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Campsite policy: Tents vs Caravans


Theo Kleinhans shares his thoughts on SANParks’ campsite policy in this month’s Around the Campfire.

We have just returned from a trip of over 3 800 km with our caravan, during which we visited six different SANParks camps.

One thing we wondered about is the policy regarding sites for caravans and tents. At some SANParks camps there are sites numbered with a “C”, which are for caravans, and others which are marked with a “T” for tents.

At Addo, most of the T sites are smaller than the C sites. At Berg Zebra Park, the majority of the sites are paved and the T and C sites are of equal size.

A vacant plot at Berg Zebra park.

When you book, and when you arrive at reception at the parks, nobody asks you whether you have a caravan, trailer, or tent, and the usual thing you are told is that you can set up camp on any open site.

Nobody has ever explained to me the difference between T and C sites!

While we were at Addo, we saw two tiny tents on a huge C site. As is often the case, the camp was full. When a couple with a big caravan arrived, there was no place for them to park, and in the end they had to share a site with a camping trailer.

As far as tents are concerned, the options and sizes are varied, and getting more and more so by the day – they range from one-man tents to constructions that take up more space than a caravan. And the camping trailers have so many fold-out tents and awnings that they can hardly be categorised as tents.

The parks do not show any leadership in managing their sites, and everyone just sets up camp anywhere they want.

The fact is, T and C sites also cost the same. So why would the campers with a tent pay full price when they are squeezed onto a small site?

As far as I am concerned, the only difference in sites should be whether they have power or not.

How do other readers feel about this?

By Theo Kleinhans

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