coastline. After breakfast on the deck, go kayaking in the river, horse-riding on the beach and farmlands or surfing in the warm ocean. As a camper, you’ll find everything your heart desires, from a swimming pool to shared toilets and kitchen, a shared braai and a guest laundry service, as well as a vibrant backpacker atmosphere.
Rates: From R100 per person per night camping; R330 per night for safari tents.
STORMS RIVER MOUTH REST CAMP, Tsitsikamma National Park
Here in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park lies an ecological wonderland where marine and inter-tidal life are protected. Camp or caravan with or without power and enjoy communal ablution facilities, laundry and washing-up facilities. Fill your days with snorkelling, diving, kayaking, boat-cruising, swimming, nature-trailing or hiking with or without a guide – and all that’s without ever leaving the park. Out along the Garden Route, adrenaline junkies will find bungee-jumping, tree-top tours, kloofing and mountain-biking close by. Frequent campers book their sites a year in advance, so make your reservations really early to avoid disappointment if you’re going in season.
Rates: From R300 per tent site. Daily conservation fees: R45 per adult; R22 per child. For reservations, contact the Central Reservations on 012 428 9111.
VIC BAY CARAVAN PARK, George, Garden Route
This surfing haven, fishing spot, family swimming beach and all-round gem of a camping spot remains popular (especially during school holidays) due to its prime location above Victoria Bay Beach. You couldn’t get closer to the sand and water if you tried. What’s more, the sites are grassy and there’s electricity, security, cellphone reception and private ablution facilities on 10 stands. If you decide to leave your tent and the glorious bay views, walk down to enjoy the rock pools, hiking trail, beach restaurant and waves. Shops, the George Mall and neighbouring beaches are all close by. You’ll need to book well in advance to secure a spot during the December holidays.
Rates: R205-R225 for sites with communal ablutions out of season. In season: R360-R380 per site.
SIBUYA FOREST CAMP, Kenton-on-Sea
Sibuyu is the sweetest combination of luxury glamping and a safari, plus it’s one of the only game reserves you can reach by boat. A short transfer up the Kariega Estuary brings you to the decked River Camp (perfect for those with kids) or the Forest Camp. No need to pitch a tent here: you’ll sleep on a king-sized bed, enjoy an en-suite bathroom and sip coffee on your wooden deck. Bring binoculars to view some of over 400 bird species, as well as the Big Five. Then dine delightfully around a campfire.
Rates: R3 790 per person per night (including meals, game drives and boat cruises). Children aged three to 12 pay R1 895 per night. Peak season is October-December.
SEA SHACK (formerly the Beach Camp), Paternoster
Enjoy ocean-dipping by day, star-gazing and fireside cooking by night. Although the site is powered only by gas and solar energy, you’ll still find cellphone reception at this rustic escape within the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve. You need to drive through Paternoster to reach the Sea Shack, so all the seafood, gourmet eateries and white-washed houses of this quaint fishing village-cum-holiday spot are a stone’s throw away. Each small wooden cabin has a queen-sized bed or twin beds. Additionally, you can choose from one of three tents. There are shared ablution facilities and a kitchen.
Rates: R390 per tent per night. R690 per shack per night.
by Lauren McShane