Accomodation, Business, Events & Tourism

July 28, 2016
by Elmarie Botes

The Beach Paternoster Camp Review

The Beach Camp was situated in the Cape West Coast Pensinsula – Paternoster South Africa. The flavor of accommodation was alternative camping accommodation outside the small fishing village of Paternoster in Cape Columbine Nature Reserve on the West Coast of Western Cape. On the shoreline of the untamed Atlantic Ocean, was The Beach Camp, Backpackers Nature Camp. Guests would bury their toes in the sand, while sipping on their favorite drink. Accommodation was supplied in pre-pitched comfortable bedded Twin Tents and A-Frames – camping did not get more comfortable than this. The-Beach-Camp, West Coast Backpackers offered unique camping alternative accommodation – a place to relax; a place away from the ratrace. With communal ablutions (gas showers & Eco-friendly dry compost loos), communal kitchen equipped with gas burners and all the non-electronic utensils needed – typical of backpackers – had no electricity by choice. The Beach Camp’s slogan was: “Come join us and rough it in comfort at The Beach Camp, South Africa – a Tourism Grading Council 3-star Backbackers / Hostel. It is all about nature”.

The backpackers camp is relatively protected against the prevailing wind and shade is plentiful in the lapa area. Here you can enjoy a refreshing drink at the residents only bar.Being in a Nature Reserve, no pets or electronic music allowed amongst other reserve rules. Pre-pitched accommodation consisted of four cozy wooden A-Frame huts with beds/bed-frames(a bed-frame is like a futon) that accommodated 2 people each.

In addition there were also 6 comfortable Twin Tents with two single beds in each and 1 x 3-Man Tent with a double bed and a single bed in it. There was also a designated area for people to pitch their own tents and still have access to all the facilities as a Resident of The Beach Camp.

There was an equipped communal kitchen tent with all the necessary pots, pans and all other utensils for making a braai (barbeque), plus a communal cooler-box for those who didn’t have their own. Ablutions included hot showers, Eco-friendly toilets, hand basin and even a mirror for the ladies. The Beach Camp was not dependent on electricity nor wished to be.

The Beach Camp were geared up for winter and ironically only got approximately 126mm of rain in the rainy season. More likely than not you will be soaking up the sun while it rains in Cape Town. Winter days are spent enjoying the gentle winter sun or exploring the reserve. For those avid surfers, bring your wetsuit and check out the swell report for Cape Columbine. This is a good base from which to enjoy any non-motorized water-sport.

Getting there was pretty easy. Drive along the R27 from Cape Town to Velddrif. About 10km before Velddrif, after going over a bridge you will see a big green board to Vredenburg. There is now also a new board to Paternoster – before the bridge. As you come off the bridge, turn left to Vredenburg. Drive all the way through Vredenburg and carry on with the road into Paternoster. At the first 4-way stop street, you will see a sign The Beach Camp pointing left, turn left. You will pass the hotel and the road begins to twist and turn past fisherman cottages. Stay on the road until you get to another 3-way stop street, here turn right. The road will turn into a gravel road. There are signs all along the route in Paternoster.

For more information you can contact us here.

February 20, 2017
by Fiona Purves

BeachCamp’s top 3 Valentine’s Day gift ideas for 2017

 One of our Swedish guests wrote this out on a piece of paper two days before Valentines Day. Unfortunately we are only posting now, but she really does write beautifully.

“O my Luve is like a red, red rose/That’s newly sprung in June;/O my Luve is like a melody/That’s sweetly played in tune”  –  this poem written by Robert Burns, that so aptly describes the feeling of new love are but one in surely millions that spans the history of time.
Song, poems, movies, paintings, architectural marvels have all been created in the name of love, whether new, old or broken love, it seems to capture the sole.

Humans ache for love, even the most unromantic of us all will have to admit that being truly loved is a gift more cherished than anything else. We have even created a specified day to celebrate love. Yes, we all love it and silently dread it, so let me help you think of some fun and creative gift ideas to spoil your special someone.

1.    Tandem Paragliding
If your partner is not the typical romantic and would rather spend their time doing new and exciting things, why not arrange a paragliding Cape Town experience for them? There is no experience or special skills required and an experienced pilot will be taking special care of your loved. How better to show your love than by giving them the gift of flight? Paragliding has been described as the closest thing to soaring like a bird through the sky and as we well know many birds mate for life. That has to be a good thing right? An added bonus of this thrilling gift is the dopamine release your partner is bound the experience and that can only count in your favour later during alone time. Skywings Tandem Paragliding Cape Town are regularly mentioned here at Beach Camp by other travellers, so it would seem that they would be worth looking at.
2.    Romantic Picnic
Not into gifts, but still want to do something special? Go on a picnic. Don’t be so quick so shout “cliché”, this is a simple budget friendly idea that can be spruced up as much as your budget allows. Fill a basket with a few of your loved one’s favourite goodies, grab a blanket and head for that special place every couple has. Throw in a view of a sunset and you have a winner. There is a reason you will find “romantic picnic” on any romantic’s top ten picks.
Whatever you choose to buy or do, to show your loved one the extent of your love and admiration for them, do so creatively, find something they like or care about and make sure to tie it in with your activity of the day. Showing someone how much your care should not create headaches or cost an arm and a leg, it is captured in the little things you do daily and even though grand gestures are fun and memorable, it should still be fun to organise and reflects the essence of your relationship. After all, isn’t that what makes your relationship unique and meaningful? Valentine’s Day should be an extension of that love, that special bond.

3.    Eco-Friendly Straws
This is by far my favourite idea for 2017. We are becoming more aware of our carbon footprint and most of us are actively trying to make positive changes to help in which ever little way we can. By buying a set of eco-friendly straws you are not just telling your loved one that you care about her, but also about the environment your maybe-future-children will live. You find these straws in all shapes and sizes, and if you choose a stainless steel one you could even engrave a special message on it. End your night of by sharing a milkshake and saving the planet from single use straws.

Valentine’s Day comes and goes each year and every year there is a desperate struggle by many to find new ways and means to demonstrate their affection and commitment to their loved ones.

November 18, 2016
by Fiona Purves

Swedish Volunteers in Cape Town visit Beachcamp

Running a campsite or hostel you get to meet all kinds of interesting folks from every part of the world. We recently had a Swedish guest who had come to South Africa to volunteer in Cape Town. For those of you are aren’t familiar with the concept of volunteering, volunteering is about offering up your time for a worthy cause, free of charge. It’s an opportunity to help others in need that can benefit from your education, skills and experience. It is quite popular with European students to travel to a distant country like India, Nepal or South Africa and give freely of themselves, working on community projects and helping the needy and underprivileged uplift themselves. There are hundreds of volunteer and internship placement agencies to be found on the internet that can assist with helping people interested in finding the right placements. Typically these agencies will assist the applicant with settling in, providing them with accommodation, placing them in projects or initiatives that their studies or life skills can best be put to use. Our Swedish guest had just spent three months with a Cape Town based agency called African Sunrise Volunteers. The enthusiasm with which she spoke about both her respect for African Sunrise and the projects she had worked on whilst in their care was contagious. It was quite clear that coming to volunteer in Africa had been a life changing experience for her and that she would carry the memories with her for the rest of her life.

We sat enviously listening to her speak of the projects she had been involved in whilst with African Sunrise. It reminded me of how caught up we get in our own petty problems forgetting how many people there are out there that are suffering and so much less fortunate. Children who live on the streets without a roof over their head when it rains, struggling to keep warm when it’s icy cold in winter, barely eating enough to stay alive. There are so many worthy causes that could benefit if all of us were willing to give up a bit of our time like our Swedish guest had. And she travelled all the way from Sweden at her own expense to do so, whilst we sit and complain about menial problems like “poor cell phone reception”.

We did some research on African Sunrise and browsed their website about volunteers in Africa on the internet. Wow! I must really commend these folks on their commitment not only to getting down and assisting all the various community projects and initiatives, but also their commitment to their interns and volunteers. One project that they are involved in that really struck a chord with me is the “Shelter for Abused women and Children” project. This is a safe home for women and children that have endured many forms of abuse. The shelter helps these poor souls to rehabilitate and recover from the traumatic experiences they have lived. The home provides much needed group therapy, one on one counselling and even holds regular life skills workshops and training programmes. The children in the shelter are looked after and nurtured and the assistance by the volunteers and interns from African Sunrise is a godsend for them. Many of these volunteers have studied social work and psychology, so whilst they are providing much needed support, they are also benefiting in gaining first hand experience in their field of study. Many of these children, having been subjected to physical, emotional and even sexual abuse, develop behavioural problems such learning disabilities and  aggressive behaviour which is addressed and processed through the group therapy sessions.

I feel truly grateful for having met and spent the evening chatting to our Swedish guest and realize how numb I have become to the poverty and social inequalities around me.

October 19, 2016
by Elmarie Botes

Looking for Sober Holiday Accommodation ?

Travelling South Africa is a whole lot of fun, whether you a re doing it on a budget or staying in more exclusive establishments. In the end it doesn’t matter too much, because most of the travellers we know, come to South Africa for the natural beauty. The pristine beaches, the unexplored mountain trails and the diverse wildlife and vegetation. We recently had an unusual request from a guest. Where is it possible to find holiday accommodation in a sober living house in Cape Town ? It’s not something one often thinks of, because most of us equate a holiday with drinking alcohol, having sundowners on the beach or celebrating with champagne over the festive season. One forgets that not everybody actually drinks alcohol and there are some folks who actively seek out accommodation where alcohol is not served at all. There are many people in South Africa and visitors to our country who are in “recovery”, meaning that they have struggled with alcoholism or some form of addiction in the past and would prefer to steer clear of overly festive holiday accommodation. Considering that many establishments make a fair profit on their alcohol sales, such sober living holiday accommodation isn’t that easy to find. We did some research and discovered that there are in fact a few places in Cape Town that do cater for this type of holiday maker. Scotswood Retreat is a charming renovated farmstead set on the most exquisite property in the leafy suburb of Constantia in Cape Town. It’s a fairly new sober living house, but Scotswood has some really great amenities and facilities besides the obvious ones like, WiFi, Cable TV and gorgeous gardens and swimming pool. Scotswood is self catering although cooked dinners are provided six days a week. Most the information can be found here on the Scotswood sober house website, including the pricing and requirements for admission. Yes, there are admission requirements, unlike your regular B&B or guesthouse, Scotswood is committed to maintaining a safe and sober living environment for it’s residents and will not allow any alcohol or tolerate any other from of substance other than approved medication that has been verified for use. This sober house in Cape Town should be first choice for anybody wanting to enjoy all the charm and beauty of a holiday in Cape Town, whilst avoiding the temptation to turn their back on their commitment to a sober life. It can happen so quickly, especially during the festive season chaos. We wish Scotswood and all those in recovery, all the best.

September 4, 2016
by Elmarie Botes

Health always comes first – even on holiday !

The Beach Camp and other rustic tourist accommodation destinations in and around Cape Town offer people an escape from the stresses of modern life. In today’s world we don’t realize how far we are removed from our natural state of living in harmony with the environment. People are so attached to their electronic devices, smartphones, iPads, iPods and laptops that they barely even notice what goes on around them. Sometimes a restful holiday is not enough and its necessary to seek professional help. Dr Anita Prag is a southern suburbs psychologist that specializes in dealing with anxiety, trauma and the other psychological difficulties many of us face. What often strikes me as quite strange, is how many guests that book accommodation at remote and peaceful establishments, are still obsessed with speed of the wifi and still remain fixated on their electronic devices. These guests have paid a fair deal of money to enjoy the beauty and surrounding nature of a remotely situated camp or guesthouse, yet they still cannot seem to tear themselves away from technology. I am quite certain that in years to come, our obsession with our electronic devices and the need to be up to date all the time with the most arbitrary Facebook posts, or tweets/twats (whatever they are called), will present itself as a form of psychological illness that requires treatment. Addiction is sometimes explained as repeating a behavior over and over regardless of the negative consequences. I can think of many people I know who struggle to not continuously check their phones for messages and Facebook updates, despite how much it annoys their partners ! I mentioned Dr Prag earlier in this article, because she is one of those rare medical professionals that actually really cares about her patients and not just the paycheck. A few years ago My ex-wife and I were seeing a psychologist for couples therapy. I will never forget how at the beginning of each session, he would place the clock on the table between us. I was more aware of time and money ticking away with each tick of the second hand, than I was of the process my ex wife and I were supposed to be engaged in. Ten minutes before the end of the session he would handle the clock as if to subtly hint that we should start drawing to a close. It was extremely distracting and annoying. Dr Prag on the other hand is an empathetic individual with the rare capability of truly connecting with her clients and allowing a strong level of trust to rise in only one or two sessions. Anita has said that the level of trust between her and a patient is what will make that patients treatment either successful or unsuccessful. Dr Prag has natural ability to form trusting relationships with her patients very quickly and this goes a long way in ensuring a positive outcome for the therapeutic process. Like all other clinical psychologists, Anita has her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, but her god given ability to connect with people on an emotional level is not something that can be studied or learned. Dr Anita Prag sees clients for a variety of difficulties, children with learning disabilities, couples who need therapy, people who a battling to deal with grief, loss or trauma. Any patient who does manage to get to see Dr Prag should consider themselves lucky because not all psychologists are created equal.

I started this article writing about the absurdity of going away on a peaceful restful holiday, yet still taking all those distracting gadgets with us that ultimately cause us more stress than anything else. I suppose my point is, is that if you are one of those people that cant bare to be away from your internet connected device for more than a few minutes, perhaps your money would be better spent meeting a good psychologist for a few sessions. Because behind that compulsion to click and tap away on that little screen, is a deep need to escape reality. I would thoroughly recommend DR Prag if you a southern suburbs psychologist. You can find here details on her website by clicking here

July 30, 2016
by Elmarie Botes

Give your website a boost with SEORank Marketing Agency

Generating new leads for your business and finding new customers is one of the most important things any business owner needs to consider. Without new customers coming through the door, a business will eventually die. In years gone by business owners simply placed their business in directories like the yellow pages of other printed directories and that was enough. Those with enough of a marketing would pay for radio or television advertising. These days however, for the small business owner, placing ads in local print media or the yellow pages is simply not enough. Since the arrival of the world wide web and people’s reliance on search engines like Google, people are relying more and more and finding the information they seek by using the internet on their desktop computers or on their mobile phones. This means without having a web presence of some sort, your business is going to suffer and lose out eventually to those that have already begun to capitalize on the the new way in which people search for things. So, for starters, your business needs a website. Websites are not as costly to setup as they once were. Hosting is is available at very affordable rates for small businesses and with content management systems like WordPress, it’s even possible for many people with a small amount of technical knowledge to quickly design their own basic website to represent their business. Just something simple like a homepage, a contact page with your business contact details and perhaps a products and services page.

So now you have a website and perhaps you decide to setup a Facebook business page for your business, considering all the hype around social media…and the amount of time some people waste on social media platforms, endlessly posting selfies and updates about what they’re eating. Creating a Facebook business page for your business is a good idea, no matter what your feeling are towards social media, it is a tremendously powerful medium that cannot be ignored. Ok, so now you have your website built and a Facebook business page and your expecting loads of new customers to start emailing you the very next day. If only it were so easy. Unfortunately the world wide web contains millions and millions of websites, and your is only one of them out there. This is where professionals like SEORank can help you. SEOrank is a search engine optimization (SEO) agency that specializes in marketing businesses on the web. SEO is the practice of optimizing your website so that it is best received by the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. For example, if you want your customers to find you by searching for the keyword, “plumber”, but the word is never mentioned on your website, you have no chance of ever appearing in the search results. That’s a pretty obvious example that should be easy for most people to understand. It does get a lot more complicated. SEO can be divided into two separate areas. Onpage optimization and off page optimization. Onpage optimization deals with all the technical stuff on the website itself. The team at SEORank are well versed in this and would be able to explain it more clearly. Off page optimization everything that effects your website’s visibility in the search results that go beyond the layout and design of the website itself. Off page optimization includes link building or the process of generating inbound links to your website. This is hard work and takes time. Press releases and mentions of your brand in articles on other websites that link back to you are invaluable. The team at SEORank are brilliant in this field, using their years of experience to leverage the best and most valuable publicity for your brand.

SEORank are based in Cape Town but provide professional SEO services for clients all over South Africa and internationally. The small team are dedicated to providing their clients with measurable results at affordable prices.

July 30, 2016
by Elmarie Botes

On holiday and have an emergency toothache ?

Occasionally tourists that visit the Beachcamp or any other camping site in Cape Town, may find themselves in need of a good dentist. Toothache is a pain at the nest of times, but when you are on holiday in a foreign country, it can be much more than a nuisance. Being away from home and having a throbbing pain in your mouth is just about the worst thing that can happen when traveling on holiday…besides losing your passport or being robbed! I found myself in this situation whilst traveling Europe a few years ago, so I know what it’s like. While staying at a guesthouse in Stuttgart, I was fortunate to come a across an article on the guesthouse’s website recommending a good local dentist. I would like to recommend Dr P. Singh, dentist Claremont, to any tourist or traveler that finds themselves in need of a dentist in Cape Town. I know what it’s like to be away from home, in pain and in need of a dentist, but not sure who you can trust. Dr Singh was first recommended to me in 2011 by a good friend of mine. At the time I was still studying and working as a waiter in a restaurant to try and pay the bills. To put it bluntly, I was not earning a lot of money at the time and didn’t think I could even afford to see a dentist. My friend who happened to work at the same restaurant as me was pretty much in the same financial state as myself. She recommended Dr Singh as being a skilled dentist with extremely affordable rates. I’m not sure if my reluctance to see a dentist was due to my financial concerns or the fact that I was pretty certain I would need a root canal. Anyway, I ended up calling his practice in Belvedere Rd, Claremont and I made an appointment to see him. Dr Singh started his dental surgery in Claremont in 2010 and is conveniently situated close to Newlands, Rondebosch and Kenilworth. I think he could sense my nervousness when I arrived and somehow managed to put me at ease with manner in which he treated me.

Although I was unfortunately correct in my anticipation that I would require a root canal procedure, I was pleasantly surprised at how painless it was, both physically and on my wallet. I really can’t say how Dr Singh managed to perform the root canal procedure on me with me experiencing so little pain. He somehow managed to distract me by chatting away while he worked. I did not even feel the injection he administered for local anesthesia. I am normally terrified of needles. I actually asked him when he was going to do it and could not believe it when he told me that he had already given me the injection. With the same conviction my friend originally recommended Dr Singh to me, I recommend him to you. If you need a good dentist Claremont, don’t look further than Dr Singh. The root can procedure was finished quickly and painlessly. When I received my bill for the treatment, I was certain they had made a mistake. It was half the amount that I expected to pay. Normally you get what you pay for, so if you buy something cheap, expect poor quality. This is not the case here. I was so impressed with quality of dental care I received and the affordable rates that I have continued to go to Dr Singh since then. Even after moving further away from Claremont, I still go back to him. So, if you are traveling in Cape Town or South Africa and find yourself suffering from toothache, you now have somewhere to go 🙂