5 Reasons Why I Loved Camping At Verneukpan

Camping at Verneukpan

Verneukpan is a salt pan 57km long and 11km wide located in the middle of the Northern Cape, South Africa. I was blown away how such a vast empty space could showcase so much beauty.

Verneukpan is  not a very well known place because it’s situated so far from civilization. The area is mostly used for movie productions, kite surfing and attempts to break land speed records but there are camping facilities available for random tourists like us. My adventurous husband decided we should camp here for one night just to try out something different.

Once we arrived, the first thing that struck me was the vast expanse of nothingness . I couldn’t tell where it started or ended. I saw no animals, birds or vegetation, just one massive salt pan.

Despite this, our adventure to Verneukpan turned out to be one of the best camping experiences I ever had, here are 5 reasons why I loved it so much:

1. Sunset

I witnessed the most incredible sunset one can ever imagine.

With a 360 degree unobstructed view of where earth meets the sky I got to see a spectacular spectrum of colours as the sun was setting. There aren’t many places on earth where you get to experience every inch and colour the sunset has to offer.


2. Solitude

We pitched our tent in the middle of the pan, lit a fire and poured a drink. We were the only campers for the night so we were completely isolated from the rest of society. As far as the eye could see it was just us and the pan. Being so alone in such a big space makes you feel small and vulnerable but yet so liberated. You get to enjoy such a  massive piece of the earth all by yourself.

The only campers for the night

3. Stargazing

As night fell the milkyway came out to play. We sat and stared at the sky for hours, there were so many constellations and shooting stars to see.

A remote location with clear skies and barely any light pollution makes Verneukpan the ideal place to do stargazing and astrophotography.

4. Silence

As I was lying in our tent, I immediately noticed the silence and it was deafening. A saying so accurately true yet so few people get to experience. It was so silent that my ears defaulted to a hymn just to accommodate for the noise I was so used to hearing. The hymn in my ears became so loud I found it difficult to fall asleep.

The quietest place on earth.

5. Sunrise

The next morning, we woke up to yet another incredible canvas of colours. A glowing orange and yellow sphere started to peek out from the horizon, casting candyfloss pink reflections on the clouds.

It’s moments like these that makes me happy, and what I live for. Drinking a cup of coffee with my husband while we watched the sun rise like never before on a massive salt pan in the middle of nowhere.

It was a special trip, and the beauty Verneukpan showed us is something I will cherish forever.

Sunrise view from our tent

Things to know if you want to camp at Verneukpan:

  • You are allowed to camp anywhere on the pan.
  • Basic toilet and showers are available.
  • The nearest town is +- 60km away.
  • It can get very windy and dusty, there is a lapa with braai facility if you need shelter from the wind.
  • For more info visit: http://www.verneukpan.co.za/



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1 Comment

  1. Great story. Thanks so much for sharing this info. We will be on our 50th wedding anniversary in July this year, will definitely visit Verneukpan.

    Thanks again, Gun & Ilse (SA residents).