It’s also the busiest province, arguably the wealthiest, and probably the one for whom weekend escapes are possibly the most vital (all that weekly angst, stress and traffic doth fairly strained individuals make). Finding a campsite not inundated by all and sundry is something akin to hens’ teeth.
Camping is something Gauteng and the North West are not known for. Whilst they don’t have the beaches of the coast, they do have mountain ranges, bushveld and incredible weather all year round. Every family needs a campsite they can call ‘home’. For this reason it’s time to dust off the tent, haul out the ground sheet, stock up on wood and pack the cooler bag. Before summer is history.
It’s easy for Gautengers to head to the North West, particularly for weekends. Most of the Magaliesberg lies in the North West – one of the major escapes for weekends – with popular campsites like Klein Paradys (Brits), and the ATKV Buffelspoort at Hartbeespoort Dam more often than not bulging at the seams.
Which is why we’ve put together a list of campsites that, though not as well known, will give you access to new weekend experiences guaranteed to lower the blood pressure and rekindle your love of the great outdoors.
PS: don’t forget the head lamps…
I Wanna Go Camping! 5 Great Spots in Gauteng and the North West Province
Bushwillow Tented Camp, Muldersdrift
This is an easy weekend escape, just half an hour from Johannesburg and Pretoria. Surrounded by indigenous bush and set right at the foot of the Zwartkops Mountains on the banks of the Blaauwbank River, Bushwillow is a small tented camp that offers ten walk-in tents that sleep between four and six people each.
Add to this hot indoor showers, and a small kitchenette, with meals eaten and prepared under a thatched boma, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried the ‘don’t take your own (tent)’ lifestyle before. Expect a heated swimming pool, river fishing, bird watching and nature walks and a wonderful night’s sleep. Larger team building, wedding and corporate groups (the camp can take up to 60 people) can also be accommodated.
TangleWood Nature Estate, Boskop Dam, Potchefstroom
TangleWood Nature Estate is located on the banks of the Boskop Dam and offers fabulous camping accommodation. While here you can enjoy angling, kayaking, bird watching and a host of other activities at the dam. Boskop Dam lies adjacent to a nature reserve. The Boskop Mall is located 2km’s south of the camp site and here you will find all essential amenities.
Choose from a variety of camping options where you can enjoy a pre-pitched tent set up, rent just the tent or come and set up your own tent. Choose from sites with or without power. While here you can make use of the onsite pub, which offers a variety of refreshments and a big screen TV. We have firelighters, wood and charcoal as well as a few emergency items available to purchase.
Guests have the use of a washing up facility with hot water and a communal fridge / freezer. Please don’t forget to bring along your own cooking, eating utensils and cleaning products.
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TangleWood Nature Estate Rates and Availability
Pilanesberg Tented Safari Camp, Manyane Resort, Pilanesberg National Park, Mogwase
Located in the well known Pilanesberg National Park’s Manyane Resort offers tented accommodation options. This is an affordable, authentic safari experience where you will be hosted by local safari guides and where regular visits from resident Impalas, Warthogs and Banded Mongooses are nature’s little surprises. With only five safari tents (all equipped with comfortable beds, luxurious linen, electricity, camp chairs, carpeted flooring, large windows with mosquito nets) this is an intimate camping experience.
There is a large tented lounge and dining area and an inviting fire pit) and communal bathrooms. The safari tents are serviced daily and each tent has a small deck looking onto the camp fire, with the safari tents containing two single beds and a fan to cool you down in summer and electric blankets to warm the cold winter evenings.
Expect a large fresh water swimming pool and a small bar and curio shop.
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Pilanesberg Tented Safari Camp Rates & Availability
Koppisol Klub Holiday Resort, Vereeniging
Here’s a campsite that is set to become a favourite with families who like festive locations. Set on Vlakfontein Farm only 35 km outside of Johannesburg, Koppisol is easy to reach. Aside from a series of self catering chalets, the 100 or so camp stands are popular not least because they’re shady, grassed and offer clean ablutions, a laundry and scullery.
There is also ample hot water and ‘tranquil music in the bathrooms’. You can also book a stand with your own facilites that include an under-roof braai, kitchen, your own toilet and bathroom and a DSTV point (although you’ll need to bring your own TV and decoder).
Expect heated pools, waterslide, foefie slide, trampolines, table tennis, volleyball, outdoor chess, a lovely play area, baby pool and mini golf. Fun for the family, if socialising, festivity and neighbourliness is your thing.
Malonjeni Guest Farm, Meyerton
A really convenient distance from Johannesburg means that Malonjeni is ideal for a weekend away. It’s one of those spots you can easily get to after work on a Friday. Those who have been there say the bathrooms are spotless and Italian tiled. And you can walk to see wild life – an added bonus. Malonjeni is a 270 hectare farm home to black wildebeest, red hartebeest, zebra and other antelope.
There are two campsites. The main camp has 180 power points, ablutions, a pool, a children’s splash pool, tuck shop and a sports bar complete with big screen TV. The bush camp, on the other hand, is designed for the more adventurous camper and set up against a koppie with wonderful views over the valley. There are also electricity points, ablutions, and a natural pool and lapa. There is a farm yard on the farm, complete with goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, chickens and ducks for children.
Expect: to be able to walk and cycle in amongst the wild life, take guided game drives, and a restaurant.
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