Where can I free camp near Cape Town?

Hi guys, great to have finally joined this group. I’m a landscape photographer based in Cape Town and enjoy hiking across the country. See some of my images here: www.instagram.com/kyleincpt

My Question is where can I go hike for 1-2 nights in the mountain areas and free camp on the mountain? I don’t mind paying a permit fee to be in the park/area, but I want to be able to camp where I find compositions. I do a lot of astrophotography so camping near the spot I want to shoot helps.

The only places I’ve done this are around wolfberg arch and in the drakensberg, but are there any other areas?

thanks,

Kyle

Hi Kyle. Welcome to the forum, I am sure you will get some good responses here. There arent many options in the Western Cape for free camping / wild camping. Within the Cape Nature / Sanparks rulebook, you may only free camp in a “wilderness reserve”.

In the WC the 3 wilderness reserves that I can think of is Cederberg (you know this one), Groot Winterhoek (close to Beaverlac) and Grootvadersbosch (close to Suurbraak). Other options include private land like the Matroosberg Farm close to Ceres and the Banhoek Conservancy in Stellenbosch (we have camped in Duiwelskloof but be warned there are some hazards). Via the Mountain Club you can also access areas much closer to Cape Town, like Du Toitskloof. You can also wild camp on their properties (but you need to be a member, or get invited by a member).

Hope this helps. I am sure other would also chime in.

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You can free camp pretty much anywhere, simply ask the landowner for permission. 99% of farmers that own mountain land will allow you access as long as you ask and come in from the front door, respect their privacy and understand the importance of caring for the environment and water catchments. Just ask! If you don’t know who’s land it is, check via topographic maps get the farm names, phone a nearby B&B or Farm accommodation or the local tourism bureau and municipality or even the closest industry/pack shed… you’ll hardly need more that 2-3 phone calls and you find Oom Jan :wink: and don’t forget that bottle of Wine or KWV brandy they’ll appreciated it more that money!

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Gerrie and Waya pretty much covered the headlines; I just wanted to second the MCSA as a good option - they own / have access to spectacular areas with very little human presence and the option of a hut / wild camping, like the 3500 ha Schurfteberg up in the Koue Bokkeveld. 17 properties in total.

You can see them here:
https://www.mcsacapetown.co.za/access-properties/

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