Winter camping was never appealing to us as the inland temperatures are just too cold, but now that we’re camping in a Xcape bush caravan we decided to find somewhere up North and to welcome our ‘van to the family with a camping weekend at Bass Lake Lodge…
Bass Lake Lodge is situated just off Moloto road in the Cullinan area, north of Pretoria. You have to travel down a short stretch of gravel road to get to the resort but it’s well maintained so there were no hassles to get to the lodge. The resort is beautiful, even though it’s winter time, and I would love to see what it looks like in summer time. They’ve got two lakes, with the bigger one being more popular for fishing and minor water sports. They also have chalets available to stay in as well as accommodation at the lodge, in case you don’t feel like camping.
Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted by friendly lady who did the check-in while you were sitting in your vehicle, and she directed us to our camp sites, which were just down the road. The camp sites were immaculate and they’re fully grassed and shaded. We started unloading the vehicle and the caravan, and the next thing you saw was one of the resort ladies walking up to us with four glasses of fruit juice. I can’t tell you how welcome the cold juice was after two hours traveling from the Vaal and being half way through setting up camp. Brilliant service!
Your privacy is protected by a bush screen between you and your neighboring stand and it felt like you’re far away from your neighbor. If we could make one suggestion, it would be to have a few double stands available for group camping. It wasn’t a major issue for us but we would have liked to be able to park closer to our camping buddies as we like to do the communal cooking and relaxing thing. All stands are electrified and water is available to you, although you don’t have a tap on your stand. Our electricity point and water tap was situated next to stand no 4 (we were camping at no 3) so luckily we brought our longer length cable with us, else we would have had issues to get electricity to our stand.
The ablution and washing up facilities were absolute 5-star, and it ranks amongst the best we’ve seen at a camping resort so far. The showers were exceptional with glass doors and proper seating and hanging hooks to keep your clothes high and dry. They’ve got a separate cloak room for the ladies which is awesome as you don’t have people hogging the basins. (Side note: for the life of me, I can’t understand why ladies would want to wear make-up when camping. We’ve got a saying ‘Camp hair, Don’t care’ and we live by it!) The workers at the resort also make themselves available to do your dishes and to assist with setting up camp so it’s there if you would like to make use of them, at a fee of your own choice.
Seeing as it was dead of winter, there were no swimming in their swimming pools which were sparkling and blue, but the smaller ones did make use of the playground facilities. They also have some small game on the resort, and we saw zebras, wildebeest and impalas during our stay. At night we could hear lions roar in the distance and I’m fairly sure it’s the lions from the Dinokeng Game Reserve, but I stand to be corrected. That just sealed the deal for me, I am very impressed with Bass Lake Lodge and we really enjoyed our stay.
The only thing that they could do differently is to enforce their own strict rules inside the camping grounds. They were very clear that they do not allow ANY music (not even the cute tunes, as per their notice boards) but we had a constant noise coming from a camp site on the lower terrace. We reported it to the office on the Friday evening but Saturday night they were at it again. Honestly, that must be my worst thing when I’m camping – listening to the other campers’ music. I don’t mind laughing and talking as we’re also an expressive family but for Pete’s sake, rather just leave the music at home. And if there are regular offenders, the camp ground managers should sort it out so that the other campers don’t have to approach the noise makers.
We definitely recommend Bass Lake Lodge as a camping destination, the kids had a blast trying to catch fish and running around the camp site, and we enjoyed the facilities and the stunning camp sites. Definitely adding this resort to my “Must Visit Again” list