Leave the blow up mattress and cooking utensils at home, and forget about pitching a tent because thanks to AfriCamps, someone has already beaten you to it.
With accommodation all over the country, AfriCamps has become a household name when it comes to Glamping in South Africa. And with good reason! Have you seen the tents yet? It can almost not be called tents (even though they are) and feels (and looks) too good to be true; where in the world have you ‘camped’ in a tent before with real beds (queen size nogal), a built-in and fully equipped kitchen, an attached ensuite bathroom (yes, hot water of course), an air-conditioner and probably the best of all, a fireplace.
Ja, a fireplace inside a tent!
And it’s so cozy that even if you camp – or rather, glamp – in the middle of summer’s scorching temperatures you’ll turn the aircon to 18°C just so that you can justify using the fireplace.
Glamping is the perfect solution for those who have been left scarred and defeated by previous camping experiences, it brings you closer to nature without having to worry about that 03:18am mattress pumping and crouching as you crawl in the tent. In AfriCamps’ tent you won’t have to duck down even if you are the tallest person in South Africa (sleeping might be a problem, but if you are ruler’s length shy of 3 metres tall you should be used to that by now, right?).
AfriCamps at Oakhurst, Wilderness (in the area of Hoekwil) is the seventh addition to the glamping family (with Wellington as the eighth one opening in December) and I recently had the opportunity of spending a weekend glamping in the Garden Route.
I planned to do some laptop work while being there, but my fingers just never made it to the laptop’s keyboard. Instead I found myself sitting in front of the fire, around the table with friends – some old and some newly made – listening to the most epic playlist, petting the two resident dogs who came for a visit and a nap, braaiing and having conversations as long as the night.
It would have been sinfully wrong working in the peaceful homey atmosphere of the tent and in the environment and company I was in.
AfriCamps at Oakhurst, Wilderness
AfriCamps at Oakurst is situated at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, up the road from Wilderness, not too far from Hoekwil where you can find the best cheesecake you have ever tasted at Hoekwil Country Café (you can also find this cheesecake at Elalini Backpackers and the same person also makes brownies. It is safe to say that the brownies are like crack, but in a good way).
Oakhurst is a large working dairy farm and has a history dating back to the 1840s (you can still see a few of the original farm buildings, the chapel, old graveyard and the water mill) and the farm is commercially run by hosts Jake and his wife Claire, with their three daughters, who have prior to the new AfriCamps tents, also operated (and still operate to this day) the Oakhurst Farm Cottages with one cottage – the historic Forge – being one of the very first buildings on the farm (it is also wheelchair friendly).
If you want to visit AfriCamps at Oakhurst (and trust me, you want to), you can follow in my footsteps of relaxing and gathering your loved ones around the fireplace, but if you zip the tent open a world of things to do, see an experience awaits. You can explore Wilderness and other nearby towns in the Garden Route such as Knysna, George and Sedgefield or stay put and dive into everything on offer at Oakhurst:
- Go on a guided 1 hour 20 minute walk through the indigenous forest, with a guide. Pony rides are available for kids. R350 per person (booking essential).
- Bring your mountain bike and go ride the tracks through the forest (which you can also run or walk). Mountain bikes can be hired for R250 per day for adults, and R150 for kids.
- Hire a hot tub. Yes you heard right. You can ask for wood-fired outdoor hot tub outside your tent (subject to availability on arrival) for R390 per day.
- Go fishing (tag and release).
- Hike to the waterfall.
- Canoe on the dam (free of charge)
- Go birdwatching.
There is currently an opening special (until 15 December) where you pay R990 per night you when you book 3 nights or more (based on two people); this includes a free VIP dairy farm tour, 1 litre of farm fresh milk, 1 farm bread and if you want to go horse riding you can get it for half price at R175 per person for 90 minutes.
Each tent sleeps five (one bedroom has a single bunk bed atop the queen size bed while the other room has a queen size bed); even though the tents’ kitchens are fully equipped you can also order a breakfast basket at and a braai basket. The breakfast baskets are R110 per adult and R75 per child (4 to 12 years) and includes bread, yoghurt, muesli, fresh fruit, jam, bacon and eggs to name a few. Braai baskets are R175 per adult and R110 per child and includes (for every person) a lamp chop, sausage, chicken sosatie, green salad, braai potatoes, stokbrood and marhsmallows. AfriCamps at Oakhurst also offers pre-cooked meals in the form of a chicken pie or lasagna which is R145 per meal and serves 2 to 4 people.
For more information, visit AfriCamps website.
Don’t forget to read about my experience at AfriCamps at Pat Busch, Robertson. Below is a video of my time in Robertson.