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Exploring Hidden Gems – Groot Vadersbosch and Beyond


We have recently returned from an unforgettable midweek getaway, where we ventured into three previously unexplored destinations. Our journey began with four days at Groot Vadersbosch near Heidelberg, followed by two days at Bontebok National Park in Swellendam and an additional two days at Doringlaagte near Montagu.

To say that we had an extraordinary experience would be an understatement. Let us start by recounting our visit to Groot Vadersbosch. The destination maintains stunning views and keeps its roads in impeccable condition. Our reliable Ford 4×4 XLT, towing a teardrop camper, effortlessly navigated these roads.

From the moment we arrived, the welcoming staff and the exceptional campsites delighted us. The ablution facilities were immaculately clean, and the swimming pool boasted crystal-clear waters. A wooden deck, adorned with bright red pool loungers, provided a fantastic outlook to take in the views of the treetops and the majestic Langkloof Mountains. The sunrises and sunsets engaged in a friendly competition for our admiration, making it difficult to declare a clear winner.

The glamping sites here are generously proportioned and well equipped with all the amenities you might need. As passionate campers, we were more than content with our site, which featured a delightful sheltered braai area and a conveniently located water tap. The inclusion of refuse bins and strategically placed shrubs not only enhanced practicality but also provided protection from the wind. As avid birders, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring the bird hides and embarking on the somewhat lengthy but incredibly rewarding hiking trails through the indigenous forest.

While the presence of baboons can sometimes pose a challenge, we were fortunate to observe them without any incidents of raiding at our camp. During our stay, we were thrilled to add 15 new bird species to our list, with the colourful Bush shrikes being a particular highlight. The resident Cape Robins, Olive Woodpeckers, and Southern Boubous served as charming daily companions during our campsite explorations.

Although our visit in August treated us to stunning natural beauty, the nights did get quite chilly. Fortunately, the warmth of our camper provided the comfort we needed. What was initially planned as a three-night stay, taking advantage of a midweek break offering a two-night deal, turned into an extended adventure, as we could not resist staying one more night.

Groot Vadersbosch undoubtedly makes us want to return, preferably during the summer months. Our exploration of its natural wonders left an indelible mark on our hearts, and we eagerly look forward to our next visit.

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