* Bhanga Nek featured in “12 Secret Off The Grid Spots” in the September edition of Getaway mag *
So last week we returned to glorious Bhanga Nek, a trip we had booked not long after our honeymoon, we loved it so much. Also, Heidelberg is freezing in Winter, compared to the 24deg on a “winters” day on the North Coast!
This trip was somewhat different from the first, in that we had some rather annoying fellow campers who had brought their barking dogs, loud pumping music and boring drunken behaviour. Luckily they left after a few nights and then we had the place to ourselves for 3 nights. From this I took lessons of … patience and acceptance … 😉
Another group of 4 couples arrived with their awesomely kitted 4×4 and we drooled over their LandCruisers and holiday antics. They all met on a trip in Tanzania, bonded and continued holidaying together. We are LONGING to meet others like that!
So anyway, this is just a blog post to share some detailed pics of Bhanga Nek Community Tent Camp, as my last post about it was rather uninformative on the photographic front.
There are 6 already set up tents on platforms with two wooden single beds and a side table inside. At the top of the camp is a lapa with a basin and some tables and chairs and an area to make a camp fire, this is for the use of people booked to stay in the tented camp, not for own tent camping. Being a community run camp, be aware that it is rustic, this place is all about location, location, location, not your fixtures and fittings!
There are 3 small areas where you can set up your own small tents, and this is our preference, just because we like our own stuff and the whole camping vibe.
There are two sets of ablutions. One with two flushing toilets and two showers with a donkey boiler alongside Tent 1. The other has one flushing toilet, a basin and a shower with a donkey boiler alongside Tent 6. The staff usually fire up the donkey in the morning and the afternoon, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on it to guarantee yourself a hot shower!
I was quite disappointed to see so much litter and bits of plastic on the beach – I mean A LOT. I don’t recall it being this bad when we were there in March. There are some litter pickers who patrol the beach, but they tend to pick up just the big stuff. I picked up this bag of bits in an area of about 3 metres! Very sad. But no good moaning about the worlds litter problem, just get off our backsides and fill a bag – every bit helps. Probably the only time I thought having kids would be useful, I could have bribed them to pick up litter!
The community is very friendly, and it might be worth considering giving back in some way when you visit – whether it’s clothing, food, vegetable seeds, tools etc. We met a lovely old local fisherman and Erik cleaned out his fishing bag of lots he didn’t use, and this guy was thrilled. An obvious and easy choice would be to support the local shop – God Knows. They have ice cold beers, cider, cool drinks and all sorts of other basic items.
I did not leave my Zero Waste efforts behind either, we shopped at the local market – package free, drank straight from coconuts with my freaking awesome Eco Jarz stainless steel straws. Anyone who has been to this part of the world knows your holiday has not begun until you have been to Total Garage at Manguzi, where I enjoyed a choc milkshake, in my Eco Jarz mason jar of course! I took all our recyclables home with us, next time I must remember a container for our compost – although there wasn’t much anyway. My amazeballs husband showed me how to re-use a cable tie after I moaned at how wasteful all that plastic is. It was like I fell in love all over again!
I have fallen in love with Bhanga Nek, and it is going to be a spot we will continue to return to in future. You may have noticed not much mention of all the fish that we caught, well, ya, that part of the holiday was less than unsuccessful.
* Bookings for Bhanga Nek can me made through Jenny Koen at Extreme Nature Tours on 082-857 3363.
Cost for own tent camping at Bhanga Nek Tent Camp is R160 per person per night, for already set up tents is R420 per tent which sleeps 2. Permits for fishing can be bought at any post office and permits for visiting Bhanga Nek and Black Rock can be bought near Manguzi at the Kosi Bay KZN Wildlife Office.