Uncover the outdoor splendour of the KZN South Coast with a camping adventure

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As the cooler months approach, the KZN South Coast remains a sunny spot for family-friendly adventure from its Blue Flag beaches to the lush hinterland. This is also the perfect time to start looking out for the Greatest Shoal on Earth – the annual Sardine Run – which brings an ocean spectacle close to shore. There’s no better way to enjoy all this outdoor fun than by staying in one of the KZN South Coast’s many top-notch campsites.

“In the Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom, we have the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in the province, two of the best dive sites in the world, and a wide variety of forest and farmland-based adventures to enjoy,” explained Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of South Coast Tourism & Investment Enterprise (SCTIE). “We believe it’s important that everyone gets the chance to uncover the beauty of this region, which is why we want to share some of our best and most affordable camping destinations. With so much to do, and so many great campsites to choose from, you’ll end up wanting to extend your stay on the KZN South Coast!”

Seaside camping

Those wanting to be close to the ocean action to catch a glimpse of the Sardine Run, or simply to relax at the seaside, might want to consider some of these oceanside camping spots. These secure campsites all offer fresh water and electricity for visitor use.

1.       Happy Wanderers Holiday Resort

Location: Kelso

Website: www.happywanderers.co.za

Description: Choose from one of 86 sites nestled under a canopy of indigenous Milkwood trees with the Indian Ocean just metres away. The campsites are varied with grass, sand and concrete options as well as shady, partial shade, and full sun sites. For families storing caravans (at a monthly rate), Happy Wanderers will also place the van and erect the tent before arrival.

2.       Scottburgh Caravan Park

Location: Scottburgh

Website: www.scottburghcaravanpark.co.za

Description: A popular destination, there are 260 caravan park sites with great facilities on offer. Children will enjoy the supertube, play park, volleyball, trampolines and organised entertainment. The site is well located with nearby nature reserves and dive sites for the adventurous.

3.       Rocky Bay Resorts

Location: Park Rynie

Website: www.rockybay.co.za

Description: For a seaside holiday, head to Rocky Bay Resorts caravan park and campsite, surrounded by coastal bush with several beach-facing sites. With pilot Blue Flag beach status, Rocky Bay is a great family holiday destination, with the resort boasting several on-site facilities including a restaurant and dive charters.

4.       Mac Nicols Caravan Park

Location: Bazley Beach

Website: www.macnicol.co.za

Description: This resort is just 90 metres from the beach, located on the banks of the Ifafa Lagoon. All ablution blocks are spotless and modern, with laundry facilities at each one, and eight private ablution stands. The campsites are mostly shaded, with two swimming pools, one of which is heated for the winter months, and an entertainment programme in season. Children will enjoy the trampolines, jungle gym, TV room, Bazley Trails, and canoeing on the lagoon.

5.       Marlon Holiday Resort

Location: Sunwich Port

Website: www.marlon.co.za

Description: This stunning resort has 48 large, lawned caravan and camping sites in shady, semi-shady, or sunny sites. Families will enjoy the on-site pool, children’s play park, trampoline, and even a half-pipe for skateboarding. There’s also a large games room with a TV, table tennis, pool table, and darts.

6.       Untu Palms

Location: Sunwich Port

Website: www.untupalms.co.za

Description: This is a beautiful seaside holiday resort where picture-perfect family holidays are made. It offers direct access to the beach from its 52-stand tent and caravan park, with beautiful coastal forests surrounding the venue. There is a swimming pool and games room available for everyone to use.

7.       Fairhills Caravan Park + Camping

Location: Ramsgate

Website: www.fairhillspark.co.za

Description: Just over a kilometre from the beautiful Ramsgate Blue Flag beach and lagoon are 44 camping and caravan sites in a variety of sizes and types. Each site has an electrical power point and a demarcated braai area, with sunny and shady sites available. There are three ablution facilities supplied by borehole water, as well as a swimming pool, trampoline, jungle gym, nature trail, and sports and games area.

8.       Kingfisher Lakeside Retreat

Location: Trafalgar

Website: www.kingfisherlakesideretreat.co.za

Description: For a luxurious ‘glamping’ experience, head to Kingfisher Lakeside Retreat which is a slice of paradise on the edge of the recently rehabilitated Black Lake. Found on the border of the Mpenjati Nature Reserve and a mere 5-minute walk from a pristine, unspoiled beach, Kingfisher Lakeside Retreat is an exclusive, upmarket tented campsite for those who enjoy a luxurious outdoor experience. There are four tents available, sleeping four people each, built on raised wooden decks, overlooking a freshwater lake. The tents have an en-suite bathroom leading to a semi-outdoor, double shower and fully-equipped kitchenettes.

9.       T O Strand Holiday Resort

Location: Leisure Bay

Website: www.tostrand.net

Description: This incredible campsite and caravan park has 141 sites, and was voted one of the top 20 caravan parks by readers of the Caravan & Outdoor Life magazine. The resort borders the beach, and forms part of a greater conservation area home to many birds and diverse wildlife which can be spotted while hiking on a nature trail.

10.   The Pont Holiday & Water Sport Resort

Location: Port Edward

Website: www.oldpont.co.za

Description: Nestled in the Umtamvuna Valley next to the Umtamvuna River Estuary, The Pont is a beautiful heritage site and the gateway between KZN and the Transkei. It’s the ideal venue for family fun and relaxation for holidaymakers, campers, caravanners, water sports enthusiasts and day visitors. Choose from 45 campsites offering great facilities including a swimming pool, kids’ playpark, and braai areas, as well as a bar and restaurant on the river’s edge.

Hinterland camping

The KZN South Coast’s beautiful hinterland has endless adventures to embark on, from heart-thumping ziplining and suspension bridges, to cultural tours, stunning hikes, and agricultural excursions. Here are a few of the secure campsites to consider in the hinterland, with fresh water and electrical points.

11.   Lake Eland Game Reserve

Location: Oribi Gorge

Website: www.lakeeland.co.za

Description: Found in this stunning game reserve, the Lake Eland camping and caravan site has panoramic views, with close proximity to the reception, playground, and fishing dam. This well-equipped site has a fixed braai and grid, and two ablution blocks. The campsites within this stunning reserve are separated by wooden partitions for increased privacy without obstructing the views. The lake-side campsites also have fantastic views, and are ideal for fishing enthusiasts.

12.   Seaview Game Farm

Location: North of Port Edward

Website: www.seaviewgamefarm.co.za

Description: This beautiful game farm has three campsites. Visitors will enjoy this secluded camp which has incredible views and a firepit for the evenings. There is lots of fun to be had in and around the dam, with a great hiking trail to explore. To find out about booking at these campsites, or to uncover more about the KZN South Coast’s many offerings, simply download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app from Google Play and Apple stores.