It’s virtually that time of the year again, when a beach holiday for the family looms on the horizon and visions of just how one is going to wiggle one’s way into one’s swim attire with a fair amount of grace occupies one’s thoughts, if only for a moment. The rest of the time is taken up with trying to find the right campsite whilst dithering about how best to fit the entire house and the kitchen sink into the boot of the car!
The KwaZulu-Natal coastline is the most obvious choice when it comes to endless summer and warm waters. Along this strip of coastline between Port Edward and Durban is an uninterrupted playground of golden beaches, rocky coves, lagoon mouths, grassy slopes and, of course, the warm Indian Ocean that invites hours of water play …
The KwaZulu Natal South Coast conjures up a humid, perpetually warm landscape of rolling green hills swept with sugarcane, hibiscus, bougainvillea and the songs of birds. There is the inevitable highrise development to contend with too, but if you select your campsite carefully there is no reason why a complete escape cannot be secured and a break spent idly swimming, braaing, diving and rock pool rummaging cannot be yours for the taking.
Don’t forget the fishing rods, mini golf sticks (the portion of the coast between Illovo and Port Edward is wall-to-wall golf courses), snorkels, boogy boards and goggles.
The following list attempts to veer away from the ‘sardine tin’ experience, although this is difficult to do with any assurance during peak holiday season:
Mountain Splendour Eco Resort, Winrerton, Drakensberg
Camping is made easy with a selection of luxury private bathrooms, pre-erected safari tents, large raised and levelled electrified sites, tea on arrival, staff assistance with setting up camp, fridges and mattresses or beds for hire, free freezer space and a serviced laundry. Mountain Splendour has a limited number of caravan storage bays. Caravans stored with us are set-up on site and ready for your holiday each time you visit, at no additional charge. Find out more or book here.
River Valley Resort, Pennington, South Coast
The Resort offers five comfortable, two bedroomed fully furnished self-catering chalets and 25 grassed shady caravan / camp sites all with electrical points and six water points within close proximity to all the sites. An electric fence and automatic gate secures the resort. Very much a family orientated resort, there is a swimming pool, a games room and a childrens’ playground to entertain the children, so that mom and dad can relax in their favourite recliner, put up their feet with a glass of their preferred liquid refreshment, doze, read, bird watch or take it easy. Find out more or book here.
Umgeni Valley Reserve, Howick
The Bush Camps are suitable for large groups of school children, church groups and families. There is a large camp housing 60 people (Indulo) and a smaller camp for 30 people (Cycad). There is no vehicular access to either of the camps; parking is provided at the top of the hill. Enjoy the steep downhill walk to the camps with all your camping equipment and food. All camps have wooden bungalows raised off the ground, with no doors or windows. Hiking mattresses, a gas stove, showers and flushing toilets are provided. Find out more or book here.
Bluff Eco Park, Bluff, Durban
Bluff Eco Park is an 11 hectare natural park that offers a unique ‘Green Living’ experience surrounded by 18 ha of lush sub-tropical bush, situated close to the heart of Durban city. The natural, tranquil and peaceful environment includes over 75 species of birds, banded mongoose, genets, monkeys and even the occasional grey duiker. The camping sites are powered sites close to the beaches and are also within minutes from shopping centres and the golf course. Find out more or book here.
Ntibane Bushveld Hideaway, Hlomohlomo, Zululand
Nestled in the rolling hills of Zululand lies, this is an idyllic setting for those who love the African bush. The game farm is 286ha of open savannah and thornveld. Completely fenced and surrounded by game farms, there is an abundance of impala, blesbok, reed buck, kudu, zebra, warthog and prolific bird life. Camp sites are available for those who enjoy sleeping under the stars. For more information and bookings click here.
Amangwane Camp in Kosi Bay, Elephant Coast
This community camp is a rustic haven in the dunes surrounding the lakes of Kosi Bay and is situated close by the northernmost entrance to the Wetland Park and in the heart of the welcoming Thongaland community. Accommodation is in cool reed chalets, each with twin beds and en-suite toilet and shower. An al-fresco dining area and fire circle for making the most of the warm days and starry nights. This is a non-luxury, no frills destination for the adventurous traveller. For more info and to book, please click here.
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