Shongweni Tented Camp-Justin Fox-min

Want to fall asleep in a safari tent and wake up to the sounds of the wilds? Exceptional value for money and self-catering facilities make glamping one of this summer’s top adventures. By Arnold Ras

The Field Tripper recommends

Spekboom Tented Camp, Addo Elephant National Park

Spekboom Hide, overlooking an idyllic waterhole in Addo’s game-viewing area, is a spectacular location. The maze-like camp offers five tents, each sleeping two guests, with shared ablutions and kitchen, both with hot water. All tents also have their own braai. Make early-morning coffee on the fire, then head to the adjoining waterhole for elephants, Cape buffaloes and spotted hyenas. A spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is a kind of succulent shrub, and in the wild these small trees can become quite big and bushy, providing the tents with ample privacy. Spekboom Tented Camp is romantic, laid-back and beautiful.

Rate: R1,010 a night for two
Contact: SANParks Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111, www.sanparks.org

The Literary Buff recommends

Lakeview Tented Camp, Camdeboo National Park

Camdeboo might be home to the Valley of Desolation, but there’s nothing cheerless about this tented camp. In fact, the communal braai area is ideal for long fireside chats. Choose between four rustic furnished tents, each sleeping two campers and equipped with a braai, fridge and two outdoor chairs, for a night under the Karoo’s bright stars. Known for its sweet solitude and giant dolerite pil­lars, Camdeboo boasts some 250 bird species. What better way to wake up than to their dawn chorus? Be sure to hike the 1,5km Crag Lizard Trail for the best views of the Valley of Desolation or tackle one of the 4×4 trails to drink in the Karoo landscape.

Rate: R775 a night for two
Contact: SANParks Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111, www.sanparks.org

The Water Baby recommends

Inanda Dam and Resort

Searching for a water para­dise surrounded by KwaZulu- Natal’s Valley of a Thousand Hills? Think water sports, boating, fishing, picnicking, birding, and ravine forest hikes. If setting up camp next to the dam’s tranquil waters seems a bit too wild, book a stay at one of the resort’s family-friendly safari tents. Each tent offers four beds and ensures comfort with an en suite bathroom. Spectacular dam scenes during sunset and sunrise, enjoyed from your very own deck, will transport your city thoughts to greener pastures. While relaxation takes centre stage, listen for the call of the African fish eagle with a glass of your favourite drink.

Rate: R1,032 a night for four, R1,290 a night over weekends and holidays
Contact: Msinsi +27 (0)31 765 7724, www.msinsi.co.za

The Cool Kid recommends

Shongweni Dam and Game Reserve

The beauty of this game re­serve impressed even world-famous environmentalist Al Gore back in the ’90s. When it comes to natural beauty, who better to trust than Al himself? The valley landscape is lush and offers a long list of activities including rock climbing on the sandstone cliffs, game drives to enjoy sightings of rhino, giraffe, warthog and waterbuck, hikes and ample spots for a sundowner picnic. With views of Shongweni Hill, the Ugede safari-style tents will have you return to this cool destination in no time. Fully furnished two- and four-bed tents all have their own self-catering kitchen area, with separate ablution facilities.

Rate: R360 a night for two, R450 a night over weekends and holidays
Contact: Msinsi +27 (0)31 765 7724, www.msinsi.co.za

Featured picture: Shongweni Tented Camp by Justin Fox