This Christmas, giving that big family gathering a miss in exchange for some social-distance-friendly camping can surely be forgiven while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

If waking up on Christmas morning with nothing but the sounds of blissful nature sounds like your cup of Christmas tea, here are some campsite suggestions and camping tips to consider…

Silent Night in the Tankwa Karoo

Just 70 km west of Sutherland and about a 300 km drive from Cape Town lies (nothing but solitude) and the Tankwa Karoo National Park. Campers come here to enjoy its endless starlit skies, total peace and quiet and desert-like terrain. It offers a number of informal, rustic camping options that are favoured by wild campers who prefer the feeling of being completely alone and away from the distractions of everyday modern comforts.

Explore the Gifts of the Cederberg

If a camping location with endless hidden gems to explore is what you’re after this Christmas, the Cederberg is the gift that keeps on giving. The Cederberg is the ultimate wonderland for adventurers while it offers as many camping options to choose from as it does from its wide range of outdoor activities. From overnight hiking spots like Sneeuberg Hut and Maltese Cross to private campsites or simply just sleeping outside under star-sprinkled skies, there’s something for every type of camper.

Also see: Campsite Spotlight – Mount Ceder Campsites

Camp on Kgalagadi’s Wild Side

If you haven’t already been, well then a camping trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is the best way to spoil yourself for Christmas. Explore its 38 000 km² of red dunes and semi-desert and wake up to the echoes of the black-maned lions roaring across the pans below your campsite.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is located between the South African and Botswana borders and adjacent to South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. Popular campsites on the South African side of the park are Twee Rivieren, Mata Mata, and Nossob Rest Camp. These easily accessible campsites are located within fenced areas and offer shared ablution facilities while some have a Premium Camping Option for more privacy.

But if you enjoy the feeling of being remote and camping in the wild, we recommend the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Campsites in this section of the Kgalagadi are generally unfenced and require campers to be fully self-sufficient as they offer little to no facilities, especially in places like Mabuasehube, and require access via a 4×4 vehicle. Once you’ve peered out of your rooftop tent at sunrise and look out over the pans, you’ll be hooked.

Damaraland Wonderland

Located southwest of the Etosha National Park, Damaraland is one of Namibia’s last unofficial wildlife areas and a wilderness known for unusually beautiful mountains like Brandberg, the Himba and Herero tribes, as well as the rare desert-adapted elephants who walk for hundreds of kilometers for food

If you’re heading to Namibia and looking for a Christmas escape, Damaraland is ideal for a camping adventure on a budget. Damaraland is known for its unusually beautiful mountains, the rare desert-adapted elephants who walk for hundreds of kilometers in search of water, and some of the most epic campsites for those who want a truly authentic Namibian experience.

Riverside Christmas Camping

The Orange River is an ideal place for water lovers wanting a paddle along South Africa’s longest river, but it’s also conveniently located for campers looking to stop over between the Cape and Namibia.

A Christmas Eve spent camping along the banks of the glittering Orange River under star-cluttered skies is one way to get into holiday mode. There are a number of different campsites here to suit everyone’s budget and preferences. If you’re looking for somewhere relaxed to camp over Christmas or to stopover at en route to the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, we recommend setting up camp at Oewerbos River Camp, Vioolsdrift, for a ‘home-away-from-home camping experience.

Also read: Campsite Spotlight: Xama FIsh Eagle River Camp

Looking for easy and delicious camping meals for your Christmas camping? Head over to our blog page and try out some of Chef Nina’s camping recipes: Click here