Gieserville

We have not done much actual Bush Camping in South Africa, though we have experienced lots of secluded and remote areas. Even our camps in the Central Kalahari had a drop toilet and a pulley bucket shower system. We had 5 star camping in several of the upscale game parks like Kreuger and Etosha with swimming pools, laundry facilities, bars and restaurants, etc. We have had infinite star camping in most of the others. Since being on the South African Coast we have had an array of different sites, and though they have been more populated then what we were used to, they have all been special in their own way.
One thing the foreigner quickly realizes is that these South Africans, at least those endowed with sufficient financial opportunity, really have camping comfort pegged. The big Winnebago type road barns that clutter highways in the states would be impractical here. Most of the vehicles are impeccably clean, smaller 4×4 trucks with tricked out camper shells or SUV’s with roof top tents, pulling trailers or little mobile homes. The trailers aren’t very big which is why it seems like a feat of magic when one of these units pulls into camp and in a matter of minutes unfolds into an estate the size of a city block. Often the trailer itself disappears in the surrounding canvas verandas, kitchenettes, gazebos, and tented enclosures. Then there’s the garage to keep the vehicle clean and cool.The Satellite Dish is speared into the grass, the brai lit, and the couple is sitting in their lounge chairs hoisting a cocktail before a cow can cross the road.
We have been quite comfortable in our own rig, but sometimes get the sense that folks looking at us drive in are saying to themselves, “poor sods are really roughing it”. People are very friendly though. Just last night when I was gathering a few sticks to encourage my mopani to flame up, our neighbor came over with his propane bottle and stuck his weed burner in our barbecue until we had a solid 3 foot flame illuminating our camp. I thanked him, joking that at least we’d be able to cook dinner tonight. He replied , Oh you won’t go hungry around us”. The night before we were puttering around camp in our headlamps as usual when the neighbor lady came over with a big battery operated lantern to let us use. We assured her we were ok but you can see people are looking out for us. Folks even politely indulged our clothes line
before we realized it is against camp rules to have one.
Some of these past few camp and caravan parks seem to cater primarily to the older generation. In fact quite a few folks have settled in long term and one could see by the lot lounging around their camps here that these were more sedentary people, not the robust mountain climbing, kayaking, bungee jumping crowd we associate ourselves with. In fact we noted that they even had a pensioner rate for this park for anyone over 60.
Need I say more.

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