The city of Durban and the surrounding Kwa-Zulu Natal region has some amazing camping spots to unwind and unplug from the daily grind. Mountains, beaches, and nature reserves, KZN has it all. Whether you want to take the family on an exciting holiday, want to treat your partner to a romantic getaway, or want to make some memories with your best friends, this list has got you covered.
Now, this blog post only focuses on the Kwa-Zulu Natal region but if you want to check out the most beautiful camp spots in South Africa at large give this post a read.
Here are the 10 best campsites in Kwa-Zulu Natal . . .
Escape the hustle and bustle of Durban, breathe in the salty sea air, and enjoy the pristine beaches of the South Coast. From diving to surfing, to fishing or simply just relaxing in the sun, the South Coast is the perfect family-friendly getaway.
1. Mac Nicol’s Caravan Resort, Bazley Beach
About 100km out from the city of Durban and just a few meters from Bazley Beach, this campsite is teeming with activity. Mac Nicol’s offers shaded campsites for either camping or caravaning each with an electricity supply (10amps) as well as 8 clean ablution blocks spread throughout the camp. The camp also offers 8 luxury log cabins if you don’t feel the camping bug. Customer service is very important to the staff of Mac Nicol’s which is why they will offer you tea and scones on arrival and will give you the option of having your tent set up for you by their staff. Nice touch ay!
Activities range from trampolines, a jungle gym, a huge hall, a tv room, the Bazley Trails to canoeing on the lagoon. There are two pools (one is heated) for the kids to play in all day long. There is a well-stocked shop and bottle store, with a takeaway during long weekends and seasons.
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2. Lalanathi Caravan and Camping Park, Port Shepstone
Just off the small town of Port Shepstone sits another seaside gem. This campsite hosts 45 well-spaced out campsites with clean ablution blocks and scullery facilities nearby. This camp offers magnificent scenery, great fishing and beautiful beach walks on the unspoilt beach. Swim, fish, surf and sunbathe to your hearts’ content, or just relax around a campfire in the natural and tranquil surroundings of Lalanathi.
Lalanathi is surrounded by fun family outings from the butterfly dome at MacBananas, to the Lake Eland Game Reserve, to the Riverbend Coffee Plantation, to (adrenaline junkies are gonna love this one) the longest zipline in the whole of Africa. This zipline is situated in Oribi Gorge and the entire course stretches to a grand total of 4,5kilometers. The longest line is 680m of pure adrenaline.
For more info about Lalanathi Caravan Park Click Here…
Taking it back to my hometown, the coastal city of Durban is a great place to soak in the sun, catch some waves (or some fish), or just take a cycle down Durban’s iconic golden mile promenade.
3. Bluff Eco Park
Bluff Eco Park is quiet little escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city while still being close enough to the key spots, that you won’t miss a thing. Accommodation options include rustic self-catering cabins that sleep between 2-6 people, spacious caravan and camping sites and an Eco-friendly Dormitory that can accommodate up to 60 people and has its own private ablution and kitchen facilities.
On-site you can find the Oasis swimming pools with braai area, a TV room with DStv and a pool table, Blush Nail Bar, Revitalize Day Spa, the Masterchef Coffee Shop, and the Eco Park Car Wash. Durban central is just a 10-15mins drive away, boasting Ushaka Marine World, The Moses Mabhida Stadium, and Durban’s beachside Golden MilePromenade.
The camp is located less than 3kms from Ansteys Beach, which includes large paddling pools, a lifeguard station, and of course beautiful sandy swimming beaches nearby. Take a 2min walk across the street to Bluff Hillside Mall with a grocery shop, pharmacy, Virgin Active Gym, and takeaway options.
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The North Coast or The Dolphin Coast as it is sometimes referred to is an area rich in wildlife and natural beauty. As the name suggests is a playground for a large number of bottlenose dolphins that are found in the waters close to the shore year-round. Isimangaliso Wetland Park is located some 275 kilometers north of Durban and is a World Heritage Site that consists of rare swamp forests, wetlands, the largest estuary in Africa, St Lucia, and some of the highest coastal vegetated dunes in the world – a true natural haven to explore.
4. Richards Bay Caravan Park, Richards Bay
Nestling within the coastal dunes of the North Coast, Richards Bay Caravan Park offers you caravan or camping sites that are of a generous size, level, grassed, shaded with electrical power points (20amps), nearby taps, and on-site braai’s. The camp has ample ablution and scullery facilities that are kept clean and have hot water day and night.
There are laundromats, restaurants, brand-name supermarkets in shopping malls, public beaches with shark nets, and a dolphin viewing platform close by. Golf, tennis, bowls, harbour trips, game viewing, and nature trails are all within easy reach. There is also an abundance of wildlife in the area to enjoy.
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5. Cape Vidal Campsite, Saint Lucia
Stay in the stunning iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, and experience stunning wildlife such as Samango and Velvet monkeys, duiker, bushbuck, and various antelope species. The website even claims to have leopards roaming in the area. The campsite offers 50 spacious sites each with a plug point. Ablutions are close by. The camp itself is a short walk from the beach.
St Lucia is known for its superb snorkeling and fishing. Just make sure you get your fishing license before you cast that line. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park closes to the public each evening. This offers you the opportunity of staying within a park and being able to access the beach during these times. Another benefit of overnighting at Cape Vidal Campsite is that you may launch your vessel at the same time as the gates open to the public.
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Pietermaritzburg is a small city an hour’s drive outside of Durban that is surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. Local attractions include The Tala Game Reserve, African Bird of Prey Sanctuary, Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Howick Falls, and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Museum to name a few.
6. Msinsi Albert Falls Dam & Game Reserve, Albert Falls
The Albert Falls dam. just 20km out of Pietermaritzburg, is a wonderful haven for keen birders and game viewing enthusiasts, as well as fans of water sports. You can fish for bass, enjoy recreational motor-boating, and take advantage of the tranquil thornveld that’s bursting with wildlife. Keen anglers won’t want to miss the chance to cast a line as Albert Falls Dam is the top bass dam in South Africa.
The Msinsi Albert Fall Dam and Game Reserve offer various accommodation options to enjoy the dam and its surrounds. Holidaymakers can make use of 16 fully furnished self-catering 2 sleeper rondavels and 3 x 6 sleeper chalets and a secluded Notuli cottage that can sleep up to 6 people. And for the outdoor lovers, Msinsi Albert Falls offers 14 waterfront camping sites, 33 electrical campsites, and 50 non-electrical campsites. The camp has 4 ablutions blocks that are cleaned daily and have hot water.
Msinsi Albert Falls has a 784ha game park and game viewing is offered to guests on game viewing vehicles. Game that guests can expect to see include Zebra, Reedbuck, Red Hartebeest, Blesbok, Impala, Blue Wildebeest, Giraffe, Warthog, Waterbuck, Oribi, Grey Duiker, Busbuck, Nyala, Kudu, and Cape Buffalo.
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The Drakensburg Mountains is one of the most spectacular landscapes in the whole of South Africa. The immense natural structures tower over the surrounding area and the views from the top are truly out of this world. I have many fond memories of hiking through these mountains, sleeping in caves, and swimming in the icy waters of the streams and rivers along the trails.
One of my favorite hikes in the Berg was the moderately easy trek to Marble Baths, which are a series of natural pools and waterslides. The crystal clear, icy waters, the warm sunshine, and the adrenaline-inducing, smooth rock waterslides make for hours of enjoyment.
7. Mahai Campsite, The Royal Natal National Park
The Royal Natal is situated next to a popular section of the Berg, The Amphitheatre, which is a rock wall that is approximately five km in length, and approximately 500m high. On top of the amphitheater is the Mont-aux-Sources peak where the Orange river begins its long journey to the Atlantic ocean and the Tugela river cascades down the face of the amphitheater, in the second highest waterfall in the world, on its way to the Indian ocean. Pretty cool right?
The campsite itself is a beautiful grassy field surrounded by tall trees and magnificent views of the mountains. Campsites have braai facilities, power, access to well-maintained ablutions and kitchen prep areas as well as a playground for the kids.
This camp is ideal for adventure junkies and outdoorsy people. Offering activities like hiking, mountain-biking, horse-riding, trail-running and river swimming. Nearby are rock art and heritage sites to view.
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8. Mountain Splendour Eco-Resort, Northern Drakensberg
Mountain Splendour, located in the Northern Drakensberg region is a great option for all types of holidaymakers, from families, to couples, to large groups and even for city-slickers (hear me out here).
Mountain Splendour has a range of accommodation options ranging from regular camping sites all the way to log cabins and for those city-slickers, I mentioned, fully furnished luxury glamping tents. These tents can sleep up to 5 guests and have ensuite showers and a veranda with braai facilities. The regular camping sites each have power outlets (15amps) a braai and a dustbin.
In terms of activities, Mountain Splendour has a lot. There is the obvious stuff like mountain biking, hiking and trail-running but there is also a bunch on the grounds themselves. There is a swimming pool with a slide, a tennis court, a playground, table tennis and even an animal farm. Mountain bikes can be hired, if you can’t find the packing space in the car to bring your own.
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9. Hlalanathi Berg Resort, Northern Drakensberg
Hlalanathi Resort is a perfect option for couples or elderly folk who want to experience the beauty of the northern berg away from the crowds and noise. It offers 20 fully equipped self-catering chalets, and spacious 55 grassed/paved caravan stands overlooking the Tugela River and Amphitheatre.
Each campsite has power, access to squeaky clean ablutions and you can choose to get a lapa site (veranda type structure for cooking and cleaning in all weather conditions) for added convenience. Private kitchen & ablution sites are also available.
There is a 9-hole golf course nearby with a view of the amphitheatre, Emthonjeni Spa, a restaurant and an adventure centre just 4km from Hlalanathi.
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10. Dragon Peaks Mountain Resort, Northern Drakensburg
Every year when I was a kid, during school holidays, the family and I would go up to the caravan, parked at Dragon Peaks Resort, and spend a few blissful days tubing down the river, sliding on the waterslides, and mountain biking everywhere. It was always the highlight of my year.
Dragon Peaks offers many shaded sites where you can camp or caravan. There are also various chalet options available. The ablutions blocks are kept clean and hygienic. There is a shop nearby where you can buy all the food and supplies you forgot to bring along.
There are many different activities to keep the family busy during your stay. From mountain-biking to tubing, to horse-riding, to abseiling Dragon Peaks has it all. There is even an adventure zipline course available with a tree swing.
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There you have it. The 10 Best Campsites in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Have you been to any of these campsites? Can you vouch for these choices? Drop a comment below and let us know about your experience at these campsites.
Now obviously I can’t include every great KZN campsite on this list. It is only a top 10 after all. If you felt I missed out on an amazing KZN campsite, let me know which one in the comments and why it was so amazing.
With that being said
– Chase The Adventure –