Riverside is indeed at the riverside! The caravan and camping stands on the lower terrace of the resort are just 20 metres from the shore of the Kleinbrak River, and the upper terrace about 50 metres away.
There is total peace and tranquillity, with the wind sighing in the trees, and the distant sound of surf breaking on the shore mingling with the calls of Osprey, Marshall and Fish Eagles.
Riverside is very central for touring the Garden Route from Knysna, Sedgefield, George, and Mossel Bay to Oudtshoorn. There is also a horse-riding farm and Botlierskop Game Farm 5 km up the road.
Imagine waking up at sunrise, taking your fishing rod, strolling a few metres and casting into a tranquil river, before maybe bringing back a grunter or cob for the braai coals. Fishing is a popular pastime for the campers at Riverside – good-sized cob, grunter and leerfish have been caught here regularly, as well as giant river crabs which are a good substitute for crayfish.
I had to be happy with barbel, an unattractive yet edible fish. Provision is made for day campers in the form of 30 shaded braai areas, with taps, on the lower terrace. This terrace doubles as a camping site, but there is no 220V on these sites.
For entertainment, there is a wellkept tennis court, a rather tricky 9-hole putt-putt course (R5 per game), and two trampolines.
In two alcoves next to the restaurant, there is DStv (Super Sport), a dart board, a pool table (R5 per game) and a tabletennis table. The cues, bats, clubs and balls can be obtained from the office for a small deposit, or you can bring your own. For the children, there is a jungle gym, a small kiddies’ pool and a large pool for adults.
Laundry facilities consist of ironing boards, wash lines, and a coin-operated washing machine and tumble drier, which is very handy for long-term campers.
The ablutions are modern and very clean, with lots of hot water and enough baths, showers and toilets to service the campers. There is also a chemical toilet disposal facility, and free toilet paper − a nice bonus! I always forget mine and have to do a desperate double-dash where it is not supplied.
All the sites are level, grassed and shaded, with shared dirt bins and taps. The upper terrace has 40 sites with 220V. The lower terrace has 30 sites without 220V.
Most sites have a river view. There are large male and female ablution blocks which are quite central, so no long walks needed. They are not too crowded in season, either!
There are also five 2-bedroom chalets, fully equipped; one chalet has a river view. There is also a dormitory with 48 beds for children’s sport functions in the area, for which meals can be provided on request.
The resort is well established and has been run for the past 30 years by the owners, Anton and Cindy Lingenfelder; Erica Pienaar has been running the office and reception for 13 years. The staff are friendly and efficient, and try to make your stay pleasant.
There is a boat-launching site (free) on the premises, but only motors less than 30HP are allowed. There is a special facility to clean your catch at the slipway.
The river is navigable right down to the mouth, about 4kms away, which makes for great fishing and family fun. If you have a small boat or kayak, bring it along!
During peak seasons, Riverside hums with activity. Management organises fishing, potjiekos- and pool competitions, with super prizes up for grabs! The undercover braai area with tables and seating comes in handy for these functions. A sunset cruise is also provided in season.
Erica at reception runs a small tuck shop, where ice creams, sodas, sweets and chips are on sale all year round. The premises are licensed, which is great when the restaurant is open in season.
For those who have run out of milk, bread, etc, the nearest small spaza shop is at Munros at Kleinbrak, 5km away; and 2km further is a Pick ’n Pay. Those wanting to venture further can go 10km to Groot Brak, that has a Spar and a lovely pub called De Dekke for pizzas, meals and dancing to live bands at weekends.
At Riverside, light- and noise pollution is minimal as no main roads run close, and star-gazing is ideal. At night, when the south wind blows, you can hear the roar of the ocean.
During the day, you can hear roosters crowing and cattle lowing on the surrounding farmlands. We had a two cute resident bunnies hopping into our rally tent, begging on their back paws, for bread and biscuits!
The rates are very reasonable, you get value for your money, and young children have enough to keep them occupied during the day − a real haven all year round.
Thanks to great management, Riverside has turned into a Garden Route gem for the serious camper, and will be for years.
You will be back for more, once you have been to Riverside!
Number of stands: 70
Electricity: 40 with 220V; 30 without
Laundry facilities: Yes
Pets: By prior arrangement
Restaurant (licensed, in season)