One of our favourite mini breaks from Cape Town is along the West coast. The ocean is wild and the landscapes vast. Our choice of accommodation? Camping in the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve.
If you do not want to read the whole article, but rather skip to the PACKING list, go ahead and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Tietiesbaai was made famous by a South African writer and cook, Pieter Pieterse. He had a caravan, an English wife and passion for simple cooking.
He wrote many screenplays and books and also secured a TV show on South Africa’s top channel in the early 90s and kept the country entertained with simple cooking from a campsite wedged between bare rock, sand, and the sea. His writing and stories were innocent and simple and addictive. My parents were great fans of the show and almost never missed an episode. We had some of his books in our house and although the content was not limited to South Africas West Coast, the theme stayed the same. His travel locations went far and wide and the “English man” was always on his side.
Some of his work has been translated to English, but that is a hard find. Unfortunately, most of this storyman’s work is limited to those that can read Afrikaans Tietiesbaaikos is still available on Takealot.com
On our trips to Paternoster, our camping is usually a little more basic and our food maybe less extravagant. The views are as spectacular. Ablutions are basic, the water powered by solar heating (which can become pretty challenging in winter) and the South Easter (the wind) are known to break tents. There are 60 caravanning and tenting sites available and none of them have power points. The whole experience might break relationships if your other half if not too keen on “wild camping” and roughing it a bit.
I will say it again: facilities are minimal, but who cares if you can pitch your tent right on the beach on the edge of the continent?
If you are not keen on camping or do not have your own camping equipment, there are other options. There are chalets at the lighthouse and small town of Paternoster is only 6 km away.
Here are a few references to help plan your trip:
My packing tips for a weekend camping in Tietiesbaai:
Depending on the season you are visiting, you will obviously need to adapt (warm clothes for winter and swimmies for sunny summer days).
- Take everything you think you will need : ) (there is no shop at the campsite)
- Flip flops
- Closed shoes for hiking or around the campfire
- Towel and toiletries
- Sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses
- Bathing suits/bikini/swimwear
- A light jacket in summer. Warmer gear in winter (this puffer jacket from Mr Price will do the trick without breaking the bank)
- Containers for water – there are bathrooms and shower facilities as well as an area dedicated for washing up dishes, but it is a more convenient to have a big container with water close to your tent/camp
- Wood – they sell wood at the site and in the town, but not a bad idea to take your own dry wood
- Tent – and everything that goes with it (bedding, mattress, pillows)
- Chairs and a fold out table
- Kitchen goodies – including a cooler box, all the food you think you will need
- Equipment to braai – amp for camp? Then you HAVE TO braai!
- Time. Pack extra time. In fact. Forget that – time goes by so slowly on the West Coast, you might even bring some time back with you
Activities in the area to considering during your visit:
- Mountain biking
- If you have a 4 x4 there are tracks around the coast to explore (please stay on the designated areas – no free reigning)
- Guided Sea Kayaking
- Wild Flower walks
You can also use the CAPE WEST COAST website for reference and information.