Beaverlac Review (2018)
The Beaverlac camp site, nestled in between the mountains of the Cederberg, about 2 and a half hours out of Cape Town offers a simple but much welcomed retreat from the relentless forward motion of city life.
Our families started our holidays by killing our cell reception and heading to the mountains. A few things to note at the start of this review:
1) I like camping.
2) I like my family.
So the idea of going to a place where I would have to sleep on an airbed, with no reception and only the people around me for company was wonderful. Don’t camp with people you don’t like, it’s not worth it.
Beaverlac requires pre-booking, you do this on the website, register each adult with a Beaverlac account and then one adult per a car needs to book a permit. The website registration can be bit glitchy but it works after a bit.
PRINT THE PERMIT and bring it with you, or for the very least bring with your permit number.
Take the N7 out of Cape Town and drive, this road has limited stops, not like the N1/N2 so make sure you fill up before your trip. Once you get to the mountain its a really bumpy gravel road. Small cars should have a light load and go slow, keep a safe following distance as well as dust and stones tend to fly up.
After about 20 minutes of bumpiness you drive up the mountain, this is epic but frightening, go slow. Fortunately this is a basically tarred road, so the drive is a lot smoother.
Once on the mountain, the drive into the farms is also a little bumpy, mixed between road and gravel, on the drive in it felt quite hectic but going out it felt ok. As long as you take your time and your car isn’t too heavy, most cars will be able to make the drive.
The campsite is basic, no electricity, no designated sites, cars generally park and build a fire with some stones and thats your campsite. I like this set up because it allowed us to take up as much space as we needed and grow when more people came to join us. There are lots of trees for shade, hammock and slack lines. The campsite is big enough for campers to space out, giving you enough room to play ballgames and not feel like you are too close to your neighbours.
The bathrooms are clean and have hot showers, as well as a place for washing up dishes. They can get a little sandy and dusty towards the end of the day as they are cleaned once in the mornings. Bring your own toilet paper to the bathroom. In our one the light was a also a bit dim but there was always enough light to see what you were doing.
There is a store on site that sells almost anything you might thing you would need on camp. Wood, water, ice, canned goods, sauces, eggs, chicken, it doesn’t, however, have any fresh produce. Make sure you bring your fruit and veg with you.
There are also two deep freezers avaible for anyone to use at the store, they are outside of the store room so you always have access to them. For longer campers this might be a good solution.
There are no bins, Beaverlac has a take your trash home with you policy. However the store does have a trash service, so you can leave your dirt there for R10. This meant I could take home the recycling and leave the trash, a neat system which I wish a few other campsites would institute.
This was just the best. Beaverlac has two pools easily accessible via a short walk. The walk to the main pool is a bit rocky, so make sure to where some footgear. The walk to the Secret Pool is less rocky but a bit longer than expected, keep following the path and you do eventually get there.
The Main Pool is large and deep, children should always, be accompanied by a competent swimmer. There is a rope that you can climb up for jumping off the small waterfall. The youngest kid in our group (7) managed to jump off the middle section. It’s a good thrill that easily becomes lots of fun and by day three they were doing lots of fun combos off the rocks.
The Secret Pool is a smaller, shallow pool that also has a waterfall edge. This pool is far too shallow so NO JUMPING. The shallow pool option is great as it offers a more relaxed swimming time, where looking after the kids isn’t so intense.
The top of the waterfall at the Secret Pool is easily accessible from the walk in. Here you will find shallow pools as the river flows towards the secret pool. An ideal stop for babies as the water is a little warmer up here and they can splash around fairly safely.
Besides these two pools we heard of two more pools that require a bit of a walk, the Totem Pool and the African Pool. The African Pool has a great reputation but is a two hour walk away and as we were with several young kids we did not venture out this way. Next time though…
Before our trip I struggled to find any info on this little hidden away gem, so I wrote this review for future campers. We will definitely be going back with more family and friends. Beaverlac gives you a much needed retreat from reception, beautiful pools for jumping and swimming and walks into a breath taking landscape. I hope you enjoy if you go travel safely and happy holidays!
Find out more at https://www.beaverlac.co.za/