10 beautiful beach camps around South Africa

10 beautiful beach camps around South Africa

1. Zinkwazi Forest Camps, Durban

For an affordable summer break, there’s nothing like a beach camp. From secret beach campsites to safari tents with a bit more luxury, we’ve rounded up the best beach camps in South Africa that offer splendid views of the coast. We hope this list entices you to experience sleeping to the music of rising tides and waves splashing on the shore.

Zinkwazi beach. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

Zinkwazi beach. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

The camp is set in a lush riverine forest with many tropical palms and flowering trees, constantly ringing with a chorus of birdsong, creating a very special atmosphere close to nature. The terraced forest setting provides protection from the elements and surrounds a central recreational lawn with pool, playground, games hall, communal braais and dry pub. Ablution blocks, with scullery and laundry facilities, are conveniently scattered throughout the camp.
Price: From R160 per person.
Contact: 0324853344, zinkwazilagoonlodge.co.za


2. West Coast Luxury tents, Elands Bay

Tucked in sandveld behind dunes, a few hundred metres from an unspoilt beach, this tented camp ‒ comprising three double-sleepers and one group enclave ‒ demands nothing but relaxation. There’s not much to ‘do’ here ‒ no game, no spa, no boma and no fancy restaurant ‒ and because of that, one is forced to submit to extreme chilling: afternoon snoozing; walking along the beach (40 kilometres of it) accompanied by scurrying oystercatchers; clambering to the top of the dunes to watch sunsets; sitting around the star-lit braai. The en-suite tents are comfortable and spacious, each with a fully equipped kitchen and a shaded area at the back. Amiable owner Reinhard Uebel will go out of his way to ensure you’re happy ‒ and will even welcome your pooches.
Price: From R400 per person.
Contact: 0212018900, travelground.com


3. Platbos Forest, Gansbaai

It’s the most southern forest in Africa, a beautiful mixed milkwood and yellowwood forest owned by ecologists who live here, off-grid. Included in the price are two already-pitched tents with beds, plus extra mattresses, and space to put a few more tents. Marshall Rinquest suggests picking a spot under the milkwoods – some are 1 000 years old. Beneath them there’s usually a lot of leaves and mulch, so it’s soft and well-shaded says Marhsall. On offer are guided forest walks and horseback riding – and the milky-white beach is within walking distance.
Price: From R700 for two people, R900 for up to four people, thereafter R75 per person. Private bathroom, kitchen, no electricity.
Contact: 0824110448, platbos.co.za


4. Mabibi Beach Camp, Elephant Coast

You need a 4×4 to get there, and there’s no electricity or drinking water, but it’s in an incredible coastal forest up on a grassy dune above the most exquisite beach where loggerhead and leatherback turtles nest says Marianne Schwankhart. The campsite doesn’t have a view, but 100 metres through the forest, down 130-odd wooden steps and you’re on an unspoilt beach and there’s snorkelling in the shallow reefs. You’re also close to Lake Sibaya where you can see hippos and crocs. There are nine sites, all under big, ancient milkwoods, each with a braai area and tap – they’re all private and spread out, but number 3 is closest to the beach walkway.
Price: From R114 per person sharing. Hot showers.
Contact: 0354741504, mabibicampsite.co.za


5. Kwass se Baai campsite, Namaqua National Park

This is an awesome coastal camping site within an area that’s still very wild – proper, proper West Coast, right next to the ocean. You see antelope, ostriches and the Namaqua speckled padloper, the tiniest tortoise on Earth. There are walled long drops and fireplaces, but beyond that it’s pretty basic – not even drinking water. The camp has four spots (best to book the entire site for yourself), each with a wall to protect against the wind says Petro Kotze.
Price: From R125 per campsite, R34 per person daily conservation fee. No electricity or water.
Contact: 0276721948, sanparks.org

6.Sugarloaf, St Lucia

It’s right in the mouth of the estuary where you often have hippos wandering through camp and you’re in close to the crocs. So despite being in St Lucia village, it feels incredibly wild. The best spot is closest to the estuary – you look directly out onto the water. While on assignment here, Janet Frangs once stepped out of her tent and bumped noses with a hippo. ‘It was amazing and frightening, and such a privilege’ says Janet.
Price: From R300 per campsite. Electricity and ablutions.
Contact: 0338451000, kznwildlife.com


7. Sea Shack Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, Western Cape

This is beachfront glamping with a creative, hippy twist says our accommodation expert, Pippa de Bruyn. Designed by Paternoster-based artist Dianne Heesom-Green, with artworks by Theo Kleynhans, Sea Shack is a pooled expression of their considerable talents, replete with labyrinth and totem pole, and 10 dinky sleeping cabins, each just large enough for queen or twin beds. An additional three tents cater for overspill, so a maximum of 26 guests share a communal kitchen and boma area, four shower cubicles and composting toilets. You’re expected to clean up after yourself, but two on-site managers help ensure the 100 percent solar- and gas-powered camp is kept scrupulously clean.
Price: Shacks from R690 (sleeps two); tents R400 per night (sleeps two), including bedding.
Contact: 0798206824, seashack.co.za


8. Muisbosskerm, Eland’s Bay

Muisbosskerm in Elands Bay. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

Muisbosskerm in Elands Bay. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

In this peaceful camping site you’ll experience the most relaxing summer weekend break and with only one family per campsite, you’ll have nothing but nature to entertain you. Noise levels are kept to a minimum, so you’ll enjoy a quiet weekend with your loved ones. The campsite is situated 5km south of Lambert’s Bay on the Malkoppan farm and you can enjoy diving, fishing and surfing as the campsite is a walking distance from the beach. It’s also situated right opposite the famous Muisbosskerm Restaurant and each site has electricity, water and a braai area.
Rates: R225 a night for a stand. Double stands are R480 a night.
Contact: muisbosskerm.co.za/accomodation


9. Vic Bay Campsite, Garden Route

Vic Bay is, a popular surfing spot, frequented by sun-kissed board riders young and old. The wind-protected beach offers great views of the surfing action and there’s a tidal pool that’s safe for kids. The bay is small, framed by stratified rock on one side and a row of beachfront cottages on the other. A narrow promenade separates the cottages from the water and most who walk it carry a smile.
Price: From R205 for a site out of season.
Contact: 0448890081, victoriabaycaravanpark.co.za



10.Tietiesbaai, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, West Coast

Despite the cold water, the West Coast will always be a popular destination for many South Africans in summer. Tietiesbaai is particularly special with its rocky coastline and incredible sunsets across the ocean. This is perfect for experienced campers who enjoy a more basic camping experience. Days here are easily filled hiking along the coastline or visiting the pretty fishermen’s town of Paternoster. You can also try your hand at fishing or dare the icy waters for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Bring your own gazebo as there is no shade. Shared ablutions facilities with warm showers (solar electricity).
Price: R116 a night for six people
Contact: Tel 0227522718, www.saldanhabay.co.za

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