With the continuous rising fuel price, it’s important to track down campsites that are not too far from home – especially if you, like Rikus Truter from Lekker Kampplekke, starts suffering from withdrawal symptoms if you can’t pitch your tent somewhere for more than a week or so.
If a camper’s arrival time is 10:00 on a Friday and your exit time is only 17:30 on a Sunday afternoon, you should know that the campsite owner has the campers’ best interests at heart. This is most certainly the case with Bergenwater, a beautiful and intimate campsite on the water’s edge on Altus and Monique Smith’s farm. Fortunately for us, they like to share this beautiful piece of land with campers. Bergenwater is located on a working wine farm, just outside Rawsonville. As it is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town, it is ideal for a quick getaway. The campsite we selected for our two-day visit gave us the most beautiful view of the river and the surrounding mountains – hence the very appropriate name for this camper’s paradise. I cannot describe the bliss and tranquillity of simply sitting at your stand and watching the river gently rumble over the round stones, with the birds calling in the tree above you. I can assure you that you leave Bergenwater refreshed and recharged after a wonderful, restful camping experience!
The swimming area has a natural beach feel with sand running down the riverbank into the river. The swimming hole is not too deep, allowing smaller children ample opportunity to frolic along the side of the river while mom and dad keep an eye on them. The stands at Bergenwater are all wonderfully spacious and green and as the sites are not designated, the early bird catches the worm with a prime spot such as we had, boasting a nice big tree for shade. All the stands have electricity and there are central points for fresh water. The ablution facilities are very neat, with enough hot water. There are also ample braai drums at the campsite.
Altus and Monique have also made special effort with a challenging and beautiful mountain bike route for avid cyclists and a route for 4×4 enthusiasts. So, pack your mountain bike or e-bike to explore the beautiful surroundings of the farm. The fishermen shouldn’t forget their rods as you can enjoy fishing in the river. There are also hiking trails and more than a hundred different bird species to check off your list.
A nice addition to the campsite is the lookout platform, from where you can quietly sit and enjoy the panoramic views over the vineyards and mountains. I walked up to the lookout point to spend a lazy afternoon in the sun while reading my book – with a nice cup of coffee and snacks, of course. From this vantage point you also have the most beautiful view when the sun sets over the mountains – ideal for a sundowner and those perfect Instagram moments of blissful enjoyment! The sunsets are exquisite and its a treat to watch how the mountain and clouds change into the different hues of red, orange and yellow as you end the day. Have I used the word “blissful” yet?
We camped at Bergenwater on a Thursday and Friday. On Thursday there were only two other couples, but the camp soon filled up with enthusiastic campers – many of them returning for a second or third time – on the Friday. It was wonderful to see how excited everyone was when they entered the camp and chose a stand, with the anticipation of having a good time camping!
During our visit we drove the 4×4 route – a beautiful, well-maintained road up the mountain – with Altus. We stopped at several points along the way to appreciate the wonderful scenery. There is a lookout point at the top of the trail where you can have a picnic before heading down to the campsite again. I would definitely recommend this route to 4×4 owners. As it goes, we chatted to some of the other campers and found that many of them brought their fellow campers along to introduce them to this beautiful campsite. We will definitely visit again – once simply is not enough!
In a nutshell
NEAREST TOWN: Rawsonville (10 minutes)
TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION: Campsite
STANDS: 21 (stands are not marked so first come, first serve applies)
PET-FRIENDLY: No (it can be considered with special arrangements between May and August)
FISHING: Yes (river)
CELL PHONE RECEPTION: Yes
ACCESSIBILITY: Combination of tar and gravel roads (accessible to any vehicle and road caravans)
RATES: R140 per person per night and R80 per child per night (3 – 10 years old) *From October 2022 the prices will rise to R150 per person per night for adults and R90 per child per night.
CONTACT: +27 82 341 1178 | info@bergenwater | www.bergenwater.co.za |@Bergenwater
Rates and facilities highlighted in this article have been supplied and are subject to change without prior notice. – Ed.