Hands up those of you who want to take the kids camping but either don’t have the equipment, or the first clue how to set up camp. Or both. I like to think that I fit into the first category but if the truth be told I am in the “both” category. I own a camping fridge that my Dad bought me (which I loaned to him 3 years ago seemingly on a non-return basis) and a Cadac camping gas braai. And that’s the sum total of my camping equipment. And I have no idea how to pitch a tent.
So imagine my delight when I stumbled across Bushwillow Tented Camp while looking for somewhere to take my kids fishing. What was supposed to be a day out fishing (which I also have no clue how to do) on the June public holiday, turned into a camping expedition. Okay not camping – glamping.
Bushwillow Tented Camp is just 20 minutes outside of Johannesburg, and is part of, and adjacent to, the popular Glenburn Lodge estate. I know Glenburn well – my cousin got married there, and as a matter of fact so did I (first time around), at Glencove. But I had no idea that this tented camp even existed.
We arranged an early check in so that we could make the most of our day there, and we rolled in at 10am, car loaded with kids (my cousin’s son also joined us), food and bags. The tents have a kitchenette, as well as a bathroom with toilet, hand basin and shower. There is electricity in the tent, and they are well equipped with 6 beds, lamps, a kettle, bar fridge and (wait for it)…….. electric blankets and a heater! Now that’s my idea of camping – especially in winter.
You do have to take your own cutlery and utensils, plates, cups, bowls, pots, pans etc and bedding, although you can call ahead and ask them to provide bedding.
Once we had inspected our tent, unpacked and sorted things out, we took a short walk down to the river which was about 100m from our tent, and then off we went to fish. Luckily Josh fishes regularly with his Dad and he and his cousin knew exactly what to do with the 6 rods , the bucket of worms, mielie bomb (I still don’t know that that is) and 2 enormous boxes of fishing equipment that his Dad had lent us for the weekend. Amazingly, I remembered (kind of) how to cast a line and taught little Gabi, who decided that she liked this and reeled her line in so fast just so she could cast out again that no fish stood any chance of catching that lure.
Later in the day my Mom and brother joined us – and we went up to the boma at the tented camp to have an early braai. The boma is really cool and has plenty of space for various groups to be up there braaing at the same time. And in true Bushwillow style, if you are not up for making a fire, you can opt for one of the gas braais in the boma!
While we were braaing we took a stroll down to the heated pool below, not expecting it to be particularly heated in winter. But how surprised we were to find it as warm as a bath, and then immediately disappointed that we never had our swimming cozzies with us.
That never stopped the boys though, who swam in their shorts and not to miss out Gabi joined in in her little pink panties.
Back up at the tent we ate, got into PJ’s and spent the evening playing games before jumping into our warm beds. There is a guard on duty 24/7 and so security was never a concern – we even had panic buttons to carry around with us for in case the baboons made a nuisance of themselves, although we never saw any and only heard them barking in the distance.
The following day was spent fishing again, playing putt putt and table tennis. Unfortunately we had only booked in for the one night and eventually it was time to head home. What an awesome place and just a stone’s throw from home. We really had the best time. I appreciate being able to get that out-of-the-city feeling and we got just that at Bushwillow.
For a more information or to make a reservation visit www.bushwillowtentedcamp.co.za
ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER:
Cara , a single mom of 2 lives in Johannesburg and is our guest blogger today. She blogs to offer inspiration to other single Moms, and even married Moms who are facing many challenges simply because their husbands travel on business and work insane hours.She took her little team to go Glamping at Bush Willow Tented Camp last weekend. For more entertaining and real-life situations, follow her blog on http://1pairofhands.co.za/