Our recent trip to ATKV Hartenbos found us at a campsite bursting at the tent seams with every type of caravan, motorhome, trailer and tent. There were literally no stands available, which is indicative of the way this resort is run and its wonderful seafront position. The resort started way back in 1936 as a part of the South African railways, and soon Hartenbos became one of the most popular venues on the Cape East Coast. With the influx of yearly holidaymakers, ground around the resort was sold off and over time, the town of Hartenbos developed.
With the development of the nearby seafront complex, ATKV Hartenbos probably offers more activities for holidaymakers and their children than any other similar resort in the country. It’s a large resort, probably one of the biggest in South Africa, and it’s brimming with family-friendly activities.
There are more than 570 caravan and camping sites in the resort, some close to the sea and others set further back, but all the sites are within easy walking distance of the beach.
There are 5 camping terrains namely C Block, D Block, E Block, F Block and J Block. The rondavels and chalets are also again divided into 5 camps namely Ivy’s Camp, Stasie Camp, Carney and Oranjehof Camp, Luxury and Driehoek Camp and Rivieroewer Camp.
Water: yes (shared)
I camped in the E Block at stand number 126 which was a hop and a skip from the beach. I had a Jurgens Classique caravan kindly loaned from Tuinroete Woonwaens and a Mitsubishi Triton double cab auto. The crashing waves make the perfect background noise for a good night’s sleep.
There are many trees offering the campers shade and the ablutions, particularly at peak times such as when I was there, are cleaned with regularity. The morning is filled with the chirps of resident bird life and the sounds of children riding their bicycles and enjoying the outdoors. Security is present and visible, making your stay that much safer.
The long sandy beaches nearby are safe for swimming, fishing and hiking. There is a paved, wheelchair-friendly boardwalk along the Hartenbos beach which is lit up at night for safety. If you enjoy walks on the beach, then this is the place to be. Other activities include an outdoor pool, an indoor heated pool, water park, water slides, adventure golf, play areas, trampolines, acrades, hiking trails and a museum.
The walkway takes you down to the Hartenbos Seafront Complex where you will find restaurants and shops of every shape and size. There’s something for everyone from tiny tots to teenagers, a fenced-in play area, adventure golf and a splash pad with water-related activities. No child will be bored with the extensive list of activities to keep them entertained. With the Takoda Spur just up the road, an ice cream parlour, pizza outlets and various other culinary lip-smacking venues, you’ll never go hungry.
If photography is your thing, then head on down to the Transnet Steam Train Refurbishment centre. There are some great photographic opportunities there. Just ask permission at the office, before you start snapping away.
While there’s plenty to do at ATKV Hartenbos and at the Seafront Complex, don’t forget about the surrounding towns and countryside. Heading up towards George is the small settlements of Klein Brak River, Groot Brak River and Herolds Bay. Head the other way and only 8 km away is the historic town of Mossel Bay. Further south and you’ll find Boggoms Bay, Vleesbaai and Gouritz River Mouth, all fascinating places to explore.
I really enjoyed my stay at ATKV Hartenbos, and I’d love to go back for a longer stay at this well-run resort with its many camping sites spread all over the town of Hartenbos. If you have kids, Hartenbos is a family-friendly affair.
If you would like to book your stay at ATKV Hartenbos, simply fill in the enquiry form below and they will contact you with regard to booking your favourite seafront site.