Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Camping with a Motorcycle Part 2

My husband relaxes in our campsite shortly after arriving at Mahai

Last week I posted about our motorcycle trip and had many interesting comments. Here is part two:
Once we’d packed up camp in Golden Gate National Highlands Park which I posted about here, we travelled to the Northern Drakensberg where we had booked into Mahai Camp. Mahai is a beautifully situated campsite featuring 120 large campsites nestled along the Mahai River with magnificent mountains forming the backdrop.

Once again, when my husband and I arrived here, we were conspicuous by our minimalist set –up. While making our bed inside the tent (two sleeping bags opened and zipped together to form a double covering) I heard my husband greet the two gentleman camped next door. They were elderly brothers and wealthy farmers from the Northern Cape. The first thing of them said to hubby, was: “Engelsman, jy het die regte idée”. Translated this is: “Englishman, you have the right idea.” Checking out their camp a few minutes later, where their womenfolk were cooking up a storm which made my mouth water, I saw what my husband’s newly-made friend was talking about. They had two four-wheel drive vehicles, an off-road trailer, a caravan, a tent and an awning which housed the kitchen area.

Mahai campsite is situated on the Mahai River.Indigenous bush surrounds the camp and huge pine trees provide shade and protection. The mountains rise up in the background

We arrive, we set up camp, we relax ...
Our tent (the little red one in the foreground) looks miniscule compared to the sprawling set-up of our neighbours behind it

Just beyond the campsite, a concrete pathway runs through the indigenous bush along the Mahai River. A gentle amble along here (suitable for wheelchairs or baby strollers) yields abundant birdlife and very interesting flora.

There are a number of hikes into the mountains ranging from a 1, 5km (<1mile)> (38 3/4 mile) severe 4-5 day escarpment traverse.

The Park’s name was changed from Natal National Park to Royal Natal National Park after the British Royal family’s visit to South Africa and this specific park in 1947.

My husband poses on the bridge across the Mahai River, patiently waiting for me while I take photos

Deer, although wild, wander around the campsites completely unafraid
Packed up and ready to go!

For more interesting stories about other people's world, go here


  1. Jo the pictures are beautiful. Would love to camp in a place like this. My husband would be so sad if he saw these... Times are so bad here he had to sell his "baby"(Harley Davidson)just a month ago.

  2. Oh Kathy, I'm so sorry to hear that. I'll probably post about our Harley and how we changed to this bike. Times are hard all over the world but especially so for you in the US. pray for you during these times. Be blessed and take care. (((Hugs)))

  3. Looks like a fantastic place to go camping, great shots.

    Have a great week
    Regina In Pictures

  4. These are beautiful shots. I would have the time of my life just exploring the place. Great Job.

  5. From the spiritual home of motorbikes what a wonderful post. The dear just so cute and the sense of space and freedom of the area shines through.

  6. I haven't seen a tent like that in ages. Igloos seemed to dominated camp sites over here.

  7. Wow, that deer is fascinating! I love wildlife. I don't think I've seen this one before...

  8. Hi Guy;) we have the most amazing camping sites in South Africa: in the mountains, in the Karoo (semi desert) in the Game Reserves and at the sea. Thanks for your kind comment.

    Hi Lawstude;) it is blessed to explore God's great universe. Thanks for visiting.

    Hi Babooska;) My husband has just returned from IOM last night. I love your week's posts about the races. Off to visit it again!

    Hi koala;) welcome to my blog. Yes, most people have dome/igloo tents as well. We've had these tents since 1990! They're quite tiny but you appreciate that when you have to carry them on your back up a steep pass into the high mountain. Thanks for your visit.

  9. Wow!

    I sometimes come across the dear near the cottage, but they're off like rockets when they realise someone's close.

    Lovely photograph,


  10. Hi Esther;) this is a bushbuck - young one found on the Eastern side of Africa! How is your rest? thanks for popping in.

  11. What beautiful country to camp in. Maybe I should carry a tent on my trip. Your neighbors are on overkill.

  12. Thank goodnes you obviously have no rabid health and safety regulations gone mad like we have.
    We are so molly-coddled that anything even mildly adventurous is demolished or fenced in. A bridge witout side rotection to stop infants climbing through and falling in is treasonale. Ever interesting children's playgrounds have all been changed to uniform Mcdonalds plastic playpens. Gome is anything at all challenging.
    Lovely park with great walks and you do do it in style with your bikr!

  13. Oh ROLFL, Gaelyn;) that's what we always say about our neighbour/campers. Even when my dh and I arrived with a vehicle, we used the same tent and camping gear as we do now. That's just us! I agree that you should pack your tent. Don't miss out on seeing Kwa-Zulu Natal Drakensbergv and the Rooiberge (Red mountains) of the Free State - which is the areas my last two posts were about. You will LOVE visiting these parks. I will be posting about many more rides we've done across South Africa. Thanks for popping in and commenting. I've been away with hubby (home from Sudan) and will be back on blog at the end of the week.

    Oh Arija;) I've heard about your hectic safety laws. We are truly blessed to live in a country which still has "wild" places. (((Hugs)))

    Hi GG;) yes, you also live in a rustic area. These bushbuck should be shy and elusive but this is a young one and not too afraid of the campers. Thanks for popping in. (((Hugs)))

  14. Jo: Neat photos and that deer is amazing right in the camp.

  15. Hi fishing guy;) welcome to my blog. I've seen you on Esther's blog and thrilled you've popped in here. Yes, the deer are quite tame but not as pets, just used to people in that environment, Regards from South Africa!

  16. Oooh, I missed this biking post! Looks a great place to camp, I can imagine you have masses of wonderful places to go. Far more exotic than we manage!

    We too travel light, it's the only way on a bike! Our tent is a little bigger than yours but not much. However, we've only used it once so far. The last couple of trips involved B&Bs or stopping off with friends and family. Must get out with the tent later this year.

    I don't ride myself, I'm quite happy as pillion. LSH has a Honda Blackbird. You can see it in one of my recent posts.

    Happy biking!

  17. Hi Gennasus;) thanks for popping in here. Yes, we also stay with friends and family when we do a long trip to the Cape. But often we go out on our own and camp - which is lovely. I'll pop over to your blog and see if I can find the post about your Blackbird. I have my own little motorbike (also a Honda) but while I have my learner's licence, I still need to go for my riding test. My sons and dils have more use of my bike at this stage. I also LOVE to pillion. We've just returned from a trip to the mountains this minute - had a meal, tea and cake and then home again. My dh flies back to the Sudan tomorrow - for three months. So we only managed this one little ride. (Better than nothing, I suppose)


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo