Travel: Bushveld Bustle

Words & Images Richard van Ryneveld

The bushveld is an addiction. I am an addict, and proud of it! So you can imagine my excitement when I got the opportunity to explore the caravan parks of Bela-Bela, Modimolle and surrounds, for eight whole days.

This area in the south of Limpopo has everything us campers and outdoor lovers could desire – many caravan parks to choose from, plus great activities ranging from elephant-back safari tours, to skydiving, hiking and horseback rides. And as a bonus I would be doing it in a Sensation Anee.

These luxurious top-of-the-range caravans are usually sold out before they roll out of the factory, but I had arranged to pick up a gleaming new double-wheeler at Riaan and Loretta van Helsdingen’s Sensation Caravan showroom and factory, just outside Meyerton.

The Sensation Anee is a big girl, just over eight metres long, so when I headed north along the R59 towards Johannesburg, I was a little nervous. But I had the perfect towing vehicle − a dark maroon Kia Grand Sedona.

By the time I hit the convoluted highways and byways of Joburg, the 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine with sixspeed automatic box had me sailing, and I was hardly aware that I was towing a caravan. Of the many combinations I have towed over the years, the Kia Sedona and Sensation is one of the smoothest and easiest.

It’s only some 2000-odd kilometres from Sensation’s headquarters up to Bela-Bela, where I checked into my first stop − Warmbaths, A Forever Resort. This well-known and extremely popular resort with its hot spring hydro is slapbang in the middle of the town of Bela-Bela (Warmbad, in days gone by.)

I was glad that I was able to book into the resort during the week, since the “bush telegraph” informed me that the park is jam-packed at weekends! Now I had nearly the whole resort to myself.

It’s not hard to see why Warmbaths is so popular – the resort is perfect for families with children, and the list of things to do is long. For the kids there are Go Karts, a fufi slide, mini quads, pedal boats, putt-putt, a river ride, speed slide, super slide, a play park and a baby pool.

For their folks and older kids, there is cable water-skiing, archery, tennis, volley ball and a squash court. Don’t forget the main attraction, The Hydro, with its pools, Jacuzzis and spa treatments.

If all the activities have you feeling peckish, there’s a Tacoma Spur right on the resort premises. Otherwise, go for a short drive and you’ll hit one of the 15-odd eateries in town before you manage to get into third gear. Restaurants like the Dros, Ocean Basket, Nando’s, Die Dekke, KhayaNoster and Toeka Se Dae are all within a 3km radius of the resort. Me, I wasn’t moving anywhere!

If you ever get the opportunity to camp in one of the Sensation range of caravans, I can guarantee that it will take a lot to get you away from home. I had spent three nights in the Anee when I did a review some time ago (Issue 649), but it’s a different feeling when you have towed the van quite a distance, unhitched it yourself, and set up camp.

The Sensation Anee is comfortable, spacious, and kitted out with everything that would make even the most discerning camper happy.

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