It’s important to shake things up every now and then, disconnect from technology, be happily unaware of Eskom outages and enjoy the fun and adventure of the beautiful South African outdoors!
And all with a pensioner discount!
Camping not your cup of tea?
Don’t dismiss it out of hand. Check out these myths:
Holidays are expensive!
Yes, but camping is generally substantially cheaper than staying in accommodation. A perfect way of holidaying at a fraction of the cost – if you utilise the great pensioner discounts that are around.
What about all the equipment?
Start off simply to see if you like it. Borrow a tent and air mattresses etc. If the bug bites, then you can buy necessary equipment through Facebook Marketplace and online at a fraction of the cost.
Camping is for young people!
You may say camping is only for young people! Wrong, folks, wrong. Remember, age is but a number! In fact, research from the UK shows that 65-plussers are Britain’s top holidaymakers.
Most of us love the great outdoors and in South Africa. We are completely spoilt for choice. From the bush to the sea, to the mountains. It’s fun, and not as hard as you think it might be. Think about trying camping or glamping at least once in your life! Guaranteed you will get hooked!
Yes, you do need to be relatively organised.
Let’s hear what these YEI members have to say?
Angela, a YEI staffer, and her husband, Anthony advise – air mattresses are a must. It’s not fun sleeping on the ground. Air mattresses and a good pump are an absolute necessity when it comes to having a good night’s sleep. The body is not only cushioned, but also insulated from the cold ground during the night. Just make sure your air mattress is sturdy, inflates easily and is at least 10cm thick. The beauty of an air mattress in comparison to a camp bed is that it is not a bulky beast. It’s a good investment as well – you can drag it out when you have guests sleeping over at home.
Angela has two favourite places when it comes to camping – Umtentweni Caravan Resort on the KZN South Coast and Nature’s Rest, one of the most beautiful resorts in the Eastern Cape. Umtentweni Caravan Resort is a childhood favourite of Angela’s, and has recently been chosen as one of the top resorts in the country in a reader survey. Umtentweni is ideally situated for exploring the spectacular South Coast and perfect for the whole family – from grandparents right down to the littlies. And most importantly, the seniors in the family can enjoy an incredible pensioner discount!
Nature’s Rest is one of those hidden secrets. The resort is a little paradise with picturesque scenery. If you are a birder, you are in for a treat – you can even hear the majestic call of a Fish Eagle. Angela says “One day, when I retire, I will be spending a month at a time at Nature’s Rest. It’s tranquil, it’s peaceful, what a place to unwind”.
YEI members, Jacqueline and Bill, advise that you need to “be prepared” when you go camping or caravanning. They believe that much of the fun is in the preparation. However, their list is extensive, from tents and sleeping bags, to torches, home-made tick repellent, extra ground sheets, mosquito sprays, duct tape, earplugs, skottel, cards, toilet paper and even marshmallows for the campsite fire! (Your list does not need to be as extensive as theirs!). They also over-cater. They take more food and water than they think they will need. They always pack in a medical kit, personal medication and emergency items. They advocate for a larger tent in which you can fit all the gear inside and still have plenty of room. Their personal favourites are Olifants River Lodge and the Phalaborwa Safari Park. Olifants River Lodge is a malaria-free, semi-bushveld paradise situated on the banks of the Great Olifants River between Middelburg and Witbank. Jacqueline and Bill have fallen in love with the indigenous fauna and flora which are abundant in the camping area and around the luxury villas set in the stunning manicured gardens. Phalaborwa Safari Park is A Forever Resort and located on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park. An ideal stop-over en route to the bush. Their camping sites are nestled between indigenous Mopani trees (the leaves of the Mopani are the favourites on an elephant’s menu!). Again, pensioner discounts are on offer at both of these camping resorts.
When YEI canvassed reader opinons on their best camping tips, Marianne Jones came up with a very novel tip that she said she had read somewhere. YEI loved it! Marianne and her husband regularly go on long, what she calls extreme bush camping, and said that this tip was perfect for those longer camping trips when it’s likely that you are left with no fresh food. Buy four seedling trays with varying types of lettuce and place them in a beer box (a perfect fit!). Whenever you camp, water your seedlings and keep them in the sun. As they grow, keep snipping pieces off as and when you need to, and you are assured of regular fresh green salad throughout your holiday. Great tip, don’t you think?
And lastly, YEI has compiled an exclusive list of camping and caravan sites that offer pensioner discounts (it’s work-in-progress). Click here to take a look, and let us know if you can add to this list. Don’t forget, the camping and caravan resort needs to offer a pensioner discount! This camping/caravanning directory can be found in the YEI Directory on the YEI homepage. All you need to do is input camping/caravanning in the category list, all locations in the Location box, and then click on Search. And Bob’s your uncle, up will pop all the results of your search
Tell us about your best camping experiences
in the comments section below..
And don’t forget to tell us about your great finds
when it comes to camping and caravan sites..