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Beaverlac Campsite

Beaverlac Campsite near Cape Town, South Africa

Beaverlac is a small private campsite located within the Olifants River Mountains. This is just about  a 2.5 hour drive from Cape Town up the N7. This campsite is know for great hikes, rock pools, and beautiful views. We wanted to go camping to a good spot near Cape Town and our friends suggested this!

Beaverlac Registration

The registration process for Beaverlac is unlike anything else in South Africa. Because this is a sought after camping spot and it is privately run, it is a complicated process to get registered. My poor friend Lauren was the person to register our couples camping weekend and she had a hell of a time. I asked her to write out her experience for the sake of this post.

*Please read her 27 step registration and check-in process.*

REGISTRATION

 1. Visit website

2. Register on website. If you are not South African, you will not find directions on how to input your ID number.

3. Guess that they want your passport number since you dont have a SA ID number and input that.

4. Submit registration request.

5. Get denied.

6. Call and ask what to input. They will tell you it’s your passport number.

7. Input that again and put click submit (this time add four 9’s so that your passport number has the name digits as a SA ID number.)

8. Get denied again.

9. Call again and ask what number is required. They will now tell you to put 0’s after your passport number.

10. Get registered!

11. Now register your friends. Try to do it using your email address.

12. Get denied for your three friends since they all need their own email addresses.

13. Re-submit requests for friends’ registrations with 3 different email addresses. 

14. Get friends registered!

15. Submit booking request for campsite.  Include word for word submission of “your two favorite rules” from the extensive rule list. This is required.

16. Get denied.

17. Call to discover reason for denial. Find out that no one actually knows why.

18. Re-submit booking request including your next two favorite rules – word for word.

19. Confirm booking!

CHECK IN

20. Arrive at campsite after 2.25 hour drive from Cape Town. 

21. Find 8 car line waiting to check in with no movement. It will be getting dark soon, so make sure you can put up your tents in headlamp light!

22. Walk up and ask what the problem is.

23. Have man refer you to his large paddle above check-in desk call “attitude adjuster“.  He will instruct you to go back to your car.

24. Get very hungry, borderline hangry.

25. Eat your smores cold in the car since you feel blood sugar levels dropping

26. Wait an hour and check-in. He will not ask for passport or ID. Bring exact cash.

27. Find beautiful campsite and enjoy!

 

Please learn from Lauren’s painful process!!

Beaverlac Campsite and Camp Store

Beaverlac does not assign campsites so it is a first come, first serve basis. Though this might sound hectic, we ended up loving this. Despite being one of the last groups to be let in the gate, we found a perfect site! Tucked into the woods, not many people around us, and a short walk to the bathrooms – it was ideal. There is only a fire pit at each campsite so be sure to bring a grate for the fire, camp chairs, and a portable table. We were lucky enough to have a concrete structure that served as our table!

I was not expecting much from the camp store, but it was stocked with all of the camping essentials and more. Wine, beer, firewood, canned goods, candy, snacks, toiletries, and more. If you forget anything- the camp store is a saviour!

Beaverlac Activities

After the long wait for check in, we did not have any time for activities on our first night. We had to set up tents and get cooking!

We were given a map when we entered the campsite that had a map of the rock swimming pools and hiking trails. Be sure you hold on to this map/receipt from check-in as this is your ticket out when you leave the complex. We chose the Leopard Trail because it was one of the longer hikes with rock pools along the way!

The Leopard Trail was deceptively long and it was up one of the mountains. We followed along a dried riverbed that had a number of rock swimming pools to swim in. In the winter, this will be a different experience because the river will (hopefully) be full and you are allowed to go swimming anywhere along the river. The pools we discovered were clear and beautiful. For awhile, we were the only people at one and it was peaceful! If you are gong to do the Leopard Trail, make sure to where the proper hiking shoes, bring enough food and water, and your bathing suit!

There is a main swimming pool about a 10 minute from the campsite. This has a large waterfall that you are able to jump from! This is where most of the people gather which was neat as everyone was cheering as people jumped in.

Overall thoughts on Beaverlac Campsite

Overall, we really liked Beaverlac! It was a good campsite with amenities and a lot of activities. It is in the middle of nowhere which allows for great stargazing. We had a full moon when we stayed, but still got great nighttime photos (as seen below). When you drive into the campsite, drive slowly and carefully. It is a steep incline over the mountains and a steeper descent into the campsite area. Our small car had a hard time getting up at the end of the weekend. Though a 4×4 or SUV is not necessary- it would be helpful. I think that the registration process and extensive list of rules deters people from visiting, but the people that get through that are really great. We had respectful camping neighbours and no issues with noise in the night.

We will be heading back to Beaverlac at some point!

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

The first rock pool along the Leopard Trail.

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

The beautiful scenery and landscape.

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

Rock formations along the trail were fantastic.

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

More rock formations along the Leopard Trail

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

It is hard to grasp the size of the rocks! We were standing in the dry riverbed that is smooth enough to slide down!

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

Loved this landscape.

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

Max taking a jump into the rock pools!

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

The Milky Way was bright at Beaverlac!

Beaverlac Campsite South Africa

Our campfire added to the great lighting!

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