Living in Cape Town and the Western Cape has plenty of perks, and the incredible camping options are one of the best. A picturesque drive can take us Capetonians to the most wonderful places, which Jamaka Campsite certainly is.
If you’re wanting to spend a weekend or a week somewhere dreamy, natural and fun, this Cederberg campsite is an excellent choice. It offers plenty of activities, swimming spots, and even has a bar and pizzeria.
They also have a great variation in camping spots, so you can find one that suits you perfectly, whether you’re camping solo, with a significant other, friends or the whole family. And since they are dog friendly, you can even bring your pups!
Jamaka Campsite – What to expect
When you drive around the corner and spot the river that winds through the valley, you’ll be staring right at your destination. The campsite continues for what feels like ages along the river. This makes the sites feel consistently private, even though there were 600 people camping there when we arrived in the days preceding New Year.
There is a wonderful variation to the camping spots, with some being right next to the river, others being closer to the bar, and still others being in big open spaces, with trees offering plenty of shade.
The ablution blocks are never far off, no matter where you choose to set up your tent. Just be sure to bring toilet paper and whatever else you might need. Besides the inevitable scary spider or two, the bathrooms are kept clean and tidy.
The hot water is dependent on solar panels, so it’s best to shower after the sun has warmed things up for a few hours, or in the evening or early morning (to avoid a line), though that’s a bit of a gamble.
Then lastly, if you’re a talented camper, you’ll probably have all your food, utensils and cooking equipment ready. This is always a good way to go, but if you lean towards a little chaos, don’t worry. The bar sells pizza and hot chips, and the convenience store has everything from spices to rice. You can also buy wood here, so you don’t have to add that to your already packed car.
Jamaka Camping Rates
Jamaka has a flat rate for their campsites, which is R280 per night, for four people. For each additional person staying at your site, you’ll pay R70. A bargain! The sites differ in size slightly, but you can fit up to five tents comfortably in some, so you could squeeze a lot of friends in one site.
If setting up a tent doesn’t appeal to you, they also have lovely little cottages, which offer a few extra creature comforts. The prices for these differ, depending on your choice of cottage. They start at R700 for four people, and go up to R1000. However, a number of them can fit up to seven people, and you can pay R120 for each extra person above four.
Jamaka Cederburg Experiences
What makes this campsite special is the love and effort that has gone into the space. The founders, a German couple, have been cultivating this area for around 30 years, with their children having been raised here and now being a fundamental part of the running of the grounds.
There are mango groves on the site, with homemade dried mango available at the reception, which doubles as the convenience store. There are also some very convenient local wines available here.
There is a go-kart racing track if you feel like trying out your racing skills. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever take hairpin turns with a view like this one anywhere else. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, check out their impressive paintball facilities. Playing a paintball game with your family or friends is sure to create some great banter over the campfire later on.
Just under the reception, which you’ll arrive at first thing, there is a beautiful pool which looks over the majestic mountains. While the river pools are refreshing and picturesque, the view from this swimming spot cannot be beaten.
We chose to spend our days lounging by the river, lying in hammocks while reading, building impressive fires and cooking potjies. But each to their own, and Jamaka Camping certainly has something for everyone.
Jamaka Organic Farm
This Cederberg farm grows three separate organic crops on its land. These are mangoes, rooibos, and citrus fruits.
The rooibos grows on the mountains, without any interference. In January, the farmworkers walk up the mountain and harvest the organic, wild-growing bushes. As it is growing naturally and slowly, the taste is particularly strong and aromatic. You can buy some to take home from the reception convenience store.
If you arrive in the right season, as I did, you’ll also see heavily hung mango trees. These organic mangoes are almost purple and are sure to catch your eye. The imperfect and blemished mangoes are turned into mango chutneys and jams. Some are sundried and turned into sulphur and preservative-free dried mango. We found that it had an almost citrusy flavour, and was absolutely delicious!
The citrus that they grow here consist of oranges, naartjies (mandarin), and lemons. These are also, of course, organic, and are particularly wonderful because of the micro-climate in the valley. The citrus is sold to the organic box companies in Cape Town, which you can browse in our small sustainable businesses post.
Of course, the products of Jamaka Organic Farm & Resort don’t directly affect your camping experience. But seeing and knowing that good, healthy things are growing all around you adds to the ambience.
Ready to Camp at Jamaka?
We had an absolute blast camping here over New Years, and are already planning another trip to Jamaka in the near future. It is a beautiful place, with all that you could wish for when camping. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and there is plenty to do and see.
Whether you hit the trails, spend your days lounging, or challenge your friends to a game of paintball, you’re sure to have an amazing time. So why not plan a memorable camping trip for next weekend? I might just see you there.