DECEMBER HOLIDAY (2): Camping at Elands Bay

Our December holiday is long forgotten – so much has happened in the meantime – but it’s always nice to look back and remember the wonderful time we had on the West Coast of South Africa.

Most of our regular readers will know – there’s just no way we can go through a holiday without camping! After a few days in Langebaan, we packed our camping gear (and my mom) and drove to our favourite campsite on the West Coast, Elands Bay.

We drove through a torrential rainstorm – what a way to start a camping week. When we arrived in Elands Bay, most of the rain had subsided and only thick clouds remained.

Clouds hanging over Elands Bay, our camping spot for the next week

Our camp week kicked off at the beginning of a long weekend and friends of ours and their children joined us for the weekend.

Our campsite. My mom had her own tent and gazebo for shade (photo on the right)

Sunset on our first evening

During the time that our friends camped with us, we had lovely walks on the beach and sat and talked by the fire until late at night.

We also took them to the famous cave of Elands Bay, about 5km from the center of the village, where you can find breathtaking San and Khoe rock art. According to archaeologists, this site was first occupied during the Middle Stone Age, which dates back more than 80,000 years.

On our way to the cave

Images of small animals, but also handprints which are believed to be those of children

Views from the cave towards the Atlantic Ocean

View from the cave

After our friends went back home, we spent most of our days just hanging out. It’s been an intense last six months with us temporarily moving to the other side of the country for Berto’s job and we just wanted to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of the West Coast.

Our campsite after our friends left

We had sunny weather most of the time while camping. However, one morning, while Berto had to attend a zoom meeting for his work, my mother and I took our water bottles and went for an 8km walk on the pristine beach. It was a misty morning and as the sea gulls swooped over our heads, we could only hear the waves breaking – a magical morning.

Walking down to the beach

Misty morning on the beach

A couple of beach houses

Although the campsites have electricity, this did not mean that we always had power. South Africa has been experiencing power outages for the last few years (called load shedding) – a concept created to save electricity. For this reason, we brought our solar panel and inverter to ensure we always have power.

Our solar panel next to the tent ensured we always had electricity

The other great thing about camping while experiencing load shedding is that you can prepare your food either on the fire or with gas. We had no problem making omelettes for breakfast every morning!

Our camp gas stove – no problem when you don’t have electricity

Breakfast (without electricity)

Some of you may remember the beaded reindeer I bought on our road trip a year ago – at that beautiful waterfall in Howick. Well, we brought this little fella with us on our camping trip. The colour red is synonymous with Christmas … and we only had two red items while camping: Howie the Reindeer and a bottle of red wine.

Howie the Reindeer and a bottle of red wine

As mentioned before, Berto had to attend some zoom meetings while we were camping. The only WiFi reception we had while camping was at the Elands Bay Hotel (next to our campsite). While Berto sat with his headphones on to attend the meeting, my mother and I joined him … not for the meeting, but to enjoy the view and a bottle of wine.

View of the ocean from Elands Bay Hotel

Local wine and Garlic mussels in a cheese sauce

With our camping week coming to an end, we took one last stroll on the beach. We had one of those typical West Coast summer days – sunny with a light south wind. On days like this I know I really don’t want to be anywhere else.

Perfect sunny day

Fluffy clouds in the sky

When we returned from our walk on the beach, one of our camp neighbours brought a container of cooked lobster meat. It’s great to have good neighbors while camping, isn’t it? For our last meal, Berto prepared cream cheese stuffed jalapeno peppers that he wrapped in bacon (one of our favourite snacks these days). Our main course was Berto’s specialty dish – lamb rib on the fire.

Crayfish and jalapeno

Lamb rib on the fire

As we enjoyed our food by the fire, we watched the last sunset on our week of camp. We had a great time at Elands Bay – as always – and hope to return again sometime this year.

Last sunset at Elands Bay

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54 thoughts on “DECEMBER HOLIDAY (2): Camping at Elands Bay

    1. I can handle any weather conditions while we are camping, but rain is not so pleasant. The week by the sea was just what we needed to relax (I still think the sunsets at Elands Bay are the most beautiful on the West Coast)! Berto is doing very well – he went to his doctor on Friday and according to the doctor there was “great improvement” and now Berto only has to see him again in three months – we are very happy about the good news! Thanks for stopping by Marion, I hope you have a great week.

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  1. Goeiste Corna, hierdie kampery van julle lyk absoluut heerlik! Ek was nog net eenkeer by Elandsbaai, maar julle manier van ontspan lyk heelwat lekkerder as die huurplekkie waarin ons gebly het.

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    1. Dit voel eintlik so half vreemd om langs die hotel te kamp (hulle het 6 kampeer plekke wat hulle uitverhuur), maar ons hou mos van ‘n kampery! Elandsbaai is een van die min Weskus dorpies wat nog nie gekommersialiseerd is nie … en dis waarvan ons hou!

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  2. Looks like you made the most of this trip Corna, despite the dodgy weather at the beginning. The cave looks amazing and perfectly located. Imagine witnessing an epic storm safely from within. The solar panel was a brilliant idea, loving the no-electricity omelette. All the food looks wonderful in fact, though I would pass on the mussels and perhaps just dip some bread in that cheese sauce. The lamb? Now we’re talking! Great trip, only a few months ago and yet I’m sure it feels so much longer to you with everything that’s happened since.

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    1. I was a bit worried when we drove through that rainstorm on our way to the camp site, but luckily sunny weather was waiting for us for the rest of the week. Both you and Berto are in the same corner when it comes to mussels – he would also rather prefer the rib 😉. Elands Bay is the perfect location to catch your breath after a busy time … come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind if we could go there again now!

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    1. I’m glad you were able to ‘escape’ to our campsite for a few minutes Carl! Oh, you know what!! We have a Cape Camino of about 650km over 36 days that starts in Cape Town and it actually goes through Elands Bay along the coast, back to the Cape! Maybe we’ll do this South African Camino one day …

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      1. Ja mens moet verseker hoop.
        Ek het nog net een keer, jare terug, verby Elandsbaai gery. Nie eers daar aangedoen nie. Maar ek kon sien dis ‘n prentjiemooi plek. Ek dink ek en jy is albei lief vir die Weskus, of hoe?

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    1. I’m glad you were able to read how much we love Elands Bay … it’s our favourite campsite on the West Coast! And every time we get there, we go to that cave – it remains a fascinating place to visit (the views are beautiful – and it looks different every time).

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  3. You two are very organised campers! We could have used your expertise in Sudan. That was my first and last camping expedition. Not that I wouldn’t have gone camping again if the opportunity came up in a different location. Elands Bay for example. Do you stand on the beach and think about the frozen world to the south? Such a vast expanse of ocean. I can see why you love it. Berto’s culinary skills are impressive. Always liked a guy who could cook!

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    1. Oh, Sudan would have been a challenge for sure! Elands Bay is perfect for first time campers … if it gets a little too rustic, the hotel is just next door 😉. Oh yes, we talk a lot about how it must be over the vast ocean – where you can no longer see, but only imagine. I always say: I may not have married a rich man, but a man that can cook up a storm (doesn’t matter the circumstances) … works for me!

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    1. Elands Bay has everything we want when camping … sea, lovely sunsets, friendly locals and away from the hustle and bustle of the city! Remember I commented on your blog earlier today that I like the countryside … well here is a good example 🙂.

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    1. Thanks Tricia. The thing about Elands Bay is that there are no high rise buildings and no malls … just a bar in the hotel, a corner shop and lovely surf shop/restaurant/gift shop. To me, every sunset looks different – it’s definitely a place where one can just relax, especially after a hectic year. Thank you, we are doing well – hope the same for you.

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    1. Elandsbaai is ‘n juweel aan die Weskus (bygese, as jy daarvan hou om van alle gejaagdheid af weg te kom). Jy sal my nie glo nie, ek hou niks van branderige kos nie – ek hou meer van soet kerriekos as brand kerriekos. Wanneer Berto die jalapenos maak, haal hy AL die pitjies uit en dis asof die roomkaas die brand neutraliseer … so, dis hoekom ek so baie hiervan hou 🙂.

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      1. Ek sal nie sommer hierdie brand kosse in ‘n restaurant eet nie … net wanneer Berto dit gemaak het en ek seker is daar’s nie veel brand in nie 😉. Dankie – Berto hou van kosmaak (ek kla nie) en ek eet altyd lekker (soms te lekker 😉).

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  4. What an amazing place!!! Oh.. I want to camp too!! Who needs electricity? Of course you have your own solar panel with you and making breakfast is easy as pie 😂 The rainy start to your trip was perhaps not so fun, but if you’re going to camp, you’re going to camp. Then it got so much better, wow!! That beach looks
    wonderful!!

    I really like your two red items that you brought with you, especially the little one that you can take with you anywhere, every time, as a symbol of something red.

    Food cooked over the fire, good company and a beautiful sunset. What else is needed to feel happy?
    A great post Corna!!! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We miss camping now that we have temporarily moved to the other side of our country for Berto’s work (all our camping gear is at our house on the West Coast), which mean we can only go camping when we’re on holiday. Its simplicity and being close to nature is what makes camping so much fun!
      The beach at Elands Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast and sitting by a campfire while the sun sets so beautifully is very special. Thank you for your lovely comments Anita, enjoy the rest of your week 🌸.

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  5. What a way to start your camping adventure by driving through a torrential rainstorm. Glad to hear that the rain subsided by the time that you arrived at your campsite and that you even got to enjoy a beautiful sunset on your first evening. Your pictures look stunning. I especially love the one with the fluffy clouds in the sky. As usual, it looks like you ate well during your trip.

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    1. Yes, that rainstorm had us worried for a moment, but thankfully everything worked out well! Elands Bay remains a wonderful place to just relax (almost like your cabin 🙂). And by now, you know there will always be good food when we camp – that’s part of the whole experience!

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    1. Definitely our favourite campsite right now … those sunsets are just magical! And yes, the lamb rib is to die for – we usually eat it straight off the fire and shamelessly lick our fingers afterwards 😉.

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    1. Ons geniet altyd ‘n kamp by Elandsbaai! Sjoe, daardie sonsondergange is net ongelooflik mooi … en elke aand is dit ‘n ander gesig 🙂. En soos jy weet, ons eet altyd lekker as ons kamp …

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  6. Elands Bay is stunning, thank you for sharing Corna. Good food, beautiful scenery and sunsets, and surounded by your loved ones, plus you had red wine and Howie the Reindeer 🙂 for Christmas deco. Seems like a perfect December holiday.

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    1. You can probably see that we have a soft spot for Elands Bay 🙂 . It is such a lovely unspoiled place … with a beautiful beach and definitely one of the places where I have seen the most stunning sunsets! This is indeed my kind of December holiday – sun, sea and good food 😁.

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