Bush Lapa relaunched their little Geitjie off-road caravan earlier this year after an almost seven year break.
The new variant comes with a host of upgrades and improvements, providing ample sleeping space inside, a characteristic Bush Lapa exterior kitchen, off-road capabilities, and easy set-up.
Bush Lapa promotes this “tiny but tough” caravan as “ideal for the light traveller or adventurous couple”. That said, earlier this year at the Caravan, Camp & Destination Show, Bush Lapa told me that much interest in the Geitjie comes from older campers who are looking for a caravan to use on weekend getaways.
I picked up the Geitjie at Bush Lapa’s showroom outside Paarl, and took the little off-road caravan out for a day behind a new Renault Duster 4×4.
The Geitjie I reviewed is the Arctic Edition – the range features purely cosmetic changes with the white exterior and black decals, and grey canvas throughout the caravan instead of the standard khaki.
Setting up the little two-sleeper takes just a few minutes. After putting down the corner steadies, you unlatch the roof (two clips on the front and two at the back) and lift it on the unique lever system with gas struts.
The original Geitjie had a hinged roof, but the new version lifts the entire roof, creating much more space inside.
The roof opens to 2,55 m high, so if you want the Bush Wing awning (optional extra) set up as well, you have to do this while the roof is still closed.
Anyone who has ever seen or experienced the Bush Wing, will know how easy it is to set up. Unzip the storage bag, fold it open, put down the fold-out poles, and you’re done.
Once the awning is open, you can lift the roof. This is preferably a two-person job, as the roof lifts best if you can raise it level on all sides at the same time.
At the front, the Geitjie comes with a high-quality Burquip hitch. There is no nose storage area, with the spare wheel and gas bottle fixed on the front of the caravan.
Moving around to the passenger side, you’ll find the outside kitchen. Originally, the Geitjie did not have on exterior kitchen, only a washbasin and gas stove inside.
The new model has a great kitchen, similar to what you’ll find on all the Bush Lapa models.
The kitchen consists of a two hatches: the first (closest to the front) is for your slide-out fridge/freezer, two-plate gas stove, and a couple of drawers (optional extras).
The second hatch (above wheel) is a fold-down work surface, behind which you’ll find a few cupboards. There is enough space for a microwave.
Entrance to the Geitjie is at the back of the caravan – fold down the two-step ‘ladder’ that is permanently attached to the caravan, open the back door and unzip the canvas entrance.
The Bush Wing awning stretches 270 degrees and also covers the back of the little caravan, so you will have shade and rain cover from the kitchen to the entrance.
Moving around to the driver side of the Geitjie, you find a hatch at the front near the nose that provides some storage space (this area is at the back of the slide-out fridge), and a plug point – for if you are in a resort with electricity.
The caravan comes with a solid beam axle with leaf springs which are rated 1 200 kg, but it’s unbraked, so the GVM is registered at 750 kg. Buyers have the option to upgrade the Geitjie to a braked unit with a GVM of 1 200 kg.
The body and chassis of the Geitjie is stainless steel and comes with a one-year warranty.
Tare: 410 kg
GVM: 750 kg / 1 200 kg
Length: 3 895 mm
Width: 1 930 mm
Height: 2 550 mm (roof open)
Ground clearance: 300 mm (axle)
Price: From R123 000
There’s no denying that the exterior kitchen and pop-up roof are great improvements from the first generation of the Geitjie, and the same can be said for the interior.
This little off-road adventure caravan initially had cupboards along the left of the interior, a dinette in the front that converted to a double bed and, as mentioned, had a washbasin and gas stove inside on the right.
The new version is still a two-sleeper, but the bed is permanently set up. The basin and stove has been moved outside, which creates space for cupboards (behind canvas doors) on the left, right and in front under the bed (as you step in from the back).
Thanks to the lift height of the roof, there is more than enough headroom to stand up straight in the small area at the foot of the bed.
Windows on the left, right and front wall can be zipped completely open, and you can keep up the mosquito net or close it completely with the canvas flaps.
The windows are large, almost the full size of the walls. I can only imagine taking lazy midday naps, the breeze blowing through the caravan, all alone in the bush. You’ll really feel close to nature.
Electrical System (220 V & 12 V) with 1 x deep cycle battery
140 W solar panel
Inside floor carpet
Extra LED lights
Crockery set in foam holder
Wash basin with frame
Kitchen drawer system (with gas burner)
100-litre water tank
6 litre/min geyser
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By Francois Huysamen