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South Africa Camping Safaris

There’s no better way to spend your holiday than going on a South Africa camping safari. This is an incredible country to visit in whatever way you travel. It has some of the best wildlife viewing you can experience anywhere in southern Africa, and there are so many beautiful landscapes to enjoy as well. But camping will give you a whole extra layer of enjoyment by really helping you to feel close to nature. It’s a big and varied country and there’s so much to see here that any trip, camping or otherwise, will require careful planning so that you can make the most of the time you have available. But wherever you go, you have so much to look forward to.

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1-20 of 37 camping safaris to South Africa

5 Questions About South Africa Camping Safaris


5 Questions About South Africa Camping Safaris

Answered by Anthony Ham

What facilities can I expect in South African campsites?

“South Africa has an excellent network of campsites across many of its national parks. Known as rest camps, they also have other forms of accommodation on the same grounds, as well as facilities that might include a swimming pool, grocery store, gift shop, and restaurants or cafeteria-style dining areas. If you’re camping in one of these rest camps, you can expect good, but sometimes crowded, communal facilities such as toilets and shower blocks. There will be separate bathroom areas for women and men, and most shower facilities have hot water. The best campsites have plenty of shade, but this won’t apply to all sites within a rest camp. The rest camps have fences around them, which keeps out most of the wild animals. Remember also that the rest camps are like mini towns, and what they lack in wilderness appeal they tend to make up for with good facilities.”


How much do South Africa camping tours cost?

“Every camping safari is different and price packages for what seems like the same trip can vary significantly from one safari operator to the next. Even so, it’s possible in broad terms to say that most camping safaris fall into the budget price category. They begin at around US$125 to US$150 per person per day but can go as high as US$500 per person per day. One of the factors that can push the prices up or down is the number of days you’re traveling: if you’re only traveling for a short period, one-off costs such as transfers will push up the per-day cost. How much ground you’ll be covering can also have an impact, especially when it comes to high fuel prices and even more so if your safari includes any flights. Before handing over any money, you should always ask exactly what is included and what’s not included in any quoted price for your safari. Most quotes should include all meals, transport, game drives, park entry fees and accommodation (including all camping equipment). For some cheaper safaris, you may be expected to help out with chores (setting up camp, cooking, washing up, for example) around camp.”


What is the best time for a camping safari in South Africa?

“Camping safari tours are possible year-round in South Africa, but the best months are usually from May to September. This is the Dry season in much of the country, especially in the parks of the northeast. During this period, you can expect generally fine conditions and mild daytime temperatures. This also coincides with the best wildlife-viewing months: during the Dry season, animals are drawn to an ever-diminishing number of water sources, which makes them easier to track down. Although conditions are largely favorable at these times, remember that it can get very cold at night. Another thing to remember is that South African school holidays are to be avoided where possible: during local school holiday periods, campsites can be crowded at best and completely overrun at worst.”


Is a camping holiday in South Africa safe?

“A South Africa camping safari is generally very safe, and the vast majority of travelers who go on one of these trips have a wonderful time without experiencing any safety problems. Crime can be a concern in some South African cities, but is extremely rare in national parks, reserves and rural areas. Even in the cities, most travelers encounter no difficulties. There is also little danger from the animals you’ll be seeing: campsites are fenced and as long as you remain in your vehicle and follow the advice of your guide at all times when out on safari, you should be fine. Outside of national parks, you should never travel on public roads after dark because of the higher risk of traffic accidents and the hazards posed by poorly visible, wandering wildlife and livestock. Very few safaris are likely to do this, but confirm when making your booking that you won’t be traveling by road at night.”


Will I need to bring my own camping gear on a South Africa camping safari?

“No, the overwhelming majority of camping tours offered by South African operators will include all camping equipment. If you were asked to bring your own, you could expect the quoted price of your safari to be significantly less. One of the most important things you need to do when organizing your safari and choosing which operator will make the arrangements is to ask for a detailed list of what’s included and what’s excluded. This applies to all aspects of your safari, and not just to camping equipment. Make sure also that the operator is able to provide a list of all equipment that will accompany you on safari. Some may try to cut corners, but at the very least you should be provided with a tent, sleeping bag, mattress and cooking equipment. You will be expected to bring your own warm jackets and other suitable clothing.”


South Africa Reviews

4.6/5 990 Reviews
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

South Africa is rightly celebrated for its magnificent natural beauty and excellent choice of parks

South Africa has a wonderful range of landscapes, a near-perfect climate, and the choice of destinations, activities and itineraries is virtually inexhaustible. Aside from its beautiful coastline and cosmopolitan cities – both of which I...

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Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

A world in one country

South Africa’s astounding array of landscapes – from semi-desert to savanna and snow-capped mountain to coral reef – means it offers a greater variety of wildlife experience than any other African country. There are surely few other...

Full Review

Erik Poulsen  –  
Denmark DK
Reviewed: Feb 26, 2024
A troubled country

Our tour with safaribookings went on very satisfactory - we saw almost all the animals we came for.
Regarding tourism there is a long way to go before we can walk freely in the streets and that’s a shame. Get that fixed

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Romà Cots Cole  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: Feb 26, 2024
Stunning and unforgettable experience

Me and my mother went on a 16 day trip visiting Cape Town, driving along the garden route and ending on a lovely safari experience at Nambu Camp. We had the pleasure to have one of the best guides in South Africa, Terence. I recommend this...

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Ian Matthews  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Feb 25, 2024
Wow! Beyond expectations

The ease of booking, the pickup at our Hotel to the arrival at the first Camp, it was seamless and professional. We weren't there very long when an elephant wandered through the carpark! The Safari's were full of interest with knowledgeable...

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Barbara Alicia Suarez  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 20, 2024
The California of Africa

We visited Cape Town which I refer to as “the California of Africa” we stayed in Sea Point, Stellenbosch and Camps Bay. Camps bay was absolutely gorgeous! Very similar to Laguna Beach Ca. We then flew to Hudspruit to the Elephant...

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