Miles from anyone or anything, these secluded campsites and rustic hideaways are just the ticket if you want to get away from it all.
Travel (or lack thereof) in the time of Coronavirus is unlike anything we’ve seen before. With the national lockdown scheduled to commence in a few days, it’s good to know that we can still find respite in the great outdoors, even if we have to wait a little while before we can go outside.
In these remote and untouched places, you can recharge your batteries after being cooped up indoors for three weeks.
Langkloof campsite, Tankwa Karoo National Park
The Tankwa is synonymous with vast open spaces, deep quiet and blue skies occasionally punctuated by cotton wool clouds. Within the scenic upper reaches of Tankwa’s Langkloof Gorge, you’ll find the ruins of an old farmhouse. While the people are long gone, the footprint of the farmyard enabled SANParks to establish a private campsite here. Langkloof has just two stands, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette. The building has been sensitively done to blend in with the landscape and has a reed ceiling and pebble floor. This is big-sky country, with views stretching as far as you can see. You can self-drive on park roads and there are two 4×4 trails; for Langkloof itself you need a high clearance vehicle (2×4 or 4×4).
Lenie Marais, Die Hel
For more than a century the people of the small settlement called Die Hel lived in isolation, the craggy Swartberg mountains effectively cutting them off from the outside world. The first road leading into this remote corner of the Karoo was constructed only in the 1960s. Even decades later the sense of seclusion remains. This historic cottage, named after its original owner, was built by hand by the intrepid Lenie. The house has three bedrooms and a shower heated with a gas geyser. In addition to the fully equipped kitchen, with gas appliances, there’s a braai area and splash pool outside. Here it’s enough to sit and soak up the peace and quiet. As the night draws in and stars appear in the sky, the world is put into perspective.
Houdenbek campsite, Cederberg Wilderness
In the Cederberg you can walk mountain paths without coming across another soul and on this lovely farm you’ll have the campsite all to yourself. Houdenbek is situated near Op Die Berg, north of Ceres, and the farm is known for its beautiful rock formations. The private campsite is some distance from the farm cottages and sleeps up to 15 people. Note there is no electricity. The Heiveld Arch, little brother to the Wolfberg Arch, can be seen on an enjoyable day walk (about four hours). If you’re a keen mountain biker, be sure to pack your wheels. The MTB routes range between 10 and 40km and wind through the fantastical boulder-strewn landscape. But there’s no need to be active. Simply chill on the banks of the farm dam and count your blessings.
Use the Tracks4Africa Guide App when you’re on the road to find camping or lodging near you. The app also features attractions, services, fuel points, shopping and more. Once the app is installed on your phone, you don’t need an Internet connection to search for points of interest. It’s an offline map and travel guide in your pocket.