Sandgat will see us again

They re­cently camped at Die Sandgat, right be­neath Vanderkloof Dam, and he could tick a very im­por­tant box in his bird-watch­ing book, says Jo­han Lot­ter­ing from Bloem­fontein.

Go! Camp & Drive - - My Spot -

We are mem­bers of Bloem­fontein’s 4x4 eco-club. We are an eco-friendly 4x4 club that en­joys vis­it­ing places that are not ac­ces­si­ble in an or­di­nary ve­hi­cle. We are more than 50 mem­bers – fam­ily peo­ple who of­ten hit the road to­gether. It also so hap­pens, with­out us plan­ning it, that most of us now tow camp­ing trail­ers or car­a­vans. We re­cently gath­ered at Die Sandgat at Vanderkloof Dam and had an ex­cel­lent time. We will def­i­nitely go there again.

Tell us more about Die Sandgat.

The camp­site is ap­prox­i­mately 7 km from Vanderkloof Dam, on the banks of the Orange River. You camp be­neath the dam wall – in the late af­ter­noon when they open the tur­bines you see the river’s wa­ter level rise. I tell you, the wa­ter rises with probably about a me­tre. At night the wa­ter level drops again when they close the tur­bines. There are about 50 stands with power (the stan­dard do­mes­tic socket) and most of them are on grass. There are also large wil­lows that pro­vide enough shade.

What do the ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties look like?

Very neat and clean. There is one big wooden build­ing with sep­a­rate fa­cil­i­ties for men and women. It’s very cute, with old ce­ramic bowls used as basins and mir­ror frames. The clean­ers come in the morn­ing and late af­ter­noon, and the place gleams.

What ac­tiv­i­ties are there to keep peo­ple oc­cu­pied?

One of our mem­bers, Pi­eter Marais, or­gan­ised the week­end for us and he took us on a boat trip on the Orange River. You can also swim and fish, and for chil­dren there are jungle gyms, a swim­ming hole, an old Volk­sie Bug­gie that’s been con­verted into a play car, and more than enough room to run around and kick a ball. My wife, Jo­hanna-Marie, and I are avid bird watch­ers and here we saw an osprey for the first time. To say an osprey is a huge item on a bird watcher’s list is an un­der­state­ment. It re­ally was an in­cred­i­ble high­light.

Is Die Sandgat pet-friendly?

Yes, it’s al­ways nice to camp at a place where our four-legged chil­dren are also wel­come. Quite a few of our mem­bers took their pets and en­joyed it very much. Hannes Klop­per and his dog Floors are sim­ply in­sep­a­ra­ble – the dog braaied with us, went along on the boat trip, and even ate with us.

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