Located in a picturesque valley near the farming hamlet of Vleiland – on the R323 linking Laingsburg to Route 62 via Seweweekspoort – this is a perfect weekend getaway or overnight stop. Ideal for groups of friends or adventure bikers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Porcupine Rest Camp offers individual campsites under shady trees, each with private showers, flush toilets and a large braai (barbeque) area. No more having to share dodgy ablutions with strangers or pitching your tent in amongst a mass of others! When you book a site, it is yours exclusively, whether there is only one of you or sixteen!
We also have a range of camping gear available to hire at a nominal fee – tents, chairs, tables, LED lanterns, camping stretchers and mattresses, as well as potjies, crockery and cutlery – and we will set it all up for you at no charge. Just imagine… all you have to do is get here, sit back and relax.
Currently there are three sites available, each in a unique setting and spaced well apart from the others. They offer privacy and a chance to really appreciate nature and the beauty of the Karoo landscape and Klein Swartberg mountains. Each campsite also has its own path to the seasonal river, and a private beach or rock pool where you can enjoy a dip in the heat of summer. There is also a dam on the farm where you can swim. Remember, this is the Karoo, and sometimes the rain doesn’t come and the river and the dam dry up, but there is always plenty of shade in the camp sites and other things to do, such as:
Our camper’s lounge (opening end September 2015) has a pool table, open-air darts, boules, puzzles, Jenga and other games. There are also a range of field guides available to help you identify that bird, animal or plant that you’ve just spotted, as well as a bookshelf full of holiday reads for those who just want to chill in a hammock and take it easy.
Go for a walk:
There are currently two walking trails on the 62-hectare farm. The short, 1km meander called Baboon Lookout is a gentle stroll for most of the trail (only the last section is a little steep, but nothing you can’t handle). It will take you to the lookout point at the top of one of our Karoo koppies, with great views of the Vleiland Valley. The second, longer trail (at 3.5 km) starts at the old fig tree in front of the camper’s lounge and takes you on an easy walk through the different habitats on the farm. From a sandy stretch alongside the river, across the grassy river plain, and then up the rocky slope and down through the big, shady sweet thorn trees. Turn right at the farm gate and wander back to camp through the olive groves and fig orchards, past the dam with its resident birdlife, and back to the camper’s lounge where you can reward yourself with a lovely cool drink.
There are around 400 fig trees and 1 000 olive trees on the farm. For a small fee, in January you can collect a basket from the camper’s lounge and go pick ripe figs, ready to be eaten or made into jam when you get home. From March to May the olives are ready for picking.
If you can’t be bothered to pick and bottle fruit, a selection of jams, chutneys and olives are available for purchase at the camper’s lounge – all made from fruit hand-picked from the farms in the valley and surrounding areas. We also stock locally sourced free range Karoo lamb, beef and chicken, as well as eggs, freshly baked farm bread, ice, cool drinks and other camping essentials such as firelighters, insect repellant, sunscreen etc. A range of souvenirs, all made locally as part of our community project (commencing late 2015) will also be available, as will a selection of indigenous plants grown by the local nursery.
The Karoo is just waiting to be explored. Tours of the Laingsburg flood route, Seweweekspoort and other areas of the Little Karoo (Ladismith, Zoar, Calitzdorp) – with accredited tour guide Alistair Reizenberg of Alicatt Tours – can be booked at a discounted rate through Porcupine Rest Camp.
Or just take a break and do absolutely nothing!