Free State Favourites

South Africa is known as a country with some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. According to Rikus Truter from Lekker Kampplekke, the best way to experience this is, of course, to camp. This month he gives us his top camping spot picks in the Free State.

  1. Tava Lingwe Game Lodge

Wonderfully removed from the city noise, Tava Lingwe Game Lodge truly offers visitors rest for the soul. Each of the 80 sites has its own power point, and the communal ablution facilities are neatly maintained (there are also two family bathrooms). The youngsters are kept busy with a large swimming pool, play area, table tennis, putt-putt, pool tables, outdoor chess and a volleyball court. Active visitors can enjoy one of the many hiking trails or go on a game drive.

NEAREST TOWN: Vredefort / Viljoenskroon (25km)

SHOP: Yes

PET-FRIENDLY: No

FISHING: No

CELL PHONE RECEPTION: Limited

ACCESSIBILITY: Tar road

RATES: R400 per night, per campsite for one vehicle and four people. Up to six people can be accommodated per stand – additional costs to be confirmed upon booking.

*Various self-catering options are available, from R520 per night.

CONTACT: +27 71 179 5833 | info@tavalingwe.co.za | www.tavalingwe.co.za

2. Awimaweh Resort

Located in Tweespruit on the banks of the Armenia Dam, Awimaweh Resort offers magnificent views of the dam and the surrounding mountains. The 7km waterfront is a fisherman’s paradise with potential catches of carp, catfish and yellowfish. There are also two large pools, putt-putt, bird watching, outdoor chess, game-viewing and horseback riding to keep you entertained.

NEAREST TOWN: Tweespruit (2km)

SHOP: Yes

PET-FRIENDLY: Yes

FISHING: Yes (dam and river)

CELL PHONE RECEPTION: Yes

ACCESSIBILITY: Gravel road (accessible to non-4WD vehicles).

RATES: From R50 per person per night (prices vary depending on which time of the year you visit).

*Various self-catering options are available, from R500 per night.

CONTACT: +27 82 413 8486 | awimaweh@telkomsa.net | www.awimaweh.co.za

3. Riverrun Resort

If you are into stunning scenery and wonderful activities, including fishing, then Riverrun Resort is a great choice. Located on the Vaal River, each of the resort’s 31 sites (16 of them on the river bank) has a 6 x 6m paved block, a braai area, water and power points. There are two swimming pools, and the river tubes offer hours of fun for young and old.

NEAREST TOWN: Parys / Potchefstroom (35km)

SHOP: Yes

PET-FRIENDLY: Yes

FISHING: Yes (river)

CELL PHONE RECEPTION: Yes

ACCESSIBILITY: The 16km gravel road is accessible to non-4WD vehicles, but those with higher ground clearance perform better.

RATES: From R400 per stand for one vehicle and four people per night. Up to eight people can be accommodated per stand at R80 per person extra per night. Additional cars are charged at R40 per vehicle.

*Various self-catering options are available, from R980 per night.

CONTACT: +27 71 584 2160 | bookings@riverrunresort.co.za | www.riverrunresort.co.za

4. Kasteelkop Guest Farm

If you like silence and seclusion, Kasteelkop Guest Farm is the ideal place for you. The guest farm offers a unique farm experience, a mere 170km from Gauteng. There are five stands, each with a power point, and ablution facilities are located in a historic old barn. Donkey boilers are used to heat the shower water. Activities include horse riding, mountain biking trails, hiking trails and bird watching. You can also cool down in the farm dam.

NEAREST TOWN: Frankfort (30km)

SHOP: No

PET-FRIENDLY: Yes – arrange beforehand.

FISHING: Yes (river)

CELL PHONE RECEPTION: Yes

ACCESSIBILITY: Gravel road (accessible to non-4WD vehicles).

RATES: R100 per person per night and R100 per stand (cost includes firewood).

*Limited self-catering options are available, from R1 500 per night

CONTACT: +27 82 8500 170 | kasteelkopguestfarm@gmail.com | www.kasteelkopguestfarm.net

5. Deelfontein Guest Farm

The bush camp on the farm Deelfontein is in the heart of the Vredefort Dome, hidden in the rugged bushveld. The bush camp in this world heritage area – about 140km from Johannesburg – consists of three thatched huts with a total of 16 bunk beds, an equipped lapa, a boma, a swimming pool and laundry facilities. Deelfontein Guest Farm is equipped for hikers on the multi-day Vredefort Meteorite hiking trail, and has limited space for campers (only one stand for an off-road trailer and a few tents). Activities on Deelfontein include hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, and tree identification. Visitors must provide their own bedding, firewood and food. Electric light is provided, but there are no 220V power points.

NEAREST TOWN: Vredefort (14km) / Parys (20km)

SHOP: No

PET-FRIENDLY: Yes – arrange beforehand.

FISHING: No

ACCESSIBILITY: Gravel road (accessible to non-4WD vehicles).

RATES: From R180 per person per night

CONTACT: +27 83 280 9784 | gerhard@deelfontein.co.za | www.deelfontein.co.za

*Prices and facilities highlighted in this article are subject to change without notice. – Ed.

 Rikus’ top camp tips

Important things campers should consider when choosing a destination:

  • Is there electricity and warm water at the campsite?
  • Is there enough sunshine on the camping stands during winter and enough shade in the summer?
  • Is the campsite pet-friendly – it is nice to take your furry friends camping from time to time.
  • What is the condition of the gravel road en route to the campsite? Would I need a higher ground clearance vehicle or even a 4×4?
  • What activities are there to entertain the children?
  • Is there a shop to find all the things you have inevitably forgotten at home?
  • Can I gather wood from the area or buy it at the campsite?

*For more information on camping sites near you, visit the Lekker Kampplekke website: www.lekkerkampplekke.co.za

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