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Posted on: Tuesday, 27 March 2012
I Wanna Go Camping!

I Wanna Go Camping! 10 Unique Campsites in the Western Cape

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I Wanna Go Camping!

I Wanna Go Camping!

With Autumn just around the corner, and the heat of summer almost a thing of the past (there is still March to get through!), I’m hauling out our tent before we lose out completely on the opportunity to camp.

We are totally spoilt for choice in the Western Cape when it comes to a selection of campsites. And there are plenty of popular ones – Beaverlac, the Baths, Tweede Tol, Jamaka, Tietiesbaai – to name but a few.

But we’ve put together a selection of 10 campsites that you might not have heard of (so don’t dream about sharing these with all and sundry) that offer something a little less daunting, if you’re not into crowds, and are thus quieter. If you like the noise and hum of a busy campsite, then these may not be for you.

Some of them supply you with tents so that you don’t have to lug yours along, others are the usual routine. Either way, most of them are either on the edge of rivers, or in the heart of the back of beyond, and thus promise a break from it all. Campsites in the Western Cape:

Cape Town

Ceres Valley

Sothemba Lodge

Sothemba Lodge

Sothemba Lodge
Ceres

Let me tell you about the views first. From the top of the farm you can see over the whole Karoo, from the Skoorsteenberg of the Tankwa to the Roggeberg. There is no electricity out here so everything is sun powered, but you have a choice of luxury tents or a backpackers tented village in which to stay. The luxury tents come with twin beds and a sleeper couch, beautifully furnished with an en-suite shower. Bedding supplied. The tented village lies in a big kloof with a  communal kitchen, lapa and bathrooms.

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Sothemba Lodge Rates and Specials

The Cederberg

Biesievlak Camp

Biesievlak Camp

Biesievlak Camp
Citrusdal

Set on the banks of the Oliphants River under trees, with communal flush toilets, hot showers, fridge/freezer and washing up area, this camp on Biesievlak Farm is in the upper river region of Citrusdal surrounded by citrus orchards. Biesievlak gives you a choice. You can take along your own gear, or use their Freeform Villages to camp. They have a grassy section next to the river under a wild fig and a few oak trees where there is an abundance of birds, flowers, weird rock formations, rock climbing and mountain bike trails. You can hire a canoe, swim or fish in the river, or simply lie and read a book.

Visit Biesievlak Cottages and Camp
Biesievlak Camp Rates and Specials

Enjo Nature Farm
Biedouw Valley

Enjo Nature Farm

Enjo Nature Farm

This is nature at its best. Run by a German couple the farm has 350 Damara sheep and a few olive groves. Aside from a few self-catering cottages, there are also a few couple of camping spots next to the river under the trees on partly sandy ground, with hot showers, toilet and dishwashing facilities, as well as braai places and electricity. It’s pretty basic, but there is nothing other than you and the monkeys here. Far off the beaten tourist track, this is the heart of the unspoilt Cederberg Mountains. The drive is four hours from Cape Town but you can look forward to rock climbing, hiking (there is a hiking trail to the Enjo Amphittheatre and to a spring which feeds the drinking water), a dam for swimming, and relaxing. They’ll even take you for a spin in their small plane if you’re after an adrenalin rush. They’ll also cook you breakfast or dinner if you arrange ahead.

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Enjo Nature Farm Rates and Specials

Wolfkop Camp
Citrusdal

Wolfkop Camp

Wolfkop Camp

Just 20 km from Citrusdal you will find the 100 hectare citrus-buchu-rooibos Grootfontein farm that has a campsite with a difference. You won’t need a tent. In fact you’ll need very little other than food and clothes. Each camp ‘village’ (there are 6 spread over a 200 metre stretch of grass on the banks of the Olifants River) is a nine by nine metre bedouin freeform marquee. Under each is pitched one to three (depending on the size of the group) canvas tents with blow-up mattresses, percale bedding, blankets, towels and extra sleeping bags. There’s a fully equipped kitchen area, braai, chairs, tables, electric light, fridge, freezer, cooler box etc. (although these are shared). There are power points, hammocks, hot showers, and flush loos (communal). It’s roughing it in style.

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Wolfkop Camp Rates and Specials

Karoo

El Yolo One
Klaarstroom

El Yolo One

El Yolo One

Set on Farm Bo Haggas close to Klaarstroom, El Yolo One is the kind of camping I like to do. There are only two camp spots to this campsite, each with its own ablution facility that includes electricity, water and firewood. Better still, the farm runs its own restaurant serving traditional karoo farm meals so you don’t have to take all of your food with you. There is a swimming pool next to the restaurant, a river in which to fish, hiking trails and star gazing to look forward to (the farm has planetarium facilities) whilst surrounded by the Swartberg Mountains. Ideal for children, there is plenty of access to cattle, sheep, donkeys, turkeys, ducks, geese, peacocks and chicken as well as wild game in the form of various antelope. Look forward to night drives and 4X4 routes.

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El Yolo One Rates and Specials

Matjiesvlei Guest Farm

Matjiesvlei Guest Farm

Matjiesvlei Guest Farm
Calitzdorp

On a farm in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains that also offers self-catering units, find Die Dam Rivier Kamp (the dam river camp) on the shores of the Gamka River. There is hot water and clean ablutions, trees and grass. But it is the setting that you’re here for. Matjiesvlei is at the bottom of the Huisrivier Pass between Calitzdorp and Ladismith, a largely deserted valley filled with rolling hills, red aloes and farms. Whilst the campsite is not luxurious there is plenty to do on the river – fishing, swimming, canoeing – and there are good hiking and mountain bike trails (take your own).

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Matjiesvlei Guest Farm Rates and Specials

The Garden Route

Homtini Guest Farm

Homtini Guest Farm

Homtini Guest Farm
Knysna

Overlooking the Homtini Valley, Homtini guest farm lies at the bottom of a pass in over 60 hectares of private indigenous forest. It’s a working farm, so your children will be able to collect their own eggs from the hen house and can safely ride their bikes on the farm roads. They even offer a babysitting service. Which should give you an indication that this is not your usual come pitch a tent campsite. Homtini offers luxury couple tents and family tented lodges. The family tents each sleep four where there is a double bed and double bunk, living space, little kitchenette with the full catootie and an en suite bathroom, shower and toilet. There are only two family tents, so you’ll need to book ahead.

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Homtini Guest Farm Rates and Specials

Peace of Eden

Peace of Eden

Peace of Eden
Knysna

Choose from forest safari tents or an eco campsite at Peace of Eden, set alongside an indigenous forest complete with walks, a magical stream, canoe on a large lily pond and an incredible variety of birds and butterflies, friendly horses and time out. The forest safari tents sleep two people each on timber decks along a lantern lit pathway. Each tent comes complete with double or twin beds, table, chairs and a mozzie netted veranda. Nearby is a bush kitchen, equipped with electricity and a large fire pit, whilst a solar shower and eco loo is in amongst the shrubs. There are 4 camping spots, that take a maximum of four people each a night, so space is limited, on a lawned area on the forest edge.

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Peace of Eden Rates and Specials

The Cape West Coast

Vensterklip

Vensterklip

Ventersklip
Elands Bay

Set on Bonteheuwel Farm in a beautiful stretch of wilderness, Ventersklip lies right on Verlorenvlei, one of the largest natural wetlands along the West Coast, and the onoly fresh water lake in the country. Aside from a couple of restored historic cottages, Ventersklip offers six large, grassy camping spots that can take up to 40 people. There are good bathroom facilities with toilets, shower, as well as a kitchen / braai area. Bonus is the Tin Kitchen country restaurant that serves up organic meat and fish dishes in and around a 300 year old barn.

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Ventersklip Rates and Specials

Useful Links:
Western Cape Attractions
Western Cape Accommodation
Western Cape Hiking Trails
Western Cape Camping
Things to Do in Western Cape
South Africa Accommodation

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.