Accommodation / Family Holidays / KwaZulu Natal

Let’s go camping – the best campsites in KwaZulu-Natal

Updated Sunday, 10 March 2024

It’s 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:

The Best Camping Paces in KwaZulu-Natal

Urban Glamping in St Lucia

Urban Glamping is situated on the main road of St Lucia, the gateway to the Isimangaliso Wetland Park (a UNESCO world heritage site). This luxury tented lodge is not what you would expect to find in the middle of a populated town – guests say that it feels like they are actually in the middle of a forest!

The lodge comprises 12 luxury en-suite tents, each with its own deck and seating area. In the middle of the large wooden deck furnished with plenty of pool loungers and umbrellas we boast a lovely pool.

Urban Glamping

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.

River Valley Resort

Gibaland Camping, near Durban

There are a total of five luxury tents and communal ablution facilities within the little teepee village. There is a big bonfire pit in the centre for guests to roast marshmallows and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

It’s glamping at its best, with the bonfire lit for you using one wheelbarrow of complimentary wood. Braai facilities are provided should guests prefer to do their own catering. Guests would then need to provide charcoal, cutlery and crockery.

Gibaland Camping

Gibaland Camping, near Durban

Boasting breathtaking views of an awe inspiring mountain range, the Resort is a one of kind retreat for guests to rekindle, relax and unwind. With the natural healing power of the mighty Southern Drakensberg, coupled with crisp mountain air, rejuvenating clear streams and azure blue skies; the Resort is a fantastic holiday escape.

Drakensburg Gardens Camping offers five sites with electricity and five sites that do not have electricity. Braai facilities and communal ablution blocks are provided. Only one caravan or tent is permitted per site.

Drakensberg Gardens camping

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.

Bluff Eco Park Camping

Hluhluwe Bush Camp, Hluhluwe

Hluhluwe Bush Camp offers camping in the bush close to the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. The accommodation in Hluhluwe is perfectly located to offer peace and tranquillity, perfect for couples, a family holiday, or a breakaway with friends.

Hluhluwe Bush Camp offers a choice of well equipped Native American inspired tents, two equipped adventure tents as well as two open bush camp sites.

The Tipi Tents share a bathroom fitted with a shower, toilet and basin. The Adventure tents have a private open-aired bathroom consisting of a shower. The camp sites make use of an ablution block with two showers, toilets and basins.

Hluhluwe Bush Camp

Shayamoya Rustic Bush Camp

Shayamoya Rustic Bush Camp offers accommodation in Pongola in a unique camp with a spectacular setting and breathtaking views of Lake Jozini, the Lebombo Mountains and the Pongola Game Reserves.

The camp has five tents, each of which is furnished with two single beds. Linen and towels are provided. There are two ablution facilities fitted with shower, toilet and basin. The water is heated by a wood fired boiler.

Meals can be prepared in the kitchenettes which are also equipped with a fridge. Wood is supplied and the camp is solar and gas powered. Please remember to bring a torch, firelighters and matches. The camp has a fire pit for sociable evenings shared with friends and family.

Shayamoya Bush Camping

Matatane Camp in Ulundi

Matatane Camp offers accommodation in Ulundi in the White Umfolozi Valley, close to the impressive Nhlazatshe Mountain.

If you’re after an outdoor adventure, Matatane is the place to be with its hiking, game viewing, mountain biking, birding and Activity Centre with adventure activities such as abseiling and zip-lining.

Matatane Camp

The Hatchery in Mtunzini

The Hatchery is a rustic beach and lagoon experience, situated about 15 minutes drive from Mtunzini and set against a backdrop of a beautiful river and overlooking a nature reserve, island and deserted beach.

The Hatchery was originally a prawn breeding facility and it now makes for a unique destination experience for visitors to the North Coast.

The facility has been ‘lightly’ renovated – the end result is a unique blend of comfort and rustic cool. The Hatchery is all about chilling out, letting loose and reconnecting.

The Hatchery

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