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Browsing: Northern Cape

Words & pictures by Richard van Ryneveld The sun’s rays were just peeping over the mountains to the east of the Buffelspoort Holiday Resort. Those had to be the Magaliesberg mountains, I realised. I was wandering around the caravan park with my camera, trying to get my bearings, as I’d arrived in the dark the night before. Pitching up in darkness can mean either a pleasant surprise or a total disaster in the morning. In the case of Buffelspoort, it proved to be a great venue from the start. It was even better when I got chatting to a gentleman…

The Sterland Caravan Park, on the right hand side as you enter the small town of Sutherland, is one of my favourite campsites in the Karoo. I say this for a number of reasons. Firstly the owners Jurg and Rita Wagener, who in their words “farm with stars”, make you welcome from the moment you arrive at the small, well-run campsite. Entering the property you get the first intimation of what the Sterland experience is all about. What are those five strange white doodads on your right? It looks like a tribe of R2-D2 robots. Then the penny drops: they’re…

There are very few places in the world where you can breathe almost pure ozone and feel as free, safe and secure in your solitude as you do at Kwass se Baai. ESSENTIAL INFO Number of stands: 4 Electricity: No Water: No Ablutions: Shared enviro-loos only Braai facilities: Fire-pit, but bring your own grid Pets allowed: No Security: Not as such, but rangers do patrol daily Tariffs: Rates: R145 p.p.p.n plus conservation fee of R 40 p.p.p.d. Shop: The Groenriviermond office sells wood and water. One of nine basic coastal campsites between Groenriviersmond and the Spoegrivier Estuary in the Namaqua National…

If you’re a landscape photographer, astral photographer, 4×4 enthusiast, or just someone who wants to chill out, relax and listen to your microbes singing in the clear Roggeveld air, then the campsite under the canopy of poplar trees at Skurweberg Guest Farm is the right place. Owned by Witjan and Elsa van der Merwe, Skurweberg Guest Farm is situated in a long valley some 45 kilometres from the town of Sutherland, with the campsite right on the banks of the upper Fish River. Skurweberg is simple, but well maintained, with a central electrical point and a neat ablution block with…

Having just travelled nearly 500 km — over 200 km of which was on exacting dirt tracks — I was very relieved when I finally arrived at Daberas Guest Farm. The peaceful setting among moonscape rocks, as well as its neat and well planned layout, appealed to my default camping requirement for comfort and order.My travelling partner, David Lowe and I had spent the previous two evenings camping at Kwass se Baai in the Namaqua National Park. The contrast between the seaside venue we’d left earlier in the day, to this gemstone and mineral rich region on the western border of…

The Karoo and the Gariep River region of the Northern Cape are also mind-expanding wildernesses, but the miracle of red desert sands supporting park-like trees, long waving grasses and wild animals of all kinds, makes it my favourite.

When I switched my cell-phone on at our provisioning stop in Springbok, I noticed that I had three missed calls from the same number. I didn’t think much of it until the same number appeared on my phone’s screen half-an-hour later. It was the ranger from the Groenriviersmond office of the Namaqua National Park wanting to know when we’d be there to check-in, or if we’d prefer to postpone the formalities until the morning. This caring and non-officious attitude set the tone for a most relaxing and peaceful stay at this one-of-a-kind, sedan-car-accessible site on the pristine West Coast. True…

To drive through the Karoo is to taste freedom; there is no traffic or other source of irritation, and there are clear skies and open gravel roads. We travelled many miles of the latter, which filled our trailer and its contents with a fine grey dust. Story and images by Lila van der Merwe We came from Douglas, drove through Prieska and stopped in Carnarvon, where we enjoyed a cup of coffee at The Lemon Tree coffee shop. I had searched for Sutherland accommodation on the internet and found about 12 venues to choose from. This seems like a lot,…

I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical about visiting Douglas at first. I imagined us sitting somewhere between nothing and nowhere – bored to death. My prediction seemed accurate, en route, as we drove through a virtual desert for hours; everything as dry as a bone. One thing I had to look forward to, was our first stop at Wolmaransstad to buy the most delicious biltong in the world. We’d finished it even before we reached the next town. My husband and I will happily eat biltong from The Biltong Den every day. He’d warned me that…

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