Having read about Sunset Mountain, I did some more research – and found that no children under 18 were allowed, and no pets; that there were only six stands, that one had one’s own tented bathroom on the campsite, and that it was only eight km from Warmbaths.
It sounded exactly what we were looking for: one long weekend to recharge before we headed downhill to Christmas. So, I applied for leave for Monday, 8 August, knowing that the 9th was a public holiday.
Johan, the owner of Sunset Mountain, confirmed the booking and informed us that we might be the only persons at the campsite. Never had I experienced a situation where we’d been the only two visitors there.
When we were close to the campsite, we passed a number of caravans on the road to Bella Bella, a.k.a. Warm Baths, and some serious questions started popping up as to why we would be the only people at our choice of destination. But these doubts were soon stilled…
The instructions and directions to Sunset Mountain were clear, and I just had to remember to send an SMS when I went through Bela Bela, as network coverage in the camp was not good. We did this, and eight km later, thanks to spot-on directions, we arrived at a gate. As we approached, it was opened by remote control. A friendly wave from the main house indicated that we could proceed straight to the campsite.
Johan met us at the flat open area which is just before the various elevated campsites that are built on terraces at the foot of the mountain.
Firm handshake and greetings out of the way, we were offered our choice of two sites, and we opted for the higher one as the view of the mountain was amazing.
Johan happily assisted us in setting up our camp, and then left us on our own – to peace and absolute bushveld bliss. The stand was level, had green grass, and the trees had been left untouched, creating a nice canopy above our Jurgens Camplite trailer.
It’s only when you pause and stand still, looking at the surroundings, that you really appreciate the fact that you are alone, at last. The website was not wrong when it promised “…an exclusive small caravan park with only six stands on the foot of a mountain just 8km out of Bela Bela.”
And did I mention all the new developments? The bathroom is brick and mortar inside a dome tent, and contains a proper flush toilet, a perfect basin and a standard-sized bathtub. All taps are copper with copper tubing and finished off to the last detail; these details include a hand soap-dispenser and hand towel.
The shower has bricks to hip height, and finished off with wooden poles – it creates a real born-free feeling when one is taking an early morning shower. A hotwater tap and expanded metal shelves are just on the other side of the shower next to the gas geyser, so one can do the dishes with ease. There is an electricity point and a tap available on each stand.
We soon had a fire crackling in the brick braai that seemed fairly new, and I must comment on the stainless-steel braai grid provided: top notch, I say!
The weather treated us well and allowed us to sit under the stars till late. A bush baby came around to admire our Camplite and hopped away in the canopy above. A nice, quite evening provided a well-deserved rest, and we fell asleep to the sounds of only the nightlife in the bush.
A whistling kettle sounds so sweet in the morning, and it’s almost like it’s calling you closer for that first cup of the day. My birthday was on the 1st, our wedding anniversary on the 5th and my lovely wife’s birthday on the 8th , and we could not have asked for anything more relaxing than this – cup in hand, no person in sight, and only the buck patrolling along a fence nearby.
Johan popped in at about 08h00 to check that is everything was okay, then swept the ash from the braai, and off he went – after reminding us that should we need anything, he was at the main house and just an SMS away.
Four days of absolute bliss, cut off from the normal world and the rat race. Unreal. And, yes, we will return.
Johan mentioned that a splash pool would be dug soon to cool one down in the summer; I will enjoy that with a drink in hand.
Sunset Mountain is on my list of “do it again”, and (as much as I would like to keep it to myself), I guess it is only fair to share – and give credit to a really nice camping- and caravan site.
If you are looking for a weekend away for the grown-ups only, that weekend in which you long to finish the book on the coffee table that is haunting you, or if you simply need a place to really recharge, Sunset Mountain is calling.
The town of Bela Bela is only 8km away, but don’t neglect the little “watering” points along the route: they do sell nice curios for mother, ouma and mother-in-law.
Number of stands: 6, grassed and shaded
Electricity: Power point at each stand (blue 10A)
Water: Bathroom at each stand
Braai: Private brick braai at each stand
Tariffs (for 3 people):
Out of season
Each extra person: R80
Pensioners: Enquire about a discount
Group booking: Special rates
GPS: -24.843890, 28.357909