Whether you choose to use a tent, a caravan or a more formal settlement, Port Elizabeth and the surrounding areas have some of the most beautiful camping spots to visit.
Since the city is on the coast, visitors have the luxury of being able to set up camp and have the beach right on their doorstep.
For those who are not drawn to the seaside, but are still looking for a tranquil and serene environment, Port Elizabeth also has a lot to offer in terms of nature and wildlife. Here are just a few of the many options worth exploring.
“Glamping” is a more glamorous way of camping, with a few home comforts thrown in. For visitors looking for something along those lines, there’s the Kragga Kamma Game Park.
It offers beautiful wooden lodges, chalets and cabins, but also has a safari tent option for an experience closer to traditional camping. While staying at the game park you can view animals right from your doorstep.
Many camping spots in and around Port Elizabeth have activities for adults and children.
The Willows Resort and Conference Centre, Van Stadens Resort, and Pine Lodge Resort and Conference Centre are all equipped to accommodate visitors camping in tents or caravans, and also offer more structured self-catering units.
They’re all along the beach, which is great for the holidays or a relaxing weekend away. Van Stadens Resort also has kayaks and paddleboats to rent for even more water fun.
Just outside Port Elizabeth in Rocklands, in the Eastern Cape mountains, you’ll find Sand River Getaway. Nestled deep in the trees and bushes, this lovely resort offers a comfortable setup with tents on stilts.
From the enclosed deck, couples can enjoy views of the beautiful valleys below. Couples can also explore the surroundings, which include a number of scenic trails and hikes, one of which takes you to a river with a waterfall. This is the perfect getaway to unwind, explore and relax.
Hidden gems Oceanview Forest Resort is situated in the Seaview area and is only 15km away from Baywest Mall. The resort boasts beautiful ocean views and is only about 2km away from the Seaview Lion Park and about 1,5km from the sea. Visitors can choose to stay in the on-site caravans or in the timber bungalows.
The resort offers a wide range of amenities, including a large single-depth swimming pool with toddler pool, a small kiddies’ play park, a pool table, volleyball, table tennis, a lookout and a walking trail.
Another great option when considering a camping vacation is the Homestead B&B. Located close to the Addo Elephant National Park, this campsite offers a wide range of accommodation options ranging from B&Bs, self-catering units, campsites, caravan parks and backpackers.
Set in a garden-like structure, the resort is peaceful and serene. It’s ideal for couples or families looking for a relaxing holiday and has the added bonus of being just a short drive from the well-known elephant park, which is home to the Big Five.
Port Elizabeth camper Lyall Peterson says the city has the perfect caravan and camping sites that suit every budget.
“They give you the opportunity to wake up to the sound of the sea at a fraction of the cost, but are still safe. Camping feels like a better fit for the family who really want to get away from the hustle and bustle,” Peterson said.
STARTER CAMPING TOOLKIT
- Tents, tarps, poles, tie-downs and stakes.
- A tent big enough to accommodate all the people in your group and designed for the type of camping you plan on doing.
- Sleeping bags: a little research will help you decide which to buy.
- A good backpack, if you’re going to be doing long hikes. If you don’t plan on doing much walking, a small daypack is all you need.
- Headlamps, torches or lanterns.
- Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes.
- A first-aid kit with bandages, plasters, gauze, pain medication, bug spray and something for scrapes and burns.
- CampSA campsa.co.za
- Love Camping lovecamping.co.za
- SANParks sanparks.org
- SA-Venues sa-venues.com
- South Africa’s Caravan and Camping Tourism Network caravanparks.com
- Caravan and Outdoor Life caravansa.co.za