South Africa: Travel through Western Cape by camber

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Oct 10th, 2011, 09:30 AM
  #1
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South Africa: Travel through Western Cape by camber

Does anyone have experience with traveling Western Cape (Stellenbosch - Langebaan - Paternoster - Citrusdal - via N1 to Prince Albert - Swartbergpass (maybe not such a good idea with a camper though- to Oudshoorn and back to S'bosch via Route 62)?
Any suggestions and ideas are welcome. We have travelled through RSA before, the most recent trip was in 2010. We keep hearing different stories about safety though.
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Oct 10th, 2011, 09:31 AM
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Make that Camper or RV of course
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Oct 11th, 2011, 12:24 AM
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Thanks for the information..............
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Oct 11th, 2011, 02:29 AM
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We've done the road up to Citrusdale/Cedarberg, and on another trip, to Paternoster and never had any problems. Also Oudtshoorn, partly on N2, partly D62 . All times in a car rather than a camper. Which area is your particular concern.
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Oct 11th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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We are wondering if traveling by camper or RV by itself is a good idea. As i wrote, we have traveled extensively in South Africa (6 trips since 1974) but lately I get mixed reports about safety. We have always traveled by regular car and stayed overnight in various B&B's and guesthouses. A delight but it does require extensive planning ahead and i always feel a bit rushed because of the need to arrive on time. No idea if you have to book campsites ahead of time out of high season. As I wrote earlier any information on the Western Cape in general is most welcome.
We intend to arrive in Cape Town, plan to do some whale watching in the Gans Bay area, after that drive north (possibly via the coast time permitting) to Citrusdal. From there South again to Prince Albert -stay overnight- next day via Swartbergpass to de Rust. Visit farm Doornkraal en back via Rte. 62 to Stellenbosch. After that we'll fly to Durban for a family visit.
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Oct 26th, 2011, 06:09 AM
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You've not gotten many responses and I don't have much wisdom.
This I can say 1) we've done lots of camping/RVing in the States in past years 2) we've spent 3 weeks as family in SA. I am wondering why you would now choose RV travel over renting a car? It just seems more logical. But you are seasoned travelers incl. SA.
Bill in Boston
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Oct 29th, 2011, 02:25 AM
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Thank you for your reply, Ozarksbill. We have often travelled through South Africa, always by car and always staying in a nice mix of B&B's, hotels and self catering units. We did find though that tourism in RSA is increasing and it is necessary to book ahead since many places are already booked up. This may only be true for the high season, november and december but this is our latest experience. The idea of a camper came up because this has been my "dream" for a long time.
We have no experience in the field of camper travel at all and we would really look forward to hearing more from you since you mention having experience in the U.S. This is next on our wish list of things to do. We used to live in the States in the days of hard work and babies and never had the time nor the money for those kinds of holidays. We are definitely considering a trip via Canada to the States (Washington and California) next year so yes, please, do keep the info coming. Did you file any trip reports?
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Nov 1st, 2011, 01:48 AM
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You can click on any poster's name and see their reports or comments.
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Nov 1st, 2011, 11:55 AM
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Our camping days are long gone since we sold a trailer and Suburban to pull it some years ago...with lingering regrets. With three youngsters and then on our own, going from a tent, then several fold down campers, then hard frame trailers with more amenities. And we saw lots of the U. S. staying in national and state parks when possible. (Those youngsters now 55, 51, 48 and unfortunately their spouses aren't campers). So heading across the States via some camping rig is very doable...with many private campgrounds along besides public. Great way to see the country and on Fodors and elsewhere lots of advice available.

I see that you are not now in the U. S. and I think a trailer is a bit different in Europe, called caravan and smaller with of course smaller autos but also popular. But in South Africa? I am wondering about facilities knowing nothing. I am not recalling campers/caravans on the road.

Good luck.
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Nov 11th, 2011, 02:29 AM
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Hi Elizabeth54.
I like your idea. I have travelled extensively in South Africa, and know the Western Cape very well. South Africa has almost 700 camping sites and the average South African likes to camp. You always see a caravan or camper on the road, it is a familiar face, especially during summer. Renting a camper in South Africa can be adventurous and fun, I think it is a great idea. Travelling in season can be expensive, and some camping sites will be fully booked. I would suggest February – April, when the weather is still very nice.
Almost every town on the coastline on the Western Cape as well as inland has a camping site with good facilities, best is to do your research beforehand. Try out http://www.sa-venues.com/caravan_parks_camping.htm and http://caravanparks.com/ and also search the caravan club websites and ask for advice. We used to get a lot of information from the tourist offices of each town we planned to visit - just search their websites.

I like the route you’re planning. Paternoster and Langebaan are totally different to the garden route. It is dry and flat but full of the Cape tradition. You must eat crayfish at the Paternoster Hotel and, if you are allowed, sign your name on the wall! One thing I know from experience, the Swartbergpass is not for campers or some smaller vehicles. Route 62 is a very nice scenic route to travel, too. http://www.route62.co.za/.

Mossel Bay has a very nice camping site right at the beach, I think it is called “The Point” or something similar. There are also great camping spots at Glentana, Buffels Bay and Victoria Bay.

Safety wise I would say never to camp alone (there must be other campers too) to always lock the camper, and leave valuables at home. The Western Cape is a very nice area and to my belief, as safe as can be.

Hope it helps!!
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