Best Places for Hiking and Camping in South Africa

South Africa may not be one of the first locations that come to mind when you want to go camping but you should seriously think about going there. There are actually some excellent campgrounds with all of the amenities you would expect from a top notch campground. The only difference is you will be right in the middle of some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife on the planet.

Here are three of the best campgrounds in the country:


The Mahai Campsite is based in Drakensberg, a beautiful valley in South Africa. The huge site offers necessary amenities including sites with electricity to charge up your gadgets and tech. The site is great for couples and families that want to have their pick of things to do during the day including fly fishing, horse riding, hiking and climbing. There’s no need to worry about longer stays where you’re running low on clothing as there are facilities on site to dry your clothing and clean yourself up for your next adventure.

You will come up close and personal with numerous Chacma baboons so do remember to keep your tent zipped properly or they may want to help themselves. The grassland is great for your own little monkeys if you are taking your whole family but do remember it’s quite chilly during the winter so wrap up warm if you venture out this time of year. You can whatever time of the year enjoy making a real fire from nearby old trees and see the sun set over the beautiful mountains.


OK, when you have finished laughing at the name of the bay you will realise there’s so much more to it than the name. The West Coast is pretty rugged making it a great destination for incorporating camping and hiking and you will be able to retreat at the end of the day  to your tent right next to the sea. There are numerous campsites to choose from depending on how wild you want to make it.

There are no showers but plenty of water on the bay and tech is a no – no which makes it ideal for families that want to get their kids off screens and talking to one another. When you arrive you can choose whether you wish to be in the communal camping area to make friends with others or hide away in the rocks for privacy. Paternoster Village is only 6km away so if you do realise you need to touch base with the modern world you won’t have far to go.

There are numerous hiking grounds nearby and you will also be close enough to visit the last lighthouse controlled manually in the whole country. The nearby nature reserve is great for getting to know the local wildlife and wake up to the most beautiful sunset you have ever seen. The terrain is pretty rough so be sure to bring a good pair of hiking boots or hiking shoes.


The Baviaanskloof Wilderness area is a great place to pitch your tent with one of the most beautiful backdrops you could ever wish for. The area is entered via GrootrivierPoort and then spreads out right to the Grootrivier shores. There are 14 campsites altogether with each having their own flushing toilet, showers and facilities for braai.

You can also get hot water, however the water comes from the river so it’s advisable to bring your own for drinking. While there campers can enjoy well shaded areas to rest their heads after a day of exploration. Activities you can also take part in include scenic hikes, swimming, viewing game and even fishing. Some of the campsites also have bush kitchens that have everything you need to dine throughout your stay (except the food of course).