Camping is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to travel in Africa, and there are wonderful private and public campgrounds across the continent. I generally stick to national parks because they’re the ideal places to see wildlife while camping, and I especially love camping in Eastern and Southern Africa. Here are the 5 best national parks for camping in Africa.
What are the best national parks for camping in Africa?
1. Kruger National Park – South Africa
The Kruger National Park in South Africa is a great place to camp because there are over a dozen campsites throughout the park that cater to different types of campers. If you’re looking for a campsite with amenities like hot water and electricity, you can find that at campsites within the park. If you would like something a little bit more primitive, there are areas that are less crowded that will fit your needs. Like many of the national parks in Africa, the most popular activities in Kruger National Park are game viewing and safaris. Home to the Big 5, this national park is a great place to see a variety of wildlife. Plus, it’s accessible by car and the majority of the roads within the park are paved and in good condition.
2. Serengeti National Park – Tanzania
The Serengeti National Park is home to the amazing wildebeest migration that occurs from December to July every year. The national park is also one of the most famous safari destinations in the world. The Serengeti takes up more than 5,700 acres and millions of animals call this national park home. Camping in the Serengeti is definitely an adventure! While most people head to the Serengeti for game drives, you can also go on hot air balloon safaris and walking safaris. Camping is very basic in the park. Many campsites require you to bring everything you’ll need, including your own water.
3. Etosha National Park – Namibia
Etosha National Park is another great place to camp in Africa. The rest stops in the park offer a variety of types of accommodation, including camping. Etosha National Park offers excellent game viewing. This area of Namibia has nice roads and you can reach this national park in a car. Game viewing is best during the dry season, from June to November. Many travelers appreciate that Etosha National Park is not in a malaria zone, so while there may be mosquitos, malaria is not a concern.
4. Chobe National Park – Botswana
Chobe National Park is located in Botswana, but many campers appreciate how close it is to Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls. There are three camping sites in the park and all have bathroom facilities. Chobe was established in 1968 and is famous for the large herds of elephants and cape buffalo that call the national park home. Both are best seen in the winter when they make their way to the Chobe River to drink. Over 460 bird species have been spotted in the park, so it’s also a wonderful place for bird watching. The river cruises along the Chobe River are also a highlight. Of course, if you’re this close to Victoria Falls, the massive falls make a great day trip from Chobe National Park. You can either cross into Zambia or Zimbabwe from Botswana.
5. Golden Gate Highland National Park – South Africa
The main attraction at all of the other national parks on this list is wildlife. The Golden Gate Highland National Park is a bit different. The park is nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains and offers spectacular scenery. One of the main attractions of this park is the rock climbing and hiking. People also appreciate the caves and shelters that display San rock paintings throughout the park. The Golden Gate Highlands National Park is close to the Lesotho Border, which make it a great stop on the way to Lesotho. Camping here is basic, but offers bathrooms and running water. Be sure to check out the Breathtaking Attractions of Johannesburg South Africa.
If you aren’t able to camp but dream of visiting Africa, make a difference. There are volunteer opportunities in Africa as well. Learn about WWOOFing in Africa and Animal Husbandry at South Africa’s Predator Sanctuary Project.
These are the best national parks for camping in Africa. They are well-maintained and offer amenities geared toward tourists. Camping at national parks in Africa is an amazing experience, and I’d definitely recommend it. Happy camping!