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Posted on: Thursday, 29 March 2012
I Wanna Go Camping!

I Wanna Go Camping! 5 Great Spots in Gauteng and the North West Province

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I Wanna Go Camping!

I Wanna Go Camping!

Gauteng is the smallest of the provinces – barely encompassing Johannesburg, Pretoria Accommodation and Vereeniging before flowing over its western boundary into North West and to the east into Mpumalanga.

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’.

I Wanna Go Camping! 5 Great Spots in Gauteng and the North West Province

Family of Campers

Family of Campers

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…

Bushwillow Tented Camp, Muldersdrift

Bushwillow Tented Camp

Bushwillow Tented Camp

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.

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Bushwillow Tented Camp Rates and Specials

Kaia Manzi Lodge, Bronkhorstspruit

Kaia Manzi Lodge

Kaia Manzi Lodge

Kaia Manzi has direct access to the Bronkhorstspruit Dam. They also have both heated and cold-water pools and lie but an hour from Johannesburg and Pretoria en route to the Lowveld. The caravan park has a series of newly built ablution blocks, grassy and large stands, and offers a real family weekend experience. Expect swimming, mini-golf, table tennis, a pool table, fishing, trampoline, volleyball, cycling trails and hiking. If you’re looking for a weekend away, during which your children will find their own entertainment whilst you enjoy access to water sports, then this is your kind of getaway.

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Kaia Manzi Lodge Rates and Specials

Koppisol Klub Holiday Resort, Vereeniging

Koppisol Klub

Koppisol Klub

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.

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Koppisol Klub Holiday Resort Rates and Specials

Malonjeni Guest Farm, Meyerton

Malonjeni Guest Farm

Malonjeni Guest Farm

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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Malonjeni Guest Farm Rates and Specials

Ramestsi Eco Lodge Game Farm, Swartruggens

Rametsi Eco Lodge

Rametsi Eco Lodge

Gorgeous game farm set in the heart of the Lyndleyspoort Valley, just 2 hours drive from Johannesburg. Think: access to wildlife in a game reserve, the Lyndleyspoort dam, fishing, canoeing, hiking, 4X4 trails and hiking. Aside from a series of old farm houses and thatched cottages, there is also a campsite with a number of stands, all with electricity points. They’re well maintained, neat and clean with lights and clean ablution blocks. New owner Willie van Wijk has a vast knowledge of the local bird and animal life, an added bonus. Expect game viewing, swimming, canoeing, fishing, cycling paths, a children’s play area, volleyball, a restaurant, absailing, horse riding (but book in advance) and a weekend away from it all.

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Rametsi Eco Lodge Game Farm Rates and Specials

Gauteng Info

Wanda Coustas

About 

Wanda Coustas has written in one form or another for 10 years, seven of them as a copyblogger. She has travelled the Western Cape extensively and the rest of the country in protracted road trips that have given her both joy and an ongoing relish for experiencing what she writes about first-hand. She is a trained opera singer, poet, eurythmy dancer, philosopher, and bee whisperer.