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Awesome adventures + activities at these epic campsites

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Awesome adventures + activities at these epic campsites

13 places to stay, from indigenous forests to apple farms

Last updated: Friday, 1 March 2024

An amazing getaway doesn’t have to be expensive. You could sleep in a natural cave, swim in hot springs, camp on a forest deck or hike a natural heritage site all at these affordable camping spots in the Western Cape.

SWIM & STARGAZE IN THE CEDERBERG

Deep in a remote valley in the Cederberg mountains, you’ll find Balie’s Gat. There’s four camping sites, two self-catering log cabins and two luxury tented camps. And loads of activities like swimming in the nearby stream, mountain biking or stargazing. Plus, there’s no electricity and cell phone reception, so it’s a great place to unplug. 

Good to know: The campsite also has homemade products like ​​dried fruit, preservatives and fresh roosterkoek
Rates: From R150 p/n for campsites, from R400 p/n for cabins, from R600 p/n for tented camps
Book: Balie's Gat website


Piet Esterhuysen Road | Op-die-Berg | @baliesgat | Image: Balie’s Gat

ROAD TRIP TO GREYTON

Oewerzicht has farm-style cottages, tented accommodation and 25 campsites on the banks of the river. As an extra treat, there’s braai facilities, two portable wood-fired hot tubs and a romantic hanging bridge on site. You can spend your days swimming or tubing in the river, fishing or going on a hike.  

Good to know: You can tie the knot at Oewerzicht’s stone-clad lapa
Rates: R120 per person for four guests or R550 per plot, p/n
Book: Oewerzicht website


Oewerzicht Farm | Greyton | Facebook | Image: @leored

SLEEP IN AN INDIGENOUS OVERBERG FOREST

The Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve spans over 250 hectares with various accommodation options like basic camping, decked camping, glamping, cottages and cabins. Each site looks onto indigenous forest, providing opportunities for bird watching (there’s over 196 bird species in the area).

Good to know: The site also has a play area and jungle gym for the kids
Rates: From R250 p/n for basic camping
Book: Cape Nature website


Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve | Overberg | Website | Image: Cape Nature

STAY ON AN APPLE FARM IN THE CAPE WINELANDS 

On the back of an apple farm in Ceres, you'll find a private and exclusive campsite, Apple Camp by The Riverstone Portfolio. With a covered braai area and firepit, you can relax and braai while kids splash around in the river (pets can come, too). The campsite can be booked out to one group at a time for up to 20 people.

Good to know: For a more luxurious stay, The Riverstone Portfolio also offers 3 self-catering properties on Palmietvlei Farm in Wolseley
Rates: From R950 for four people p/n
Book: Riverstone House website


Palmietvlei Farm | Romansrivier | @theriverstonehouse | Image: The Riverstone House

HIKE AND SWIM AT A NATURAL HERITAGE SITE

In the Olifants River Mountains, between Tulbagh and Citrusdal, you’ll find hiking paths, rock art and pools. Beaverlac is found in a secluded 5 000 hectare valley on Grootfontein Farm, surrounded by mountains and two rivers. The campsite offers a spectacular mountain pool with a waterfall a 5-minute walk away. Plus, it’s pet-friendly. 

Good to know: A wide variety of hiking and mountain bike trails and rock pools are available for visitors
Rates: R40 per vehicle entrance fee, from R80 per adult p/n
Book: Beaverlac website


Porterville | Western Cape | Facebook | Image: Beaverlac

DIP IN THE HOT SPRINGS IN CITRUSDAL 

Lounge in pools that are naturally heated to over 40 degrees Celsius in the Olifants River Valley. The Baths Natural Hot Springs have hot and cold pools, spring-water baths, hiking trails, mountain biking, bird watching, tennis, pool table and children's playground. There are 25 caravan and camping sites with braai facilities and electrical points. 

Good to know: It has a 2-night weekend policy, only accepting both Friday and Saturday bookings
Rates: R190 per night (midweek); R230 per night (weekend)
Book: The Baths website


The Baths Natural Hot Springs | Citrusdal | @thebaths.citrusdal | Image: The Baths 

ST HELENA BAY: SLEEP IN A NATURAL CAVE

At the top of the mountains in Aurora, you can find a private nature reserve with beautiful views of St. Helena Bay. DanielsHoogte is only a scenic 90 minute drive from Cape Town. Spend a weekend in nature with the many hiking and cycling trails. You can also pitch a tent in a natural cave with a braai area and solar-heated running water. 

Good to know: Look out for eagles, duikers, caracals, porcupines and baboons
Rates: From R800 per night for 2 people, sleeps 12
Book: danielshoogte@dgtwines.co.za


DanielsHoogte Private Reserve | Aurora | Facebook | Image: DanielsHoogte Private Reserve

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. No children under the age 16 and no pets allowed.

Good to know: There’s no electricity or lighting at the accommodation site; take your own torches
Rates: R190 per person (own camping equipment); R290 per person for set up tent
Book: info@geckocreek.com


Gecko Creek | Cederberg | @geckocreek | Image: Mark Schultz 

GANSBAAI: SLEEP BENEATH A CANOPY OF TREES  

The Forest Camp is off the grid. There’s ready-made tented suites or 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) and you can hike the Forest Trail for free. 

Good to know: There’s no reception/check-in office, you will receive all the info you need prior to arrival
Rates: R875 per night for 2 guests (Forest Camp)
Book: admin@platbos.co.za


Platbos Forest Reserve | Gansbaai | @platbosforest | Image: Platbos Forest Reserve

GLAMP AT THE OLIFANT RIVER

Wolfkop Camping Villages are in the Cederberg on the banks of the Olifants River. There are two types of camps, a more simple camping option called Biesievlak, and a glamping option called Golden Valley. For activities there's guided hikes, canoeing, horse-riding, mountain-biking, wine and tea tastings and more.

Plus, 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 R262 to R525 per person sharing a tent
Book: Wolfkop website


Cederberg | @wolfkopcampingvillages | Image: Wolfkop Camping Villages

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 into the Breede River’s deep swimming areas or hop onto a canoe. There’s also hiking or birdwatching. Rivierplaas is a working farm, with campsites for tents, caravans, and motor-homes. It’s family-friendly, has braai areas, and hot-water showers. 

Good to know: The venue is pet-friendly at R150 per pet
Rates: From R380 per campsite (for 4 people), per night
Book: Rivierplaas Nightsbridge


Rivierplaas | Scherpenheuwel | Worcester | @rivierplaas | Image: Rivierplaas

EXPLORE A CAVE, LOUNGE IN A ROMAN BATH

You can take a scenic tractor or Jeep ride to the mountains and see the Montagu Guano Caves. There are various accommodation options, from campsites with electrical points to set up tented units, as well as furnished cottages. Visit the Roman bath, spa or beach pool. There’s also a super tube and kids can visit the animal world or go horse riding. 

Good to know: Day visitors are welcome from 8am - 5pm
Rates: From R125 per night
Book: bookings@rmgc.co.za


Montagu Guano Cave Resort | 5.8km outside Montagu, R62 | Facebook | Image: Guano Caves

CAMP ON A DECK IN KNYSNA FOREST

In the Knysna Forest you’ll find Diepwalle, where you can camp on a timber deck. The decks can accommodate a 3-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, mountain biking, bird watching, or have a picnic at one of the scenic viewpoints. 

Good to know: Explore the Garden Route’s beautiful beaches, lakes and mountains.
Rates: From R286 per night for 2 people; conservation fees are R47 pp, per night if you are South African and do not have a wild card.
Book: SAN Parks website


Diepwalle Forest | Knysna | @sanparks | Image: Garden Route National Park  

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