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Resort Review: Diamanté, Gauteng

55318
VIEWS

Driving up to Diamanté Caravan Park, situated in the bushveld to the east of Pretoria, you are immediately aware of the amount of game in the fenced veld surrounding the establishment.

Words & Images Richard van Ryneveld

Approaching the camp, I saw a large herd of bontebok and a couple of nyalas. Inside there’s a melange of wildlife and farm animals all living in harmony.

Shortly after parking my brand new Hyundai Tucson and setting up my little XCamper, a friendly ostrich pair strolled over to see what this white “space-age bubble” was about. In the background, a bunch of sheep chilled out under the surrounding shady bushveld trees.

I quickly got out my braai pap to feed some hens and a cocky little rooster. A pair of turkeys added the bass notes to the bushveld chorus of some arrow-marked babblers and the ubiquitous grey loeries.

My day was made when Alet Gomes, who runs the accommodation side of things, said: ‘Make sure you are here at four o’clock… when we feed the sheep; we have lots of nyala and a bushbuck or two that come to join the feast.’

And, with a smile, she adds: ‘See that big skaap… he was hand reared… if you get too close to him he is likely to try to butt you!’

Alet also told me that keen birders had recorded more than 200 species of birds in the area. As an old plaas-seun, I was really feeling at home.

Activities

  • Game watching
  • Bird watching
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding in nearby Cullinan

Diamanté is a malaria-free camping destination only 8km from the town of Rayton, and just 10km from the town of Cullinan, so you don’t have to worry about supplies. Rayton has a large Pick n Pay, a petrol station, a hardware shop, Pep stores, a hardware store and a great butchery with lekker biltong. Just across the road is a small coffee shop.

I also love the historical town of Cullinan. Home of the famous Cullinan diamond, the town is worth a visit. I highly recommend a mine tour, either underground or above ground. A stroll down Oak Avenue with its row of corrugated iron that once housed the mine official of yesteryear is really worthwhile. These old homesteads are now mostly interesting shops reflecting the spirit of yesteryear.

But, back to Diamanté… I got chatting to Murt Grobler, the gentleman in charge of keeping the grounds and recreational facilities up to scratch. He was busy draining and refilling the larger of the two swimming pools. Apparently the caravan park, previously known as Bosrand, has always been popular.

Facilities

  • Swimming pool
  • Slide
  • Games room
  • Playground
  • Trampoline
  • Tuck shop
  • Picnic stands

Diamanté has some 65 stands, and four ablution blocks to service all these stands. There are basically three levels at the camp: there is the largest area at the foot of the ridge, where I camped. In this large area, shaded by bushveld trees, are the tuckshop and recreation area. In season the tuckshop supplies the basics like ice, ice-cream, firewood, firelighters, tinned food, etc.

The recreation area consists of a large waterslide, two swimming pools, a table tennis table and a pool table. There’s also a farmhouse called The Opstal, that can comfortably accommodate 10 people. And, finally, there is The Parkhome that can accommodate 10 people.

The caravan park continues up the bosveld ridge to two more caravan and camping areas. Each area has a large neat ablution block with scullery facilities on either side of the blocks.

Each stand is electrified with braai facilities, although I did notice that some of the stands are quite a distance from these points, so that packing a reasonably long extension would be worth your while.

The caravan park is very secure. It’s surrounded by an electric fence; and, for gate access, one has to phone Alet. Once Alet has your cell number, a missed call will get you entry.

Lastly, note that the park is open to day visitors – there are small grass-roofed lapas around the swimming pool that can be rented.

Essential Info

  • Number of stands: 65 (most are grassed and shaded)
  • Electricity: Normal 3-point plug
  • Water: Shared taps close to stands
  • Braai facilities: Yes
  • Ablutions: 4 blocks
  • Rates: R90 per person

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