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 Post subject: Re: First time visit to Bontebok Park
Unread postPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:44 pm 
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Tutekit

Bontebok has excellent facilities nowadays - however shade can be a bit problematic (especially for the period you plan to go). The ablution block has undergone major upgrading and is very neat - although I am 100% sure that the person who planned the size of the shower cubicles is a midget.

The chances for rain during the Christmas/New Year period are very low - situated in the winter rainfall region. Temperatures in the low 30's are not uncommon for that time of year - in general quite nice weather.

No, you do not need to take anything else with than you would have for any other ordinary camping vacation.

Lang Elsies Kraal camp site has Eskom power now and the camp area is quite well lit at night.

The road conditions can be quite bad sometimes - especially if you tow a conventional caravan.

It is the smallest of the South African National Parks - merely 25km², but a gem on its own.

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 Post subject: Re: First time visit to Bontebok Park
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 5:58 am 
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Location: Sydney and southern Africa
Stoffel's covered all the answers to your questions, but can I just add that this is one of the loveliest places I've visited in South Africa.

It's a tiny park, but it has so much to offer. The bonteboks themselves are great, and hang around the admin block, and there are fantastic walking trails across the wide open countryside.

You can swim in the Breede River, which is lovely, cool and refreshing on a hot day.

On a final note, Bontebok has what is possibly THE best souvenire T-shirt in South Africa. It's good quality khaki cotton with a nicely emboidered SANPARKs logo and a bontebok on the chest. If you go there, you must buy the T-shirt!!

I'd recommend this to anyone as a stop between Cape Town and tourist destinations in the Eastern Cape. The lodges there are also superb.


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 Post subject: Re: First time visit to Bontebok Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:53 pm 
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Hi Tutekit,
We camped at Bontebok in February this year and absolutely loved it :thumbs_up: . It was quite hot, probably similar to what it would be like around the end of December/beginning January, but we cooled off in the river which is a short walk from the campsite and even shorter from the chalets. It was divine :thumbs_up: . The campsite is lovely with quite a few bushes and some trees and we were visited in the camp by 3 bontebok every morning. :D . You are also very close to Swellendam so if you do run out of anything and it is not availble at the shop at reception, it won't be a problem. Regarding the road, we found it a bit hair raising from the reception to the campsite, but just take it slow. We tow with an Opel Corsa bakkie and we have a CI Escape. It is a very enjoyable park with plenty of wildlife and loads of birds :thumbs_up: . The walks are also very nice and not too strenuous, unfortunately there was one which was closed at the time due to flood damage, but I'm sure it will be open by now. All in all we loved it and can't wait to go back. :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: First time visit to Bontebok Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:04 pm 
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By the way Tutekit, if you go to the older posts, I posted some of our pics on the 21st Feb of our stay in Bontebok, which should give you some idea of what the campsite and the swimming area at the river looks like. Hope you can find it, as I don't know how to post a link to an older post. :redface:


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 Post subject: Re: First time visit to Bontebok Park
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Wow, such a comprehensive list of answers. Well done everybody. :dance:

If you need a change of scenery, there are Cape parks nearby, like Grootvadersbos, where you can do stunning forest walks, with good birding.
You could also go to Swellendam for lunch and to see the Cape architecture.

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 Post subject: Re: First time visit to Bontebok Park
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:09 pm 
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The showers were the best I have encountered in a NP. The only negative was thet they were a bit small.
The hot water was hot, with strong pressure, there were 3 pegs to hang your stuff on, and a tilt up seat. The shower curtain was heavy and kept all the water inside the shower. I could also look out of the window at the birds while showering!

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 Post subject: Bontebok info
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:22 pm 
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I'm thinking of visiting Bontebok NP in early October :dance: I know that the chalets have fireplaces but I'm wondering whether firewood is supplied or must I find/bring my own, as with braai wood? If it's as chilly at Bontebok as it has been here in Darling, I will definitely be wanting a fire!

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31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
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16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


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 Post subject: Re: Bontebok info
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:32 pm 
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Hi Arks,

The chalets have fireplaces on the decks, but none indoors. Wood can be bought from the little shop there.

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 Post subject: Re: Bontebok info
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:09 pm 
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The nights can get chilly Arks, but when we were there in August, the days were hot and windless for a change.

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 Post subject: Re: Bontebok info
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:24 am 
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Thanks much, Matthys and BB, for the helpful info. I'll be holding thumbs for warm days and relatively temperate nights -- or lots of blankets!! :lol:

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20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
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 Post subject: Re: BONTEBOK
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:18 am 
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Thanks again

Had you ever visited Bontebok?

I would love to find out more about hiking in and around the park, Fishing (what is lurking in the waters), and birding (When is the best time to go, what to keep my eyes open for, snakes, and last but not least - I understood there is a MTB trail in the park - Does anyone have more info?
:huh:


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 Post subject: Re: BONTEBOK
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:41 am 
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Hi Quin,

I was in the Bontebok Park for the first time in September this year and my SO and I had a teriffic time. It is quite a small park, but it has great character.
Some of the wildlife you may find is zebra, red hartebeast, rhebuck and of course bontebok. We were lucky enough to spot some good bird sightings including the elusive Secretary Bird.

We took our mountain bikes along and visitors are allowed to use all the routes(22km all-in-all). You'll get a map at reception which shows where the paths lead.

You can also pack your hiking boots in to journey the 3 hiking trails-they meander along the picturesque Breede River with Aloe forests and other vegetation making it a very scenic experience.
One can also go for a picnick by the riverside and there is an allocated swimming area to cool down. We saw some families doing some fishing as well-not sure if they had any luck?!

The camping site is very tidy and the chalets very nicely designed for 2 adults or a family of 4.

If you want to visit the historic town of Swellendam(3rd oldest in SA), there are museums, churches and lots of quaint little restaurants and eating spots.
If you are into a wine tasting Bonnievale and Robertson is less than an hours drive-it is well known for some exquisite wines.

We believe Bontebok is very under-rated and it is less than 3 hours from Cape Town where we live, so it is a nice breakaway from the rush of the city!

Hope you have a great time there!

Cheers

Kudu


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 Post subject: Re: BONTEBOK
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:06 am 
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:thumbs_up: Kudu83 has said it all. A lovely little Park. We have camped both at the riverview sites (when they were open) and in the main camping area. Done all the trails - not sure if the Bushbuck trail which takes you to the old picnic spot, Die Stroom is open - was closed after the floods etc.

Not an angler so cannot comment on the fishing. But have seen other anglers catch big yellowish fish. (Carp? not sure)

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Last edited by Munchkin on Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: BONTEBOK
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:27 am 
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Thx Kudu & Munchkin

It looks as if Bontebok could prove to one of that little gems, so often overlooked, yet so precious.

As it have so much to offer, and given the different things to discover and the new expansions in the park - all the more reason to visit!!

Is the river used at all for anything other than swimming and fishing (and does someone knows what type of fish are being caught there - and on what bait :pray: )

Regards
Quin


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 Post subject: Re: BONTEBOK
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:35 am 
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I visited Bontebok in December 2007. We were there for only one night (between Wilderness and CPT). I didn't have enough time to explore properly, so I didn't do any walking or biking (didn't have a bike anyway). My opinion is probably biased because I didn't spend much time there.

I found the park slightly disappointing from animal and 'scale' point of view. Bear in mind I had been to MZNP a week before, and am more used to KNP, so my expectations were off. My recommendation would be then, don't expect a massive reserve with loads of animals (there are plenty, just not what I expected). Do go in expecting to look at the small things, like birds etc.

Lang Elsie's Kraal is quite a nice camp, though when I was there I think they may have been constructing certain buildings. The river is a great place to relax. We camped on the top section, not next to the river.

Guess I'll need to go back some time.

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