Sabie River glamping

Posted on 10 May 2019

Africamps at Mackers – Hazyview, Mpumpalanga

Mackers has been a popular campground just outside the subtropical town of Hazyview for several years now, while AfriCamps is well-established in the Western Cape. It has finally opened one of its popular glamping destinations upcountry, four-and-a-half hours’ drive from Joburg, in a patch of forest on the banks of the Sabie River.

The spacious, safari-style tents are set apart for a little privacy and face the river, just a few steps from the water’s edge and with soothing green views. All have simple but tasteful decor, are well-shaded below towering indigenous trees (there’s also air con for hot summer days) and sleep up to five in two ‘rooms’. Note: the ceiling is open and noise spreads easily between rooms.

Rustic-chic elements such as enamel mugs, lantern lighting and picnic-style benches give it a real camping feel. Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

The self-catering setup is great – each tent’s well-equipped kitchen has a small fridge and gas cooker, there are two dining tables (one inside and one outside) and an outdoor braai pit. You have the option of ordering cook-your own baskets for breakfast (filled with everything from bacon and eggs to fresh crusty croissants) or braai packs for dinner if you’re after an even easier weekend break.

This tent is furthest from the office and has the most privacy, so ask for it (Tent 1) when booking. Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

I adored the little vegetable patch on the property, where you can help yourself to herbs and other fresh goodies to spruce up your meals. There’s an honesty shop too, stocked with essentials such as water and firewood plus good local produce. Coffee beans grown on nearby Shiloh Estate are perfect for the French press; macadamia-nut butter comes from neighbouring farms, and you can buy lemons to slice into a must-do afternoon G&T, sipped out on the tent’s deck. Order a massage (R600 per person), which is conducted within the comfy canvas walls of your tent.

There are hiking trails on the property – one leads upriver to waterfalls and rapids – 250 bird species to spot and you can swim in the river. Bring a lilo or floatable so you can bliss out in the water; there’s also a large swimming pool and sundeck on the property, with valley views. If you do want to get out of camp, Kruger National Park is just a half-hour drive away. This is also a convenient base for day trips exploring the Panorama Route. Self-drive or ask your hosts, the McKains, to arrange a guided tour.

Best Feature The tent’s outdoor deck, with built-in sofa, that overlooks the Sabie River. I also loved how you can open the front of the tent completely by folding the flaps up into the roof.

Cost From R472.50 per person for four people per tent or R745 per person sharing. The breakfast basket costs R110 per person.

Contact 063-170-4222

There are two swimming options: the shaded river or the large sunny pool. Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

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