Camping up a storm and other things to do in Stanford

Camping up a storm and other things to do in Stanford

image credit AfriCamps

I am not someone to book local trips months in advance – the anticipation is just too much for me. Let's just get in a car, drive and arrive right? We have been counting down the days and nights to this trip and then, finally, 14 October arrived. We were off to Stanford for a weekend of Glamping with the kids. You would understand my excitement if you, like us, have camped with AfriCamps before. The serene setting, the luxurious tents, the comfort of having both an outdoor deck braai and indoor fireplace in the heart of nature just brings a smile to my face.

Stanford Hills is a new addition to the AfriCamps collection of boutique campsites. We experienced the breath-taking Pat Busch in Robertson before and AfriCamps also has sites in Oudtshoorn, Kam’Bati Swellendam and Plettenberg Bay. 

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My family and I started our day early, travelling from Cape Town, to ensure we stop at local cheese, biltong, beer and wine producers in order to stock up for a heavenly self-catering stay. 

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids

First impressions- getting to AfriCamps Luxury Tents, Stanford Hills

We happened to stumble upon the estate with no effort as it is situated right before you get the historical town, Stanford. Stanford Hills is just 2 hours from Cape Town. If you take the N2 from Cape Town, follow signs to Hermanus, drive straight through the town of Hermanus and keep following the R43, like us, you will see Stanford Hills signposted on the left just before you enter Stanford. As you turn in, you will already find a variety of things to do and it will take all your discipline to just drive to your campsite and unpack.

We followed the gravel road up the hill, past the Stanford Hills tasting room to the AfriCamps tents. The tents overlook a local pond, fynbos and majestic mountains on the horizon. We zipped open, and found things, as they should be: A fresh feel kitchen living area with a fireplace, two bedrooms (one with a queen bed and the other with a queen and single bunk bed) leading to the gas heated shower and flush toilet facilities. No wonder everybody loves glamping. The kids excitedly ran to try out their beds for the night. It was time to pour some wine!

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids

The wind started picking up and we knew we were in for a stormy night. Where camping is ideally associated with time spent outdoors fishing, biking and hiking, we soon realised that it will be a night spent in our tent.

Discovering Stanford Hills Estate

For a moment the wind calmed down and we could step outside to smell the fynbos and walk down to the tasting room. The kids had a ball climbing, crawling and exploring the terrain. The Tasting Room at Stanford Hills offers a kid’s menu and some toys on top of the canoe’s and jungle gyms. Before we knew it, the sun had set and it soon became dark.

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping Outdoors | With Kids Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Hiking | With Kids   Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Hiking | With Kids 

We returned up the hill following the beautiful solar lamp trail to our hide for the night. The wind started pumping and I felt like a superhero when I found the tiny axe we got hubby as a present. Everyone assisted in chopping the provided wood into smaller pieces- and we lit the indoor fireplace first.

Fireplace memories

The kids and I decided to relax in front of the fireplace, reading their Supernova books and learning about the wonderful world of science and nature. Hubby decided to face the storm and barbeque (Braai!). Our children soon fell asleep from all the fresh air and the earlier hike while Wessel and I could sit on the couch to spend some quality, tech-free time together, sipping wine and enjoying the heat and comfort of our AfriCamps home.

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids  Indoor fireplace Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids

Fireplace image credit: AfriCamps (mine was all blurry-oops)

The wind started jerking at the tent and the bathroom doors swung back and forth, back and forth. We remembered the time we went camping, in a normal two-man tent, and experienced a similar storm. Back then, the tent remained pegged, but with the wind pushing and howling, we had the tent flat-lined over our bodies like a second skin, trying to keep the sail off the buttered bread at dinner and trying to breathe and stay dry during naptime. Life before kids... and before {glamping}!

We were happy to discover that we could lock the AfriCamps bathroom doors to keep them from swinging, the tent was sturdy, and we survived the night, not soaked, but in style and the comfort of our quality linen and queen-size bed. We served breakfast at the table making use of the AfriCamps gas stove facilities and with bellies filled we could face the storm in Stanford.

8 Things to do in Stanford - paid and free activities


1.      Mountainbike, Hike and Swim

Take your mountain bikes with to explore the Stanford Hills estate- ask for guidance at The Tasting Room. You will be able to enjoy the vineyards and lovely fynbos (seasonal flowers) with spectacular mountain views. Go for a goof in the pond or “row- row- row your boat” at the restaurant. (Free if you stay with AfriCamps)

Tel: +27(0)72 639 6135

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids


2.      Eat at Stanford Hills Estate

The Tasting room serves lunch and breakfast, so if you feel like being served i.s.o self-catering you could always sit down and let the kids explore. You can also order braai packs for your AfriCamps stay from them.

The Tasting Room restaurant: Tel: +27(0)72 639 6135

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Restaurant | With Kids

3.      Visit Birkenhead Brewery

Birkenhead has a large lawn and sunny outdoor play area as well as a dedicated bar area. Try a beer tasting and let the kids have some juice before you explore the rest of the valley.

Tel.+27 28 341 0013


4.      Have a picnic at Klein River Cheese

This was my favourite discovery when it comes to child-friendly delis and entertainment. The reason being their large playground, the variety of equipment to play with and then an outstanding factor, the fact that a large part of it is shaded, so on a sunny summers day, children can still slide and run and do what kids do, protected from scorching playground equipment and too much sun. Klein River Cheese offered food to feed the farm animals and picnic blankets, so you could sit outside and enjoy nature together with their fine cheeses.

Tel. 028 341 0693

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids

5.      Go honey tasting (even during a storm)

The Overberg Honey company offers guided tours and tastings. Don’t leave this activity for a Sunday like we did, they are closed then and you will have to drive to Harmanus Local Honey Store to have a taste. It can be a great learning and sensory experience for young and old, so plan ahead and book your spot. Tastings are free of charge.

Phone: 072 325 6360

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids


6.      Saturday Market Meandering

Get to know the Stanford community and their product by strolling through the market. You will find local produce and crafts and even learn a little more about the history of the town. Free activity and you decide what you’ll buy.

7.      Stop for Coffee at Ou Meul Bakkery

Ou Meul is my favourite Latte stop in Willowbridge TygerValley and I was happy to discover a franchise with an outdoor play area in Stanford- if you need a freshly brewed morning fix- then do pay them a visit.

Tel: 028 341 0101

Things to do in Stanford| AfriCamps Camping | With Kids

8.      Go for a boat cruise at Mosaic Private Sanctuary

Mosaic offers fat bike tours, boat cruises and other activities like quad bike rides. One could easily spend a day there, buy your bites from their “Spookhuis” deli and have a picnic on the lawn next to the riverbank.

Tel: 028 313 2814

Things to do in Stanford| Mosaic Private Sanctuary | With Kids

Keep well! Tanya



Tanya is our practical, "go-getter" adventurer, mom. With an honours degree in Biokinetics, diploma in Business Marketing & Administration, and as a master analyser, she loves blogging about the nitty gritty, educational topics, and how to simplify life. She is an extroverted logical thinker and enjoys writing about products and services that solve problems and makes life more enjoyable. She is a scientist at heart with a love for life, travel, family, friends and universal principles. In her free time, Tanya works and reads books on spiritual and business growth, and thus created a career that will involve family life, problem-solving and travelling. She surrounds herself with geniuses who share her values, love for wisdom and life.

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