Whilst luxury holidays are a treat, I also love to explore the great outdoors and embark on wild adventures. Camping is a fun and adventurous way to digital detox and explore the beauty of the wilderness. Here are five camping destinations at the top of my list:
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa, with an array of incredible wildlife and scenery to explore and even the chance to spot ‘The Big Five’. The park is easily accessible from Johannesburg and with over thirteen campsites, there is something for every camper.
Embark on an early morning safari to spot hippopotamuses, lions, giraffes, baboons, and so much more. Experience the serene beauty of the African plains in this unique and unforgettable place.
Rhino a great campsite in Kruger!
If you’re on the hunt for the Big Five, camp at Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp. It is one of the closest camps to Gauteng, and perfect for spotting plenty of wildlife.
Satara is one of the most popular campsites as it features a pool, restaurant, and shop, and is another fabulous site for spotting the animals.
With cooking facilities at sites and scenic picnic spots across the park, cooking under the stars is one way to fuel up after a day of adventure. Enjoy a Boma Braai barbeque cooked by local chefs over the fire, available at all the park’s rest camps. Many of the campsites also boast on site cafes, perfect for a casual breakfast or lunch. 3638 Restaurant at Kruger Station is best for a family-friendly meal of grilled meats, pizzas, and local delicacies.
Kruger Park is a year-round destination; however, some campers might want to avoid the rainy summer months. Make sure to pack a weatherproof tent, and warm clothing for those crisp early morning safaris!
Mount Cook National Park, NZ
Mount Cook National Park, also known as Aoraki, is one of the most popular destinations on New Zealand’s South Island. With breathtaking scenery and a range of exciting activities, there is so much to explore.
For the expert explorers, hike up to Mueller Hut in the alpine backcountry, for incredible views of the Mueller Glacier, and infinitely starry camp nights.
Speaking of stargazing, Mount Cook National Park is part of the Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve.
Here, you can experience some of the clearest nights you have ever seen.
You’ll be hooked on Mount Cook!
Nestle up to the mountains and close to the best trailheads at White Horse Hill Campground, accessible for both tents and campervans. Enjoy lakeside views with a pitch at Glentanner Holiday Park next to Lake Pukaki. The campsite features cooking facilities, a wood fire, powered and non-powered sites, and even a laundry room.
A camp trip is best fuelled by fireside dinners, but when camp cooking becomes a bore, the Old Mountaineer’s Café serves up delicious homemade pizzas, or enjoy a hearty meal and a cold beer at the Chamois Bar & Grill.
The best time to visit is in Spring before the Summer crowds descend, though the Winter is a popular time to visit for mountaineering, skiing, and alpine enthusiasts.
Patagonia Top camping destinations
Spanning across Argentina and Chile in South America’s southern tip, Patagonia is a place of precious wonder.
With snow-capped mountains, thundering glaciers, and crystal blue lakes, the Patagonian landscape is other worldly. The Los Glaciers National Park is a hiker’s paradise, offering challenging mountain trails across granite peaks, with a number of wild camping spots near the trail heads.
A picturesque pitch in Patagonia!
Head down to Ushuaia, the entrance to Tierra del Fuego National Park where you can access wild camping spots via kayak.
Wild camping is the most common way to camp in Patagonia, making it incredibly safe. Due to the vast wilderness, it is good to make sure you stock up on plenty of food supplies from food spots marked on park maps before you pitch up. A lightweight and stormproof tent, as well as plenty of warm clothing, is best for the changeable weather. Top camping destinations
If wild camping seems daunting, you can book adventure tours with guides and luxury camping yurts at places like Patagonia Camp, where everything from jacuzzis to family yurts and excursion programs are taken care of.
The best time to visit is in the Spring and Summer, between September and March. Days are longer and warmer and there’s less rainfall than other times of the year. However, if you dare to brave the winter, you’ll be rewarded with bluer skies and less wind.
Book your next camping adventure with JourneyHero!
With dramatic coastal scenery, ancient castles, and quaint towns, the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands makes for a fantastic top camping destination.
The Highlands offer the perfect combination of peace and seclusion, a wealth of outdoor activities, and welcoming towns to escape to when the weather turns. Rent a car or campervan to really explore all this beautiful region has to offer.
Spot Scotland’s celebrity monster with a walk around Loch Ness and visit the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle overlooking the lake.
Climbing enthusiasts should head out to the Isle of Skye where twelve peaks offer plenty of routes to choose from. Explore the Fairy Pools here with the family or go swimming in the cold blue water pools under cascading waterfalls.
Cairngorms is the ultimate spot for action and adventure with everything from mountain biking and white-water rafting to treetop walks and kayaking.
Wild camping is legal in the Highlands, just be sure to pack weatherproof gear and respect the rules, avoiding private land and large campfires. There are also plenty of bookable campsites to choose from with everything from caravan parks to glamping.
The Highlands will leave you high on life!
Most campsites offer barbeques, fires, and cooking stations perfect for dining under the stars.
The best time to visit the Scottish Highlands is in the Summer between June and August when the days are warmest, though don’t expect hot summer weather in the North of Scotland!
Yellowstone National Park, USA Top camping destinations
Yellowstone National Park is a unique and fascinating landscape of bubbling geysers, vast expanses, dense forests, and tall mountains. With near 40-degree temperatures year-round, and an incredible array of wildlife, Yellowstone is a truly spectacular destination.
With hundreds of trails to choose from, Yellowstone has routes for the extremely experienced hiker like Avalanche Peak or the North Rim Trail, to those seeking a family adventure. Yellowstone River Picnic Area Trail is great for stunning views and kid-friendly walking.
Drive the scenic loop to see Old Faithful, Upper Geyser Basin and the Grand Pragmatic Spring and marvel at the otherworldly geothermic colours.
The Grand Pragmatic Spring!
Pitch up at Madison Campground for easy driving access to all the major geyser basins on the west side of the park or enjoy lake views, canoeing, and kayaking at Lewis Lake Campground in the south of the park.
There are also plenty of back-country campgrounds for the more advanced campers.
It’s best to fuel up on food at the supermarkets around the park which are easily accessible from the campsites. Within the park, enjoy a delicious breakfast or a hearty lunch menu at M66 Grill. For something special, book a table at Grant Village Lakehouse for fine dining and lakeside views.
The best months to visit Yellowstone are April, September, and October. These ‘off season’ months provide more chances to spot local wildlife and enjoy fewer crowds.
Whether you’re a wilderness expert or a first-time camper, each of these top camping destinations offers the chance for a unique and wonderful adventure. The challenges that come with camping make for a rich experience, reminding you of the small luxuries of life. Wherever you decide to go, enjoy the outdoors!