TRAVEL NEWS - Around the world, people have always known a rest camp to be a place where soldiers would rest during their deployment but in South Africa a rest camp is something rather different.
It offers a range of self-catering accommodation options to suit the budget conscious travelers.
South Africa encompasses nineteen SanParks, each with a unique landscape and diverse collection of fauna and flora. There is at least one rest camp in each park and the option to enjoy a range of guided activities.
Looking at the Kruger, there are a total of 21 rest camps scattered around the two million hectare park.
These rest camps offer a variety of accommodation options and are categorized into main camps, satellite camps and bushveld camps.
The campsites are big enough for a caravan or tent and most have electricity (except Balule and some at Punda Maria). The campsites at lower Sabie have designated boundaries and their own water supply.
Huts are single room units with communal kitchens and ablution facilities.
Safari tents are built on permanent platforms and boast canvas tent bedrooms, some with a more luxurious amenities and others with communal kitchens and ablution facilities. All accommodation, ablution and kitchen facilities are serviced daily and the bedding is supplied, except when booking a campsite. Cooking utensils and refrigeration are provided in most accommodation units.
Bungalows are single bedroom units with a bathroom and either have a kitchenette with basic equipment or make use of a communal kitchen. Some bungalows have perimeter or river views, while others overlook the bushveld.
Cottages are single bedroom units with a living room, bathroom and kitchen.
Family cottages are multiple bedroom units with a living room, bathroom and kitchen.
Guest cottages are multiple bedroom units with at least two bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen.
Guest houses are multiple bedroom and bathroom units with a lounge area, a bar facility at some and each boast spectacular views.
Bushveld and satellite camps are smaller and more remote, with no shops or restaurants. Some may not even have electricity but rely on lanterns and gas to heat water.
The main rest camps have electricity, a first-aid centre, a shop, braai and communal kitchen facilities, a laundromat, a restaurant and/or self-service cafeteria, public telephones and a petrol station. Holiday programmes and evening film shows of wildlife and conservation are arranged at many of the rest camps.
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