Bring out your inner mad scientist: experiment with unique spirits + meat cuts
Awesome adventures + activities at these epic campsites
From the Cederberg to Garden Route
Last update: 25 January 2022
You could sleep in a natural cave, relax in a Roman bath, spend a night under the stars or try any of these other 7 charming camping spots.
SLEEP IN A NATURAL CAVE
A private nature reserve at the top of the mountains in Aurora offers beautiful views of St. Helena Bay. DanielsHoogte is only 90 minutes away from Cape Town by car. The reserve is thriving with fauna and flora and there are many hiking and cycling trails. You can pitch a tent in a natural cave, accessible by road and equipped with a braai area and an ablution block with solar-heated running water.
Tip: Look out for eagles, duikers, caracals, porcupines and baboons.
Rates: R600 per night for up to 4 people.
DanielsHoogte Private Reserve | Aurora | 082 779 9333 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Image: DanielsHoogte
TAKE A TRIP TO THE CEDERBERG
Pitch your own tent at the campsite or stay in one of the tents already set up at Gecko Creek. There’s a lapa with a kitchen where you can prepare food or head to the boma and cook outdoors. While you’re there, explore nearby caves, hike or cool off in the pool. Take a look at the website for specials. Plus, it’s tried and tested by the CapeTownMagazine team.
Tip: There’s no electricity or lighting at the accommodation site; take your own torches.
Rates: From R150 pp, per night.
Gecko Creek | Cederberg | email@example.com | Website | Image: Mark Schultz
DIP IN THE HOT SPRINGS IN CITRUSDAL
Lounge in pools that are naturally heated to over 40 degrees Celsius in the Olifants River Valley of Citrusdal. The Baths Natural Hot Springs has hot and cold pools; hot, mineral, spring-water baths; hiking trails; mountain biking; bird watching; tennis; a trampoline; pool table, and children's playground. There are 25 shaded caravan and camping sites with braai facilities and electrical points.
Tip: The venue is self-catering, but there’s also a restaurant and shop on site.
Rates: From R120 pp, per night.
The Baths Natural Hot Springs | Citrusdal | 022 921 8026 | Instagram | Image: The Baths
RIDE A FOEFIE SLIDE, SWIM IN THE BREEDE RIVER
This camping site has no power, but there’s loads to keep you busy. Launch from the foefie slide on the river banks into the Breede River’s deep swimming areas or hop onto a canoe or raft for some fun on the river. You can also go hiking or birdwatching. Rivierplaas is a working farm near Worcester, offering campsites for tents, caravans, and motor-homes. The grassy campsite with plenty of trees and shade is family-friendly, has braai areas, and hot-water showers.
Tip: The venue is pet-friendly at R150 per pet.
Rates: From R360 per campsite (for 4 people), per night.
Rivierplaas | Scherpenheuwel, Worcester | 084 710 0139 | Instagram | Image: Rivierplaas
GO GLAMPING AT THIS RIVER SITE FOR A STEAL
Wolfkop Camping Villages are in the Cederberg on the banks of the Olifants River, a World Heritage Site. There are two types of camps, a more simple camping option with some shared facilities, called Biesievlak, and a glamping option, with more luxuries and private ablutions, called Golden Valley. Plus there’s loads of activities, like guided hikes, canoeing, floating down the river on bodyboards, horse-riding, mountain-biking, wine tastings, tea tastings, and more to keep you busy. The cherry on top? CapeTownMagazine.com readers get an incredible deal at Wolfkop Camping Villages.
Tip: Every year, in February, you can spoil the family with magic shows, an animal garden, craft activities, and dancing at The Wolfie Familie Festival.
Rates: From R250 pp (mid-week) for a minimum of 4 people, and R750 pp (weekends) for a minimum of 6 people.
Wolfkop Camping Villages | Cederberg | 083 260 4822 | Instagram | Image: Wolfkop
SLEEP BENEATH A CANOPY OF TREES
The Forest Camp is eco-friendly and off the grid. There’s ready-made tented suites and one camping site, the Owl Camp, where visitors can pitch their own tent. Each site has a private, open-air kitchen (with gas for cooking), semi-enclosed shower and compostable toilet. Hot water is supplied via the old fashioned “donkey boiler system” (wood supplied). Hike the Forest Trail for free or explore Gansbaai and Uilkraal.
Tip: There’s no reception/check-in office, you will receive any info you need prior to arrival.
Rates: From R350 per night for 1 to 2 guests; R75 per night for additional guests.
Platbos Forest Reserve | Gansbaai | 076 923 3349 | Instagram | Image: Platbos Forest Reserve
EXPLORE A CAVE, LOUNGE IN A ROMAN BATH
When the Montagu Guano Caves and tunnel was cleared of bat poop (guano) and excavated, thousands of spear-head artefacts were found. You can take a scenic tractor or Jeep ride to the mountains to see the cave for yourself. There are various accommodation options, from campsites with taps and electrical points to tented units already set up for you, as well as furnished cottages. Visit the spa, lounge in a Roman bath or take a dip in the beach pool. There’s also a super tube and other slides. Kids can visit the animal world or go horse riding.
Tip: Day visitors are welcome from 8am-5pm.
Rates: From R80 pp, per night; day visitors, R200 (adults), R150 (kids under 12).
Montagu Guano Caves Resort | 5.8km outside Montagu, R62 | 023 100 2972 | Website | Image: Guano Caves
SPEND A NIGHT UNDER THE STARS
Nestled on a farm in the heart of the Cederberg Wilderness Area lies Sanddrif Holiday Resort. Accommodation consists of campsites with electricity points, and self-catering cottages. Things to keep you occupied include trail running, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, bird watching, stargazing, and wine tasting at the adjacent Cederberg Private Cellar. You can also see San rock art and cool off in the tranquil waters of the Matjies River or the sparkling clear Maalgat rock pools.
Tip: There’s no cellphone reception, but a farm shop that sells necessities, wine and craft beer.
Rates: From R380 per campsite (4 people), per night; R95 per night for additional guests.
Sanddrif Holiday Resort | Dwarsrivier | 027 482 2825 | Website | Image: Sanddrif Holiday Resort
ESCAPE THE BUSY CITY LIFE
In the valley of Franschhoek you’ll find De Hollandsche Molen, a family resort that also welcomes day visitors. Set up your tent or caravan on the lush green camping grounds, where each site has its own braai space and an electrical point. There’s one Olympic-size pool with a diving board and kiddies slide, plus three kiddies’ pools. You can also relax in the Wemmershoek river, accessible from the resort.
Tip: On site you’ll find a bar, as well as a café that serves takeaways.
Rates: R180 pp, per night (plus there’s a pensioners discount).
De Hollandsche Molen | Franschhoek | 021 867 0160 | Website | Image: De Hollandsche Molen
CAMP ON A FOREST DECK
In the Knysna Forest you’ll find Diepwalle, where you can camp on a timber deck. The Camping Decks can accommodate a three-man tent, plus there’s a braai and dining area and electrical points. Pitch your own tent or stay on one of the tented decks. Enjoy day walks, go mountain biking, bird watching, or have a picnic at one of the scenic viewpoints.
Tip: Explore the Garden Route’s beautiful beaches, lakes and mountains.
Rates: From R355 per night for 2 people; conservation fees are R42 pp, per night if you are South African and do not have a wild card.
Diepwalle Forest | Knysna | firstname.lastname@example.org | Website | Image: Garden Route National Park
MORE THINGS TO DO OUTDOORS
Go simple or glamp at the Return to the Source festival.
Use this guide to hike the Krom River
Cool off at one of these natural rock pools
Take a hike to Elephant’s Eye
Visit an enchanting river garden
Explore the Western Cape with this small town bucket list
Keep yourself busy with one of these 7+ Things To Do This Week(end)
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