Camping at Beaverlac – Fed up with crowded Cape Town city clubs and even more crowded outdoor parties, we decided to take things down a notch this New Year’s by heading to Beaverlac. Beaverlac, just over the Dasklip Pass near Porterville, is a little gem of a campsite about 2-and-a-half hours outside of Cape Town.
Spending New Year’s Eve in the tranquil surrounds of a campsite on the Grootfontein farm might sound too staid for some people. Many people want buzz and excitement to usher in the start of the new and the end of the old. Turns out camping and excitement are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
The campsite is shaded by pines, giving the whole camp a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. We hired one of the wooden bungalows scattered around the campsite, but in previous years have been perfectly happy camping under one of the tall pines. Either option is incredibly affordable and well worth the price.
The facilities are fine, if somewhat rustic, and there’s a shop where you can purchase ice, firewood and basic food supplies such as milk and bread.
The main attractions at Beaverlac are the rock pools, and there are several options to cool yourself off in. The Grotto and Jacuzzi pools are very close to camp and are a lot of fun for everybody – including little ones on lillos. Further up there are another series of pools, and those wishing to hike a bit are rewarded with a bit more privacy than at the lower pools.
There is also rock art to view for those looking for a bit of a cultural experience, something that we’ve done before but didn’t manage to see again this time. Rather, we spent the day lazing in the sun and swimming in the Rooibos-coloured pools before heading back to our campsite for a braai and a drink to help bring in the New Year.
Radios or loud music is not allowed, a very good thing considering the proximity (and musical tastes) of some of our neighbours. But we made do with guitars and singing – something that brought campers from all across the campsite to our camp to join in. By 10pm we had close to 25 people sitting around our roaring fire and taking turns to sing everything from Radiohead to Bob Marley with varying degrees of success.
12 ‘o clock brought with it champagne, merriment and night-swimming in the Grotto pools – something perhaps a little dangerous but highly recommended. Lying on your back in a dark pool and looking up at the thousands of stars that are visible in such a secluded place is certainly something I would suggest everyone does at some stage.
The problem with New Year’s day when you’re camping is that the sun rises so early and it’s difficult to sleep in when the day begins to get hot. Another trip to the pools for a swim helped to clear the cobwebs and we appreciated the opportunity to fully enjoy our last day at Beaverlac.