Camping with Kids - The Berry Guest Farm Campsite Overview
Things to do with Kids: Campsite in the Western Cape
CapeNature normally has a free access week at the end of September each year and looking at a map of the Western Cape I decided to take our family to Swellendam to make the most of this deal. With Marloth Nature Reserve, Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve and Bontebok National Park all close to Swellendam there is no shortage of Reserves to choose from. We made the Berry Guest Farm our base for the weekend to explore these parks but apart from two-day hikes we did at Marloth and Grootvadersbosch we spent most of the time at the campsite.
More on this child-friendly campsite
The campsite is very spacious with no specific spots so you choose which area looks most inviting. We got a nice spot in the corner under the shade of a big oak tree. There is only one big fire-pit in the centre of the campsite but the owner brought us a braai drum on request to have a braai closer to our spot.
Although it is a working farm that farms with berries the owner has gone out of his way to make camping there a memorable experience for kids. There is a big jungle gym as well as a lapa area with a swimming pool and Jacuzzi. There is also a foefie slide which the owner opens once a day for the guests as well as a small dam where you can go rowing with the kids. There were quite a lot of kids staying at the campsite and cabins and the owner took all the children and parents out on a tractor ride to the forest by the river where he gave the children glow-sticks to hide in the forest. Just after sunset he gathered everyone for another trip down to the forest for the children to go find their glow sticks. The children loved the activity of exploring after dark in the forest with their headlamps and glow-sticks. We really appreciated the effort the owner made with the kids as he also took our kids on a motorcycle ride which they loved.
It is a basic campsite but has all the ingredients for a nice weekend away. The ablutions are neat, lots of running and cycling space for the kids and lots of activities in and around the area of Swellendam. The owner also does not overcrowd the campsite with only a few campsites available on the big grass area.
Some recommendations of hiking in the area was a short hike to the Duiwelsbos Waterfall in Marloth Nature Reserve which takes you through a beautiful forest to a nice view of a waterfall at the end of the trail. We made a nice brunch afterwards but just be weary of the baboons. The other hike we did was the Bushbuck Trail in the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve which is a 10km hike through some indigenous forest and past a beautiful Redwood Forest. I would definitely go back to explore some more in the area and visit this campsite again.
Nearest Town: 2.5km from Swellendam
Access Road: Short gravel road
Vehicle: Normal sedan
Cellphone reception: Yes
Campsite availability: Limited campsites between 3-5.
Actvities at campsite: Foefie Slide, Tractor Rides, Swimming, River strolls, Jungle Gym
Activities in area: MTB, Hiking, Historical Town with coffee shops
Other accommodation: Self-Catering units
Ablution: One central unisex ablution with washup area for dishes
Toilet: Flush Toilets
Showers: Hot showers
Wheelchair Access: No
Running water: A central tap for the camping area
Electricity: A few electricity points available
Braaiplace: Central firepit at campsite or your own braai drum. Bring your own grid.
Conference Facilities: None
Communal Facility: Lounge area for when it rains, Swimming Pool area and restaurant area
Shop: Very basic shop with produce from the farm with wood
Ground Cover: Grass
Restaurant: There was a coffee shop next to the dam but it wasn’t open while we were there
Type of camping: Camping with your own tent or roof tent