The best campsites in the world offer breathtaking and inspiring views. They take you away from the daily monotony of television, electricity, electronic devices and email. Camping allows you to take in all the beauty and sounds of nature, bond with your friends or family, and enjoy the adventure without burning a substantial hole in your pocket. For nature lovers, there are a few experiences that can rival the thrill of spending a night under the stars.
All too often in Britain, however, it’s less a night under the stars, and more under the tent canvas and in the sleeping bag, seeking safety from the rain and cold. But if you’re looking to get far flung, adventurous and as out there as possible, then read on; our 5 IDEAL camping destinations around the world, from Africa to Australia and beyond.
MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, KENYA
Masai Mara is one of the largest game reserves in Kenya. Scrap that, in the whole of Africa. It’s home to all members of the big five (lions, buffaloes, elephants, leopards, and rhinos) who make up the must-see list of safari wild animals. The mara itself is a fast savannah grassland dotted with wildlife and a nice mix of private and public safari lodges and campsites. The beautiful reserve is named after the inhabitants of that area, the Maasai people, the most photographed people in the world.
In terms of cost, a budget Mara safari costs from £140 per person sharing per day for public campsites, and if your budget allows, you can opt for a mid-budget camping safari from £250 per person sharing per day. Luxury Masai Mara camping starts from £500 per person sharing per day. Here, you are looking at staying in high-end luxury safari camps with all the modern cons.
You’ve probably been wondering, but let’s clear things up; you won’t be prey to the lions or leopards while camping in Masai Mara. Campsites are surrounded by electric fence and guarded by armed Kenya Wildlife Soldiers. In other words, rest assured, you will be safe. The best time for a Masai Mara safari is from July to November, when the wildebeest migration is ongoing and spotting animals is most likely.
MOUNT COOK NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND
Any list of the best camping destinations in the world that doesn’t include Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand is arguably incomplete. The park is home to the highest mountain in New Zealand, the Aoraki Mount Cook, which stands at 3754 meters and has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site.
Popular activities during a camping expedition here include snow landings, 4wd argo tours, mounting biking, and ice climbing. If that’s not enough, there’s also Heli-hiking, mountain biking, walks, fishing, hunting and much more. If this tickles your fancy and you’ve got a new browser tab open comparing flights to New Zealand, it’s worthwhile to note that campervan rental is probably the best way to get around freely and easily, as both hotels and public transport are prohibitively expensive in the country.
ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH, U.S.
The United States boasts some of the finest camping destinations in the world, but Zion National Park in Utah might just be the very best of them. The park is rich in rugged plateaus, sandstone cliffs, and beautiful forested canyons, and make for some of the most spectacular natural wonder you’re ever likely to see.
The most popular camping site in the park is housed (or should that be ‘tented’?) towards the South Gate, conveniently where most of the park’s most popular attractions are also located.
The best time of year for camping at Zion National Park is from March to November. However, during this time, the maximum camping limit is set at 14 nights for park campgrounds only, as things get very popular indeed. Throughout the rest of the year, the limit is extended by 30 nights. If you do find it’s full, Watchman Campgrounds is a more than viable alternative.
Another great travel destination for camping aficionados is Tasmania, Australia. Since the government fully protects about 40% of the area as reserves and parks, this is as rural and rugged as you’re likely to find anywhere on the planet. That doesn’t mean it’s all camping in the wild and striking up a fire by rubbing two sticks together. Nope, Tasmania has more than 50 caravan parks.
Some of the best parts of the island for pitching up are the Tasman Peninsula and Cradle Mountain at St Clair National Park. If you’re looking for a less sanitised stay, then it’s permitted to camp on an informal, semi-wild basis in Tasmania National Park, Freycinet National Park, and the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. During summer camping, bushfires are quite common, and can expose you to danger, so be careful.
THE DEVON COAST, ENGLAND
Hey, we realise it’s all been far flung adventure and a real sense of daring up to now. But Britain also boasts some truly amazing countryside and opportunities for camping, so it’s on home turf that we’ll finish. The Devon Coast, in particular, is an amazing spot for pitching up a tent during summer. The county is the only one in the UK with two National Parks and a non-continuous coastline both in the north and the south. In the north, the Warcombe Farm Camping Park offers the chance to cast some rods via their dedicated fishing lake, and in the south, Slapton Sands offers spectacular sea views. Sounds like the perfect spot to end our camping adventure in, right?