Just imagine a child growing up without ever having left suburbia! Imagine having never seen and experienced the Garden Route, the Drakensberg, the Kruger National Park or the Richtersveld. Imagine not having learned how to make a braai fire, go fishing, or run barefoot on the beach!
Modern children are captured by technology and need a balance in life. Nature’s creepy-crawlies can be fascinating, and an outdoor lifestyle can encourage children to consider careers in travel, bio-diversity and engineering – all interests and talents nurtured by the outdoors.
A caravan is the ideal means for a family to rediscover Southern Africa and to get back to basics.
The plus is that owning a caravan is relatively cheap. Look after it well, and it will retain much of its value. So, you will get your money back, as opposed to renting holiday accommodation which offers zero financial return when you hand in the room keys at reception!
Live in a flat? Find it noisy on weekends? Go live life in the outdoors, because you only live once and you need to enjoy it! You deserve a break where you don’t have to dress for supper, or spend a fortune eating out at restaurants.
You see, with a caravan, you have the freedom to mix it up… to take the road less travelled… to seek out your own adventure. You are the king or queen of your infinite universe, and have the freedom of owning your very own transportable accommodation. Head out and discover it!
(1) IT’S AFFORDABLE
For an investment much smaller than buying a property, you can have a holiday home wherever you go. You’ll experience new and exciting destinations every time you’re away, instead of seeing the same old view all the time.
There is much less upkeep on a caravan than in the general maintenance of a house. Who wants to spend holidays fixing gutters and repairing leaky taps? With a well-kitted caravan, all you have to do is hitch up and go!
And, of course, there are no rates and taxes.
Caravan-park rates are also lower than those of hotels and guest houses. Plus, since the caravan is yours, you get to sleep in your own comfortable bed, under your own bedding.
(2) IT’S CLOSE TO NATURE
Listen to rainfall pitter-patter on a caravan roof, wake up to birdsong, watch spectacular sunsets, and gaze at the stars at night.
One of the greatest things about caravanning is that you will spend most of your time outdoors.
Playing hide-and-seek, cricket, touch rugby, volleyball or swingball will be a daily feature. Beautiful scenic walks will allow you to appreciate the wonderful clean air filled with the scents and aromas of the outdoors. And don’t forget to take along the bicycles!
(3) IT’S EXCELLENT COMPANY
Caravanners and campers are generally friendly and sociable. The lifestyle attracts mostly sociable and helpful people who are like-minded in their pursuit of nature and the outdoors.
When you pitch your caravan at a campsite, you become part of a community who generally like to make new friends, are generous, and eager to assist where and when they can.
There are uncountable stories of campers who have made new friends while on their travels… have you ever heard such a story from someone staying in a hotel?
The essence of caravanning always remains: finding excellent company and good times spent chatting around the braai fire any time you like, but also enjoying the peace and quiet from the comfort of your camping chair when you so desire.
(4) IT’S FREEDOM
Call it whatever you like – spontaneity, freedom, or independence. What’s most important, however, is that you can hitch up and head out at any time you choose. You are not dependent on hotel reservations or the rigid tour programs of traditional holidays.
Caravanning is perfect for independent people; for the restless spirits who value freedom and the outdoors over everything sedentary. Caravanning holidays are also very flexible. You are in charge of your destination, and your home-on-wheels provides the ultimate in freedom.
(5) IT’S ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Take a look around you in the city… see all those buildings? That used to be unspoilt nature. Now take a look at your caravan park. Trees, grass, maybe a few farm animals, or some wild animals on the other side of the fence. Welcome to nature!
Many caravan parks are also going greener, and adopting recycling programs. And it’s not just the parks! Caravanners know how to reduce waste and clean up after themselves, and to use water and electricity sparingly. Solar power has also become more and more common on caravans.
Sure, towing a caravan does mean some carbon dioxide emission, but much less than that of an airplane!
(6) IT’S DISCOVERING NEW PLACES
Caravanning is a wonderful way to discover more of South Africa and our continent. Whether you like seaside views, thick forests, mountain vistas or scenic spots next to gurgling rivers, these are all par for the course when you are travelling with a caravan in tow.
Having a caravan gives you the freedom to explore new places with relative ease, and you always have your accommodation with you!
There are over a thousand caravan resorts in Southern Africa; so many that you could never stay in them all, but they are there, waiting for you to visit.
(7) IT’S CUSTOMISABLE
Most caravans can be customised to suit your individual taste and needs. Manufacturers offer various layouts from which to choose, offering buyers the opportunity to “build” their very own designs according to their travelling needs.
The ample storage, and accessories such as gas cookers, microwave ovens, air conditioners, fridges − and numerous others, form part of the wonderful caravan lifestyle, all designed to make your holiday one to remember.
Add in hot showers, facilities, comfortable beds, and nature literally on your doorstep and you’ll be in seventh holiday-heaven.
You’ll never have to pass through a check-in counter where they tell you your bags are overweight.
(8) IT’S FAMILY FRIENDLY
Caravans are family affairs. Pile the whole family into the tow car and head for the hills. A couple of pairs of shorts, T-shirts and slip-slops, and you’re set for a fun time. If the kids get too much, take your spouse and head off: Aunty Betty would be thrilled to have them for a few days. Your wife would certainly welcome a candle-lit dinner under the stars on a warm summer’s evening.
There’s also the option of taking your furry four-legged best friend along, even if he does try and steal your braai meat and sometimes knock over your condensed milk coffee with his wagging tail.
(9) IT’S IDEAL FOR RETIREMENT
Retiring with a caravan is like being on a permanent holiday, but with the added benefit of not having to stay in the same place day after day, year after year.
You can become a “Swallow”. Being retired and living on the road means that you can travel around the country as the seasons change, always staying where the weather is best.
Most resorts have special rates for pensioners and long-stay caravanners, which means that you have accommodation, water, electricity and all the other amenities for as little as R1 500 per month… and you don’t even have to mow the lawn!