About two hours out of Cape Town, nestled against the banks of the Breede River and camouflaged by a working farm, lies a hidden gem of a campsite.
It’s probably safe to say many of us have a soundtrack of our lives. You know, there are just those certain songs that rile up the emotions – whether that’s boosting the morale of the rugby first team that’s slightly behind at halftime, a perfect send-off at a memorial service that sums up an individual’s life, or even just the trusty old party-starter that’s guaranteed to get everyone off their seats at a family gathering. That’s why we see so many people sporting headphones on their daily commute, or even at the office. Music has become such a big part of our lives that you almost do a double take when you see the strict “no music” policy when you scroll through the booking confirmation letter for Rivierplaas – an intimate, family-owned campsite about 20 km southeast of Worcester. Rivierplaas is actually, first and foremost, a working farm. But about 40 years ago its owners, the Hugo family, decided that the natural forest next to the river would be an excellent spot to pitch a tent. They kept it to themselves mostly, but in recent years it’s been opened to the public. As you turn off onto the farm, the reception area is to the left and doubles as a shop and office. You’ll find manager JB van Eeden there most times. If the doors happen to be closed, you can send him an SMS and he’ll open the shop up for you in a jiffy. While you’re inside taking care of the paperwork, the kids can venture to the sty next to the office and entertain themselves by watching the farm’s pigs. When we visited there was a fresh farrow of piglets sleeping peacefully under an infrared lamp despite the grunting and squealing of the mature sows, boars and adolescent pigs close by. The latter group is very confident and even stand up against the boards to take a closer look at their visitors and revel in the attention… almost like teenagers on social media these days. JB explains the office hours and lays down the law. During low season, you can SMS him and he’ll open up if you need to stock up on wood, ice or firelighters. There are a few other small items in stock like sachets of sugar and coffee. Otherwise he opens up twice a day for 30 minutes. If you didn’t bring a table, you can book one for your stand. Ours cost R50 for the weekend. >