Big 5 Photographic Tours

Big 5 Camdeboo Tour Accommodation & Cost

Exploring Camdeboo National Park – Big 5 Camdeboo Tour Accommodation

Big 5 Camdeboo Tour Accommodation - Cape  Buffalo sighting

Here’s a quick pricing table. You can see more information below.

Please keep in mind that these prices are approximate and can vary based on factors like the type of accommodation, the time of year, and the specific services you choose. It’s advisable to check the official Camdeboo National Park website for the most current and detailed pricing information when planning your visit.

Valley of desolation
Service/ItemPrice (in South African Rand, ZAR)
Entrance Fees
Daily Conservation Fee: All visitors entering the park are required to contribute to conservation efforts.R50 – R200 (per person, depending on residency and age)
Vehicle Entry Fee: Applicable for self-drive safaris and covers the entry of a vehicle into the park.R50 – R150 (per vehicle)
Campsites (per night): Basic campsites with shared facilities, suitable for tents and small campers.R150 – R300
Chalets and Rest Camps (per night): Comfortable chalets equipped with kitchenettes and private bathrooms. Ideal for families or those looking for a bit more comfort.R800 – R1,500
Rest Camps (per night: Fully equipped rest camps with a range of accommodation options, including cottages and family units. Some camps offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.R500 – R2,000
Luxury Lodges (per night: Exclusive lodges with luxurious amenities, private decks, and breathtaking views. Perfect for those seeking a premium experience in the heart of nature.R2,000 – R5,000 (or more for premium packages)
Guided Activities
Self-Drive Safari: Explore the park at your own pace with a self-drive safari.R150 – R300
Guided Safari: Join a knowledgeable guide for a more in-depth wildlife experience.R300 – R800 (per person, depending on duration)
Birdwatching Tour: Guided birdwatching tours with experienced ornithologists.R200 – R500 (per person)
Hiking Trails: Access to hiking trails within the park.R50 – R150 (per person)
Game Drives: Enjoy a guided game drive to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.R250 – R600 (per person)
Tented accommodation in Camdeboo

Entrance Fees

Visiting Camdeboo National Park is an experience you won’t want to miss, and luckily, entrance fees won’t break the bank. Prices are affordable and well worth it for the stunning scenery and unforgettable memories you’ll make. Plus, your contribution goes towards conservation efforts to protect the park’s unique ecosystems and wildlife. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the hidden gems of Camdeboo National Park!

Accommodation Costs

Camdeboo Park has a range of accommodation options to fit every budget! You’ll find something to suit your style, from camping under the twinkling stars to cozy chalets and rest camps. Remember that the cost of your stay will depend on the type of lodging you choose and the season of your visit. But don’t worry – with some planning, you can find a comfortable option that won’t break the bank.

Valley of desolation crest

Campsite fees vary based on the specific site and can range from one season’s rate to another. Chalets and rest camps offer different levels of comfort, and prices may vary accordingly. Peak tourist seasons tend to be more expensive, but that’s when the park is at its liveliest, so it’s worth considering. So why wait? Book your accommodation at Camdeboo National Park now and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Guided Activities and Services

The pricing for guided activities at Camdeboo National Park varies depending on the activity and the duration of the tour. The park offers a range of options to suit all budgets, from affordable hiking tours to luxurious safaris. You can book activities individually or as part of a package, making it easy to create a bespoke itinerary that fits your needs. Keep in mind that prices may also vary depending on the time of year and peak tourist periods. Overall, the guided activities at Camdeboo National Park are well worth the investment, offering unforgettable experiences that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Cape mountain Zebra

Additional Services

Aside from the conservation fees, guide fees, and accommodations, there are a few other fees to keep in mind when planning a visit to Camdeboo National Park. One of these is the fee for the Valley of Desolation scenic drive. This drive is a must-do activity when visiting the park, as it offers breathtaking views of the unique rock formations and surrounding landscape. The fee is charged per vehicle and is separate from the conservation fee. It is valid for the duration of your stay.

Another fee to consider is the cost of the day visitor facilities. These facilities include picnic areas, braai (BBQ) sites, and ablution blocks. The fee is charged per person and is valid for the duration of the day. It’s important to note that these facilities are only available during the day and are not open for overnight use.

Tented accomodation

Lastly, if you plan to bring a drone into the park, there is a fee for this as well. The park has specific regulations regarding the use of drones, and visitors are required to pay a fee to fly a drone within the park. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations before bringing a drone into the park to avoid any issues.

Overall, while there are additional fees to consider, the experience of visiting Camdeboo National Park is definitely worth it. The park’s stunning scenery, diverse wildlife, and rich history make it a must-visit destination for any nature lover or adventure seeker.

Gemsbok sighting

Factors Influencing Costs

There are several factors that can influence the cost of a visit to Camdeboo National Park. The time of year is one of the most significant factors, as peak season rates tend to be higher than off-season rates. The peak season in South Africa generally runs from December to January, so visitors during this time can expect to pay more for accommodation and activities.

Another factor that can influence costs is the type of accommodation chosen. Camdeboo National Park offers a range of accommodation options, including campsites, self-catering chalets, and luxury lodges. The cost of accommodation varies depending on the level of luxury and the facilities provided.

Valley of desolation view

The activities and tours chosen also play a role in determining the overall cost of a visit. Camdeboo National Park offers a range of activities, including guided game drives, hiking trails, and cultural tours. Visitors who opt for guided tours and activities can expect to pay more than those who choose to explore the park independently.

Finally, the mode of transportation used to reach the park can also influence costs. Visitors who choose to fly to South Africa and rent a car will have to factor in the cost of car rental and fuel, while those who opt for public transportation may have to pay for transfers to the park.

Accommodation Options


If you’re the type of traveler who thrives on immersing yourself in nature, then camping at Camdeboo National Park is a must-do. With a range of campsites, each with its own unique charm and natural settings, you’ll be spoiled with options when searching for the perfect spot to pitch your tent or park your camper.

Fire place

Nqweba Campsite

For those looking for a rustic camping experience, the Nqweba Campsite is an excellent choice. Nestled in a beautiful valley, surrounded by hills and rocky outcrops, this campsite offers an authentic wilderness experience. With 30 sites available, you’ll have plenty of space to set up camp. Each site has a braai (barbecue) stand and a picnic table. The ablution blocks are clean and well-maintained, with hot showers and flush toilets.

Eerstefontein Campsite

If you’re after a more secluded camping experience, the Eerstefontein Campsite is the perfect choice. With only four sites available, each tucked away in a private alcove, this campsite offers a sense of seclusion and tranquility that’s hard to find elsewhere. The sites are set among beautiful acacia trees, providing shade and a sense of privacy. Each campsite comes equipped with a braai stand and a picnic table, and the ablution blocks are clean and well-maintained.

Ketchen in family house

Spekboom Tented Rest Camp

The Spekboom Tented Rest Camp is an excellent option for those traveling with a camper or caravan. Each camp comes equipped with a comfortable bed, a small kitchenette, and an en-suite bathroom with a hot shower. The campsite is set in a beautiful valley, surrounded by Spekboom trees – a unique succulent plant found only in this region. The campsite also has a communal braai area, where you can enjoy a traditional South African braai while enjoying the stunning views.

No matter which campsite you choose, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of Camdeboo National Park. From waking up to the sounds of birds chirping to watching the sunset over the African savanna, camping at Camdeboo is an experience you won’t forget. So pack your tent or camper, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of this incredible destination.

Camdeboo park road


The park is home to some of the most comfortable and charming lodges you’ll ever encounter. If you’re looking for a rustic retreat or a luxurious getaway, the lodges at Camdeboo National Park have you covered.

The Valley of Desolation Rest Camp

Nestled in the heart of the park, the Valley of Desolation Rest Camp offers a unique blend of comfort and natural beauty. The camp has nine fully equipped self-catering units, each with a kitchen and bathroom. The units are built from stone and thatch, giving them a rustic charm that blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. You’ll have stunning views of the valley from your unit, with its towering rock formations and breathtaking vistas. The camp also has a communal braai area, where you can enjoy a traditional South African barbecue while soaking in the beauty of your surroundings.

Living room in family house

The Nqweba Campsite

If you’re looking for a more traditional camping experience, the Nqweba Campsite is the perfect choice. This campsite offers spacious sites for tents, caravans, and motorhomes. Each site has its own braai area and access to communal bathroom facilities. The campsite is surrounded by lush vegetation and has stunning views of the surrounding hills and plains. It’s the perfect place to reconnect with nature and enjoy some peaceful relaxation.

The Cottages at the Camdeboo Conservancy

For a truly luxurious experience, the cottages at the Camdeboo Conservancy are the way to go. These self-catering cottages are located just outside the park and offer all the comforts of home in a stunning natural setting. The cottages are fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a kitchen, bathroom facilities, and a private patio with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Each cottage is decorated in a charming, rustic style, with wooden furniture and cozy blankets to keep you warm on chilly nights.


With its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, this park is a true gem of South Africa, and the lodges are the perfect way to experience it all.

Booking and reservation tips

If you’re planning a trip to Camdeboo National Park, you’re in for a treat. But before you start packing your bags, make sure you plan ahead, including your booking and reservations. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

Book in advance

Camdeboo National Park is a popular destination, especially during peak season. It’s best to book your accommodations and activities in advance. You can do this online or by contacting the park directly.

View from Camdeboo accomodation

Be flexible

If you can, be flexible with your travel dates. Sometimes, shifting your trip by a few days or weeks can make a big difference in availability and prices.

Choose the right accommodations

Camdeboo National Park offers a range of accommodation options, from campsites to self-catering chalets and luxury lodges. Think about your budget and preferences when choosing your accommodation. If you’re on a tight budget, camping might be the way to go. If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, there are plenty of lodges to choose from.

Consider guided tours

If you’re new to the park or want to learn more about its history and wildlife, consider booking a guided tour. The park offers a range of tours, from game drives to cultural excursions, and they’re a great way to get an insider’s perspective on the park.

Washing up area in family room

Pack appropriately

Make sure you pack appropriately for your trip. Camdeboo National Park can get very hot during the day and chilly at night, so bring clothes that can be layered. Remember to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Check for discounts

Camdeboo National Park offers special discounts for South African citizens and residents, as well as for senior citizens and children. Make sure you check for these discounts before booking your trip.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a memorable Camdeboo National Park trip. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your adventure today!

Top of the valley of desolation

How to Get There

Directions and Transportation Options

Getting to Camdeboo National Park is an adventure in itself. Located in the heart of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, the park is easily accessible by car, bus, or plane. There are plenty of transportation options available for local and international travelers. 

By Car

Driving to Camdeboo National Park is a great way to enjoy the stunning scenery. The park is located just outside the town of Graaff-Reinet, which is approximately a 4-hour drive from Port Elizabeth. If you’re traveling from Johannesburg, the drive takes around 11-12 hours. The breathtaking views make the journey worth it.

Dolomites in the valley of desolation

By Bus

If you prefer to sit back and relax on your journey, taking a bus to Camdeboo National Park is a great option. Several bus companies offer services to Graaff-Reinet, including Intercape and Greyhound. The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned, and the journey takes around 6-7 hours from Port Elizabeth and 14-16 hours from Johannesburg.

By Plane

Flying is the best option for those who want to get to the park quickly and efficiently. The nearest airport to Camdeboo National Park is Port Elizabeth International Airport, located around 270 km away. You can then rent a car or take a bus to the park. South African Airways, Mango Airlines, and Kulula are some of the airlines that operate flights to Port Elizabeth from major cities in South Africa.

Once you arrive at the park, there are plenty of transportation options to choose from. You can rent a car, hire a taxi, or take a guided tour to explore the park. The park also offers self-drive safaris, where you can drive around at your own pace and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Chalet in camdeboo.

Nearby towns and cities 

Nestled within the Eastern Cape, Camdeboo National Park is surrounded by several charming towns and cities worth exploring. Each of these towns is unique in its own way, offering a glimpse into South Africa’s rich cultural heritage. From bustling cities to quaint villages, here are some of the nearby towns and cities around the park that you should visit:


Graaff-Reinet is a quaint town that’s steeped in history. It’s known as the “Gem of the Karoo” and is the fourth oldest town in South Africa. Graaff-Reinet’s well-preserved Cape Dutch architecture is a testament to its rich cultural heritage. The town is home to several museums, including the Old Library Museum, which houses a collection of fossils and artifacts from the region. The town is also famous for its Camdeboo National Park gate, which serves as the main entrance to the park. If you’re looking for a place to stay, Graaff-Reinet has several guesthouses and B&Bs that offer a comfortable stay.

Living room in accommodation


This charming village is located about 50 km from Camdeboo National Park and is known for its artistic community. The village is home to several galleries and artist studios, where you can see the works of local artists. The town is also famous for the Owl House, a unique art installation created by the late Helen Martins. The house is decorated with thousands of crushed glass and mirrors, creating a dazzling effect. If you’re looking for a place to stay, Nieu-Bethesda has several guesthouses and cottages that offer a peaceful retreat.


This small town is located about 80 km from Camdeboo National Park and is known for its Victorian architecture. The town has several well-preserved buildings, including the Aberdeen Museum, housed in a former Dutch Reformed Church. The museum has a collection of artifacts and photographs that tell the story of the town’s history. If you’re looking for a place to stay, Aberdeen has several guesthouses and B&Bs that offer a comfortable stay.


Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is a bustling city that’s worth exploring. The city has several attractions, including the Donkin Reserve, which offers panoramic views of the city and the ocean. The city is also home to several beaches, including the famous Hobie Beach, which offers excellent swimming and surfing opportunities. If you’re looking for a place to stay, Port Elizabeth has several hotels and guesthouses that cater to all budgets.

The nearby towns and cities around Camdeboo National Park offer a diverse range of experiences worth exploring. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or nature, there’s something for everyone here. So, take some time to explore these charming towns and cities and discover the hidden gems of South Africa.


Accessibility for different types of travelers

Camdeboo National Park is a destination that caters to all types of travelers, including those with disabilities. The park has made great strides in recent years to ensure everyone can enjoy its natural beauty and wonders.

For travelers with mobility challenges, the park offers accessible accommodation options, including chalets and campsites with ramp access and adapted bathrooms. The park’s hiking trails are also wheelchair accessible, allowing visitors to explore the stunning landscape at their own pace. The park’s self-drive safari option is also an excellent way for those with mobility challenges to experience the wildlife and scenery from the comfort of their vehicle.

Barbecue area.

For visually impaired travelers, the park offers audio-guided tours which describe the park’s history and attractions. These tours are available at the park’s entrance. They are an excellent way to learn about the park’s cultural heritage and wildlife. The park also offers tactile maps, allowing visually impaired visitors to feel its layout and get a better sense of its geography.

The park also offers sign language interpretation services for guided tours and activities. The park’s staff is trained in basic sign language, making communication more accessible for visitors with hearing impairments.

Camdeboo National Park is committed to making its natural wonders accessible to all, and its efforts have not gone unnoticed. Visitors with disabilities have praised the park’s accessibility measures, allowing them to experience its beauty and magnificence without any obstacles. Whether you have mobility, visual, or hearing challenges, Camdeboo National Park is a destination that welcomes all travelers with open arms.

Big 5 adventures - Kudu

Park Regulations and Etiquette

Wildlife viewing guidelines

One of the main reasons visitors come to Camdeboo National Park is to catch a glimpse of the incredible wildlife that calls this place home. From the majestic Cape Mountain Zebras to the elusive aardvarks and graceful giraffes, there’s no shortage of fascinating creatures to marvel at. However, it’s important to remember that you’re in their natural habitat, and it’s your responsibility to behave responsibly and respectfully towards these animals.

So, before you embark on your wildlife-viewing adventure, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Jackal sighting

Keep a safe distance

While getting up close and personal with these incredible animals is tempting, it’s important to remember that they are wild and unpredictable. Keep a safe distance from them, at least 30 meters away, and use binoculars or a telephoto lens to get a closer look.

Stay in your vehicle

If you’re on a self-guided safari in your own vehicle, always stay inside. This is for your own safety, as well as the safety of the animals. Getting out of your car can provoke dangerous animal reactions and put you at risk.

Don’t feed the animals

Feeding wild animals can disrupt their natural feeding patterns and cause them to become dependent on humans for food. It can also lead to aggressive behavior towards humans and other animals.

Kudu bull

Be quiet and patient

Animals are easily spooked by loud noises and sudden movements. Be quiet and patient; you’ll have a much better chance of observing them in their natural habitat.

Respect their space and behavior

Wildlife viewing is a privilege, not a right. Respect the animals’ space and behavior, and don’t try to interfere with their natural activities.

By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure your own safety and contribute to preserving these incredible animals and their natural habitats. Remember, the goal is to observe and appreciate their beauty, not to interfere with their way of life. So, grab your binoculars, keep a safe distance, and get ready for an unforgettable wildlife viewing experience in Camdeboo National Park.

Slender Mongoose

Conservation principles

Camdeboo National Park isn’t just a beautiful destination for visitors; it’s also a vital piece of South Africa’s conservation efforts. As a protected area, the park plays a critical role in preserving the region’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity for future generations.

The park’s conservation efforts are guided by several core principles, including protecting and restoring natural habitats, preventing and managing invasive species, and promoting sustainable use of natural resources. These principles ensure that the park’s natural systems remain in balance and that the wildlife and plant species that call it home are protected.

Mountain Zebras

One of the park’s most significant conservation efforts is restoring and protecting the unique Karoo ecosystems. The Karoo is a semi-arid region home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The park’s conservation team works tirelessly to restore degraded areas of the Karoo, ensuring that these unique ecosystems remain intact for future generations.

The park also places a strong emphasis on preventing and managing invasive species. Invasive species are non-native plants and animals that can cause significant damage to natural ecosystems. The park’s conservation team works hard to prevent the introduction of invasive species and to manage those that are already present.

Another critical conservation principle at Camdeboo National Park is promoting the sustainable use of natural resources. The park is home to several communities that rely on natural resources for their livelihoods. By promoting sustainable use of these resources, the park helps to ensure that these communities can continue to thrive without causing harm to the environment.

Black Wildebeest

Ultimately, Camdeboo National Park’s conservation efforts are about preserving the region’s natural heritage for future generations. By visiting the park, you become a part of this conservation effort, contributing to the preservation of the unique ecosystems and wildlife that call it home. So, come and explore this magnificent park, knowing that your visit is helping to protect South Africa’s natural heritage.

Safety tips for visitors

When visiting Camdeboo National Park, it’s important to keep safety in mind to make your trip a memorable and safe one. Here are some safety tips to help you make the most of your visit:

Stay on designated paths

While exploring off the beaten path can be tempting, it’s important to stick to designated trails and paths. These paths are designed to keep you safe and protect the park’s delicate ecosystem.

Bat-eared fox

Keep a safe distance from wildlife

Camdeboo is home to a diverse range of wildlife, from the majestic Cape Mountain Zebras to the elusive aardvarks. It’s crucial to keep a safe distance from these animals and not disturb their natural behavior. Remember, you’re a guest in their home, so treat them respectfully.

Stay alert

Always be aware of your surroundings and watch for any potential dangers. This includes staying clear of dangerous areas, such as steep cliffs or strong currents in the river.

Be prepared

Before heading out, make sure you have all the necessary supplies, including water, food, and appropriate clothing. It’s also a good idea to carry a map and compass and let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return.

Gemsbok Mountain Zebra.

Respect cultural landmarks

Camdeboo has a rich cultural heritage, with ancient rock engravings and other cultural landmarks scattered throughout the park. Please respect these landmarks and do not disturb them in any way.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Camdeboo National Park. Remember, safety should always come first so you can focus on creating unforgettable memories and experiencing the beauty of this incredible destination.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Camdeboo National Park depends on your personal preferences and what you hope to experience during your stay. However, the park’s peak season is generally from April to October, when the weather is cooler and drier. During this time, the skies are clear, and the wildlife is more active, making it the perfect time for a safari adventure. 

If you’re a keen bird-watcher, the best time to visit is from November to March, when the migratory birds arrive. You’ll have a chance to spot various species, including the colorful European bee-eaters and the striking black eagles. 

For those who enjoy the vibrant colors of wildflowers, the best time to visit is from August to November. During this period, the park’s fields and hills are covered in a rainbow of colors, creating a breathtaking sight that will leave you in awe.

Jackal big five tours

If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, the park’s low season from November to March may be the perfect time. The weather is warmer, and the crowds are smaller, making it an ideal time for a peaceful escape into nature.

Regardless of when you choose to visit, Camdeboo National Park is an incredible destination that promises a memorable experience. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a connection with nature, you’ll find something to love about this hidden gem in the heart of South Africa. So pack your bags and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

Local Communities and Culture

The local communities surrounding Camdeboo National Park are as rich in culture and history as the park itself. These communities have lived in harmony with nature for generations, and their unique traditions and way of life are integral to the park’s cultural heritage.

The Xhosa people, the largest ethnic group in the Eastern Cape, have a strong presence there. Their vibrant culture, colorful beadwork, traditional dress, intricate music, and dance are a sight to behold. You can experience their warm hospitality and immerse yourself in their way of life by visiting nearby Xhosa villages.

Cape Eland Adventures.

The Khoisan people, who were the area’s original inhabitants, also have a significant cultural presence in the park. The ancient rock engravings found in the park are a testament to their deep connection with the land. You can learn about their history and way of life by visiting the Interpretive Centre at the Valley of Desolation.

The local communities also play an essential role in preserving the park’s natural and cultural heritage. Many of the park’s staff members are recruited from nearby towns and villages, providing employment opportunities and empowering the communities to actively participate in conservation efforts.

Whether learning about the traditional medicinal uses of local plants, listening to ancient stories passed down through generations, or simply enjoying traditional cuisine, there’s no shortage of ways to immerse yourself in the local culture surrounding Camdeboo National Park. These communities are an essential part of the park’s identity and offer a unique perspective on the park’s natural and cultural heritage.

By Nick Bowker

Owner Nick Bowker Hunting. Passionate Hunter, Outdoorsman, and Conservationist, as well as Rancher. Registered Outfitter and Professional Hunter (guide) for more than 25 years.