Following our introductory post about the best place to find a campsite and review of the website http://www.find-a-campsite.co.uk, our second post in the series is a review of camping site finder www.campingninja.com.
The design is fun with the camping ninja character appearing across the website. Since I was not sure what the connection with camping and ninjas is, I e-mailed them for clarification, to which the reply was:
ninja’s are stealthy and fast (which is what we are trying to be), ninjas are generally considered to be pretty cool, and, “ninja” is the same in every language….!
It turns out that the exciting story of the birth of campingninja.com involves a picnic outside Farnborough library, a very glitzy industry dinner in Park Lane and a suitcase full of cash!
Camping ninja is focussed on enabling you to book the campsite through themselves. Other campsite finders seem to be more directory based leaving you to go and contact the website yourself.
N.B. At Campingninja we do not charge any booking fees for you to make a booking. You pay the same price as you would direct.
Finding A Campsite
Initially you can search for campsites located within a certain distance of a place, or you can search for pitches on a specific date by tent, campervan or caravan. There is also a comprehensive advanced search feature. Using this you can select the options from a menu, clicking the tick to select, whittling down the number of campsites to obtain those with your criteria. It is easy to use and has many options for selecting campsites which have the facilities that you require. You can also search for camping sites which have particular activities available and attractions in the local area.
At the time of writing this post, when searching for a campsite there were only 130 campsites listed for a nationwide search. Whilst looking at their blog posts from the time the website was first set up, there was a post stating that they had 3000 websites listed. However this number has been reduced to include only campsites that can be booked via Camping Ninja. This number is increasing all the time though.
Camping Site Information
Clicking on the campsite name gives you a short description and the opportunity to click through to the full details. These include the address, a detailed long description, photos, green initiatives taken by the campsite, reviews, a handy ticklist of facilities, nearby attractions and a map. It does not include the phone number, although this is shown after you have made a booking, along with the e-mail address and other details. These are obviously important things to know since, for example, if you are likely to be late arriving at the campsite you might want to give them a ring, in case the owners decide to give your pitch to someone else!
Booking A Campsite
The facility to book a campsite is straight forward. You choose the number of pitches required, the date of arrival and the number of nights. Once you have got a date you can proceed with the booking. You can choose to set up a camping ninja account or continue without one. Then its a case of entering your personal details and paying the deposit online.
There are a couple of points worth noting:
- campsites may only allocate a certain number of pitches to Camping Ninja, so if you cannot book a particular campsite through Camping Ninja it would probably be worth containing the campsite direct,
- there are some campsites that do not ordinarily take advanced bookings, but they do take advanced bookings through Camping Ninja, e.g. The National Trust Campsite at Great Langdale.
Campingninja have a big focus on campsites environmental credentials and are supported by The Green Tourism Business Scheme:
At Campingninja we are not just about enabling people to find the right campsite and book it; we are passionate about encouraging campers and campsites to reduce their carbon footprint whilst having a great experience. Whilst allowing any campsite to sign-up to our website (it’s free), we are keen to promote those which are focussing on creating and running a sustainable business.
Some campsites offer a discount for people arriving on public transport or their premises may have solar power etc, and these things are highlighted by the Camping Ninja.
Campingninjas has a facility where you can login, save campsites in your favourites and join their community.
There are no adverts on this website.
http://www.campingninja.com – summary
The main feature the Camping Ninja has over most of its competitors is that you are able to book campsites easily online. At the time of writing this article there were not many campsites listed. Once Camping Ninja becomes more established, with more bookable campsites in their database, it should become a great website and useful resource. The advanced search works effectively, the information provided is good and they are helping to encourage to promote sustainability which is commendable.
The next website to be reviewed in the series is www.ukcampsitefinder.co.uk.