Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 1 of 1
 [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: A trial run to Bontebok National Park.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:49 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
About two weeks ago SO came home with our new Rooftop Tent…yes we are no longer Trailer Trash..we are going to have to rename ourselves…Rooftop Trash !!!!

While admiring the new addition on Monty’s roof SO jokingly announced that we should take it away for a trial run. Some things you just don’t joke about and I flew inside and within minutes had a weekend booked at Bontebok. I then promptly informed SO that he had better get his act together because were off to Bontebok.
Some how or other this is a park that we have not been to...I am not quite sure how that has happened seeing that it is less than 3 hrs drive from Cape Town.
We left at about 13h00 on Friday 11th. We had decided to take the N1 out of Cape Town, head for Worcester then Robertson, Ashton and finally Swellendam.

We found the park easily enough and after a very friendly check-in at reception we arrived at the campsite. Just before entering the camp we both saw what could only have been an otter dashing across the road. We pulled up alongside the bushes that he disappeared into but we did not see it again. :cry:
I soon decided that rooftop tenting is the way to go….quite frankly there is nothing for me to do. I can’t reach to help SO with the tent :roll: ….I can’t reach to get the table out :roll: …I managed to get the chairs more stuck in Monty than what they were in the first place. :redface: I eventually busied myself by putting the table cloth on the table. :whistle:
In less than half an hour we were sitting down and enjoying the view. :dance:

Image

Image

Image A room with a view...all for R180.00 a night …a bargain if you ask me.

We decided not to go on a game drive…we had seen bontebok and numerous birds on the way in. We were just happy to sit and admire our new acquisition and discuss where it would take us. I also pondered over the fact that we had spent many years collecting just the right camping equipment to make our lives comfortable while camping. From huge tents and trailers, stretchers, blow up mattresses, gas lights and cookers, numerous tables and chairs, washing up basins, towel racks, fridges and deep freezers…you name it we had it. And here we had just ditched the lot…
We were down to the tent, 1 table, 2 chairs, 1 small light and a portable braai grid and a tiny little gas stove. The fridge is in the back of Monty and my groceries are in a drawer also in the back of Monty.

SO lit the fire and soon our braai was well under way. Again I was very pleased with myself…I had already made the salads at home so it was just a matter of opening the fridge and placing them on the table.
Eventually it was time to negotiate that ladder...all of a sudden my bed looked awfully high in the sky :shock: but I managed to get into it and I am sure after a few more practice runs it will go a lot quicker and I won’t be getting my legs tied up in knots!
One has a wonderful view up there…I spent a good part of the evening watching out for nocturnal creatures but none appeared. Eventually the chirping of the crickets lulled me to sleep.

To be continued…

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A trial run to Bontebok National Park.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:27 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
We woke up quite early in the morning ready to explore further. It didn’t take long for us to get up and get going. We were also rather pleased at how comfortable our tent was. I could get used to this I thought. :dance: I must admit I was a bit disappointed in the overcast weather…was it going to rain ??? Nah…no rain.. the weather forecast had predicted nil chance of rain for the entire weekend. :D

Image Breakfast is served.

Soon the Langeberg Mountains appeared through the clouds…it looked more like mist than anything else.

Image

Before long the sky was devoid of all clouds…I reckoned we were in for a very hot day !

Image

Our plan was to do a game drive and then visit the town of Swellendam . A rather friendly tortoise came to bid us farewell.

Image.

Our first interesting bird sighting on that drive was that of either a Klaas’s or a Diederik Cuckoo. SO managed to get one quick photo before the bird flew away but it is still rather difficult to ID it properly.

Image

We went up to the viewpoint from where one can see the restcamp…

Image

I must admit the animals were very far and few between but there were a fair amount of bird sightings to keep us busy. Not many photographic opportunities though. We ticked off Blue Crane, Karoo Prinia, Hadeda Ibis, Egyptian Goose, Black Shouldered Kite, Greywinged Francolin (lifer), Namaqua Dove, Redcapped Lark (lifer) , Fiscal Flycatcher, Common Fiscal and eventually I saw two Denham’s Bustards (lifer) taking off in the distance. I also had a quick sighting of what I think was most probably a Black Harrier.

We enjoyed the drive around Swellendam …I just cannot believe how many B & B’s and Guesthouses are in the main road. Now for the life of me I do not understand how anybody would want to stay in a B & B in Swellendam when you can just drive a few km’s further and rooftop in style in BNP.
Our meanderings took us to a berry farm where we bought some delicious freshly picked blackberries. We then decided it was time to head back to Bontebok and before long my fingers were stained with blackberry juice…but boy oh boy the berries were just so yummy!

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A trial run to Bontebok National Park.
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:27 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Our return journey through the park was a lot more productive with animals but less productive with birds.
We managed to tick off Steenbok, Grysbok, Red Hartebeest, Cape Mountain Zebra, Bontebok and Grey Rhebok.. Unfortunately the Zebra and Rhebok were too far away for any kind of decent photographs and although the Steenbok and Grysbok were close they were far too quick in disappearing .

Image daddy Bontebok

Image mom and baby

Image baby Bontebok

Image Red Hartebeest

We stopped at all the viewpoints and got out to admire the scenery.

Image

Mostly I could see that the spring flowers had died off but there were still a few sour figs in flower

Image

as well as these pink flowers.

Image

At this spot fishing is allowed.

Image

It really was an idyllic spot….but by now it was 35° C and I was fast approaching my sell by date. We headed back to camp.
We spent the afternoon relaxing in the shade of the trees and in the late afternoon I went off exploring.
There were many birds around but not many were willing to pose.

Image Greater Striped Swallow

Image Cape Weaver

Image Cape Bulbul

Image Cape Sparrow

Those I missed on camera were Common Waxbill, Bar-throated Apalis, Cape White Eye and Acacia Pied Barbet. Down at the river there were many Pearlbreasted Swallows, Common Starlings and Cape Wagtails. I walked along the Aloe Trail but as the Aloes were no longer in flower there weren’t many birds around. I can just imagine what it must be like in winter when the Aloes are in flower. I was pleased to see that there were still some Passion Fruit flowers around though

Image

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A trial run to Bontebok National Park.
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:19 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
After my afternoon ramblings we decided to go for a quick game drive.
The animals were in residence but they were a good distance away…binocular kind of distance!!! :cry:
What I did find most interesting though was that there were many African Stonechats around…we had not seen one up to now and all of a sudden they were popping up on every bush…juveniles/females as well as adult males..

Image

I also managed to add a Large-billed lark (lifer) to my list.

When we got back to camp I went for one more walk down to the river….I think by then all the birds had gone to sleep and seeing that I had neglected to take a torch with me I cut my walk short and went back to camp. In the meantime the camp had filled up and it was a hive of activity.

I then decided it was a good time to get my birdlist up to date but instead I thoroughly enjoyed watching all the children in the camp racing around on their bicycles. It was wonderful to watch how they all made friends.
Will you be my friend..Yes I will..Mommy Mommy I have made a new friend.
But the inevitable happened…there was a minor crash bang on a bicycle accompanied by tears. Soon all the kids were rounded up….some only listening on the count of three (just how familiar is that) and the camp soon lulled into a state of hibernation. I think we were the last to find our beds….I guess all the other folk were just as exhausted as their offspring.

In the meantime I had noticed that the skies had once again clouded over…Nah!! No rain !!! I reminded myself that the forecast had predicted nil chance of rain .

I was well satisfied with our day……I had added 4 lifers to my birdlist !

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A trial run to Bontebok National Park.
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:30 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
We awoke to a very familiar sound….a very wet familiar sound. :roll:
I just couldn’t believe it….here I was in a rooftop tent and it was jolly well raining. :big_eyes:
I am not sure what made me even half believe the weather forecast. I go to KTP in winter and experience summer thunderstorms…I go to West Coast National Park and it rains…I go to Namaqua National Park and it rains…I go to Wilderness National Park and it rains….what on earth made me think that it would not rain in Bontebok ???? :huh:

SO and I just lay there listening to the plip plops of rain wondering what our plan of action would be. :hmz: Seeing that I was bone dry in this new little tent of ours I was actually quite happy to just stay there…But I knew at some stage or other nature would force me to get up.

While we were contemplating our options we realised that the rain had stopped so we thought it would be in our best interests to hop out quickly and start packing up.
We had intended to leave the park fairly early because we wanted to take a slow drive home. I must admit it was a bit miserable….very overcast and drizzly..even the birds had shut up. It didn’t take us long to get packed up and hit the road. We took a slow drive through the park but it seems all creatures big and small were hibernating. I thought the overcast weather would lend itself to some bat-eared fox sightings…..or even a caracal but try as I might there was nothing to be seen. :cry:

We really did take the scenic route home. We left the park at 9h00 and arrived home at 18h00…via Malgas, Witsand, Bredasdorp, Struisbaai, L’Agulhas, Elim, Stanford and Hermanus…. And they say Bontebok is less than 3 hrs away from Cape Town. :lol:

We had a wonderful weekend away even though it rained. As regards testing the rooftop tent…well it passed the test 100%. :clap: Now all that remains is for me to find more places to explore…I have never had a problem with that !!!! :thumbs_up:

Summary to follow.

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


Last edited by Caracal on Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: A trial run to Bontebok National Park.
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:47 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Bontebok is the smallest of Sanparks but that is no reason to overlook it. I should think it is truly magnificent in spring when all the flowers are in bloom, equally in winter when the aloes are in bloom. It is a camp where one can truly relax and enjoy the outdoors. It lends itself to family holidays with hiking trails, mountain bike trails and swimming as well as fishing in the Breede River.
Unfortunately the campsite along the river is still closed but apparently that as well as the new reception area and entrance is to be opened soon.
The ablution blocks were well maintained with plenty of hot water. Liquid soap containers at the basins were always full and the paper towel container was constantly replenished. The staff members were going about their daily chores with friendly smiling faces. The campsites were well maintained and demarcated...some were a bit more private than others. Not all campsites have electricity outlets so if you need electricity make sure you book a site that has an electricity outlet. Either blue adapters or normal three prong plugs can be used. The campsite is well lit at night.

I ended up with 32 birds on my list , 4 of which were lifers. :thumbs_up:
The park seems to be well stocked with zebra and various antelope. We were just unfortunate that most of our sightings were very far away.

There are many day trips that can be undertaken from Bontebok. Swellendam, being the third oldest town in South Africa is steeped in history and makes for interesting outings as well.

The birding along the back roads to Malgas and Bredasdorp was excellent. We saw many Blue Cranes with chicks and a real highlight was seeing 31 African White Storks in a field.

All in all a wonderful park to visit. :D
To the staff at Bontebok….well done !!! :clap: You are doing a fine job. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Thank you to all that I have read this report….now remember to put Bontebok on your to do list. :D

_________________
13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 6 posts ] 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dijo and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by Stampajane at 14:43:26 Submitted by Stampajane at 16:21:29 Submitted by gfrfoster at 16:57:01