3 Camping spots that let you get away from it all
When the hustle and bustle of city living starts to weigh you down, and you find yourself cursing under your breath more often than usual, it’s time to pack your bags and head out to someplace no-one can find you.
You’re in luck, because many rustic destinations are hidden within South Africa’s borders. You’ll find them nestled close to mountain slopes, sprawled along river banks or under the desert stars.
We’re going to tell you about three of our favourite out-of-the-way camping spots today, so that you know in which direction to point your car’s nose when next you want to turn your back on the city for a day or two.
- photo – Christian Arballo
Meiringskloof Nature Reserve
You’ll find the Meiringskloof Nature Reserve a mere 11 kilometres away from the Lesotho border in the Free State. The closest town is Fouriesburg, but to get there you have to negotiate a treacherous gravel road.
Surrounded by the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains, the area is perfect for horse riding, abseiling and daring 4X4 excursions. The less adventurous can go for a hike or cool down in the swimming pool.
If you don’t want to take advantage of any of the 25 camping spots, your stay can be spent in one of the reserve’s self-catering sandstone chalets. Either way, you’ll be surrounded by towering cliffs, an abundance of birdlife and the magnificence of the African bush.
The Mabibi camp site lies within the borders of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on KwaZulu-Natal’s Elephant Coast. The area is largely untouched by civilization, making Mabibi one of the most rustic nature retreats you’ll ever come across.
Don’t let the use of the word ‘retreat’ fool you. This is strictly camping, with no electricity available. There are ablution facilities, however, and plenty of shade comes standard compliments of the many Milkwood trees in the camp.
Be warned that while the last bit of travelling to the camp site is only 33 kilometres, you will be driving through thick sand. These conditions turn what should be a relatively short ride into a journey of roundabout 60 minutes.
If you’re not much of a beach or mountain person, head out to the flat silhouettes of the Northern Cape. On the outskirts of this province you’ll find Kokerboomkloof in the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
The most important thing you need to take note of is that there is no water available at Kokerboomkloof. Not a drop. The closest water point is at Richtersberg which is 32 kilometres away. You can probably guess that there is also no electricity here.
But what you do get, makes up for this mild inconvenience a hundred times over. You’ll witness spectacular sunsets, get up close and personal with fauna and flora found nowhere else in the world, and you’ll clap eyes on vistas more beautiful and vast than you could ever have imagined.
The best way to get to any of these destinations would be by 4X4. If you’re not the owner of such a vehicle, whip out a purchase price calculator immediately to see if you can afford one. Why? Because these three hidden gems are too special to not visit in your lifetime.