Archive | March 2011

Twee Rivieren, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape

Place: Twee Rivieren Camp, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape

Closest Town: Upington (339km)
Facilities: Excellent- SANParks at their best (suspect wine in the shop though)
Water: None, just the stuff that comes out the tap
Surroundings: Northern Cape Bushveld. The park fence
Turf: Scattered shade, thorny, gravelly, not always flat
Distance from CT: Roughly 1100km
Privacy: Not much, but the camp is fairly small
Highlight: The Park, The Pool
Cost: March 2011- (see for updated fees)

Twee Rivieren Campsite
Driving north through Kgalagadi
On the SA-Botswana border

SANParks just works. You expect what you get and what you get is pretty decent. Their shops have that nostalgic Kruger smell, are super well stocked (including patch kits for those who insist on taking their blow-up mattresses to thorny bushveld), everything works and is clean and decent.
In my opinion, this camp in particular is at a slight disadvantage. It’s just outside the park, so you feel a little excluded and on the fringe of what you really travel there for. Shade is a commodity and the ground is pretty rough. However, you don’t travel to the north of South Africa and expect green pastures, willow trees and trickling brooks. If you do, I suspect you’ll be sorely disappointed.
The actual park experience was also slightly compromised by the closure of one of the two roads that takes you up north through the park, so every game drive started off with the same 20- 30 minute meander that’s isn’t exactly ideal for game viewing.
Nevertheless, I’d go back, but would book well in advance so a spot at one of the other campsites (Nossob or Mata Mata) is guaranteed. 

Klein Kliphuis, Pakhuis Pass, Cederberg

Place: Klein Kliphuis, Pakhuis Pass, Cederberg, Western Cape

Closest Town: Clanwilliam (13km)
Facilities: Nice ablutions but in a slightly odd, unused and collapsed structure, braai areas
Water: Nope
Surroundings: Rugged Cederberg
Turf: Shady, soft, green grass
Distance from CT: 240km
Privacy: Good…but purely because we were the only folk there
Highlight: Convenience
Cost: R30 pppn
Contact: Joan 0274822564

Admittedly, we didn’t stop here to admire the scenery or explore the terrain of the farm or Pakhuis Pass, it was purely chosen as the most convenient, non-commercial stopover. It isn’t well advertised or something I’ve heard anyone mention or recommend, so a little jolt in my memory from having passed it before was quite lucky.
I doubt that too many people stay here. It’s situated a few km into the Pakhuis Pass from Clanwilliam– a location slightly far, awkward and lacking for the avid (and average, for that matter) Cederberg weekend traveller. But, the convenience of a campsite very close to Clanwilliam that isn’t part of that disastrous dam “resort” made it worthwhile, as did the fact that the four available sites were empty, except for us. Camping is dirt cheap, the owners very accommodating and the location functions as a perfect stopover on a Friday night for adventures further inland.
Unfortunately, I have no pics since we arrived late and left early. 

Tweede Tol, Bainskloof, Western Cape

Place: Tweede Tol, Bainskloof, Western Cape

Closest Town: Wellington (15km)
Facilities: Good ablutions, kids area,  picnic and braai facilties
Water: On the corner of Witte and Wolwekloof rivers
Surroundings: Limietberg
Turf: Shady, grassy
Distance from CT: 94km
Privacy: Slightly squished- limited campsites, but crammed into a fairly small area
Highlight: 8km Rockhopper trail, Waterfalls on the Wolwekloof river
Cost: R175 per campsite per night (regular weekends)
Contact: Cape Nature
GPS Coordinates: -33.569710, 19.138280

Rockhopper Trail, Witte River
Wolwekloof River, Bainskloof

Despite experiencing Tweede Tol in December (twice) in what felt like 2 day, inland hurricanes, Tweede Tol has a lot going for it. It sits comfortably next to the Witte and Wolwekloof rivers, with most campsites along the latter. Spots are mostly shady and every effort is made to keep the grass growing and green.
Walks and hikes in the area are rewarding, especially if you’re looking for satisfying day hikes, the rock pools are beautiful and the area is conveniently close to Cape Town.
But what comes with some natural charm coupled with regular weekend accessibility, is a spot that gets booked up quickly and that’s usually pretty full and subsequently quite claustrophobic. The campsites are pretty compact, so you’re bound to hear your neighbour’s late night pillow talk unless the wind is howling (which was the case both times when we visited), and instead, you encounter pieces of their tent from inside your flattened shelter.
While being a very pleasant campsite in a remarkable location, the close proximity to other campers makes getting out of the campsite a necessity. I wouldn’t hesitate to spend 7 demanding hours rock-hopping down the river versus sitting in the middle of the tipsy lunchtime braais at the campsite and picnic spots or lounging in the beautiful, but popular and packed pools at the campsite.  

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