The Guano Caves campsite near Montagu is the perfect spot to keep the whole family entertained, says Maryke Tredoux from Kuils River.
The beautiful mountains around the Little Karoo town of Montagu are the stuff of legend, rejuvenating some and giving others the inspiration to write poems. And after hearing about Montague Guano Caves via word of mouth, we (three couples and five children) set out from Cape Town in the direction of Worcester along the N1, passing through Robertson and Ashton on the R62, en route to Montagu. The turn-off to Guano Caves is about 8 km after you pass through Montagu itself on the R62. The road is tarred all the way, and the gravel road from the gate to the campsite was no effort for our Toyota Hilux and Venter trailer.
What’s it like?
The campsite is at the foot of the Guano Caves Mountain with lots of trees giving shade to the large stands, which are very neat and well-kept. There is an electricity point and a tap for water, and each stand also has its own braai and garbage bin. The campsite is about 500 m from the reception/shop, and if you love walks then I would definitely recommend taking a stroll.
Were the ablution facilities to your liking?
As a family we appreciated the ablution facilities. There are family showers and bathrooms, which means everybody can wash together and actually enjoy it. (Mom doesn’t have to do all the hard work, because bath time with two toddlers can get crazy.) They are spacious, neat, clean, and there is plenty of hot water.
What activities are there to do?
Where do I begin? Animal lovers can feed and pet the rabbits, horses, pigs, camels and alpacas. They even have emus. Those who enjoy being in the water can splash about in the big outdoor pools, complete with a super-tube and smaller slides, and in cooler weather you can also opt for a warm indoor pool. For the older kids there’s entertainment in the form of a zipline and a volleyball court, while the little ones can choose between all sorts of swings and wooden obstacles in the massive playground. The premises are walker- and jogger-friendly, and if you’re a bit adventurous then there are plenty of trails surrounding the campsite. The main attraction is to climb up to the caves.
A tractor takes you up the mountain for most of the way, but then you have to climb to enter them. It’s a slippery affair, so I recommend that people with children younger than 3 rather stay behind.
Do I need to stock up before camping there?
There is a small shop for basic provisions, but they also have a restaurant and cocktail bar next to the swimming pools. Montagu is also just down the road if you’ve forgotten your favourite packet of biscuits, or need to refuel your vehicle.
What does it cost to camp?
During the week it’s R60 per person per night, while weekends are R120 per person and R100 for children under 12. During high season, like school and public holidays, the fee is R140 per adult and R120 for under-12s.