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Beaver­lac, Porterville

Rock pool at Beaverlac

Beaver­lac is a work­ing farm, and a nat­ural her­itage site owned by the Olivier broth­ers. It is nes­tled in a deep, secluded val­ley in the Grootwin­ter­hoek moun­tains, just above the sleepy town of Porter­ville, approx­i­mately 140km from Cape town.

This camp­site has a lot to offer, and in my opin­ion the most spec­tac­u­lar being the Leop­ard trail, head­ing up the Ratel River. Pack a pic­nic bas­ket and spend some time at one of the many
pris­tine moun­tain pools head­ing up the river. The first pool is less than five min­utes walk from the camp­site, and the Totem Pool, (the fur­ther most pool) is approx­i­mately an hour and half walk from the camp­site, at a fairly leisurely pace.

If fish­ing is your thing, then take a leisurely walk down to the Olifants River (approx­i­mately 5km) and catch a bass or three. They are plen­ti­ful. (Just never plen­ti­ful when I try and catch) As the bass is alien to the river, the farm­ers along the river bank ask that you remove the bass from the river. If you are for­tu­nate enough to catch a fairly rare yel­low fish , you are asked to return it to the river as it is a pro­tected species. No dri­ving is allowed down to the Olifants River, unless you are a per­mit holder. A stiff fine will be imposed if you are caught dri­ving on the farm roads.

This is also a bird lovers par­adise and almost every time we visit Beaver­lac we are for­tu­nate to spot a pair of Black Eagles, usu­ally soar­ing high above the Ratel river. One can also spend hours watch­ing the weavers build­ing there very char­ac­ter­is­tic shaped nests hang­ing from the trees and the shrike catch­ing their insects.

Beaver­lac also has a small, but very well stocked shop that has almost every­thing on offer for a week­end camp­ing, even wine at very rea­son­able prices. Porter­ville is about 25km from the camp­site, and dri­ving time to there takes about 45 min­utes, as Dasklip Pass is fairly steep, and the going is quite slow.

There are no bins pro­vided and you must take all your rub­bish home with you.

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This is an older post sub­mited by Helga in March 2011

We went to Beaver­lac the other week­end — very spur of the moment. Beaver­lac is one of the few places you do not have to make a book­ing way in advance – you just rock up. You may also bring your dog! First come first serve, unless you are one of the few lucky ones to have a per­ma­nent caravan-​home on site. A lim­ited amount of these are up for rent – that has to be booked in advance.

So, off we go on the N7, turn left at Piket­berg, down towards Porter­ville. Turn left at T and right at Dasklip pass. (Check for cor­rect direc­tions). The road lead­ing up the moun­tain is not a walk in the park – the road is nar­row and BAD. We wished we still had our bakkie but slowly does it and we are on top and then down (left) again for another few ago­niz­ing (rocky) k’s till we are there!

The place is packed as it is long week­end – we should have left ear­lier but we find a spot and soon set­tle in. It is HOT in March (car says 40˚) and we are off to the clos­est pool about 100m away. How stun­ning! The water is clear and cool. Peo­ple are tak­ing turns jump­ing off the water­fall rocks and the sur­round­ings are just spec­tac­u­lar! The kids have a ball. We enjoy but never take out eyes off our young chil­dren as the water, though beau­ti­ful, is deep. My friend com­ments that she has never seen so many tat­toos in her lifeJ.

We walked back to the camp at around 8pm – it is still 39˚! The (full) moon has come up – this is pic­ture time. Braaing and sleep­ing in full moon has such an amaz­ing feel­ing to it. The fires are all around and peo­ple are jolly. Late at night some rowdy Ger­mans keep us out of our sleep on their way to the pool but all in good spirit.

The next day we are up early – it is still boil­ing hot! We had a cereal break­fast, kids put on their takkies and off we trot to our next lot of pools. There are many trails and more pools. Beaver­lac is a place to visit more than once. Take a ruck­sack with pic­nic good­ies and spend the whole day explor­ing the pools and trails! The views here are beyond “Eeden” – this is too beau­ti­ful for words. Crys­tal clear water all around, firm rock below the feet, fish swim­ming around, water falls…HEAVEN. We never want to leave here EVER!


  • · Not too far from Cape Town (about 2 hours)
  • · No book­ing needed
  • · Easy laid back atmosphere
  • · Many trees and shade
  • · Afford­able get-​away
  • · Can buy wood, ice and basic essen­tials at lit­tle shop
  • · Amaz­ing rock pools!!!


  • · Road very bad to reach Beaverlac
  • · Can be very crowded over long weekends
  • · Must remove own rubbish
  • · Bath­rooms quite neat but not always hot water
  • · No elec­tric­ity at camp sites

Beaver­lac, Porterville
Con­tact Details
Tel no

022 931 2945

Cell no Email This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

022 931 2945

Web­site Click Here
Camp Details
Near­est Town Porterville Max Per­sons Pay per Person
Dis­tance from Town 25km Chalets/​Cottages Yes
Map View Map Elec­tric­ity No
Pets Yes Car­a­vans
Shop with basics Yes Brochure
Tips and things to do

These tips will prob­a­bly apply to many camp sites, but this is what we thought should not be forgotten

1. Fish­ing for bass
2. Walks and picnics

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