Beaverlac is an awesome campsite in the southern-most part of the Cederberg. It makes a great venue for novice campers, as amongst other things, it has a well stocked shop.
Getting there: take the N7 from Cape Town to Piketberg. Take a right at the petrol stop and head to Porterville. At the T-junction turn left to Cardouw — you are now on a good dirt road. Take a right up Dasklip Pass (the sign says Groot Winterhoek), and at the top follow the sign down to Beaverlac. The pass is tarred on the way up. The road down into the valley is 3.8km’s, and is short, steep, and pretty bad at times. Drive real slow and enjoy the scenery!
Booking: you cannot book campsites, but booking of cabins etc essential
- Camping sites
- Braai areas
- Ablution blocks: showers & toilets (some with hot water)
- Public telephone (there is no cellphone reception)
- R35 per camper per night
- R30 per dog
- R10 per car
You cannot book a campsite. I have not known this to be a problem, and even found space upon arriving 1 January 2010 — when it was pretty packed out!
The camping areas are divided loosely into camps around the shop, and most have loads of space on grass (the sites are not demarcated in any way). Some of the camps have more shade-providing trees than others — this is worth remembering for the hot summer months when the temperature is regularly over 40 degrees!
Kids and dogs are welcome. Be warned: it can get pretty rowdy.
There are a variety of bungalows that can be booked — I have not tried this option yet. There is also the options of Africa Hut which offers very basic accommodation at a secluded spot further down the Ratel River.
Some of the ablution blocks have hot water, but the main one near the shop for instance, does not. They do all have showers, flushing toilets and washing up sinks, and they are cleaned regularly. Braai areas are generally simply small clearings on the ground with rocks around them. You need your own braai grid.
The shop stocks ice, beer, wine, & firewood, as well as other general commodities, and the prices are extremely reasonable. There is no real cell-phone reception (though the odd SMS seems to get through), but there is a public telephone.
You will receive some printed rules and information when you check in. This includes a map of all the walks.
Please remember that one of the rules is that you have to remove all your own garbage. Take extra black bags so that you can double-bag your refuse before it goes into your car!
The “Main Pool” is a couple of hundred meters away, and is generally quite busy. It’s well worth checking out some of the other great swimming spots like the “Secret Pool“, and to get some privacy, my favourite spot is down at “Flat Rock“.
You can take mountain bikes, but there are no real routes to speak of, just the (sandy) farm roads.