Klein Tafelberg is situated on the West Coast, about 180km or two hours drive from Cape Town. This is by far one of the neatest and most well-kept and organised camp sites and 4x4 routes we have had the pleasure of visiting. Not to mention the friendliest hosts who clearly take tremendous pride in this treasure of theirs.
We just love camping in winter! The sand is not too dry so we get stuck less often, the nights are colder so we sleep better, and there are less bugs, so we sleep better. There are less people, and yes, we sleep better. But the rules are loud and clear, louder than any noises generally made by people, so everyone sleeps better. No music at all, and no noise! Also, no animals, therefore even less noise. No bachelors parties... this does not get more peaceful!
We were greeted at the entrance by the owner on his quad bike, who took us to our stand. The owners are extremely friendly and helpful, and from the word go we felt welcome and at home.
There are various routes to Klein Tafelberg. We recommend travelling via Velddrif along the R27, mainly because of the roadworks on the other route via Malmesbury, but there is also more to see, and more places to stop for refreshments. There are some lovely curio shops and other little attractions along the way.
The minute you leave the main road and travel the last stretch of about 10km on gravel, it feels like you are somewhere in Botswana! It is all lovely and green at the moment, and the flowers are just starting to show their heads. We stopped for a few photos, and did not come across another vehicle or living soul until we arrived at camp. (It is out of season I might add, and the road and Campsite will be a lot busier during the holidays)
Cell phone coverage is reasonable, for calls, but don't expect to be downloading any last-minute movies or anything. This applies in the Camp as well.
The Campsite is well marked, and you cannot miss the turnoff. Don't follow your GPS though, just follow the road. My GPS decided in its normal authoritarian tone that there is no way it was going to let us down that road, so we switched it off. Go through Velddrif towards Lambertsbaai. 32km from Velddrif there is an intersection, and the only way to stay on tar is to turn left. Do that, and 4.7km later you will turn right onto gravel. Continue straight until you see the signboards on your right: Klein Tafelberg 4x4.
Travel cautiously on this sandy approach, but it is not too bad if you drive a bakkie, even after the recent rains. You will not be visiting Klein Tafelberg unless you drive a 4x4, and we suggest you engage 4H for the duration of the gravel road, just to be safe, but also to get through the last gate which will probably have you stuck unless your tires are deflated to about 1.8 Bar, at least! Other non-4x4 vehicles will make it to the last gate, which is about 200m from the camp, but trust us, they will not make it through the sand unless they have a bit of luck and a lot of skill, or vise versa. We bravely went through on 2.3 Bar in 4H, towing a trailer, but realised how lucky, or skilled we were to come out on the other side without red faces or at all for that matter. The owner, however, is extremely hospitable and will happily assist you if you get stuck, or watch you struggle for a while first, out of courtesy! We all know the rule, have your own recovery gear please. For any of the 4x4 routes Klein Tafelberg has to offer, you will be deflating to about 0.9 Bar. We will take a look at the 4x4 experience a little later in this article.
Bushman Paintings (very faint, but there!)
Small Tea plantation
Scenery and Mountainous Landscapes
Stunning 4x4 Route with halfway picnic spot with gorgeous view (Guided)
Quaint Bar, with TV and DSTV (so you won't miss the rugby)
Showers with a view, unless you are very short, but you can stand on one of your camping crates or ammo boxes if you like
Peace and Tranquillity, with that feeling of being in the bush, but being very safe at the same time.
Ablutions: 10/10 Immaculately clean and in perfect working order. Loo paper, paper towel and hand soap provided.
Swimming pool: Well, just take a look at our photo! Gorgeous. Too cold to swim this time of the year though. Big pool and Baby Pool.
Campsite: Plenty of shade, and ablutions very close by. All with power and water.
Lapa and entertainment area: Stunning
Bar: Manned by the owners with free stories and jokes. It was hard to leave, and perhaps another reason we slept so well. Oh, Hash Tag, take a torch. A variety of number plates on display, probably donated by people whose vehicles fell off of them.
4x4 Route: guided only, estimated at level 2 most the way, with level 3 here and there. For us some of the level 3 felt like a 5 (we are not very experienced, but made it without getting stuck!), but the chances of damaging your vehicle are slim. The route is extremely well maintained. Beautiful views, a stop at the bushman paintings and a picnic at the top.
Hiking Trail: We were too busy, but next time for sure!
Chalets: Immaculate! Take a look at their website for more detail and for pricing.
More about the 4x4 Route
This is a route where you can divide your time between climbing obstacles and taking in the scenery, rather than worrying constantly about damaging your vehicle. Not that everyone worries about that, but there are some of us who enjoy the more scenic routes. This was a good combination: 10% of the time worrying, and the rest enjoying the view. There was only one very scary bit (scary for the vehicle, not for us), a few less scary bits, but mostly just plain fun. There are escape routes for the less brave and we took these to protect our camera gear, as we are not scared.
The route is fantastic. We are told that in summer the sand is softer, and it is therefore more difficult, but I will attribute the fact that none of us got stuck to our driving skills. The route is neatened and maintained weekly, not just to keep it tidy, but to prevent unnecessary erosion or environmental damage. The bush is trimmed, and scratching your vehicle is easy to avoid, for most (We will not elaborate any further and wish to avoid domestic violence).
The owner and his son led us on this adventure and were always there to help, to give advice, and to tell us a bit about this beautiful farm. This was truly one of our best 4x4 experiences.
For the photographers out there, Klein Tafelberg offers ideal landscape photographic opportunities. On the first morning we were up before sunrise and managed to catch the morning light on Klein Tafelberg in the nick of time, before a small bank of mist blocked the view. This in itself would have made an ideal landscape photo. On the second morning were were just too relaxed to get up in time!
Crisp, cold and clear winters nights provide the ideal night-sky photo opportunities. We just caught the moon alongside Klein Tafelberg mountain, and it is hardly visible in our photo, but it will be there next time hopefully.
There are birds. We saw what appeared to be an eagle from a distance, and the campsite is alive with the early morning chatter of happy birds. This time we focused on the site, and on the landscape.
If we were here to review Campsites and 4x4 facilities, we would give Klein Tafelberg a 10/10 without a doubt. Thank you to our hosts for a most fantastic weekend.