Traveling during COVID-19 in South Africa!
This week we are road tripping in South Africa! Campsites and guest houses are open and we are loving this remote part of SA! First stop Camdeboo National Park and the Valley of Desolation.
Via the stunning Tradouw pass and the R62 with its dramatic views (longest wine route in SA), driving through Oudshoorn and Graaff Reinet, we find our way to Camdeboo National Park. Driving along these deserted roads makes me fall in love with South Africa all over again! We’ll be camping at Camdeboo for two nights and will spend tomorrow exploring our surroundings!
Camdeboo National Park
After we set up camp last night we made supper and as soon as the sun went down the temperature plummeted, even a fire couldn’t keep us warm. This resulted in us getting into bed shortly after 8 fully clothed! We decided to keep it simple this year and camp with a nylon tent, which is easy to put up. We woke up this morning with frost and ice on the outside of the tent, which was a first for us! Anyway we did have a good night’s sleep actually! The idea was to do one of the Camdeboo park hikes but when we got there, parking was quite isolated, we had all our valuables in the vehicle, so we decided against it and went straight to the valley of Desolation. What a marvelous place, the views are endless, very impressive and we loved every moment of it! After exploring and a bit of a walk, we went into the thriving metropolis of Graaff Reinet to find a barber very originally called Mr Cut, where Brett had a long-overdue haircut. The rest of the afternoon we relaxed, read a book and enjoyed the peace and quiet of this amazing camp site. The bird life here is amazing! Lots of LBJ’s (little brown jobs we can’t identify), we’re loving life in general right now!
It never ceases to amaze me how empty the Karoo is. Miles and miles of absolute nothingness apart from the occasional sheep, cow, buck or ostrich makes for quite an uneventful drive. At the same time the vastness of space is enormously impressive! We left this morning at about 7:30 for Clarens. It took us about 7 hours, we only stopped once for petrol. I managed to find a lovely self-catering cottage in cl Clarens with a beautiful view over the Maluti mountains. After dropping off our luggage, we walked the one block into town and had a lovely lunch at the Post House. Clarens reminds me of Greyton, it’s a bit bigger and a bit more commercial but it’s got a very nice feel about it. Hopefully we can get a nice hike in tomorrow and we can explore the town and all its little crafty and arty shops and galleries, looking forward to it!
So we finally managed to get our hike in. We did a few of the hiking trails in the Clarens nature reserve and it was absolutely lovely. 14 km later our legs were tired and we went back to our cottage for a late breakfast and some well-deserved relaxation. We spent the afternoon browsing through the various small little shops and had a lovely lunch at the local Clarens Brewery. Now we’re sitting on the patio of our cottage having a glass of wine and looking back at a lovely and relaxing day!
Destination today is Wakkerstroom. The route started off magnificently, driving through Golden Gate national park, it’s absolutely stunning there. Because we decided to take the roads less traveled as well, we were taken on a really bad dirt road to Verkykerskop. This was not the best idea! We had to hold on for dear life it was so rocky and rough. And this for 35 km! After arriving in Wakkerstroom we had lunch at the local hotel. This place is world renowned for its birdlife, there is a stunning Vlei here. Most action obviously happens during the weekend, as nearly everything is closed today. We’re now at Forellenhof guest Farm a lovely place very tranquil and quiet with a beautiful view! Another little gem of a spot discovered!
We finish our road trip in Kruger with some fantastic sightings.
We love South Africa and traveling during Covid-19 has had its advantages.