As we drove through the gates of the Bontebok National Park I got “that look” from my wife. That look being “where are the trees?” look. I got a twinge of panic because as far as the eye can see there is just grass. I knew this was going to a long two days if I could not come up with a plan quickly.
Slowly I blew a sigh of relief as we neared the reception area. I could then see that there should be plenty of shade on the camp site, as some of the pictures I have seen, showed.
At reception one can buy some of the basics such as bread , wood etc. Beer and wine is also available. Once again I was amazed at how the rules can be bent in South Africa. As soon as their are tourists involved we can sell liquor on Sundays! How does that work? I cannot go to my local supermarket on Sundays and buy a bottle of wine, but here I am in the “middle of the bush ” and I can buy beer and wine late on a Sunday afternoon. Huh ? I don’t understand.
This is obviously a very popular camp site .We were allocated a campsite between numbers (I think between 19 and 26). The campsites worked on a first come first served basis. Even though we arrived just before lunch time on a Sunday afternoon, there were no shady spots left to choose from. Eventually we pitched our tents and forced our chairs into the bush for a tiny spot of shade. As the the shadows started to lengthen we saw more than one car driving up and down looking for shade. The camp site must have been very nearly full.( Ps all the electrically supplied sites were booked long in advance.)
Here is plenty to do. If you enjoy walking, you must bring your hiking boots along. There are three trails to choose from, offering some spectacular views over the park and the river.
For a less active pastime, I suggest “buck watching”. The buck are so tame that you don’t need a long lens to get decent fotos. You can virtually drive up up to the buck and and just about stick the camera in their faces, and click away.
Next time we go to Bontebok, mountain biking and fresh water angling will also be on my list of things to. As with many other camp sites, there is abundant bird life( right in the camp site) to keep you entertained for hours on end. If this is something that you enjoy, I suggest that you bring a birding book along.
Something else that I would do is take my braai down to rivers edge, and relax under one of the shady trees while I watch the kids swim and fish.
Overall I must say that I was really impressed, here was much more than I expected. I will definitely go back some time soon, even though we found it quite expensive compared to many other campsites. Then again how many other campsites have Bontebok and other game running through it. This I am sure must cost a fortune.
Friends of ours that have also been here, says that the last time that they were at Bontebok, the buck came into the campsite and were feeding of the trees. What a cool sight that must be.
And my wife. She loved it, and also cant wait to go back.
View Map from Cape Town to Bontebok National Park
+27 28 514 2735
33°49′ 06.45″ S 19°48′ 20.72″ E
+27 28 514 2646
|Nearest Town||Swellendam||Max Persons||Six|
2h50 from Cape Town
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