[This was written by Fran Siebrits and published online by Wild Magazine http://www.wildcard.co.za, 2012]

Cederberg by Fran Siebrits
Cederberg Wilderness Area. Picture by Fran Siebrits

alone in nature is a transcendental experience. It is so quiet without
the crowds that one can hear the flap of a bird’s wing, the whispering
of shy leaves and the silence-hugging landscape as it stretches awake in
the early morning.

camping is a popular activity in South Africa, there are still some
incredible campsites where you can be completely alone … surrounded only
by nature. Here are our top sites with the most privacy that Wild Card members can enjoy:

Cederberg Wilderness Area
250km north of Cape Town is an area renowned for its spectacular
plant-life and rugged landscapes just calling to be explored. An
unforgettable experience awaits you in the magnificent mountains of the
Cederberg! Hike into the mountains and camp anywhere in the wilderness
of this World Heritage Site.

These vast majestic mountains hold
extensive and well-maintained hiking trails. Permits can be obtained
from CapeNature and numbers are limited, ensuring low-impact and
027 482 2403 (Algeria)

Coastal Campsites, Namaqua National Park
harsh yet enchanting West Coast of South Africa has stolen many hearts.
In the Namaqua National Park, between the Groen and Spoeg rivers, is a
stretch of magnificent coastline untainted by the modern world. This
coastal strip promises a cocktail of isolation and nature. The stark
landscape is transformed once a year in spring when the wild flowers
bloom en masse.

Only accessible by 4×4, camping along the coast
is on a first-come, first-served basis. Secluded little bays such as
Galjoenbaai, Skiploodsbaai, Breekskip, Boggerolbaai and Koringkorrelbaai
await the rustic camper. You have to be completely self-sufficient as
there are no facilities. The last stop for fuel and water is Lutzville
or Garies.
012 428 9111, reservations@sanparks.org

Langkloof, Tankwa Karoo National Park
just you and nature at this recently-upgraded campsite. Because there
are only two campsites situated deep in this beautiful gorge along the
Rhenoster River, the plants and animals are the only other company
sharing the space. Each site has its own ablution and kitchen
facilities, so you don’t even have to share if another group happens to
be there.

In between enjoying the privacy this site promises, you
can take a drive to the lookout point of the 4×4 trail for an
impressive view. The campsite itself is accessible by a high-clearance
2×4; however, 4×4 is recommended in the rainy season.
012 428 9111, reservations@sanparks.org

Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
privacy topped with isolation is what you are looking for, then
Gamkaberg campsite should be your next camping destination! Situated at
the foot of the Gamkaberg, this campsite has an incredible view over the
Klein Karoo Valley and the Swartberg Mountains.

The two
sheltered spots (maximum four people each) have portable braais so you
can organise your campsite as you wish. With the limited number of
people allowed at a time, it’s quite possible that your group will be
the only campers.
044 213 3367

Motswedi Luxury Campsite, Mokala National Park
are only six campsites at this exclusive spot, each with its own
ablution facility and kitchen. There is even a fridge! Motswedi is the
first of its kind in the Arid Parks and even though campers have
complete privacy, each site is close enough to the waterhole for
excellent game viewing. Camelthorn trees protectively enclose the
campsites, aided by a knee-high electrified fence to keep the buffalo
from visiting your campfire.

There is no fuel or shop facilities
available in the park, so arrive prepared. As a special occasion, treat
yourself to a meal at the lodge restaurant after a day in the bush. Reservations: 053 204 8000, bettie.renoster@sanparks.org or tess.white@sanparks.org