Areena Riverside Resort

Areena Riverside Resort is situated on the banks of the Kwelera tidal river, 23km east of East London city centre, at the beginning of the Cape Wild Coast.  The dream of Ed and Karen Rathbone to have a unique family resort became a reality some 23 years ago and soon grew from strength to strength.  After a lot of hard work and dedication, the caravan park was voted S.A. Top Resort in 2004, after gaining public interest and became the hideout for those wanting to experience quality family time in the heart of nature.

Areena Riverside Resort offers unsurpassed views of the river, wildlife, birds and surrounding wild coast vegetation where cruises to the river mouth and beach can be arranged. Most early mornings will provide you with a spectacular visit of buck, monkeys and dassies on the other side of the river. Access to the beach is either by boat, river ferry, or a short trip by car. For the energetic, an interesting hike.


Choose from a variety of options in our 4-star, AA Superior self-catering accommodation. Fine quality bed linen is provided and each unit is fully equipped with an oven, stove, microwave, kettle, toaster, crockery and cutlery. The private braai (barbeque) area (complete with grid) promises relaxing evenings under the starry skies.

Each unit has a television with DSTV decoder set to show SABC1, 2 and 3, E-TV and the sports highlight channel. You are welcome to bring your own DSTV card and decoder if you wish to view your usual bouquet of channels. (Please check with reception before leaving home to be sure your connections will fit the installed wiring set-up.)



Our three rondavels are an open-plan design with a queen size bed downstairs and single beds in a loft room upstairs, sleeping from 4 to 6 people. (These units are not suitable for very young children as the wooden stairways to the loft rooms are fairly steep.)


Cottage 1 is a single level two-bedroom unit sleeping four guests. There is a queen size bed in the main bedroom and a double bunk in the second bedroom.

Cottages 2 and 3 each have three bedrooms and can sleep up to eight guests. There is a queen size bed in the main bedroom, two single beds in the second bedroom and four single beds in the third.

Cottage 4 and 5 are high-pitch thatch, open-plan units with a bathroom en-suite to the main bedroom downstairs. There are four single beds in a loft room leading from the lounge sleeping up to six people.

Double en-suites:

The ten generously sized, open-plan en-suites are ideal for one or two persons. There are two twin beds in each, made separately, but pushed together against a king-size headboard. One of these units is available as king-size, if requested.

Timber chalets:

Five timber chalets are set on the banks of the river, a few hundred meters from the main hub of the resort. They are exquisitely furnished and offer a truly peaceful riverside stay. Each chalet has a queen size bed in the main bedroom with two single beds in the second bedroom, comfortably accommodating four people. The covered timber deck facing the river is the perfect spot for viewing the game that often wanders through the garden in this area.


Caravan and camping:

A visit to the stunning caravan park will make it clear why Areena has been voted a Top Resort by the readers of Caravan and Outdoor magazine since 2004. Many camping enthusiasts have returned to our caravan park time and time again to stay on one of our 110 generously sized caravan or tent sites. Most sites are well grassed and shady, with more than half of the sites spread along 800m of river frontage. Each site has one 15-20 amp electrical outlet and a braai (barbeque) with a grid. Water taps and sparkling-clean ablution blocks are placed within easy reach from each site.

Moor your boat at one of our many wooden jetties to give you easy access to the indigenous valley leading to the silver sands of the quiet beach at the river mouth. Back at the resort, children and adults alike spend hours fishing, crabbing or playing in the river or in our huge split-level swimming pool. A tennis court, playground and three trampolines are popular with the young active ones, whilst the clubhouse offers table tennis and pool tables indoors. The roads around the caravan park are perfect for riding bikes and trikes, so bring them along!

Delicious meals are available from Areena Quays, the restaurant at the slipway. Take a break from cooking to enjoy tasty light meals and snacks, or juicy steaks and seafood. With a pub and big screen television this is also the place where you can cheer for your favourite sports team!

Two laundries with token-operated washing machines and tumble dryers make washday a breeze – windy driers are also available to hang washing in the fresh country air.


  • Baths;
  • Braai (barbeque) facilities with grids;
  • Chemical toilet disposal;
  • Electrified stands (more than 50%);
  • Firewood for sale;
  • First aid;
  • Grassed stands (more than 50%);
  • Kids playground;
  • Pedal boats for hire;
  • Pets allowed by arrangement;
  • Picnic area;
  • Private ablutions;
  • Restaurant and bar with a big screen television;
  • Shaded stands (more than 50%);
  • Shop selling ice, cooldrinks, ice-creams, sweets, chocolates and clothing;
  • Showers;
  • Toilets;
  • Tumble driers – token operated;
  • Washing line;
  • Washing machines – token operated.



    • Bird-watching;
    • Boating – in your own motor boat;
    • Canoes for hire;
    • Fishing with your own bait and equipment;
    • Indoor games room;
    • Split-level swimming pool;
    • Tennis court – rackets and balls for hire, or bring your own;
    • Quad biking;
    • Game viewing trips;
    • Pellet gun target shooting;
    • Archery;
    • Paintball;
    • Zip lining;
    • Team building;
    • Obstacle course; and
    • Trampolines.


      Share this: