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Tag Archives: eastern cape

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.

Storms River Mouth Camp, Garden Route National Park, Eastern Cape

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    Storms River Mouth Campsite
    Storms River Mouth Campsite
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    Storms River Mouth Campsite
    Storms River Mouth Campsite
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    Storms River Mouth Campsite
    Storms River Mouth Campsite
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    Storms River Mouth Campsite
    Storms River Mouth Campsite
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    Storms River Mouth Campsite
    Layout of Storms River Mouth campsite
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    Storms River Mouth Campsite
    Storms River Mouth Campsite
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    Storms River Mouth
    Beach at Storms River Mouth Camp
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    Storms River Mouth
    Beach at Storms River Mouth Camp
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    Storms River Mouth
    Storms River Mouth
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    Storms River Mouth campsite
    Storms River Mouth campsite ablutions
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    Storms River Mouth campsite
    Storms River Mouth campsite washing area
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    Storms River Mouth campsite
    Storms River Mouth campsite kitchen/laundry
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    Storms River Mouth Camp
    Storms River Mouth Camp
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    Storms River Mouth Camp
    Storms River Mouth Camp
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    Storms River Mouth Camp
    Storms River Mouth Camp
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    Storms River Mouth Camp
    Storms River Mouth Campsite
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Storms River Mouth, Tsitsikama NP, Garden Route
Closest Town: Storms River village (roughly 12km)
Facilities: Massive spread out campsite with sites with and without power, proper caravan sites, very decent hot water ablution blocks, washing area/scullery with communal fridges and freezers, laundry; self-catering basic forest huts; self-catering and more luxurious forest cabins; swimming pool; conference centre, shop; restaurant/bar
Activities: Hiking, bird-watching, various river adventures (rafting, tubing etc.), swimming, beach; boat rides
Surroundings: Entire camp is spread along the shore of the ocean with forested hills and cliffs behind you
Privacy: Unless you have a self-contained forest hut or cabin, there is nothing private about staying/camping here; sites are open, small and very close together.
Turf: Good green grass
Accessibility: All car access on a tar road
Highlight: Most camp sites are situated right on the shore and hence have splendid views of the sea
Kiddie friendly (scale 1-10): 8
Dog-friendly: No
Rates (March 2013): Camping = R285 for the site a night (includes two people)
Contact: Website, email: grace.valela@sanparks.org, Central Reservations: +27 (0)12 428 9111 or mobile: +27 (0)82 233 9111
Google Coordinates: -34.021649,23.89595

To view Storms River Mouth on a larger map, click here.

I’m going to be brutally honest. You come here for the setting and view and not necessarily for the camping.

The draw card is that the entire camp is situated along a section of Garden Route coastline with magnificent views over the rocks and crashing waves and with forested hills behind you that contain ample beautiful hiking trails and walks. Add to this excellent facilities (typical of SAN Parks) and you have a unique, winning and thriving holiday resort.

Geelkrans Campsite, Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape

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    Geelkraans Campsite
    Geelkraans Campsite
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    Geelkraans Campsite
    Gamtoos river at the Geelkraans Campsite
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    Geelkraans Campsite
    Geelkraans Campsite
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    Geelkrans Campsite
    Geelkrans Campsite
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    Geelkrans Campsite ablutions
    Geelkrans Campsite ablutions
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    Geelkrans Campsite washing area
    Geelkrans Campsite washing area
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    Geelkrans Campsite bathroom
    Geelkrans Campsite bathroom
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    Geelkrans Campsite
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    Geelkrans Campsite
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    Geelkrans Campsite
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    Gamtoos River, Geelkrans Campsite
    Gamtoos River, Geelkrans Campsite
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Geelkrans, Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape
Closest Town: Patensie (roughly 8km)
Distance from CT/Joburg: 705km/1138km
Facilities: Very nicely organised, shaded campsite with 11 designated and demarcated sites all with a big round fire pit and rubbish bins, single ablution block with hot water showers and a small kitchen/ washing area. (Lack of taps – only ones we found we were at the ablution area)
Activities: Swimming, walking, 4X4 trips into the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, mountain biking, tubing on the river
Surroundings: Campsite is right on the banks of the Gamtoos River. Consists of a row of shady sites surrounded by shrubbery and trees with a massive grass patch between them and the river.
Privacy: The owners have made every effort to grow bushes and trees around the sides and backs of the campsites, but you will still encounter and be quite close to your neighbours. Because of the large space in front of the campsites, this isn’t a train-smash at all
Turf: Sandy and grassy (mostly earth/sand where one would pitch tents, otherwise, grassy)
Highlight: Access to the river and the feeling of being somewhere remote and utterly peaceful
Accessibility: All vehicle access
Kiddie friendly (scale 1-10): 7 (no facilities for kids, but they’ll love it for the river and grass area to play on in front of the campsites)
Dog-friendly: No
Rates (March 2013): Camping = R50pppn plus a R50 a night site fee
Contact: Website, Tel: 072 521 9615, Email: geelkrans@lantic.net
GPS Coordinates: S 33˚44’46.45″ E 24˚42’59.85″

To view Geelkraans on a larger map, click here.

Admittedly I’m spoilt to be able to visit so many beautiful campsites on a Sunday or during the week when it’s quiet. Yet even without that advantage, there are some places that you just know are incredible spots regardless of how many people you encounter while you’re there. Geelkraans is one of them.

The Falls Backpackers, Tsitsa Falls, Highlands, Eastern Cape

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    The Falls Backpackers
    The Falls Backpackers
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    Tsitsa Falls
    Tsitsa Falls
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    The Falls Backpackers
    The Falls Backpackers
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    The Falls Backpackers
    The Falls Backpackers
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    The Falls Backpackers
    View from The Falls Backpackers
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    The Falls Backpackers
    The Falls Backpackers from the river
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    The Falls Backpackers campsite
    The Falls Backpackers campsite
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    The Falls Backpackers campsite
    The Falls Backpackers campsite
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    The Falls Backpackers
    Outside double room at The Falls Backpackers
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    The Falls Backpackers campsite/garden
    The Falls Backpackers campsite/garden
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    The Falls Backpackers campsite/garden
    The Falls Backpackers campsite/garden
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    The Falls Backpackers campsite/garden
    The Falls Backpackers campsite/garden
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    The Falls Backpackers
    The Falls Backpackers
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    The Falls Backpackers
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    The Falls Backpackers
    The Falls Backpackers
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    Tsitsa River
    Tsitsa River
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: The Falls Backpackers, Tsitsa Falls, Maclear, Eastern Cape
Closest Town: Maclear (30km?)
Setting: The substantial garden of an old farm homestead, overlooking the Tsitsa valley
Turf: grass
Privacy: If you can get a spot on the perimeter of the garden overlooking the valley, it will be quite private. Otherwise, you’re camping, and visible, in the garden of a backpackers.
Activities: Hiking, adventure kayaking (rainy season), zip-lining, swimming
Highlight: You get to live on a remote, country farm in an incredible setting for as long as you wish to stay there
Accessibility: All car access via dirt road
Kiddie-friendly: backpackers are generally not geared for little people, but since the owners have small children, I’d assume other kiddies would be quite happy.
Dog-friendly: No
Rates and costs (March 2013): Camping= R70pppn, Double room=R300pn
Contact: Website, Email: info@tsitsafalls.com, Tel: +27(0)459321138
Google Coordinates: -31.01504,28.483536

To view The Falls Backpackers on a larger map, click here.

I generally don’t stop at backpackers. Not because I don’t like them, but because it feels kind of odd when I’m travelling through my own country. At ‘home’, I want to get away and be quiet and tend NOT to want to be somewhere too vibey and uber social – something characteristic of most backpackers.

We drove past this one and opted to keep going, but by default or fate ended up here anyway. However, it was by no unfortunate turn of events.

Karnmelkspruit River Resort, Highlands, Eastern Cape

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    Driving towards Karnmelkspruit campsite
    Driving towards Karnmelkspruit campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit
    Karnmelkspruit
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    Karnmelkspruit
    Karnmelkspruit
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Swimming spot at Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Karnmelkspruit Campsite bathroom
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Karnmelkspruit Campsite bathroom
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
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    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
    Karnmelkspruit Campsite
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Karnmelkspruit River Resort, Lady Grey, Highlands, Eastern Cape
Closest Town: Lady Grey (20km)
Facilities: Fairly basic campsite (30 sites) with scattered braai places and decent hot water ablutions; communal lapa and braai area; 10-sleeper self-catering cottage on the river
Activities: Tubing in the river when the river is full and flowing, fishing (yellow fish and rainbow trout), hiking, swimming, mountain biking, kloofing
Surroundings: In a rugged gorge, right on the Karnmelkspruit River
Privacy: Pretty open campsite with minimal trees and bushes for shade and sites are not demarcated or designated, so not very private.
Turf: Grass
Highlight: You feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere
Accessibility: all car access, short dirt road (roughly 2km) to the campsite
Kiddie-friendly (scale 1-10): 6
Dog-friendly: small dogs=yes, large dogs=only if they aren’t agressive or a hazard to resident sheep
Rates: Contact venue for current rates
Contact: Ian & Eliza Cloete – Website , Tel: +27 (0)51 603 7036, Cell: +27 (0)84 584-7036
GPS Coordinates: -30.809385,27.258925 (Google Maps)

To view Karnmelkspruit on a large map, click here.

I have to admit, Karnmelkspruit seems so far away from everything, I battled to understand who’d go there and when. But, it’s actually within reasonable proximity to Bloemfontein and East London, especially for long weekends and it’s in a very interesting and unassuming part of South Africa.

What’s there to like about Karnmelkspruit?

Wildside Campsite, Eastern Cape

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    Wildside Campsite
    View town into the Wildside Campsite valley
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    Wildside Campsite
    Sunset along the river at Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    Sunset along the river at Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    The river in front of Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    Wildside Campsite
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    Wildside Campsite
    Wildside Campsite bathrooms
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    Wildside Campsite
    Wildside Campsite bathroom
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Wildside, EC Highlands, Eastern Cape
Closest Town: Barkly East (38km)
Facilities: Large campsite with some demarcated sites. All sites have own fire pit, bin, braai and cutting area; most sites have a tap; basic hot water ablutions with flush toilets; power on request, but at appropriate and unoffensive times (those using the service will need to split the generator cost). Dogs allowed by prior arrangement. A new, private bush camp with river frontage is in the process of being established – contact Wildside for an update.
Setting: Under a plantation of Poplar trees in a sandstone-cliff-enclosed valley along the clear Kraai River
Turf: middle campsites=grass, river campsite=sand
Privacy: Large, mostly open campsite, but owners are in the process of separating/demarcating sites. Individual sites are large enough not to be too perturbed by neighbours’, but you will still see and hear them
Activities: Hiking, kayaking, tubing (in season), swimming, visits to rock art sites, trout fishing
Accessibility: A long series of dirt roads mostly okay to travel on in normal vehicles, but your trip will be slow and careful. 2X4 or high clearance vehicles advised.
Highlight: Not only the clear river that flows right past the campsite, but finally, someone has got fire pits in a campsite! Finally. The joy of having a large, social, ground-level fire area is completely underrated. Also, free fire wood (at least for now)
Kiddie-friendly (Scale of 1-10): 6
Dog friendly: By arrangement
Rates and costs (March 2013): Camping= R70pppn (R80 pppn from December 2013). Generator = 3 litres/hour, so based on the current fuel cost, you’ll know what you should be contributing.
Contact: Website, Tel: + 27 (0) 87 943 5428 (leave a message), Email: wildmountain@polka.co.za
GPS Coordinates: S 30˚47 ‘39.3″  E 27˚38’41.1″ (Google: -30.848742,27.666063)

To view Wildside on a larger map, click here.

I have to admit, when we drove in we both thought, “Weird,” but admittedly that was after a seemingly roundabout route (a gorge is in the way) and many, many kilometres of wondering if we’d ever get here.

Seven gates and 180 degrees later, we eventually did. To a very remote campsite in the middle of  the Eastern Cape highlands. The drier part. The more remote, rugged and quiet part. To a place defined by beautiful, eroded sandstone cliffs and almost secret, pristine rivers that carve their way through the landscape. To a place that exudes soul in a format you may not expect and may not be accustomed to.

Green Fountain Farm Resort, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape

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    Green Fountain Farm Resort
    Green Fountain Farm Resort
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort
    Green Fountain Farm Resort
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort campsite
    Green Fountain Farm Resort campsite
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort campsite
    Green Fountain Farm Resort campsite
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort pool & entertainment area
    Green Fountain Farm Resort pool & entertainment area
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort pool & entertainment area
    Green Fountain Farm Resort pool & entertainment area
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort pool & entertainment area
    Green Fountain Farm Resort pool & entertainment area
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort recreation area
    Green Fountain Farm Resort recreation area
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort chalets
    Green Fountain Farm Resort chalets
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    Green Fountain Farm Resort
    Green Fountain Farm Resort
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Place: Green Fountain Farm Resort, Port Alfred, Sunshine Coast, Eastern Cape
Closest Town: Port Alfred (roughly 10km)
Facilities: Very well-equipped campsite with private/individual ablutions and wash up area; comfortable self-catering chalets; restaurant; golf driving range, kids play area; communal entertainment area
Activities: Golf, visits to the Sunshine Coast a few kilometres away, visits to nearby game farms; horse-riding in the vicinity
Surroundings: Grassed clearings in typical Eastern Cape Coastal woodland
Privacy: This is a very well-thought-out campsite. Individual sites may not be separated by much, but they’re still big and each has its own ablution/wash facility and washing area. Chalets range from semi-detached cottages to freestanding units.
Turf: Grassy
Highlight: Lots to explore and experience in the area. Personal favourite: the endless and beautiful, golden beaches of the Sunshine Coast
Access: All vehicle via tar road
Kiddie friendly (scale 1-10): 8
Dog-friendly: small dogs allowed, but only in the caravan park/camping site (not the chalets)
Rates (March 2013): Camping Low Season = R75 site fee per night plus R50 pppn, High Season (December holidays) = R350 site fee per night plus R60pppn, Mid season (Long weekends and April/September school holidays) = R150 per night site fee plus R60 pppn; Day visitors = R25 pd; Chalets from R250pppn (low season), between R1200 (4 sleeper) and R2400 (8 sleeper) per night (high season)
Contact: Website, Email: info@greenfountainfarm.co.za, Tel: +27 (0)46 624 5859
GPS Coordinates: -33.556989,26.966543 (Google)

To view Green Fountain Farm Resort on a larger map, click here.

On a recent Eastern Cape rendezvous I spotted this neat little settlement in a prime area that offers a handy, super-organised and very comfortable place to camp.

Medolino Campsite Update

For any fans of Medolino Caravan Park  in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, the campsite is still closed following floods in October last year. Unfortunately, due to a lack of assistance from the local municipality, the owners aren’t too positive about opening any time soon. So, if you’re looking for a place to camp on the sunshine coast for your next holiday, you’ll have to find somewhere else. As an alternative, we recommend Green Fountain Farm Resort in between Port Alfred and Kleinemonde. While it may not be on the sea, it’s certainly close by and offers something for the whole family.

A full review will follow soon.