Nature enthusiast and amateur photographer.Travelled extensively in Southern Africa and the USA.
Wild Coast Gems –Glamping At Milkwood Bend Resort.
The coastline of South Africa can roughly be divided into a number of regions that include the West Coast, the Garden Route, the Wild Coast and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Coast. Each has its own magic. Looking at a book highlighting 600 camping resorts in South Africa, each region has many resorts listed, but then there are other lesser known places that at times need to be looked at a bit more carefully because of the magic that they offer. About 40 to 60 km west of East London are several beautiful resorts that make up the beginning of the Wild Coast. Some are well known and need no introduction to the South African population, but hidden in the coastal forest near Chintsa West is what can be classified as a Glamping Resort.
The term Glamping refers to camping in a bit more sophisticated situation than simply a place where you arrive, pitch your tent or unhitch your caravan and share ablution facilities with other campers. When you are glamping, you simply arrive at the resort and you are provided with your own tent, caravan or other shelter. Where in normal camping you usually share toilets, bath rooms and cooking facilities, in some clamping resorts like at Milkwood Bend, you have your own bathroom, fridge and cooking facilities. What you find in the National Parks in South Africa like Kruger, Addo or Kgalagadi, are shared ablution blocks and cooking areas. There you have to provide your own tent, caravan bed/stretcher, bedding and fridge.
With Glamping all you have to bring is your food, drinks, camera, fishing equipment and bait, and away you go! Your accommodation is in a permanent tent or caravan or a basic shelter of some sort. No more setting up camp and connecting your camping fridge and gas stove. You can leave your caravan and trailer at home. Glamping is a relatively new term and it covers a variety of somewhat similar camping situations. It is then not quite either camping or staying in luxury apartments but has the feel of camping without the need to bring your own equipment The price is reasonable in comparison to the more luxurious accommodation often available in many resorts. It appeals to the more budget orientated familyand so a compromise is reached between those who enjoy camping but don’t want to cart all their equipment around and those who want greater luxury, often including a TV set and DSTV.
The Milkwood Bend Resort is interesting in that there are caravans placed in secluded places with each having an adjoining toilet, bathroom, kitchen and sitting/dining area. It also has an eco-cabin with fridges for bait and a washing/cleaning area for fish caught. There is a communal outdoor cold shower and a games room that provides snooker, darts and table tennis, and an interesting library. The beautiful wild coast beaches are about 300 meters away and the path meanders down through the coastal forest.
The gardens in the resort are a feast of color. Bird life is plentiful, both in the resort and along the coast. Some of the interesting birds that we listed were the beautiful Oyster Catchers, Cape Batis, Black-headed Oriole, Black-collared Barbet and a variety of Sunbirds, feasting on the flowers. The nearby beaches stretched for kilometers on either side with white sand and large sand dunes leading up to coastal forests. Along the warm Indian Ocean waters that break onto the gentle sloping beaches there are rocky reefs that protrude out into the water and form bays. Here on calm days snorkeling is possible and from the rocks and beaches those who fish can cast in their bait. There is always a chance of landing a cob or steenbras for supper.
The local staff cleaned the braai area early in the morning and also the braai grid. You hardly saw anyone else around because the caravans are hidden under trees and separated by large lawn areas. Security seemed good and so you did not have to lock everything away. What a pleasure in our security obsessed society! The peace and tranquility was only disturbed by the sound of the surf rolling in just beyond the sand dunes, and the call of the many birds in the big trees in the garden.
References: Camp and Caravan - Map Studio