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Makuzi Beach Lodge, Central Malawi

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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    Our campsite overlooking the beach
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    View from the lake of towards the lodge
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    Campsite at Makuzi Beach Lodge
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    The pristine beach at the lodge
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    Campsite at Makuzi
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    The restaurant and bar
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    The campsite
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    One of the rondavels
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    View of the beach from the campsite
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    Makuzi campsite
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    Makuzi campsite
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    The bar area
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    The beach at Makuzi Beach Lodge
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    Makuzi Beach Lodge, Malawi
    Makuzi Campsite
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Makuzi Beach Lodge, Mzuzu, Malawi
Closest (large) town: Mzuzu (50km?)
Facilities: beachfront campsite with very pleasant hot water ablutions, beachfront chalets, bar, basic restaurant, beach
Activities: snorkelling, kayaking, swimming
Turf: grassy and shady
Surroundings: Lake Malawi at its finest, Bilharzia-free beach
Rates: For rates, click here
Contact: Website, Tel: +265 999 283 980, Email: info@makuzibeachlodge.com
GPS co-ordinates: -11.919640, 34.178349

To view Makuzi Beach Lodge on a map, click here.

When we arrived Mike said that this may be his best place so far. I battled to disagree (not that I tried) because we found ourselves at a lush and abandoned campsite right on a beautiful beach at a very comfortable and well thought out lodge (with a bar) on Lake Malawi (without Bilharzia).

Paradise Rest Camp, Grootfontein, Namibia

 

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    Paradise Rest Camp, Grootfontein, Namibia
    Giraffe at the farm
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    Paradise Rest Camp, Grootfontein, Namibia
 
 

Place: Paradise camp
Closest Town: Grootfontein (80km)
Facilities: Bar; Restaurant; swimming pool; 12 campsites with braai areas; hot water ablutions, Travel management services
Activities: Watching game at the waterhole, which is situated right across from the camp; walking trail for bird and game watching; game drive to see the Baobab tree
Rates: Current rates contact Paradise Rest Camp here, and to book, click here.
Contact: Marina Cell: +264 – (0)816170998; Email: paradiserestcamp@yahoo.com, Website;
Location: On the B8 between Grootfontein and Rundu -19 05.278, 018 36.039 (Or Google: -19.085974, 18.604005)
Map: click here

This is a relatively new campsite that was sent in to us. It is conveniently located on the B8 north of Grootfontein, especially if you are travelling towards Zambia or the Caprivi.

If you’ve been there or experienced it for long or short stays, we’d love to hear what you think

Kayak Africa Camp, Domwe Island, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi

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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    View from the beach at Domwe Island
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    Sunset from Domwe Island
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    Sunset Fishermen
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    View towards the mainland
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    View from the beach
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    View from our tent deck
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    The eating banda/ dining & lounging area
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    The dining & lounging area
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    Safari tent on Domwe
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    A safari tent on Domwe
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    View from one of the safari tents
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    One of the safari tents
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    Dining/lounging area
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
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    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
    Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Kayak Africa Camp, Domwe Island, Malawi
Closest Town: Monkey Bay (25km)
Facilities: 4 furnished safari tents built into a wood and thatch stilted structure; 2 basic, stilted lapa structures for tents (can hire or bring your own); rustic bathrooms; cooking banda; dining / lounging banda
Privacy: Each lapa has been built in its own nook or bit of forest. Except for the second basic lapa, which is near the loo and under which a walkway runs, all are very private and feel adequately secluded
Turf: Wooden deck
Activities: Swimming, fishing, kayakaing, snorkelling (average), ultimate chilling
Highlight: Long lazy days and clear turquoise water. Brilliant setting
Rates and costs (February 2013): Camping with own tent = R200pppn, Furnished safari tents = R500pppn (mattress, tent and bedding hire = R40pn respectively), Chef = R300 per day, Kayak = $30pd, Snorkelling gear = $15pd
Contact: Website; Tel: +27 (0)21 783 1955; Email: letsgo@kayakafrica.co.za
GPS Coordinates: S 13˚58’53.0″ E 034˚49’55.1″

Click here to view Kayak Africa Camp, Domwe Island, on a map.

If you simply want to switch off from the world and chill out properly in a place that is peaceful and beautiful, this is a perfect destination to consider. A place that is almost poetic. Whether your rhythm is determined by the lapping waves of Lake Malawi; the dull hum of slow, motorised fishing boats; the sound of fisherman rowing dugouts; or the mesmerising songs that some of them whistle or sing, the result is the same: complete calm and an increasing addiction to the simplicity of the daily routine, sounds, smells, swims and snoozes.

River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Southern Tanzania

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    Iringa, Tanzania
    Around Iringa, southern Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
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    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
    River Valley Campsite, Iringa, Tanzania
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: River Valley Lodge and Campsite (Previously Riverside Campsite)
Closest Town: Iringa (13km)
Facilities: Big campsite with hot water ablutions, large cooking/eating area, playground for little people; tented bandas (campsite bathroom); stone bandas with private bathroom; large, basic wooden hut for large groups; restaurant; bar
Surroundings: Lush forested valley along the Little Ruhua River
Privacy: Size of the campsite makes it possible to find a more private spot, but generally, campsite is fairly open and you’d be exposed to your neighbours…And because this seems to be an overland stop, before you know it you may well find yourself next to a tented village.
Turf: Green grass
Activities: Chilling, Game drives to Ruaha National PArk
Highlight: Back to the peace of nature after a few days in the city and touristed Zanzibar
Rates (January 2013): Camping = Tsh10 000pppn, Tented banda = Tsh 60 000 for two people (includes breakfast), Stone banda = Tsh 90 000 for two people (includes breakfast)
Contact: Tel: +255 (0)755 033024, +255 (0)787 111663, Website
GPS Coordinates: S 07˚47.890′ E 035˚47.851′

To view River Valley Lodge on a map, click here.

If you’re travelling north or south through Tanzania and need a stopover or a place to base yourself while you explore the surrounding area (most notably Ruaha National Park), this spot is perfect.

Irente Farm Lodge, Lushoto, Western Usambaras Mountains, NE Tanzania

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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    View across ther valley from our campsite
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    Our campsite
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    View from our campsite
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    Campsite cooking banda and dining area
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    The toilet and shower building
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    The office and shop
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    The self-catering accommodation
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    self-catering accommodation as seen from the camping area
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    camping area
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    Irente Farm Lodge, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    Walking on the farm
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    Lushoto, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
    Drive back down to Lushoto Village
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Irente Farm Lodge, Lushoto, Western Usambaras, Tanzania
Closest Town: Lushoto (about 4km)
Facilities: Double and triple rooms with private and shared bathroom, basic camping area with separate cooking banda/lapa and single toilet and shower (will need to arrange for hot water), farm shop selling cheeses, bread, jams etc.,
Surroundings: nestled in the hills right near the top of the Western Usambaras mountains
Privacy: If it were full, you could find a few more secluded places
Turf: Sporadic grass growing in the red sand
Activities: walking, hiking, chilling
Highlight: The long, winding road to get here and the incredible views
Rates (January 2013): Camping = Tsh7000pppn (R42), Double rooms start at R240 a night for the room, Guesthouse (2 beds, kitchen, bathroom, living area) = Tsh150 000 a night
Contact: Tel: 027 264 0000, 078 450 2935, Email: murless@elct.org
GPS Coordinates: S 04˚47.623′ E038˚15.951′ (-4.793492,38.26527)

To view Irente Farm Lodge on a map, click here.

The Western Usambaras has been highlighted as a must-see area in north eastern Tanzania. I was curious, so we’re here camping at Irente Farm Lodge, about 4.5km from the little town of Lushoto.

The area is beautiful and I particularly liked the drive up from the B1 highway. The road, while slightly hairy (when buses come screaming down the narrow, twisting road reeking of burnt break pads), winds its way through picturesque valleys, rolling hills and small, bustling villages.

Bee Catcher Guest Farm, Ladismith, Western Cape

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    Voorbaat Valley
    The valley in which Bee Catcher Guest Farm is
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    A view towards Bee Catcher Guest Farm
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Lavender Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Lavender Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Lavender Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Aloe Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Aloe Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Aloe Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Aloe Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Sunset from Lavender Cottage
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    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
    Bee Catcher Guest Farm
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    Voorbaat Valley
    The Voorbaat Valley, Ladismith
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Closest Town: Ladimsith (23km)
Facilities: 4 simple, self-catering cottages (Aloe – sleeps 2; Blue Gum – sleeps 4-5; Lavender – sleeps 2-3; Sunflower – sleeps up to 9 in three bedrooms); swimming pool
Setting: Set in a beautiful valley at the foot of the Klein Swartberg Mountains
Privacy: Cottages are spaced apart, so privacy is pretty much guaranteed
Activities: Hiking (in the area), walking, mountain-biking (along gravel farm roads) and 4X4 routes, scenic drives, Wine tasting, brandy and port tasting in the area (between Barrydale and Calitzdorp), swimming
Highlight: When sunset light illuminates the red Klein Karoo koppies; the birdlife
Accessibility: All car access via dirt road
Kiddie-friendly: 8. Kids are welcome – plenty of farm animals to keep little ones happy
Dog-friendly: By prior arrangement (there are already dogs on the farm and plenty farm animals)
Rates and costs (September 2013): R250pppn. For the latest rates, click here.
Contact: Website, Email: beecatcher@telkomsa.net, Tel: +27 (0)28 551 2076
Google Coordinates: -33.463096,21.07999

To view Bee Catcher Guest Farm on a  map, click here.

After a friend’s wedding in the area and a subsequent farm-hunting expedition, I found and fell head-over-heels-over-head-over-heart for a very special valley outside Ladismith. I did not imagine it was possible for a place to compete with my passion for and devotion to Beaverlac, but it did.

Bee Catcher cottages, where we choose to stay, happen to reside in this valley.

Great Zimbabwe Monument Campsite, Msvingo, Zimbabwe

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    Great Zimbabwe Monument
    View of part of the Great Zimbabwe Monument
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    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
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    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
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    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
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    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
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    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
    The campsite ablutions
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    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
    The campsite ablutions
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    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
    Great Zimbabwe Campsite
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    Great Zimbabwe Monument
    View of the surrounding landscape
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    Great Zimbabwe Monument
    Part of the Great Zimbabwe Monument
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Closest Town: Msvingo (about 25km)
Facilities: Massive campsite with hot water ablutions (showers); washing area; camps with braais, power and water taps.
Privacy: We are here out of season, so we’re one of two sets of campers – bliss! But there appears to be ample space for campers to enjoy some privacy even in season (although this is very difficult to say because I’m not sure how full this campsite gets)
Turf: grass
Activities: Explore the Great Zimbabwe National Monement museum and ruins
Highlight: Splendid views from the Hillside complex
Kiddie-friendly: 7. Plenty of space to play and run around
Rates and costs (February 2013): Camping = $5pppn
GPS Coordinates: S 13˚58’53.0″ E 034˚49’55.1″ (Google: -20.271537,30.930557)

To view Great Zimbabwe campsite on a map, click here.

If you’re visiting Great Zimbabwe and need to camp, don’t consider anywhere else, but here.\

Happy Days Pub & Lodge, Karatu, Tanzania

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    Happy Days Pub
    Happy Days Pub
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    Happy Days Campsite
    Happy Days Campsite
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    Happy Days Lodge
    Happy Days campsite and chalets in the background
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    Happy Days campsite
    Happy Days campsite cooking banda
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    Happy Days campsite
    Happy Days campsite
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    Happy Days campsite
    Basic campsite ablutions
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    Happy Days Lodge
    Road to Happy Days Pub & Lodge
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Happy Days Pub and Lodge, Karatu, Tanzania
Closest Town: Karatu (1km)
Facilities: chalets; camping site with hot water showers (donkey boiler); great restaurant and bar; WIFI (if you drink or eat at the bar)
Surroundings: Just on the Arusha side of Ngorogoro Conservation Area in the town of Karatu
Privacy: If it were full, not much
Turf: Sporadic grass growing in the red sand! (It’s trying)
Highlight: It’s a bar with a campground :-), Convenience
Rates (January 2013): When we were there, slightly negotiable. We paid $10pppn (started at $15, but because staff discussed it in front of us, we realised we could negotiate)
Contact: Email: happydayskaratu@gmail.com, Tel: +255 784 505 865
GPS Coordinates: -3.346499, 35.667873

To view Happy Days Bar & Lodge on a map, click here.

This is a great little spot on the way to/from Arusha just outside the Ngorogoro Conservation Area and is perfectly positioned for travellers on their way to or from there or the Serengeti National Park.

Away with the Fairies Backpackers, Hogsback, Eastern Cape

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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    The reception/bar/restaurant area
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Garden campsite
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Garden camping
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    View of the valley
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    One of the better bath locations we've encountered!
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Communal kitchen
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Backpackers' Lounge
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Basic camping ablutions
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Backpackers' room
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Double room in the backpackers
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    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
    Away with the Fairies Backpackers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Away with the Fairies, Hogsback, Eastern Cape
Closest Town: Hogsback (1km)
Facilities: Fully functioning backpackers with double and dorm rooms in a house and some outbuildings set on a big, leafy property; swimming pool; bar; restaurant; camping in the backpackers’ garden with separate, adequate hot water ablutions and the use of the backpackers’ kitchen.
Setting: In a big leafy garden up in the Hogsback mountains
Turf: Mostly grassy
Privacy: Small intimate camping area, so if it’s full, you’ll battle to find a private spot. Also situated right behind the bar area, so you’ll hear the goings-on in there
Activities: Hiking/walking, village excursions, mountain biking
Accessibility: All car access
Highlight: Bath tub overlooking the Hogsback valley
Kiddy-friendly (Scale of 1-10): 4
Rates and costs: Camping= R70pppn (March 2013), Rates subsequently gone up – contact for current rates
Contact: Website, Email: hogsback1@gmail.com, Tel: +27 (0)45 962 1031
GPS Coordinates: S 32˚36’06.4 ” E026˚56’26.4″

To View Away with the Fairies on a map, click here.

Despite vowing never to camp at a backpackers again, here we are at one in Hogsback. As a backpackers, it’s great and certainly a popular one and it’s easy to see why. The vibe is super relaxed, Hogsback is a quaint village and the area is surrounded by beautiful natural forests offering outdoorsy people plenty of things to do.

Richtersveld Wilderness Camp, Orange River, Northern Cape

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    View of the Orange River from campsite 11
    View of the Orange River from campsite 11
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    View down the Orange River from just below the camp
    View down the Orange River from just below the camp
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    View from campsite 14
    View from campsite 14
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    Campsite 14
    Campsite 14
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    View of the Orange River from campsite 14
    View of the Orange River from campsite 14
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    Campsite 16
    Campsite 16
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    Our campsite and 13 in the background
    Our campsite and 13 in the background
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    Richtersveld Conservancy: a short drive from the campsite
    Richtersveld Conservancy: a short drive from the campsite
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    Richtersveld Conservancy: a short drive from the campsite
    Richtersveld Conservancy: a short drive from the campsite
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Click here to view Richtersveld Wilderness Camp on a map.

Not too long ago, we visited what used to be Wild Thing River Camp and loved it! The great news is that although the camp has changed owners and had its name subsequently changed to Richtersveld Wilderness Camp, it is the same fantastic campsite it always was and is still open for bookings.

Rumour has it that the owners have installed brand new hot water geysers, the sites are lush and green and it’s filling up fast for September school holidays, so book now!

Personally, it is my favourite campsite along that stretch of the Orange River and an added bonus is that it’s right on the doorstep of the magnificent Richtersveld Conservancy.

TO BOOK, email: dave@tinfish.co.za or call: +27 (0)21 671 7051