After what felt like an eternity, we could go camping again, and first on the list was Crodinie Camp.
Crodinie is roughly 20 km from Swellendam in the Overberg region of the Western Cape. The campsite is situated on the working farm of the Kemp-family bordering the Breede River.
Crodinie is accessible for all vehicles, but we would suggest taking a 4×4 to tow your caravan up the steep hill at the campsite. If you are camping with a regular tent, you should not have any problems traversing this steep hill with a normal vehicle.
There’s no electricity at the campsite, but there’s solar power and gas run geysers for hot water in the ablution facilities. The ablutions are neat and easily accessible from all the campsites. Each stand has its own braai area, green grass and most have shade. We recommend that you bring your own freshwater for drinking and cooking, rather safe than sorry.
Since it was still winter, we decided to pitch our camp on a site without shade – on a slightly raised terrace from the other sites. Immediately after the tent was up we lit a fire, and enjoyed the view over the river and the pure bliss of the camp. At Crodinie an early bedtime is nearly impossible with the Fiery-necked nightjars chattering away, the beautiful night sky sprinkled with thousands of stars.
The next morning we woke up early and got the whistling kettle on the go for the crucial cup of coffee. You’re keenly aware of how close to nature you are in the early morning with the call of the fish eagle echoing down from the cliffs near the camp. There’s a large variety of birds around the camp, and you can watch the dassises play in the morning sun.
After a delicious cowboy breakfast, it was time to go paddling on the river. There are many kayaks at the campsite that you can use when you come camping, I always paddle upriver to find a spot where I can fish from a bank. While plenty of big fish are caught at Crodinie, I was not so lucky this trip. When paddling back to camp, and it may sound like a Fishermans tale, a fish jumped into the kayak with me. It really happened.
Back at our site, we took our two dogs down to the river. Crodini is pet friendly though it’s important to ask for permission if you want to bring your pets. Part of the rules for pets includes keeping your dog on your campsite at all times and on a leash when you go walking. As much as you may love your pets, other campers may not.
Naturally, I was quite tired after the morning’s activities and decided to catch up on some reading next to the river. Relaxing by the island section next to the river in my camp chair with a good book can’t be beaten. What absolute harmony to sit next to the river, with a drink in hand and to hear the bleating of the sheep in the distance. Sometimes you forget about all your troubles – and to even read your book!
The camp caretaker comes to visit all the campers. You can buy fresh milk and ice – the fresh milk is a big treat. We bring an extra container for the milk, drinking litres and litres of it over the weekend, this is as fresh as it’s going to get.
If you enjoy yourself time passes quickly, and before long the sun is setting on our final night, and we light our final braai. We usually braai a lot on a Saturday evening so that there are lots of leftovers for breakfast the next morning. We braaied some peach wors, lamb chops, chicken and braaibroodjies. We make different braaibroodjies so that there’s a variety to choose from. My favourite is a combination of Gouda cheese, mozzarella, tomato, and sweet chilli sauce on the bread. And of course, you need real butter on both sides of the toastie to make it even tastier. After dinner, we had Malva-pudding that was made in a pot on the fire – which certainly is the highlight of any camp!
After a full day of relaxing and good food, we decided to hit the hay early so that we can get up early on Sunday morning to enjoy the last bit of the camp weekend.
The Sunday-morning we were once again awakened by the call of the fish eagle, and I had to light a fire as soon as possible for some good coffee and one of the leftover braaibroodjies from the night before. But before long, the time to pack up arrived.
We always camp, but for those that are not too keen on camping, there are the nicest caravans that are equipped with everything you may need that you can sleepover in. Crodinie is definitely worth a visit and a favourite for young and old. We will definitely go camping at Crodinie again!
IN A NUTSHELL:
KIND OF ACCOMMODATION: Campsite and Self-catering.
NEAREST TOWN: Swellendam (20km)
PROVINCE: Western Cape
GPS: -34.160550, 20.461672
TEL: 066 243 4000
Text and images: Rikus Truter – Lekker Kampplekke