Renate Engelbrecht
4 minute read
9 Jun 2021
4:55 pm

Best spots for winter camping in SA

Renate Engelbrecht

A comprehensive list of South Africa's best winter camping and glamping options.

Platbos Forest’s Honey Bee Suite. Picture: Supplied

Whether you’re wild at heart and keen on some camping in South Africa or a little more skeptical when it comes to the idea of camping in winter – these winter glamping spots will have you packing your bags in no time, heading for the nippy outdoors just to get a glimpse of that wonderous hot tub or to cuddle up close with cosy bonfire blankets under starlit skies.

Check out these six spots which are best for camping in winter in South Africa:

AfriCamps, Gowan Valley – KwaZulu-Natal 

Located on the Gowan Valley Guest Farm, this is one of AfriCamps’ smaller camps and one that is often fully booked. The landowners farm with Nguni cattle and golden kiwis and you can explore the farm with a 4km walk that passes through an indigenous forest, leading you to a gigantic 500-year-old Yellowwood tree. AfriCamps’ tents are geared to keep you cosy with indoor fireplaces, aircons and hot tubs, so even when the nearby Nottingham Road is covered in snow, you’ll still be able to keep warm.

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AfriCamps, Gowan Valley. Picture: Supplied

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AfriCamps, Gowan Valley. Picture: Supplied

 

Hluhluwe Bush Camp – KwaZulu-Natal

Located on a privately owned farm bordering the Isimangaliso Wetland Park – a world heritage site – Hluhluwe Bush Camp boasts the best of both worlds when it comes to camping. It comes with a general campsite for adventure seekers, but also with small Tipi tents and Woody tents with private outside bathrooms, as well as larger luxury tents complete with well-equipped kitchens and handcrafted amenities. Whether it’s camping or glamping you’re after, Hluhluwe Bush Camp caters for both, with the added bonus of a quaint farmstall where you can indulge in Dutch-inspired treats and homemade pizzas.

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Hluhluwe Bush Camp. Pictures: Supplied

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Hluhluwe Bush Camp. Picture: Supplied

 

Kuganha Tented Camp Safari – Western Cape

Boasting 66sq foot tents, this tented camp takes the cake when it comes to tented safaris. Each tent comes with its own unique special touches, including their own patios and dining pergolas. Not to mention Kuganha’s own private chef, three-course dinners and memorable game drives. Kuganha Tented Camp is also one of the best destinations for stargazing and for spotting the Big 5, being located on Inverdoorn’s 10 000-hectare game reserve, based in the Karoo.

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Kuganha Tented Camp Safari. Picture: Supplied

camping in SA

Kuganha Tented Camp Safari. Picture: Supplied

 

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Simbavati Trails Camp – Limpopo

Even with its luxurious touches, this camp’s Meru-style safari tents bring you back to basics in a secluded area of the Timbavati. Here, bucket showers are filled with hot water on demand and an expert cook prepares meals over an open fire while you spend quality time with nature. Kids under sixteen are not accommodated at this camp and a three-day stay is recommended to truly experience their full walking trail. Keep in mind that there is no electricity or reception – the perfect spot for a proper digital detox.

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Simbavati Trails Camp. Picture: Supplied

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Simbavati Trails Camp. Picture: Supplied

 

Umkumbe Bush Lodge – Mpumalanga

At the Sabi Sands’ very first luxury tented camp you’ll quickly warm up to the idea of camping. Tucked away between the trees, you get to experience the bush like never before. Named after the indigenous trees in the area, Umkumbe Bush Lodge’s standard tents come with all the necessities and the spacious luxury suite tent, Leadwood, is ideal for honeymooners while it can also be transformed into a lovely family unit. All their tents come with aircons, additional blankets and hot water bottles and evenings around the boma create a warm, cosy atmosphere.

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Umkumbe Bush Lodge. Picture: Supplied

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Umkumbe Bush Lodge. Picture: Supplied

 

Platbos Forest – Western Cape

If you’re keen on a more rustic, yet comfortable camping experience, opt for Platbos Forest’s Honey Bee Suite. The Platbos Forest Reserve is water-wise and all their accommodation units are serviced with river or dam water. The tent comes with a hot tub underneath a white stinkwood tree – a forest bathing experience like no other. They also supply hot water bottles and additional blankets for colder evenings. If you prefer self-check-in, this is the place to go as they don’t have a reception office and you get sent all the necessary information and maps beforehand.

outdoors

Platbos Forest’s Honey Bee Suite. Picture: Supplied

outdoors

Platbos Forest’s Honey Bee Suite. Picture: Supplied