Bucket List: Free Camping and Surfing Around Cape Town
Places we REALLY want to spend a few days camping and surfing. (Without a campsite)
As we plan our trip from Cape Town to Sweden (This still blows my mind!), one of the most important questions that we keep asking is, “Where should we stay?”. And because we will be living in our van, the options are seemingly endless. Fortunately we can limit our options to places that have; good, fun waves, places we would feel safe camping for a few nights, and places that just generally peak our interest, weather it be the natural beauty and surrounds, or the beautiful drive to get there.
After some hard thinking here is our list of most anticipated surf and camp spots to start our van-venture in South Africa.
Elands bay does have an ok camp site, it’s a bit of a walk from the break, and it has the basics, like toilet and shower, with some Braai areas (BBQ). But there are two other (better) options, both right on the reef, and right on the beach! If waking up early, popping some coffee on the gas cooker while you suit up, smashing that coffee down your throat while you run down the beach and diving into the line up – all while the sun is yet to rise, sounds more like your vibe then I’d really recommend finding one of the two “camp-spots” closer to the break. The first is pretty easy to find and let’s you mingle with the rest of the Surfer’s, once they arrive. The second is a bit harder to find, located further up the point, in the residential area, and also right on the beach! Be wary though, both have different access roads, and the second option is more of a drive to get your rolls, wors and booze!
To access the first, a sandy parking area right at the bottom of the point, drive into town, and keep going, you will hit a sandy dirt road and this will lead you to the spot. The second option is a bit trickier, you don’t want to get into town, rather take the left just before, go over the bridge, and continue right on the gravel road, you will get to a small suburb / a couple of roads and houses, try find the road that leads down to the beach, theres a small parking area at the end.
Along a dirt road just outside of Elands bay, you can find and explore some isolated breaks, there’s Yo Yo’s, Famous Last Words, and Farmer Burgers all within a few minutes drive. There’s no shortage of secret hideaways to camp for the night, but if you are feeling less adventurous, you can check out the camp site near the river mouth. There’s also a caravan park in Lambert’s it’s self, with a decent break right in front.
Basically, if you find a spot that’s cooking, spend the night, if you wake up to less than fun conditions, start the engine and see if anything else is working, some spots need a certain tide to turn on, once you find a better option, have a surf, and if you want , spend the night.
Long beach / Misty cliffs / Scarborough
Situated on one of the most idyllic stretches of coast, these three spots are all within a few kilometers of each other, and all offer perfect places to set your van up for the night.
Long Beach has a large parking lot that can get crowded, so sneak past the lot, and take your next turn right, this leads down a small gravel road, to a little dead end that overlooks the break. Can get busy, but much more secluded, and scenic, with some nice trees for shade, and a bench or two to watch the waves. There is also a great shower and toilets down the beach for a post surf rinse and pooh.
Misty Cliffs, as its name implies is often shrouded in a dense mist, but amidst the haze and rocky outcrops lies one of the funnest beach breaks in the area. Park just off the road at any one of the wider sections overlooking the long stretch of beach and you will have an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean, and sunsets! This stretch of road is quite isolated, so try not draw too much attraction to yourself once camped!
Further towards Cape Point, you will find the village of Scarborough, bordering the edge of the Cape Point Nature Reserve. The beach is easy to find, and offers a cosy gravel parking lot, with some lush grass, and some wooden paths leading down to the beach. There are some amazing tidal pools to explore, and a fun beach break in the bay, and a nice left reef point further up. There’s not much else around, bar a few restaurants. But it’s an awe inspiring place with amazing landscapes. Once in the water, look back at the land and see for yourself! This beach is also great just to lounge and chill on, and the best part is; the people that call this place home are some of the friendliest people on earth! Say “Hi!”, and you might just find some amazing company to share dinner and a beer with!
This list isn’t a complete and extensive list of places to stay, rather use this as a guide, then meet and speak to some friendly locals, and chose your own magical, even more secluded spots to spend a night or two, while you surf all day! I promise there are endless possibilities, with good waves, and amazing and peaceful “Camp spots”. Happy hunting – we can’t wait to see what we discover in between all these spots!
Know any other places you would recommend!? Let us know in the comments!