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By Hein Kaiser


Kokoriba falls between camping and glamping

A place to pitch your tent

The more I learn about camping, the more it has become apparent that the Brits area in Northwest province is a treasure-land of parks.

It’s far enough from Joburg to feel that you’ve tapped out of the city, but close enough not make you wait for your post-tent-erection beer too long, either.

Kokoriba is one of these caravan and tent parks, and it’s a bushveld pleasure all the way.

The camping grounds are huge, and the stands are pleasantly large; it gives a sense of privacy if you can pace out at least ten steps between your border and that of the family’s next door.

Unlike other camps, Kokoriba does not try to squash people so close together that you can hear the sweet nothings that husbands whisper to their wives when the kids have gone to sleep. There is camping, and then there is glamping. Camping at Kokoriba is somewhere in between.

There’s the benefit of being closer to nature, but, when it calls, you do not have to mark your territory in a communal ablution.

There are a handful of parks that offer this kind of free-pee experience. Kokoriba is one of them, and just that fact earns it five stars in any camper’s book already.

There are a limited number of these sites available, so booking early is advised; but otherwise, normal ablutions are plenty.

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Facilities and activities

Camping is a pleasure here. But watch out for snakes. A neighbouring outdoorsman caught some kind of snake in his tent with braai tongs.

It was a long, slithery and quite aggressive snake; it might have been because it didn’t like being handled like a piece of boerewors.

Nonetheless, creepy crawlies and the odd reptile is always a factor in camping to be cognisant of. After all, you’re setting up shop in their neighbourhood. The facilities at Kokoriba are nothing short of fantastic.

There is a large warm pool, a ball-breaking ice-cold pool and a hot pool where you can chill for the entire day, A surrounding picnic area has ample space and, slightly beyond the pool area, there are three great and well-maintained water slides for the adventurous.

It is loads of fun and kids just can’t get enough of the place.

A nearby poolside restaurant offers great pizzas, good sandwiches and decent all-round pages 2 & 3 meals at reasonable prices.

However, do not expect anything faster than a tortoise-paced service.

Whether you order a drink or a meal, getting a waiter’s attention is the first challenge.

Thereafter, to get them to come back and take your order, if you are lucky enough to score a menu, the second hurdle.

Then comes the wait, and whether it’s a drink or a burger, the concept of unhurried chill reigns supreme. Order before you get really hungry, because hangry is not a great look on a break.

There is also a games area with pool, table tennis and a bit of a sorry excuse for a nine-hole putt-putt course.

The clubs have seen better days and so has the course. But it’s still fun and at least you don’t feel too guilty when your four year old elects to use the clubs as a spade to dig up a spot in the dirt, because evidence suggests that it’s been done many times before.

A well-stocked shop on site takes care of all the things you could have possibly forgotten.

Whomever runs it has thought of everything. From serviettes to paper plates to ice and snacks through to toothbrushes and tinfoil. You can get it here, at a bit of a premium.

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The downsides of Kokoriba

The only real downside of Kokoriba is the dirt. There’s lots of it because the camping areas have not a spot of grass at all. It’s all sand, sand, and more sand, So keeping anything clean and dustfree is a challenge and a half.

Also, servicing of ablutions is apparently not a thing there, because you only get one toilet roll for free. If you poop more than that, they told me, you’d have to buy another roll. Stands were also not serviced well; at R 750 a night it would not be unreasonable to expect the resort to empty your bins and clean your braai.

It’s a service standard elsewhere, but Kokoriba doesn’t do it after fooling you that they would, because after day one, you’re on your own.

Yet all things considered, you can have a great time here. The facilities available make the annoyance of camping in a desert-like environment a small irritation. It’s just the service that needs a giant jack-up.

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