There is no easier and cheaper hobby than getting out of the house and going camping.

However, camping has the potential of turning expensive very fast. This is true especially if you are planning to stay for more than a couple of days.

It can be the bank of a river, some forest clearing or the side of a mountain.. the options are unlimited.

If budget is your main concern, here are 5 locations you can camp without worrying about breaking the bank.

1. Warmbaths, A Forever Resort, Limpopo

Warmbaths forever camping
Warmbaths forever camping site

This one is just a 2-hour road trip from Joburg, which gives you a mix of both the road trip experience and camping too.

For R250 per person per night, you can enjoy your night under the stars. Power is available and bathrooms are in plenty. The resort also comes with other activities like swimming, cable water skies, go-karting and quad biking. These are charged separately though.


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2. Albert Falls Dam and Game Reserve, KZN

Albert Falls camp site
Albert Falls camping site

This one is located about 24km from Pietermaritzburg. The resort is on the shores of one of KwaZulu-Natal’s largest dams.

Here you get the chance to combine both game and camping, with zebras and bucks all around.

When not gazing at the stars, you can enjoy a whole catalogue of activities such as boating, fishing or trails.

Prices start at R143 for an electrified campsite and R121 for one without electricity. Children under 12 pay half price.


3. Bonamanzi Game Park, Hluhluwe, Kwazulu-Natal

Bonamanzi camping
Bonamanzi camping site

If you’re looking for a great camping inside a game reserve, Bonamanzi is your go-to place. The privately owned reserve is 4000 hectares huge with a lot of diversity. It has been named one of South Africa’s best birding destinations, so if that’s something you think can go well with your camping, why not.

Though there are no lions here, you can spot the rest of the Big Five quite easily.

Bonamanzi has about 24 camping sites, from communal ones to the more secluded private ones. All have electricity available. There are also braai spots if you want that.

Prices start at about R220 per person per night.


Read: Backpacking in South Africa.. Where To Visit, Tips, Guide

4. Berg River Resorts, Western Cape 

Berg River Resort Camping
Berg River Resort camping site

In the beautiful Winelands, 60km northeast of Cape Town, lies Berg River Resorts.

The resort offers a range of accommodation options for families or small groups. On top of their chalets best suited for families, the resort offers self catering caravan and camping options.

The place can have about 150 tents at any one time, and all these stands have electricity and electrical outlets. Each site also has a braai spot. Ablusion facilities are communal and there’s also a swimming pool on top of a kiddie’s pool.

Other water-sports like water-slide and canoeing are also available at an additional cost.

Prices start at R320 per person.


5. Areena Riverside Resort

Areena resort camping
Areena resort camping site

Areena has been named of of South Africa’s top 10 resorts for 12 years straight.

It’s a beautiful, picturesque place that gives you a handful of adventure options. Some of these include zip-lining, paintball, archery and quad biking. Being beside a river also brings along other activities like fishing and boating.

The resort is quite popular for team building moments.

If you are not interested in the cottages or the rondavels or the timber chalets, you can go for the cheaper camping instead.

This is a popular destination and it tends to get expensive. However, you can avoid the high seasons like Christmas, school holidays, Easter, etc. and go off peak.

Then, you will pay about R190 per person per night.

This is inclusive of electricity and braai and grid.


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