We used to camp at Maroela in KNP many years ago and most of the time we were alone there(bear with me - I will get to the point!). Maybe one other group. I did not know about Maroela and was told by an old omie about it. KNP's best kept secret at the time! No shop, no electricity, parafin lamps and freezer, absolute magic! Then one fateful day, Pee Wee Botha decided in his wisdom to delare the first Monday in May as workers day, thus suddenly creating an unexpected long weekend for the entire country. We left camp on Friday morning when the gate opened, the only campers there, and returned to an overflowing camp, bustling with people, tents and caravans everywhere! Turns out that so many people suddenly wanted to get to KNP for the long weekend that all camps were full up and all and sundry were sent to Maroela, forever spoiling it!
Which brings me to the point: so many people carry on about Storms River Camp, and I like it too, yet seemingly nobody ever says anything about Nature's Valley/De Vasselot camp? That is by far my favourite - no power at the camp sites, but the most beautiful little camping area. Big trees and thick bush with bush pigs visiting camp every evening to rummage through the trash cans.
The second night we camped there, a few years ago, we sat up in the caravan tent with the boys (at the time one 10 year old and five year old twins) to show them the pigs. We "spiked" the rubbish bin with some nice snacks (oops, should not confess to that!). The boys looked at the pigs in amazement and silence and once the pigs had left they quietly went to bed.
Next morning we discovered that all three had wetted their sleeping bags! Too scared to get up and go to the ablution block in the middle of the night! Had to make our own night time toilet arrangements from then on!
Now, I do not want to spoil Natures Valley camping ground by telling too many people about it (the fishing and rowing in the lagoon, the lovely beach, the lekker restaurant/pub in the village) but, why the silence? Are we the only ones who like the peace and tranquility of that camp? Or am I really befuddling everything now?