Camping at Citrus Creek, Citrusdal

Camping is not for everyone but I will still advocate you will never know until you try it before making up your mind that camping is not for you.

The year 2022 for us is to get out of our comfort zone and that is to try camping. We are not campers. You can tell from our travels over the years. We are travellers that love the joys of an AirBnB or self-catering accommodations so this is a new area for us to venture into.

Mission 1: Find a camping spot and let me tell you, there are plenty of camping spots around the Western Cape. I searched for weeks; looking at the best facilities for first-timers. I even enlisted my ‘friends’ on social media for recommendations.

Alas, I found a spot in a town we only ever drove past. Citrus Creek in Citrusdal. Only a 3-hour drive from Cape Town on one of the hottest weekends in the province, along the N7 is where we will spend our time nestled up in a tent.

Citrus Creek is not only a camping spot but also has chalets if you don’t want to brave the outdoors. The main reason we choose this place is that it had an electricity point, great ablution facilities and, it’s inexpensive. It’s around R300 per night. You get to choose a spot (that’s if it’s not full by the time you arrive), set up, and settle in the campers’ life.

Let’s not sugarcoat things. Camping gear is costly. Depending on the brand and what kind of camper you wish to be, the cost can rack up but for good reason. These items will last you for years so my suggestion is to wait for sales during the winter months. We purchased our tent for half the price. Then every month thereafter, we purchased a different item so that we wouldn’t feel it, financially.

After picking our spot, we laid out our groundsheet which is essential. Then, it took us a hot minute to set up the tent. Once that was somewhat sorted, we pumped up our blow-up mattress and relaxed on the camping chairs before nightfall.

Chickens, roosters, ducks, and a horse roam the property. Feathers are littered everywhere and the owner drives around the grounds on his motorcycle; greeting the campers. It feels like you are on a working farm.

The kids enjoy the swimming pool while we adults prepare for a lekker braai dinner. With our makeshift table which is a borrowed cooler box, I clean and spice the chicken while Courtney tends to the fire. Night dawns on you quickly and the crickets begin to crick and the mosquitoes come out to play.

It’s the next morning and the roosters’ crow at the crack of dawn. The luminous sky breaks out into beautiful ombre colours that overlook the mountain peaks. We pull out the cooler box only to find that it’s leaking inside the tent. Of course, a borrowed item will leak on us so we unpack the items and pour the melting ice out. But first, let’s make some coffee.

We invested in a butane camping stove and, it works wonders. Boiling water in our little kettle makes such a difference in your experience. A quick bathroom break and it was time to make breakfast. Bacon, egg, and toast all made on our small stove while the sun blisters over you. We greet our neighbours and settle for the camping activity; leisure the day away.

I read my book as chickens un past and pick up after ourselves. It’s already lunch so we lay a picnic blanket under a shaded area and, play monopoly. We found a mini version of it and so far, we love it.

It’s around 3 pm and time for that afternoon nap. But holy smokes is it blistering hot. That unbearable heat has us sweating so we trying our best to remain hydrated and cool. By the time we have done napping, we prepare for supper.

After this excursion, we decided that we will continue doing camping trips. It’s certainly different from what we know and, we get to learn something new. It’s the first time we actually stayed in one spot instead of venturing into town. Who would’ve thought camping is now our new favourite hobby?

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Till the next small town.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog