As daylight slowly begins to increase in hours and the evening temperatures become tank-and-cooler-box worthy, the Plett wilderness is at its absolute best. For both warmer-weather camping connoisseurs and migrating heat-seekers alike, Plett’s diverse natural landscape caters to the camping needs of different adventurers. What better way to welcome in the changing temperatures than by spending a night beneath the stars next to a glorious sunrise or sunset?
With so many great choices, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to begin. Luckily, we have put together a list with some of our favourite picks, so you can put the wheels in motion and start planning your own spring or summer camping excursion.
Time to get up to your elbows in ‘down and dirty’ hunting for the old camping equipment. It’s been far too long since last you watched the sun rise over the ocean or marveled at the magnificent sunset streaking across the sky in bright hues of orange and pink. Yes, it’s camping season folks and there’s no time like the present to take full advantage of what Plett has to offer the outdoors-man and his rowdy rabble.
Not all camping trips have to be about erecting tents, finding suitable ablutions in the undergrowth or eating wild berries and mushrooms, thankfully. Which brings us to the newest trend in camping, the ‘glamping’ experience. If you are a camping novice then this is the perfect way to ease yourself into the art of camping, nice and slow. Sound exciting? Well, let’s get you on the right track with a few suggested spots for your very first glamping holiday.
Forever Resorts is the perfect teething opportunity for the new glamper. Sprawled across the banks of the Keurbooms River, is a selection of brick chalets, log cabins, caravan sites and of course, for those more experienced in the art of roughing it, tent sites. With a myriad of activities on-site, the resort is tops and very popular with both local and foreign holiday makers. This is the Full Monty. Of course, there is the option of caravanning and tenting it for those who are feeling a bit more adventurous.
Ready for something a little different? AfriCamps at Ingwe, situated between Plett and the quaint village of Nature’s Valley, has taken glamping to the next level. Suspended above the forest floor with incredible views of The Crags Fynbos kingdom, a wooden unit enclosed with a sturdy tent, will be home to the adventurer. And this is the kicker – three of the tents now offer a private wood-fired hot tub where you can take in the breathtaking view while listening to the crackle of fire under the African sky, easily the purest form of relaxation under the starry winter night skies. It’s almost wrong to think of this as camping – it’s that fabulous!
Staying with the glamping theme, we pop over to Arch Rock on Kettle Beach in Keurbooms. Probably akin to most holiday home experiences, this option affords a relaxing holiday for those with small children for instance, as it is more tradition holiday making. Accommodation is varied from Beach Houses to Wooden Cabins. Choose to stay at their Beachfront Chalets, Forest Cottages, Log Cabins or at Sandy’s Cove. Taking long beach walks, throwing a few chops on the braai and sipping cocktails on your stoep is likely to be the most work you’ll be expected to do here.
If you have a deep desire to hit the bush big time, then Moon Shine on Whiskey Creek is going to have you leaping for joy like a gazelle. With a good selection of different cabins and cottages to choose from, you’ll soon be in the thick of it. The “Fly me to the moon” forest cabin is a romantic retreat for two, so if you want to spoil your ‘plus one’, then this is the way to earn serious brownie points. The “Firefly” and “Bushpig” log cabins sleep two guests each so take along your besties for a well-deserved break. The “Tree Frog” and “Vervet” cabins are perfect for a larger group i.e. six guests and then lastly the “Butterfly” garden cottage sleeps five. For a unique experience in the verdant forestsof Plett, this simply must be your port of call.
When you wake up at Giraffe View Safari Camp you’ll be forgiven for thinking that you were on the movie set of an African Safari blockbuster. Giraffe, Zebra, Impala, Wildebeest, Waterbuck, Bontebok, Springbok and Bushbuck all roam the fields here and you are able to view the from just about everywhere you may find yourself. Built of stone and canvas, safari tents sleep two to four guests, with private braais, fire pits and hammocks and guests may use the stunning self-catering kitchen boma area. While nine and ten-sleeper, fully equipped, self-catering cottages can accommodate bigger groups. It’s not often you can view game from your accommodation, so do put this one on your ‘must visit’ list.
Misty Mountain Reserve in the beautiful Tsitsikamma, is another one of those glamping destinations that is worth every minute. Spectacular ocean views and enchanting forest vistas are yours for the taking and staying just a little bit longer than you anticipated is never out of the question. If it’s a new experience you’re after, be sure to stay in the Forest View Tented Lodge. Waking up to the sounds of birds and the ocean crashing on the shore line, assures that you get the best of both worlds. Enjoy a mixture of opulence and added extras while all that’s left for you to do is to sit back and relax and watch the fauna and flora from your high vantage point.
Tsitsikamma Backpackers offers guests the option of the lodge, family rooms or yes, you guessed it, glamping! These tented units are a step up from the tent slogging of old, as they have beds and electricity to boot. A boma for that much needed braai is close by and then of course communal bathrooms and toilets are thrown in for good measure. No need to stress over meals if you need a complete break as there are food options available to you. Bushwhacking was never this easy!
Young and restless and looking for a place to camp? Hillcrest Lodge Tents are pleased to offer you your very own unique lodge tent named Sandstone. The tent offers its own deck overlooking the mountains, large living/sleeping area, luxury bathroom and, for a true South African bush feel, boasts its own outdoor shower – the perfect place to start, refresh or end your day. This is fantastic to use as a launching pad for a holiday in Plett.
Pardon? Did you say you need a complete break with no one around but you and a few besties and the sounds of the ocean thundering in your collective ears? You did? Then this is going to make you very happy. The Fountain Shack on the Robberg Nature Reserve is as isolated as you’re likely to get. I suspect that this is how Robinson Crusoe felt as he awoke upon his island, far removed from the hustle and bustle of others. The renovated wooden shack sleeps eight people in four double bunk beds in an open-plan room. Only one group can book at a time, so think carefully who to invite. Be warned though, getting to the hut takes a good hour or two by foot and you will need to carry your own food and clothing. There are cooking facilities and a braai area plus ablutions. Although it does take a little extra effort to get there, it’s worth absolutely every step! How often do you get to have the ocean and such a rich fauna and flora kingdom all to yourself?
Now that you’ve grown a little and progressed from glamping to the more traditional camping, there are of course a number of places to park your camper, caravan or tent for a ‘good old’ camping holiday. Keurbooms Lagoon Caravan Park, along the Keurbooms river, on the Lookout side of Plett, is a very popular stomping ground for the campers of old. Generations of tent erectors and users of stainless steel cookware have been enjoying this park and its amenities for many years and they keep coming back. There’s no better feeling of accomplishment when you stand back and admire the campsite you’ve created for your family – such a manly, Rambo moment. Right on the river’s edge kids play all day long and sleep tight at night after all the fun of making new friends and memories.
Whatever you decide to do this summer, be it camping or glamping, remember that Plett has it all on offer. You choose the option that suits you best and get working on some beautiful family holiday memories.