NEWS

Go! Camp & Drive - - Contents -

UNHITCH AT DE ARK

The East­ern Free State is one of the most beau­ti­ful ar­eas in the coun­try, but un­for­tu­nately there aren’t a whole lot of camp­sites. The De Ark Moun­tain Lodge is just out­side of Clarens and has been op­er­at­ing for 25 years. They have re­cently ex­panded their ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions to in­clude car­a­van stands. De Ark lies on the Rooiberg, with the Cale­don River a kilo­me­tre away and Le­sotho with its Maloti Moun­tains in the back­ground. Miguel Lage, the owner, says they ini­tially bought the land as a break­away spot for the fam­ily but with time more and more of them wanted to come re­lax here. They even­tu­ally turned it into a lodge. “I found the surge in the car­a­van in­dus­try the past few years in­ter­est­ing, and we de­cided to add a camp­site to our ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions,” says Miguel. The camp­site is in the mid­dle of the 280 ha land and Miguel and co have four stands ready. They are plan­ning a to­tal of 10, and Miguel says the idea is to not ex­pand it more. They say campers should be able to en­joy their own space in na­ture. The stands are a good 80 m from each other and are not de­mar­cated. There are quite a few wild an­i­mals on the grounds, in­clud­ing eland, ze­bra, red wilde­beest and black wilde­beest, and they come to graze next to your stand. Each stand has a canopy that’s high enough for a car­a­van to fit un­der – you can also park your car­a­van next to it if you want to use the canopy sec­tion as a place to re­lax. The hot wa­ter comes from a gas geyser and the shower is a large open area in a room that also has a basin. There’s a sep­a­rate toi­let to the side. The stand has a power point which ac­cepts a blue car­a­van plug. You’re not al­lowed to drive around the grounds to do game view­ing, but Miguel and his team do of­fer game drives. You may ex­plore the var­i­ous hik­ing trails and there is every­thing from San rock art to moun­tain streams to en­joy. The last stretch of road to De Ark (4,5 km) is a dirt road in­tended for ve­hi­cles with high ground clear­ance. The camp­site is there­fore bet­ter suited to off-road trailer and off-road car­a­van own­ers. Price R850 per stand p.n. for 4 adults, or up to 6 peo­ple (in­clud­ing kids). Con­tact 058 256 1202 reser­va­tions@deark-clarens.co.za deark-clarens.co.za

Campers should be able to en­joy their own space in na­ture. The stands are a good 80 m from each other and are not de­mar­cated.

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