Camping: Retired and on the road

By Tokkie & Maureen Van Der Merwe

I would love to share our camping experience with readers of Caravan & Outdoor Life. We started camping on a semi-permanent basis in July 2016. Since this is winter in South Africa, and we come from Hendrina, Mpumahlanga, we decided to head north for a bit of warmth.

We started camping at Seekoeigat (on the N11) close to Groblersdal. This is a new hobby we recently started. We had beautiful sunny days at the campsite next to the Olifants River. There are four camping areas to choose from and we wanted to stay in the bush camp for the month of July. The peacefulness next to the river, and being silent when sitting reading or walking, was wonderful. We saw 45 species of birds.

The ablution block is something special: The showers are partly closed by wood and brick walls, basins are placed outside the showers and the toilets are built close by. I could shower every morning in the sunshine of Limpopo and be completely private due to the layout of the buildings.

The game camp has eland, kudu, black impala and impala, sable antelope, giraffe, springbok, rooihartebees, nyala and bosbok. You can arrange to stay in the game camp.

The owner is helpful and friendly, you can buy wood and ice on the premises, and everything is kept neat and clean.

At the end of July, we decided to stay another month. This was the first time we had camped for so long, and at the end of July moved to another campsite.

The first two months of our venture passed so peacefully, and was so different from daily household and work responsibilities. Then we ventured a bit further north. While camping near Groblersdal, we went to Modimolle to look at a camping area, as we’d decided not to plan ahead and preferred driving not more than four hours a day… This was the perfect area.

Camping Images

We booked at Modimolle Pleasure Resort (Temple) for the month of September 2016. It was a very dry year and this was evident in the area. But we cannot order the weather and decided (on this venture) to camp whether we encountered rain, hail snow, hot or dry weather.

We loved Modimolle, which has a cold and warm swimming pool, a games room with television, a small kiosk, neat ablutions and a laundromat.

We like exploring the area where we camp. We went to Mokopane (Potgietersrus), Vaalwater, Die Oog, and Mookgohong (Naboomspruit).

Modimolle Pleasure Resort had busy weekends with weekend visitors and day visitors and church camps, but it was not noisy or crowded. We actually liked the laughter and relaxed movement of grownups and children. During the week it was quiet, and management supplied us with an alarm and a two-way radio. We never used it, but we did appreciate the gesture. The managers are always available, and walk around visiting campers to assist where necessary.

When going on such a long camping expedition, you have to be prepared for whatever comes your way, and not expect everything always to fall in place. Before we left, our friend Hendrina checked the wheel bearings on our caravan and serviced them, which we appreciated very much. The day before we left Seekoeigat, Tokkie checked the caravan wheels for any play and discovered that there was a problem. We drove very slowly to Groblersdal and had both wheel bearings replaced after discovering that the one wheel had lost grease. Luckily, no damage was caused.

Travelling with two cars is not really a big problem; we drive both cars once a month when travelling from park to park. Our whole rig fits on a 10m x 10m stand because our caravan is the bedroom and the trailer carries our kitchen and laundry stuff. We won’t always camp this way; it depends on the time away from home. The extra awning and tent come in handy; I use the tent as a store and washing area or for anything that might be lying around.

Our TV Dish is placed on a garden fork, and it is wonderful how many other campers in a park will give you a hand so you that can have reception! Thanks, all you guys!

We have been camping for seven months. This is not the end. We are currently moving to Pretoria, and as soon as we are settled, will be camping again. Campers, enjoy South Africa, it is beautiful.

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