Village D’Afrique, Modimolle
Hamasha Bushcamp, Soutpansberg
Bontle Camp, Thabazimbi
There’s the chance that white rhino will come trotting past and I woke up to impala chomping fresh shoots in front of the chalet. At the moment, roads in Marakele National Park are being rehabilitated and the project is expected to run until 30 June 2016 making it a little noisy and unpleasant.
Mountain Sanctuary Park, Rustenberg
Camping here is hands down the most affordable option though - read about my birthday camping trip here. At the end of the day, this spot is geared for spending time outdoors and you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting. The closest set of natural pools is just a 20 minute walk and the waters flow generously after summer rains. There’s also a well-kept pool and grassy picnic area with a viewing deck.
Balule Satellite Camp, Kruger
Manyane Resort, Pilanesberg
Each self-catering cottage is unique and differs slightly as the establishment has evolved since the initial three cottages were let out in 1999. A fireplace, braai area (about R25 for a bag of wood) and fully equipped kitchen features in each of the units and they vary between two and six sleepers. Ask for mountain cottages as views are more impressive than the garden units, the Piet-my-vrou cottage being the cosiest with a secluded patio surrounded by indigenous bush so a combination of hornbill song and rooster cries accompany the pastel dawn.
All cottages are geared to accommodating dogs with a fenced garden, but the four-legged guests need to be well socialised in case they bump into friends on the walks. A high-clearance car is required to get to the farm and it’s an easy hour’s drive from Fourways.
Kingfisher Lodge, Waterberg
Pufuri River Camp, Musina
Pafuri is where South Africa meets Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the northernmost part of Kruger National Park. It’s far from the city, has no cellphone reception and Pafuri River Camp uses only gas and solar power, so light pollution isn’t a problem and stargazing is prime.