Clued-up camping: 23 Best waterside campsites in the country

2015-09-09 20:00 - Louzel Lombard
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camping

Cape Town – I doubt that any other nation is as good at camping as South Africans. 

We enjoy packing and planning, heading out and spanning out and then just enjoying the perfect SA climate with our feet up. 

Some camping experiences are better than others, though we have to admit. And 90% of how good the experience will be depends on the campsite you choose.

The ultimate camp site will check all of the boxes on the following list: 
- Level ground
- Good ground cover
- Trees (for shade and some privacy) 
- And lastly, being close to the water's edge

Getting a spot on the water’s edge means a playground for children (and adults!), it means cooler air and some great wildlife and bird spotting opportunities. 

Here are Traveller24’s Top Picks for the best waterside campsites in every province in SA: 

Eastern Cape

Coffee Bay Municipal campsite, Wild Coast



People per site: 6
Ground cover: grass and ground
Ablution & facilities: Two communal blocks with flush toilets and showers, braai facilities, lots of trees to hang hammocks in.
Contact: (071) 535 7295 or email: inandacoffeebay@gmail.com


READ: 20 top SA camping spots... according to you


Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, Storms River 

A photo posted by Krish Chetty (@krishchetty) on



People per site: 6
Ground cover: Mostly grass 
Ablution & facilities: The campsite has a shop where souvenirs and basic commodities may be purchase. There is an a-la-carte restaurant, serving light refreshments. There is also a laundromat and ironing room (flat-irons not supplied). No ATM facility available. 
Contact: 042 281 1607 or email: grace.valela@sanparks.org


Free State

Gariep Nature Reserve, Gariep Dam

A photo posted by Rob Brent?? (@robbrent54) on



People per site: 5
Ground cover: Grass
Ablution & facilities: Well-maintained ablution blocks and scullery, as well as electricity.
Contact: 051 754 0045 or e gariep@foreversa.co.za


Western Cape

Victoria Bay Campsite, George 

A photo posted by The-H Buzz (@thehbuzz) on



People per stand: Between 4 - 6 
Ground cover: Grass 
Ablution & facilities: There are 10 stands with private bathrooms. All stands have 220-volt power points, braai facilities and most are wheelchair friendly.
Contact: 044 889 0081


Buffalo Bay, near Knysna 

A photo posted by Emma Rorke (@elrorke) on



Number of people: 6
Ground cover: Grass
Ablution & Facilities: Stands with 220 volt mains, Braai facilities, water points close to sites, ablutions with hot and cold water, wheelchair friendly with assistance, children's play area. 
Contact: 044 383 0045 

Ebb & Flow, Wilderness 



People per site: 6
Ground cover: Grass and lots of shade
Ablution & facilities: Various well-maintained blocks with flushing toilets, hot water showers and baths if you're in the mood. Braai facilities available at each site.
Contact:  044 877 1917 or email: enquiries.wilderness@sanparks.org


Tietiesbaai, West Coast 

A photo posted by Ben Olivier (@funguye) on



People per site: 6
Ground cover: Grass and ground
Ablution & facilities: Two blocks with flush toilets and solar-heated showers, braai facilities
Contact: 022 752 2718

READ: The strange truth about camping



River Goose, Bonnievale 

A photo posted by nadia (@nadia_safaria) on



People per site: 6
Ground Cover: Grass 
Ablution & facilities: The Campsites share an ablution block with showers and hot water, as well as flush toilets. Each stand has its own braai as well as picnic table. No power points. 
Contact: 082 759 5727


Northern Cape

De Hoop, Richtersveld 

A photo posted by Reinette W (@reinettew) on



People per site: 6
Ground cover: Sand
Ablution & facilities: Very basic facilities. No power points. Showers with cold water only. 
Contact: 027 831 1506 or email: RNPreservations@sanparks.org


KwaZulu-Natal

Sodwana Bay

A photo posted by Alice Walsh (@falilaquie) on

People per site: 8
Ground cover: Grass and ground 
Ablution & facilities: The ablution facilities provide hot and cold running water, flush toilets, showers, baths, dishwashing and laundry facilities. Campsites have shared cold water taps and barbecue facilities. All camping spots have shade. 
Contact: 035 571 0051/2/3


Kosi Bay, iSimangaliso Wetland Park

A photo posted by Luke Smith (@smithluke1) on



People per site:
Ground cover: Grass and ground 
Ablution & facilities: No power points. 
Contact: 033 845 1000 or email: camping@kznwildlife.com


Ilanga Resort and caravan park, Banana Beach 



People per site:
Ground cover: Mostly grass
Ablution & facilities: Communal ablution blocks with hot and cold water, as well as baths, showers and flushing toilets. Each stand has a power point and braai facilities. 
Contact: 039 681 3280


Dolphin Caravan Park, Ballito 



People per site: Maximum 6
Ground cover: Mostly grass
Ablution & facilities: 4 modern, well-maintained ablution blocks, laundry and communal sculleries. 
Contact: 032 946 2187 


MacNicol's, Bazley Beach 

A photo posted by Howard (@howardghg) on



People per site: 6 people per site
Ground cover: Mostly grass, most sites are also shady
Ablution & facilities: There are eight different ablution blocks as well as other services such as laundry
Contact: 039 977 8863 or email: macnicol@scottburgh.co.za


Limpopo

Tzaneen Dam Nature Reserve Campsite, Tzaneen 



Number of people: 6
Ground cover: Grass
Ablution & facilities: Two large ablution blocks with hot water and flush toilets. All stands have power points and braai facilities.  
Contact: 083 549 8141


Groot Krokodil Lodge, Thabazimbi 


Number of people: 6
Ground cover: Grass
Ablution & facilities: Two big ablution facilities are available for both men and woman and in the female block is a make-up and hair blow dry area. 
Contact:  083 549 8141 or email: reservations@golimpopo.co.za




Gauteng

De Rust Caravan Park, Pretoria 


People per stand: 2  
Ground cover: Grass 
Ablution & facilities: Each big stand has its own braai, water and 15amp power supply. Patrolled game fences and an electric entrance gate.  NOTE: The resort does not allow children under 16. 
Contact: 083 282 7292


Pitjane fishing camp in Borakalalo National Park



People per site: 6
Ground cover: Mostly gravel, but some grass. Located right by the river, the vegetation is nice and lush providing lots of shade.
Ablution and facilities: Hot showers and flushing toilets in the ablution blocks. Each camp site has its own braai facilities and a tap.
Contact: 012 729 4101/2 or email: eseutane@nwptb.co.za


Buffelspoort 

A photo posted by dewald (@dewald883) on


Ground cover: Grass for camping, paving for caravans
Ablution & facilities: Beautifully maintained ablution blocks, an on-site restaurant, ATMs, hair salon... yup, you're pretty sorted while staying there. It is a resort after all.
Contact: 014 572 1000

READ: Top 10 camping spots


Dinokeng Waterfront Estate, Roodeplaat Dam 



People per site: 6  
Ground cover: Grass
Ablution & facilities: Ablution blocks have warm water and flushing toilets. All stands have power points, borehole water and braai facilities. 
Contact: 083 460 7070


North West

Drie Berge Caravan Park, Brits 

A photo posted by Kpt Steyn (@kpt.steyn) on

People per site: 8  
Ground cover: Grass and ground 
Ablution & facilities: Ablutions have hot water and flushing toilets. All stands have power points, borehole water and braai facilities.
Contact: 083 608 3409


Mpumalanga

Merry Pebbles Resort, Sabie 



People per stand: 8  
Ground cover: Grass
Ablution & facilities: Four large ablution facilities, three sculleries and a laundromat. All stands have power points and braai facilities. 
Contact: 013 764 2266


Loskop Dam Forever Resort, Middelburg 



People per stand: 8  
Ground cover: Grass
Ablution & facilities: Seven ablution blocks with hot water and flushing toilets. All stands have power points and braai facilities. 
Contact: 013 262 3075


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