Loadshedding free getaways to ESCAPE TO this spring
Loadshedding remains our constant companion in South Africa. But how about getting away from it all and enjoying a break where you are not worried about the latest loadshedding schedule, or planning your day around when the power will be going off again?
The solution is a camping getaway. Think wide open skies, beautiful natural surroundings, fun outdoor activities, and time spent sitting around the crackling campfire (perhaps with some marshmallows in hand), disconnected from fast-paced life and soaking up time with loved ones.
Camping is becoming one of the most popular ways for people to get away, relax, escape stress and clear their minds whilst making memories. And all of this can be done without electricity! Camping solutions such as solar-powered lanterns, gas cookers, battery-powered lighting, torches, generators and good old-fashioned candles, mean that you can sail through the days (and nights) never thinking about flicking on a light switch.
Best spots to go camping on Cape Town’s doorstep
If you are keen to escape loadshedding and get out into nature for a camping adventure this Spring, then a trip to the Bergrivier region – the Adventure Capital of the West Coast – is a must! And, for the next few months, visitors are in for an additional treat with the abundance of wildflowers that will be carpeting the landscape.
This beautiful area – known for its open spaces and dramatic landscapes – boasts some of the most pristine and untouched nature reserves, wetlands, lagoons, mountain landscapes and more. It is also peppered with small towns that offer a massive array of activities and adventures to suite all ages, interests and budgets.
The area also offers some incredible camping sites, and below are just a few of these, and where to find them.
Porterville is a quaint village nestled on the slopes of the Olifant’s River Mountains at the base of the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area and outdoor enthusiasts are in for a treat when visiting here!
For those keen to test their adrenalin levels, there are companies which offer tandem-paragliding and hang-gliding experiences. Bird watchers can also expect to find an abundance of feathered friends. Anglers can throw in a line in the area, and for golfers Porterville offers a scenic golf course with a beautiful mountain backdrop. There is also an artisanal gin distillery in the mountains above the town and a variety of eateries in the village.
Some of the top camping spots in and around Porterville include Cedarpeak, which boasts fabulous secluded glamping pods in the mountains above the town; popular Beaverlac with camping sites as well as timber or stone cottages near to mountain streams and rockpools; the Groot Winterhoek Nature Reserve with spectacular hiking trails and rock formations; and 22 Waterfalls with caravan and tent sites as well as cottages that offer access to the 22 waterfalls cascading down the mountain, as well as a farm dam.
Piketberg, which is nestled at the foot of the Piketberg Mountain range, draws visitors looking to enjoy – amongst many other things – the stunning natural surroundings and the abundant outdoor activities.
Birders, 4X4 and outdoor enthusiasts, golfers, wildlife lovers, foodies and history buffs will all be spoilt for choice with a visit to the area.
Top recommended camping spots in and near Piketberg include: Die Ark Camping near Koringberg which offers a fabulous farm stay with fishing, canoeing and swimming, tractor rides, 4x4ing and more; the Sandveld Dorpshuys in Redelinghuys, which has a mini animal farm and kiddie’s playground and pool; Kardoesie on the N7 just outside Piketberg is a farm stay with a restaurant, shop, swimming pool and paintball; Kruistementvlei in Piket-Bo-Berg, which is situated in the mountains above Piketberg, offers camping as well as cottages; Kleine Paradys in Piketberg has camp sites, glamping options in fully equipped caravans, as well as cottages, with guests able to enjoy fishing, a heated pool, kids play area, and farm animals.
Moving towards the coast, the hugely popular West Coast village of Velddrif, which hugs the banks of the beautiful Berg River, is one of the most popular bird-watching sites in South Africa and the town is perfectly located to offer a wealth of activities to water-sport enthusiasts.
Velddrif also offers culinary adventure and cultural experience. When it comes to camping, Velddrif and the nearby surrounds of Aurora and Dwarskersbos, offer some great options, such as: Daniels Hoogte which is a Private Reserve with beautiful views of the Aurora valley; Klein Tafelberg 4×4 in Aurora with camping facilities and chalets; the Kliphoek River Resort in Velddrif, which has camping sites and chalets on the banks of the Berg River, with a slip way to launch your boat; Knorvarkie in Velddrif is another gem on the banks of the Berg Rivier with campsites, caravans, and two glamping tents; Kuifkopvisvanger, also on the banks of the river in Velddrif, is a working farm with cottages and camp sites; the Stywelyne Beach Resort in Laaiplek offers chalets and camping facilities right next to the beach; as does the Dwarskersbos Beach Resort in Dwarskersbos.
When it comes to camping in the Bergrivier area, visitors are truly spoilt for choice.