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Sanddrif, Cederberg Conservancy, Western Cape

Place: Sanddrif, Cederberg Conservancy

Closest Town: Towns are not close
Facilities: Great ablutions, cottages, kids area
Water: On the Dwars River
Surroundings: Slight mountain plateau, typical rugged Cederberg scenery
Turf: Shady, grass patches along the slightly bushy banks of the river
Distance from CT: Roughly 200km
Privacy: Limited campsites, but close proximity to neighbours if you do have one
Highlight: Full moon on a sandy patch of the river bank, The Wolfberg Cracks
Cost: Roughly R160 per campsite per night (last visited in 2008)
Contact:, +27 (0)27 482 2825
GPS Coordinates: S 32° 30’ 14’’, E 19° 15’ 28’’

Sunset at Stadsaal Caves
Dwarsrivier, Sanddrif

Stadsaal Caves

View from Stadsaal Caves

View of Central Cederberg

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View Sanddrif, Cederberg Conservancy, Western Cape in a larger map

My experience of Sanddrif was slightly tainted by the Easter weekend that coincided with my visit. I am admittedly a slight snob at these times, but purely because it seems like some campers crawl out the woodwork over long weekends…those folk that come armed with their enormous 5-roomed tents, security spotlights that get strategically scattered along the borders of their territory, washing lines, kitchenettes, cupboard systems, couches, deep freezers (no lies), a soda stream machine, and a trailer of beer, brandy and bullshit.
It was one of those weekends. The three of us arrived unfashionably late on Good Friday morning. It didn’t feel very good. We were confronted with a colony. A settlement. A laager of modern day ox wagons. And a sea of disapproving stares. We crept onto our site wedged between at least ten people on either side in giant temporary homes, unfolded our chairs, sat down and stared at each other. One wise person went to find beer. And wine. While we contemplated whether we were ready for Easter in what felt like the camping East Rand.

If I try and see beyond the spotlight and hear myself think on the other side of the Soda stream farts, inappropriate jokes and loud bellows, Sanddrif is a great campsite and arguably one of the most pleasant out of “season.” A short walk takes you to a brilliant rock pool (where tons of silly people jump off high ledges) with a splendid view downstream. The Wolfberg Cracks are on its doorstep, roughly an hour uphill over a few boulders, and it’s close to sundowner paradise, the Stadsaal Caves.
I’d go back, but on a normal weekend. Working against this is the fairly long drive from Cape Town, but then again the mission to get there works in favour of a quiet and beautiful camping spot in the heart of the Cederberg.