Camping in South Africa

family, travel, road trip, south africa, camp sites, camping, explore, budget, accommodation, Limpopo, Kwazulu Natal, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, North West Province, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Free State, Western Cape

family, travel, road trip, south africa, camp sites, camping, explore, budget, accommodation, Limpopo, Kwazulu Natal, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, North West Province, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Free State, Western Cape

After 9 weeks, over 16 locations, across 6 regions in one Volkswagen Polo, the Magnin family arrived back in Cape Town late yesterday evening. I did a few calculations this morning and, not including all those times we got lost and the many mini road trips in between, we covered 4397kms over that time.

That works out to be about 10 tanks of fuel. Of course, when you include all the times we got lost, it would probably be more like 12 tanks of 95 unleaded but we won’t dwell on that too much.

Now, before we headed out, we got ourselves completely kitted out to be camp ready in case we found ourselves without a roof for the night. That was before we realized that the cost of camping has escalated so much over the years. When did it become a per person, per night deal, rather than per site?

Since the weather is foul in most regions at the moment, the only region we would have been willing to camp in, at this time of the year, was Kwazulu Natal. But after emailing 5 places for quotes, and receiving responses like R150 per person, per night, I was wondering why this was considered to be the cheaper option. Am I missing something? By the way, this was for a camp site that didn’t have a plug point. How even!?

Our budget for accommodation over the past 9 weeks has been between R750 and R1000 per night. This would give me access to 4 walls, a roof and indoor plumbing. If I’m paying R600 per night to camp with my family of 4, and I’m providing the accommodation, bedding, crockery, cutlery AND I’m expected to share an ablution block with who knows how many people, I’m struggling to find the plus side!?

Please tell me what I’m doing wrong and clue me into all the awesome camp sites you know about. I don’t need 4 star but I do need a plug point, a well maintained and safe camp site and it shouldn’t cost almost the same as a chalet. I’m depending on your input!

I hope you can prove me wrong and all suggestions will be collated into a proper listing where you will be given credit for your suggestions. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say 🙂

About TazzDiscovers 125 Articles
Hi! Welcome to our family travel blog. We hope you enjoy the content we share here. We tried the nomad life in 2016 and, while we loved exploring 7 of the 9 regions in South Africa, we found it tough. We are back in Cape Town and enjoy going on mini adventures as a family. Our kids will soon be 11 and 14 years old, and they love the outdoors. Anton is a stay at home dad and helps me to home school the kids, while I hold down a job and find time to write. One day when the kids are older and have settled into their own lives, we plan to explore the rest of South Africa in a 4x4, so that we can also visit Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. Contact us for unique, family-friendly content about Cape Town, most of South Africa and what we have learned from our travels so far. You are most welcome to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@tazzdiscovers) to see what we share on a day to day basis. We look forward to working with you. Our email address is tazzdiscovers@gmail.com

4 Comments

  1. Check out the AKTV camping. They are approx 220 per site for 6 people off season. Even on long weekend’s. We are a family of 5 so I only do per site or per unit accommodation.

    • Thank you for the suggestion Shireen. We will check it out. I’m not sure why camping has decided to go with the per person business model. Per site makes a lot more sense! 🙂

  2. I guess it’s a case of you have to make money some how. Pity, camping always was considered the cheapest option (probably still is, but just isn’t as ‘cheap’ as before!)

    • I understand the need to make money Craig. I’m not expecting to get the site for nothing. But the more camp sites who go with the per person business model rather than per site, the more places who will eventually find themselves out of business. Or maybe not. Too each their own, I guess.

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