I was on my way to Jackal Creek some four kilometres from the coffee shop on the R364 to Clanwilliam. Jackals Creek is another of those wonderful conglomerations only the West Coast could produce. Firstly, the oversized, big white rondawel is a pub, art gallery, wedding venue, restaurant, or just the home of local character Curnall. Writing a note, I asked Curnall what his surname was. His immediate answer was, “Moneyflower”. Looking a bit puzzled, he gave me what I was to learn was one of his signature laughs, “No man it’s, Gelderbloem.” I liked him from the start. Jackal Creek, has many faces; it is also home of the Xamarin Golf Course and it has a really great campsite alongside the Jakkals River.
The art exhibition curated by Curnall’s lifelong friend Billa Engelbrecht once again showed immense talent out here in the Sandveld. I couldn’t believe how many artists with work ranging from paintings and sculpture, to Curnall’s own woodwork pieces were on display. While admiring the woodwork pieces, I booked into Jackal’s Creek for two nights of camping.
On Curnall’s urging, I took a short drive down to the campsite alongside the small Jakkals Rivier. I chose a brilliant spot right next to a weathered sandstone boulder outcrop. I could easily have been camping somewhere in the Cederberg. The small ablution built into the outcrop opposite my campsite would have suited the Flintstones. My campsite was set on well-watered grass and had the wind come up, which it didn’t, my small rock protected amphitheatre would have been even better. The water was piping hot in the showers. I discovered the high iron content in the water from the Jakkals Rivier, causes the reddish-brown stains on the rocks of the shower wall. I really enjoyed the absolute peace and quiet of my sandstone protected campsite.
I did speak to Corli Calitz and Sonette Basson from Somerset West who had their rooftop tented SWB Pajero parked under a large overhang. The two ladies, who were also at Jackal’s Creek to play a round of golf, said “We love this campsite … but since our last visit, it’s looking a bit tatty.” I spoke to Curnall about this. He explained, “I’m really sorry to hear that … but I only do the bookings for the campsite. My business is the pub, restaurant, and art gallery at the entrance gate. Perhaps you need to speak to Dr. John Hayes who owns the campsite?” I did speak to Dr. Hayes, but he was overseas at the time of my call. As it was my first time I still think that Jackal’s Creek is a wonderful place to base yourself while exploring the Lambert’s Bay area.
Into Africa or Jackal Creek Campsite
Maybe because it’s so peaceful and quiet down on the edge of the Jakkals Rivier there is a bit of confusion about this campsite. The campsite belongs to Dr. John Hayes, a local doctor in Lambert’s Bay. Apparently Dr. Hayes calls the campsite ‘Into Africa’. But you won’t go wrong if you look for the big Jackal Creek gates and building alongside the R364 road from Lambert’s Bay to Clanwilliam. There are a whole lot of campsites in the marvellous sandstone rock outcrops, reminiscent of the Cederberg. All the stands are electrified with a designated braai. The one particular site is under a large sandstone overhang. I loved this campsite, with the sheep grazing nearby. On the far side of the campsite is the small Kookfontein Vineyard. I bought a bottle of their award-winning Kookfontein Sauvignon Blanc. It is superb. I also enjoyed popping in at Curnall ‘Moneyflower’, sorry I mean Curnall Gelderbloem’s little pub. He is a great musician, and oftentimes you will find him behind the mic in the pub in full song. He also makes great pub grub, and is apparently famous for his braais and spitbraais. I phoned him ahead of time and had a fine hamburger waiting for me with my beer. It’s quite a good idea if you’re coming from Clanwilliam to give him a shout ahead of time. There’s a host of great artists on the West Coast and I would highly recommend viewing their work.
The man to contact is artist Billa Engelbrecht on 072 3487028. Give Billa a ring with a brief outline of what you like and being a good Weskus Klong he’ll probably go along with you.
Dr. John Hayes:
083 250 4706 or alternatively
076 311 2204