Sept - Africamps, Pat Busch
Pat Busch Nature Reserve is situated on Route 62, and only 1,5 hours drive from Cape Town. The reserve forms part of the Klaasvoogds West foothills in the Langeberg Mountains and is an amazing spot to relax for a weekend (or longer if you can)
We arrived at Pat Busch around 8:30 pm after surviving one of the most dangerous drives I have ever experienced. The road between Worcester and Robertson in the dark is really dangerous. With no street lights, its a seriously stressful drive. Pro-tip; driving this road during the day is bad enough, just skip this road at night altogether if you can. You have been warned.
Anyway, we were booked at tent number 5, which is the last tent and probably the most private and furthest into the reserve. These beautiful luxury tented camps are the epitome of luxury camping. To be honest they are more like small chalets or cottages that just happen to be in a tent.
The tents have 2 "rooms" both with double beds and the second even has a bunk bed, perfect for the kids. There is a bathroom with a shower and toilet shared by both the rooms and the main living area even has a fireplace. (which came in handy) It is also fitted with an air conditioner for summer. (serious bonus)
Having settled in, we light the fire and had few glasses of wine and a quick braai. I love the feeling of watching a fire and relaxing on the first night away, it's always the best. You can't describe the feeling as you slowly relax watching the flames dancing.
Because we arrived in the dark and the weather wasn't too great, we weren't sure of what our view was going to be when we opened the tent the next morning. To our surprise, it was pretty spectacular.
We did some exploring and relaxing for most of the day and waited for our friends Chris and Lise to join us later that evening. Unfortunately the weather started to roll in and by 9pm that evening when they arrived it was wet and drizzling. Thankfully with an indoor and outdoor fire we had options to keep warm and dry.
With the sun out the next morning, we finished up our bacon and eggs and headed off to do some much deserved wine tasting at some of the many wine farms in the area. First stop one of my favourite places, Springfield wine farm. Such a beautiful place with amazing wine. One of my favourites. We did the full tasting and relaxed on the lawn out front overlooking the dam. Between the birds and the dogs and the fresh air, I was in a very happy place.
After a couple of hours, we headed out to Graham Beck to do the champagne tasting. (This was the girls plan but we were not complaining at all.) Having never been, I was excited to have a look and learn a bit more about the sparkling wine and Graham Beck.
It turned out to be a great day out in the wine farms.
Next, we decided to head back "home" and chill out on the deck and take in the views of the mountains and have a few snacks for lunch. This area of the Western Cape was created for this specific reason. To chill out, have a few drinks and enjoy the scenery. (And watch a few birds of course)
As lunch became dinner and with the braai lasting late into the night, the girls eventually dropped off to bed, leaving Chris & myself and a few bottles of wine. We solved the world's problems around the fire late into the night and forget everything the next morning. Our usual antics.
The next day we decided to go for a walk deep into the reserve. It was awesome, with myself and Lauren very stoked to get a clear view of the Juvenile Fish Eagle who had been floating around for most of the time there. Unable to identify him the entire weekend we eventually we saw him slowing making a few passes over the large dam between the two mountains.
With Chris and Lise having left later that morning Lauren and I settle into some serious bird watching. After all, it's one of the main reasons we like going away every month. We get to tick off a few more birds on the list. I even created my own bird list so I can keep track of things. Lauren and I share a list so we need to both have access and both be able to update in real time.
I must admit, I feel like I didn't get enough time at Pat Busch and even though the waiting list for the Africamps here is long, I will be back. We are thinking of booking one of the cottages instead and bringing a few more people to see this awesome place.
If there are mountains a river and a few birds, I'm all over it.
Here a look at the video we made of the weekend.
Kilometer Traveled (total): 378km
Left home: Thursday evening
Back home: Monday Afternoon (via Villiersdorp/Franschoek Pass)
Total: 4 nights
Bottles of wine consumed: I lost count
New birds ticked off the list:
- Seedeater, Streaky-headed
- Bishop, Yellow (Cape Widowbird)
- Canary, Cape
- Prinia, Karoo