Beaverlac has everything you could need for a comfortable camping experience as well as beautiful rock pools, hiking trails and cycling trails. Plus it’s dog-friendly and children will have a blast too.

Where is it?
Porterville, Western Cape (approximately 170km from Cape Town).

Why stay there?
Beaverlac is extremely popular and for good reason.  It has everything you could need for a comfortable camping experience as well as beautiful rock pools, hiking trails and cycling trails. Plus it’s also dog-friendly and children will have a blast too.

How much does it cost?
Camping costs R75 per adult per night, children aged 4-17 years pay R45 per night and under 4’s stay for free. There are cabins available (bring your own linen) starting at R270 per night for two people. Dogs are R50 per night and there’s a once-off entrance fee of R30 per car.

Can I take my dogs?
Absolutely! Beaverlac is a great place to take your dog, provided they are well-behaved and socialised.

Can I take the kids?
Camping has to be one of the best things you can do with kids and they will love Beaverlac.  Also, this is a good opportunity to get them to leave their tablets, phones and any other electronic devices behind as there’s so much to explore!

Contact details
Telephone (022) 931 2945, or visit their website to register and make a booking.

I have been going to Beaverlac for many years and I can honestly say it still remains one of my favourite camping excursions.!  Here are six reasons why I love Beaverlac so much:

(1) It’s not far from Cape Town (170km), but you feel like you are a world away. The roads are good and you also get to travel along the beautiful Dasklip Pass. That said, the road into the campsite can be a little rough, but if my Hyundai Getz can do it, most sedans can.

(2) The campsites are well-maintained and under trees, so you can keep fairly cool. There is no electricity at the campsites, but with a little preparation beforehand, you’ll soon settle into life with no lights or boiling kettles. Don’t forget to take your braai grid otherwise you’ll be living on biscuits and crisps. If you don’t like the idea of no electricity and don’t particularly like sleeping under canvas, there are cottages available. In fact, a clever plan would be to get some members of your group to book a cottage and then you can use their plug points if need be.

(3) The ablution blocks are clean and always have loo roll – this is very important for us girls! The showers are good, but don’t expect loads of hot water. However, it’s generally fairly hot so you are more likely to want a cool shower than a boiling hot one! There’s also plenty of sinks outside the ablution blocks to wash your dishes and pots etc. Just remember to take a tub, washing liquid and a scourer with you.

(4) The shop is so well-stocked that if you forget something at home they are very likely to have it. They also stock tins of dog food and a selection of cold beers and Savanna’s in the event you run out. Prices are good – you pay pretty much the same here as you do at shops in Cape Town. It is on a cash-only basis though, so don’t forget to draw some money before you arrive.

(5) The rock pools are amazing and generally easy to walk to. You’ll find that you spend most of your day at one of these! My favourite is the Secret Pool, but the Main Pool is good too. I also loved the Totem Pool, but in my old age I am now too lazy to hike there! It’s well worth it though if you have an enthusiastic and energetic crew. Flat Rock is also worth visiting to escape the crowds, but don’t attempt it in the middle of the day as it’s a fairly long walk and it can get unbearably hot (which is not fun for dogs either).

(6) It’s pet-friendly, which is good news for all dogs who also like to go camping! You’ll find plenty of other dogs at the campsite and they all roam free, so don’t take your dog if they are not well socialised.  Dogs are also welcome to join you at the rock pools.

In addition to wonderful waterfalls, there are hiking trails, varying from 2km to 5km in length and you are welcome to bring your bike if you fancy some offroad cycling.  If you like fishing, you can fish for Bass in the Olifants River.

Or you can just be like me and have a braai for breakfast, chill all morning by the Secret Pool with a G&T, have an afternoon nap followed by sundowners by the Main Pool, have a braai for supper and then crawl into your tent for a good night’s sleep under whispering trees and twinkling stars.  Then wake up and repeat. Just how camping should be!

Need to know:
Beaverlac only takes bookings through their website and on email. You need to register, get everyone’s ID (those who are in your car) and everyone who is going with you needs to register too. They are also very strict about noise (trust me on this, I speak from experience!) so don’t go there thinking you are going to have wild parties until the wee hours. You could get booted out and subsequently banned. Quiet from 22h00 and absolute silence from 23h00.

Inside information
Don’t bother filling up your boot space with braai wood. The shop sells fantastic dry braai wood and it costs the same as if you had bought it from a garage.

Published December 2021 | Own cost