The Western Cape is an outdoor fanatic’s dream come true. With rolling mountains and endless open spaces, you can step away from your busy city life for a moment to refresh yourself. The following are a few of the top campsites in and around Cape Town.

Cape Town’s location between mountains and sea offers you endless opportunities for a nature-filled adventure within a short drive from the city.

#1 Voëlklip, Hermanus

Location: 1.5 hours from Cape Town
corner of 17th Avenue and the R43, Hermanus

Voëlklip Camping lies in the beautiful seaside town of Hermanus, situated adjacent to the Voëlklip suburb and walking distance from the blue-flag Grotto beach. The camp site is located amongst natural forest consisting of indigenous milkwood bushes, allowing one to embrace the natural environment to its fullest. The view from your site includes the ocean, the Klein Rivier Lagoon and the spectacular mountain.

Facilities

The camp sites are fitted with plug points and the communal ablution blocks have hot water. Each site is equipped with braai facilities.

Activities

The site is within walking distance of the blue flag Grotto beach. Other activities in the area include hiking, swimming, kayaking and canoeing.

Cost

Pets are allowed (provided the owner takes full responsibility of them during their stay)

Contact

R300 to R750 (2 persons) and R100 per additional person (depending on season)
Special low season and pensioner rates are available

012 460 4047 | www.voelklipcamping.co.za

Special December relaunch offer: The first 30 bookings will receive a 30% discount (T&C’s apply)

#2 Dwarsberg Trout Hideaway, Trouthaven

Location: 1.5 hours from Cape Town
Dwarsberg Farm, Louwshoek Voorsorg Road, Rawsonville (via N1, R101)

This spectacular campsite is located on a working fruit and wine farm, just outside the little Klein Karoo town of Rawsonville. It is the perfect getaway spot from the city with the rolling hills wrapped around the farm, you can soak up the beauty of the Breede Rivier Valley to refresh your soul.

Facilities

Each camping site is fitted with its own private ablution, with hot water. On weekends you can use one of the portable braais with two bags of free wood. During the week you can purchase wood from the kiosk. Other supplies sold include ice, snacks, fresh farm bread, and coffee. Some of the sites are fitted with electricity.

Activities

Besides soaking up the pure nature, you can do some bird watching or trout-fishing. There are also mountain bike and hiking trails meandering through waterfalls. Or you can indulge in a bit of wine tasting.

Cost

R990 (for the first 6 people) | R165 (per additional adult) | R80 per child (aged 4 – 12)
Free for children under 5.

Pets are not allowed.

Contact

023 349 1919 | www.trouthaven.co.za

#3 Slangkop Tented Camps, Kommetjie

Location: 1 hour from Cape Town
46 Lighthouse Road, Kommetjie (Via M3, Ou Kaapse Weg)

This SanParks-operated campsite offers you amazing ocean views. Tucked away between the mountains, this little village is on the edge of the city. Step away for a moment from civilisation and soak in all the nature around you. It’s located on the Hoerikwaggo Trail, so you can use it as a quick overnight spot if you want to do a more extensive hike of the area.

Facilities

The tents sleep two people each and bedding is included. There is a shared bathroom with hot water. The communal kitchen is self-catering, and the dining area has an open fireplace.

Activities

There are various hiking trails in the area. Stop for a picnic at one of the designated spots in the Table Mountain National Park. Great surfing available at the beaches close by. You can walk to the little town of Kommetjie to treat yourself to a restaurant outing. Visit the tallest lighthouse of the South African coast, called the Slangkop Point Lighthouse.

Cost

R586 – R686 (1 – 4 people) | R263 (per additional adult) | R132 (per additional child)

Pets are not allowed.

Contact

021 712 7471 | SanParks Bookings

#4 Silverstroom Resort, Melkbos

Location: less than an hour from Cape Town
Silwerstroom Road, off the West Coast Road (R27)

This is one of the city’s eco-labeled Blue Flag beaches. The area overflows with indigenous plants and the peaceful waters will beckon you to come dip your toe. But beware, it is on the cold side. It is located on the West Coast Culture Route.

Facilities

Camping and caravan site and chalets also available. It has ablution with hot water. There are picnic and braai areas, as well as a conference room.

Activities

You have easy beach access from the campsite. There is also a tidal pool nearby. It’s safe for swimming and fishing is allowed. You can relax on the beach with a picnic or braai.

Cost

R375 to R450 (depending on season)

Pets are not allowed.

Contact

021 571 7080 | Silwerstroom Bookings

#5 !Khwa Ttu, Yzerfontein

Location: 1 hour from Cape Town
Grootwater Farm, Yzerfontein (via N7, R27)

This camping outing can be combined with an educational moment as well. Learn more about the interesting history plus culture of the San. Staying in the Bush Lodge can create an almost-glamping moment or keep things basic at the Bush Camp, but with the bonus of your tent already pitched for you.

Facilities

The campsite is solar-powered. There are five freestanding tents at the Bush Camp, sleeping up to four people. Each tent has a little lounge area, as well as a covered outdoor deck. The bathroom and kitchen areas are shared. There’s also a communal boma area with a fireplace. You can request the following: extra beds, towels, utensils, and firewood

Activities

Stop at the farmhouse restaurant to treat yourself to an authentic African dish. Book a San guided tour if you are curious about these reclusive people. You can even learn to speak a bit of their language! Take home your own San-themed art piece from the little shop. The herbal-tea tastings are also a great treat. The area has beautiful hiking and cycling trails. Game drives can be organized. It’s the perfect base to explore the West Coast.

Cost

R325 per person (includes breakfast)

Pets are welcome.

Contact

022 492 2998 | www.khwattu.org

#6 Slanghoek Mountain Resort, Rawsonville

Location: 1.5 hours from Cape Town
Slanghoek Road (via N1, R101)

This campsite is well-maintained with a beautiful setting among the vineyards. The tents are situated next to a tranquil stream with beautiful green grass for kids to play on. It is a perfect spot for a family getaway.

Facilities

Each campsite has private washing facilities with hot water showers. There are power points available and the electricity usage is included in the camping rates.

Activities

Every Saturday morning you can go horse riding, stables located near the campsite. There is a putt-putt course at the campsite and swimming pools. Go fishing near the campsite at the dam. A hiking trail starts at the putt-putt course and meanders up the hill to offer you spectacular views of the valley.

Cost

R600 – R720 per night (depending on season)

Maximum 2 vehicles per site | Maximum 1 caravan per site
Maximum 6 persons per site (excluding children 3 years and younger)

Pets are not allowed.

Contact

023 344 3138 | www.slanghoekresort.co.za

#7 Wolfkop Camping Villages, Citrusdal

Location: 2 hours from Cape Town
Citrusdal (via N7)

A little cluster of camping spots is situated on the Olifants River banks. The campsite is tucked away between the mountains, with outstretched green lawns. Another site with permanent tents, saving you the effort, and making it feel more like glamping than just camping.

Facilities

A Bedouin freeform marquee is set up at each little camping village. The canvas tents are equipped with their own mattresses, bedding and towels. The campsites have their own braai grids, utensils, as well as outdoor seating. Campsites are equipped with power points and electric lighting.  You can purchase firewood.

Activities

There are various hiking and mountain bike trails starting from the campsite. You can hire a canoe and explore the meandering rivers of the Citrusdal area. Fishing is allowed at the Biesievlak Campsite. The campsite has a strict policy against music and making too much noise, unless you book out the whole campsite.

Cost

R750 – R850 for 2 adults (depending on season) | R150 per additional adult
Maximum 6 people per campsite.

Pets are not allowed.

Contact

083 260 4822 | www.wolfkopcampingvillages.co.za

#8 Tweede Tol, Limietberg Nature Reserve (near Paarl)

Location: 1.5 hours from Cape Town
Tweede Tol (via N1, R44, R301)

Always wondered what it would feel like to live in the mountains? Then this camping site is ideal for you. It is situated close to Bainskloof Pass in the Du Toitskloof Mountains, near the original 1851 tollgate. Surround yourself with forests, fynbos, and rugged wilderness.

Facilities

There are no power points but the communal washing area has hot-water showers. Every campsite has its own braai grid, and you can purchase firewood at the gate.

Activities

Overnight campers can access the Wolwekloof swimming holes. The reserve has various hiking trails. There are shaded picnic area equipped with braai facilities and a jungle gym for kids. If you want a more private camping experience, there are six fenced-off campsites, each with their own bathroom and kitchen.

Cost

R160 – R360 for 2 people (depending on season) | R50 per additional person
R500 – R570 per private campsite (depending on season)

Up to 6 people allowed per campsite, with a minimum of 2 per site.

Pets are not allowed in CapeNature Reserves.

Please note: The cost of a permit (R40 for adults, R20 for children) for entering a CapeNature Reserve is not included in the accommodation rate.

Contact

021 871 1535 / 021 483 0190 | Limietberg Bookings

#9 Platbos Forest & Owl Camp, Gansbaai

Location: 2.5 hours from Cape Town
Gansbaai (via N2, R43)

How does a camping trip to an ancient forest sound to you? This is a privately-owned campsite. The owners are conservationists, focused on preserving the rich biodiversity of the area. To name but a few – bushbucks, baboons, thousand-year-old milkwood trees, and even some leopards. The entire camp site is off-the-grid, with solar-powered lighting and antique donkey boilers to heat the water. There are different accommodation options available including tented rooms and secluded log cabins.

Facilities

The Forest Camp has two tented units with two single beds each. It has a fully-equipped kitchen with an outdoor fireplace. There is an open-air shower with warm water. And the toilet is waterless. The donkey boiler is supplied with firewood. You can also purchase firewood. No power points but it is solar-powered.

The Owl Camp offers camping spaces under the forest canopy. There are parking spaces available for canopy tents or camper vans. It has an open-air shower with warm water and the toilet is waterless. There is a fire pit with a braai grid. A communal freezer is available. The donkey boiler is supplied with firewood. You can also purchase firewood. No power points but it is solar-powered.

Activities

There are various forest trails to explore, as well as a labyrinth made from mother-of-pearl seashells. Browse the Platbos Forest Tree Nursery or visit the Grootbos Nature Reserve at Gansbaai. Another fun outing is the Klein River Cheese Farm. Perfect for exploring Hermanus and Stanford

Cost

Forest Camp: R1 050 per night (for up to 4 guests) | R90 per additional person
Owl Camp: R275 per night for 1 – 2 guests | R85 per additional adult

Maximum 6 guests

Contact

082 411 0448 | admin@platbos.co.za | www.platbos.co.za

#10 Beaverlac, Olifants River

Location: 2 hours from Cape Town
Beaverlac, Porterville (via N7, R44, R365)

Another great mountain getaway, with a river thrown in for good measure. The campsite is situated in the the Groot Winterhoek Mountains, close to Porterville. It’s a quaint little back-to-basics campsite, experience the great outdoors in all its unfiltered glory.

Facilities

The campsites are non-demarcated. There are communal ablution facilities with a few offering hot water. The campsite doesn’t have electricity, but you can access power point and a freezer a the little camp shop. It also sells ice, snacks, meat, wood, beer, wine, cold drinks, and ice cream. You must bring your own braai grid. There also nine self-catering cabins available, most of them have electricity. Contact campsite for rates and to book.

Activities

There are various hiking trails from the campsite, which are dog-friendly. Mountain bike trails also meander through the mountains. Keep your eyes open for the ancient rock art hidden in the area. Take a dip in one of the rockpools scattered along the Ratel River.

Cost

R30 per car | R65 per adult | R40 per child (aged 4 – 17 years)
Free for children under 5.

R50 per dog per night.

Contact

022 931 2945 | www.beaverlac.co.za

Dungeons Surf Spot Cape Town

With surfing available almost year-round and an abundance of surf spots to choose from, Cape Town is one of the best destinations in the world for surfing. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro surfer, there are options for everyone no matter how the wind is blowing. However, if you’re an experienced surfer looking for your next great spot, Dungeon’s Beach is one of the most extreme and exciting surfing spots in South Africa.

Dungeon’s Beach is a well-known, world-famous surfing spot. It’s located at the foot of the Sentinel Mountain, just off the coast of Hout Bay. The beach is only accessible by a 15-minute boat ride from Hout Bay Harbour. It is one of the best surfing spots for advanced and experienced surfers, and waves of up to 60-feet have been ridden. Winter is the best time of year to surf. But both locals and world-traveling surfers alike frequent the challenging spot year round.

Surf’s Up!

Dungeon’s waves were first ridden in 1984 by Cape Town surfers Pierre de Villiers and Peter Button. Today the spot has been made famous by Red Bull Big Wave Africa. The contest is held at Dungeons every year in winter. It attracts the world’s top national and international surfers, with contestants surfing by invitation only. American surfer Greg Long is the only surfer in history to score a perfect 10 on a Dungeons wave (Red Bull Big Wave Africa event, 2008). He is considered the best big wave surfer in the world.

The best time to surf at Dungeon’s is during low tide, where waves start breaking from 8 to 10 feet. Paddle surfers rarely frequent the beach outside of the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event. But tow surfers can be found at the beach frequently. Despite the reputation as one the most shark-infested places in the world, Dungeons Beach still draws surfers looking for a adventure.

Featured on Food24 and Food&Home

Location: 110 Harrington Street, CBD

Crowdfunding has been used to fund many things. From new technology gadgets, to charity projects, to innovative business ideas. Two Capetonian chefs, Anouchka Horn and Neil Swart, saw the potential of this relatively new investment technique and decided to start the first South African crowdfunded restaurant in Cape Town.

The restaurant is based on an exciting new food trend that is picking up pace fast. Another speciality element of the restaurant is that they work on bookings only. And there are only 20 seats available per dinner seating.

A Nose to Tail Dining Extravaganza

The menu changes daily, according to what the chefs can grow or source from sustainable farming suppliers. Nothing goes to waste, the whole animal is used in combination with local seasonal ingredients. Menus range from 5 to 8 courses. All you must do, is show up and feast. It’s a very personal dining experience, you trust the choices of the chefs, without picking and choosing from a menu. Anouchka and Neil believe in a hands-on experience – cooking your food, serving your food, and pouring your wine.

The Restaurant Concept

Belly of the Beast aims to bring back a more intimate dining experience, like meeting at a friend’s house for dinner. Only this time, your friends are professional chefs. They interact with the guests, sharing stories about their passion for sustainable cooking. Their other passion is people, hence creating the intimate dining experience. The nose-to-tail principle means no food goes to waste. Menus are planned around which fresh produce is available from sustainable farmers. And each part of the meat is used to its fullest.

The Faces Behind the Food

Anouchka and Neil met while they were students. They both worked part-time at Terroir Restaurant in Stellenbosch. The two became good friends, sharing similar passions such as work and life philosophies, music – and of course, food.

Their personalities seem to complement each other perfectly, at the same time very similar yet different. The two chefs decided that they would make a good team in the kitchen. Neil specialises in meat. Since childhood he has been hunting and preparing a wide variety of meat. And Anouchka’s speciality lies with pastries, plus she’s a master ice cream maker. She creates ice cream from scratch, each batch with its own special base. Both chefs live and breathe good food. You can taste the passion in the highly creative dishes they produce.

Where Did It All Start

Anouchka and Neil started the Arugula Bistro in 2012, situated in Welgemoed, Belville. It’s a family-orientated restaurant, focusing on offering customers a high-quality dining experience. The bistro offers great wholesome meals such as burgers, or fish and chips. It has established itself as a firm favourite of the community. But the two chefs wanted to expand their dining repertoire and introduce people to a different side of their cooking skills.

After the bistro’s great success and popularity, the dynamic duo decided to expand and to open a highly exceptional restaurant in the city center of the Mother City. At the Belly of the Beast they are moving away from the tried and tested traditional meals, to a more experimental style that changes every day.

Shaking Up the Capetonian Restaurant Scene

The Mother City teems with restaurants. You could visit a different one every night of the week for a year, and still not make a big dent in the culinary scene. And often restaurants pop up overnight like mushrooms, but they die out again just as soon. To make Capetonians sit up and take notice of a new restaurant, isn’t hard. But to impress them and secure your sought-after permanent spot in the culinary scene, that’s a different challenge.

After opening at the end of August 2018, word quickly spread about this innovative restaurant. Now they are booked out most evenings of the week, sometimes even a few weeks in advance. The small bespoke eatery has won the heart of the Cape Town foodies.

With their menu changing every day, every visit to the Belly of the Beast will be a unique experience. And it’s not often that you can potentially book out a whole restaurant for your private function. Plus have two talented chefs attend to your dining needs.

Sustainable Cooking in Action

Belly of the Beast takes organic cooking to the next level. Using the nose-to-tail principle, they make sure that nothing goes to waste at one of their exclusive dinner parties. They create everything on the menu from scratch. The chefs use only fresh produce. So, whatever is ready to be cooked, is served. And the meat they use is meticulously sourced from sustainable farmers.

Another fun element of the restaurant is the on-display kitchen. You can watch Anouchka and Neil create culinary magic right before your eyes! While they are preparing the delectable dishes and selecting the wines to pair them with, they will chat to you a bit more about their passion for sustainable cooking. Find out more about this worldwide movement that is taking the restaurant industry by storm from two experts in the field.

Book Your Seat at The Feast Table Now

This exclusive fine dining restaurant has definitely managed to grab the attention of both local Capetonian foodies and visitors to the city. You must move quickly to snatch up a seat. The 5 to 8 course dinner costs R450 per person. To secure your seat, you need to pay a R150 booking deposit (per person). You can also pay with BitCoin.

Visit www.bellyofthebeast.co.za for more information.

VoiceMap App: Audio Walking Tours in Cape Town

As a tourist, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the “tourist traps” that entice you with all of the must-see and do attraction tours. While touring popular spots in a new city is part of the experience, it’s important not to miss out on the authenticity of it all. Part of traveling is about immersing yourself in new cultures, which is what VoiceMap is all about. With their tours, you get the point-of-view and knowledge of an insider, which sets the experience apart.

What is VoiceMap?

VoiceMap is an interactive walking tour app that allows you the freedom to explore at your own pace. The app uses GPS to play audio automatically as you walk and provides directions along the way. If your data is limited or you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, you can download the audio tours beforehand and use the offline maps provided. You can start, stop, or pause the tour at any time.

With VoiceMap you don’t have to watch the screen, as with many other walking tour apps. Instead, you can switch the tour to “pocket mode,” stick in your earphones, put your phone in your pocket, and listen to the storyteller as you walk around and take it all in. With simple and descriptive directions and information, the tours are easy to follow.

Iain Manley, founder and CEO of VoiceMap, says the goal of the app is to change people’s perception of audio tours. “People [typically] think audio tours are not an exciting thing to do, [but] we want a very personal perspective.” He adds that they want to provide “a way of seeing a place through someone else’s eyes.”

VoiceMap connects listeners to passionate people who have stories to tell. These personal perspectives change how people see and experience places by walking you through their story. People can see the same place a thousand different ways, and with VoiceMap tours, you get the chance to look into someone else’s world.

Manley says one of the most rewarding things of working with VoiceMap is “working with people who are extremely passionate about a particular place and [have] a particular perspective on a place.” That passion can be felt through the voices and stories you hear in VoiceMap’s audio tours.

V&A Waterfront Audio Walking Tour

In order to get a better feel for what VoiceMap is, I did the walking tour at the V&A Waterfront. The script for the tour was actually written by Manley, and is a free, 1-hour, immersive tour that takes you all around the Cape Town hotspot. Starting at the Tourism Information Centre, the tour begins with a welcome message and a brief historical background of the Waterfront. Earphones and free Wi-Fi are available from the Information Centre.

As the tour started, I was surprised at how easy and accessible the journey was. The app would accurately play audio recordings automatically as I arrived at each location listed along the route, and the information was engaging.  I was transported back in time as the stories I listened to brought the location to life with different interviews from people central to the story of the Waterfront, sounds from its past, and information about the Waterfront’s daily operations and plans for the future.

After starting at the Information Centre, you’ll make your way past Nobel Square and through the bright and busy Watershed Market. After that, you’ll loop around the Two Oceans Aquarium, stroll along the water towards the Clock Tower, and end in the Silo District. This tour is definitely a must-do when visiting the Waterfront. You get to see more than just the surface level – you get to listen to what the Waterfront was and is.

How it works

  1. Download the VoiceMap app, available on iPhone and Android devices
  2. Sign up using Facebook or email
  3. Select Cape Town from the menu
  4. Download the Reinventing the Tavern of the Seas tour
  5. Once the tour has finished downloading, plug in your headphones and tap Start

Voice Map has 350 tours available in 120 cities to date, with 45 walking tours in Cape Town alone. If you’re looking for the best tours around Cape Town, check out the Bo-Kapp and Groot Constantia tours which are both Manley’s favorites.

There are new audio tours published every week, with the option to create your own audio tour with VoiceMap’s publishing tool. Other language options are available, including German, with more on the way.

Cape Town, Western Cape

Photo Caption: Can you #guesswhere this photo was taken from? You need to know #capetown pretty well, but the clue is in the distinctive mountain peak….

Looking for people to go hiking with or trying to get outdoors more often? Read our latest post on the top 5 hiking groups in Cape Town.  📷 by Dibert Theron from @unsplash. #mountain #hiking #capetownhiking #12appostles #secretcapetown #guesswherecapetown #mountainview

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