Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
7 Dec 2021
4:05 pm

Six of the best riverside campsites in SA

Renate Engelbrecht

‘Tis that time of the year when parents want to let their hair down a little and kids want to splash around in pools all day. It’s also the best time of the year to go camping.

Some of the best riverside campsites in SA. Picture: iStock

Whether you’re a keen fisherman or a lazy, read-a-book-under-the-trees kind of camper, these riverside camping spots might just be the nudge you need to start packing the tent.

Fiddlers Creek, Northern Cape

Based in Vioolsdrif beside the Orange River, Bushwacked Adventures’ Fiddlers Creek glamping and camping site is ideal for travellers from both South Africa and Namibia. It’s also from here that you can go on a river rafting adventure – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Fiddlers Creek riverside campsite is equipped with all the necessary facilities, with two ablution blocks that have hot and cold running water.

In addition to their campsites, they also have glamping units available, which come with undercover kitchenettes and braai areas. None of the glamp sites are en suite and the units don’t come with any electrical appliances, crockery or cutlery.

Cost: From R120 per person per night

+2727-761-8953 / info@bushwhacked.co.za

Jai Yen Yen, Biedouw Valley

This overgrazed, dilapidated farm has been transformed into a jewel of the Cederberg’s Biedouw Valley. There, right where the Biedow River and the Doring River meet, you can camp, watch the stars, bike, 4×4, swim or just be in the moment while listening to the magnificent silence of nature.

They’ve been utilising eco-friendly methods and lots of tender loving care for the outdoors to turn the farmland into a lovely riverside camping site – an experience not to be missed.

Cost: From R100 per person per night

+2712-001-2281

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Enjo Nature Farm, Biedouw Valley

This is another riverside campsite in the same Biedouw Valley, sitting right on the Biedouw River, boasting its own private field of wildflowers. There are three spacious campsites, communal ablution blocks, and water and braai facilities.

Cost: R120 per person per night (children under 12 free of charge)

+2727-470-0055 / rocks@soulcountry.co.za

Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge, Kwazulu-Natal

On the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal lies the Dolphin Coast, which forms part of the historical King Shaka Route. This is also where you’ll find the Nature Conservancy of Zinkwazi, where you can camp among fish eagles beside kilometres of untouched lagoon.

The lagoon beach and forest resort boasts an eco-campsite for the whole family with tropical palms and flowering trees and there is a recreational lawn with a pool and playground.

Cost: From R300 per camp stand per day

+2732-485-3344 / info@zinkwazilagoonlodge.co.za

Olifants River Lodge, Middelburg

Less than two hours’ drive from Johannesburg, you’ll find this semi-bushveld paradise cradled in the Great Olifants River gorge, also known as God’s Valley.

As one of the best riverside campsites, they have a lovely caravan and camping site that forms part of the accommodation facilities and there is something of everything for everyone. From hiking trails, mountain biking and bird watching, to jungle gyms, paddle boats, waterslides and more.

The campsite includes 60 sites, all with power points and water, and it boasts four ablution blocks with hot water and amenities.

Cost: From R600 per camp stand per day

+2713-243-9401 / info@olifantsriverlodge.co.za

Mahai Riverside Campsite, Drakensberg

Surrounded by the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the Mahai River Campsite is situated in a valley inside the Royal National Park. You can use this as base for numerous hiking trails of various lengths, or you can spend the day exploring the nearby Tugela Falls.

The campsite boasts communal ablution and washing up facilities and comes with both electric and non-electric campsites.

Cost: Around R410 per person per night

+2733-845-1000 / bookings@kznwildlife.co.za