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QUESTION TIME

Question Time with Hannes van Tonder, Owner - Lekker Camper
Author: Greta Wermig

Hannes van Tonder Lekker Camper
Africana VW T5 Campervan - Kogel Bay, Western cape, South Africa



  • Campervans and motorhomes are more popular with tourists, What can South African locals expect from this type of holiday?

Campervanning is a perfect way to get back to nature and reconnect with mother earth, but in comfort, in a real bed with feather duvets and a thick mattress (no deflating mattresses or leaking tent!).   Campsites are often in the best locations (much better than self catering units) – right up next to the sea or by the river, hills or mountain – perfect places for enjoying each others company, hiking, adventure and relaxation. If it rains or is windy then it just adds to the experience as you stay warm and cosy in your little 'home on wheels' inside.  Camping is a relaxing holiday as a couple or with your young family as evenings can be spent at the campsite away from TV, phone and noise just listening to the ocean or under the stars whilst your little one is fast asleep in the campervan next to you. Little ones generally LOVE camping, the outdoors and all the fun and activity that goes with a holiday in a VW campervan.  The beauty of a campervan vs traditional tent style camping is that a campervan is already fully equipped and good to go – when you get to the campsite then all you have to do is grab a cold beer or drink from the fridge and you are set for an awesome, relaxing and fun time. 

  • What are the advantages of holidaying with a campervan?

You can get off the beaten track with complete freedom to go when and where you want with no need to book and no need to unpack.  There is zero setting up time once you arrive at the campsite with no smelly tents to assemble or mattresses to blow up – all our campervans are fully equipped with a fitted kitchen and quality equipment so your holiday begins the moment you leave home.  You can stop wherever you like to rest or make food.   Campervans are ideal for stopping at a waterhole and having a cup of tea or a cheeky beer whilst watching the Elephants stroll by or whilst taking a surf break between sets.

Campervans are generally smaller vehicles fitting into normal car park spaces and even multi story car parks.  You don’t need a special license to drive them and they are really easy to drive.

Side wind has less of an effect on a smaller vehicle such as a VW campervan vs a motorhome and the fuel consumption is also less.

Campers also have a high seating position with excellent 360 views that are great for sight seeing and game drives.

  • What are the disadvantages of a Campervan?

Decamping to get some shopping (although it only takes a minute ;-))– we always take our Thule bike rack and Merida bikes so we can nip to the shops or explore the area in a fun way.

  • What is the coolest feature of your campervans?

Harnessing the rays of the South African sun with the installed solar panels and dual battery so that you can go anywhere with free electricity at all times – the fridge, freezer, lighting and electricity points all work off the sun.  We also just installed some cool Lumeno LED lighting into our latest ‘Africana’ VW T5 campervans that can switch from white to amber to red – it makes our campers stand out from the crowd and is great for avoiding bugs at night time.

  • How much does it cost?

Our campervan rates range from R800 – R1350 for 2 people per 24 hours.  The campers are fully equipped and sleep 2 adults in a comfortable large double bed with the option of additional beds for babies and children or tents for additional adults.

  • Where are your top 3 campsites in the Western Cape, South Africa?

Close to Nature

    1. Tities Bay – back to basics, away from the city and up close to the sea and rocks this campsite is wild and wonderful
    2. Kogel Bay on a week night or out of season – an easy drive out of Cape Town….the sea, beach and mountain views are breathtaking here
    3. Leeuwenboschfontein - completely different vibe, inland and very secluded and safe

First time campers may prefer

    1. Citrusdal Warm Water Baths – perfect for winter camping - one can laze in the hot pools under the milky way gazing into the endless stars
    2. Buffels Bay – great location, long endless stretches of sandy beaches close to popular Knysna but far enough away that it is super relaxing
    3. Karoo National Park – Well known stopover on any Trek north, but the location amongst the doring bome is special and the star gazing is amazing

Camping with kids

    1. Beaverlac - huge campsite so you can still get a quiet spot although it is so popular. There’s a whole river full of rock pools to discover
    2. Palmiet -  grassy sites, safe lagoon for the kids and the sea, beautiful mountain scenery
    3. Vensterklip near Elands bay – each campsite has its own ablutions, very nice set up, swimming pool and there is a Lekker restaurant

Unknown little gem

Calitzdorp Station (www.calitzdorp.co.za/calitzdorpstation.htm) – Still unknown, but all our customers love this place.  (we haven’t actually been here ourselves, but this is next on our list)


tities bay campervan
Camping at Tities Bay, near Paternoster, Western Cape

t3 comfort campervan in western cape
The flower fields on Namaqualand , Northern Cape


  • Other favourite campsites in South Africa?
  1. Addo National Park – this campsite never fails to impress and there are always heaps of nellies and other animals to watch – we recently spotted lions, caracal and spotted gennets.   The campsite is clean and private and there is a good Cattle Baron restaurant that you can walk to.  The roads inside the park are easy to navigate and drive.  At night time you can have sundowners in the camp whilst watching a Nellie walk by and you can visit the great hide for bird, lion and big 5 sightings.
  2. Keurboomsstrand camp site behind Enrico's - feels like you are in the forest but you are actually next to the beach and Enrico's restaurant is just there. Great for summer camping right under the Milkwood forest.
  3. Storms River – revitalising to be up against the crashing waves

africana campervan gordons bay
Africana T5 Eco VW Campervan - Gordons Bay, Western Cape


  • What must people always take on a campervan trip?

The fantastic thing about a campervan is that it is already fully equipped so you only need to bring good company, freshly ground coffee, some Flip flops, Cold beer and lekker kos for the braai.  Leave the gadgets at home – although if you really want a cool new gadget then check out the silicone bottle solar lights - https://www.solarlanterns.co.za/

  • What is your most popular model campervan? What makes this campervan so popular?

The ‘Classic‘ VW T3 campervans are most popular as they are affordable, reliable and have a strong cult following from all around the world.  They are also an established product with many customers recommending these models on travel forums and to their friends and families.

  • What is your favourite model camper?

Our latest ‘Africana’ Eco T5 campervans are my favourite as they are 100% designed and built in Africa with locally sourced and sustainable materials using African craftsmanship.  They represent the epitome of modern glamping (glamorous camping) in the 21st century.

Africana VW T5 campervan
Interior of Africana T5 Eco VW Campervan


  • Why did you start the business Lekker Camper?

We grew 'gaatvol' of long commutes and working in dull offices in the big smoke of London - I am an Industrial Engineer and my partner a Project Manager/Management Consultant.  Originating from Beaufort West in the Karoo I knew that my passion resided in exploring open spaces and getting back to basics, even if it did mean earning 10% of my previous salary ;-).  Having taken every single career break option possible travelling the world and purchasing campervans, motorbikes and vehicles along the way our travel addiction grew into a lifelong passion.  Eventually we returned to South Africa to call this a base – building and renting VW campervans is the perfect way for us to explore and share our traveling passion and use our past career experience to build a great company that is born and bred in South Africa using the skills of local African small businesses - something I think is really important.  No day is the same – one moment we are web developing, another we are designing new campervan builds and another we are travelling.  We love exploring diverse South Africa and finding new routes and places for our customers to enjoy.   We love encouraging new visitors to South Africa and expanding the tourism market here – we don’t just build and rent campervans, we also strongly believe in encouraging more visitors to come and explore here whether it be in a campervan, b&b or 6* hotel.   We all need to work together towards making South Africa the premium tourist destination whilst creating work for more people in our amazing land.   Life is short and the world is beautiful – sometimes one just has to drop the politics and look around at the free natural beauty we have on offer and get out there to live the dream.

  • Why do you rent retro Volkswagen buses? Is it because of nostalgia, practicality or cost?

We like to offer our customers a range of campervans from vintage to retro to modern.  The VW campers have a cult status around the world with a special following from people in Germany, Netherlands, Canada and England and more recently a wave of South African followers who think they are great for music festivals, Afrika Burn and an alternative holiday. Honeymooners also love renting a campervan for a fun and romantic getaway to explore South Africa together. Our VW campervans range from our personal 1969 vintage camper to retro Classic T3 campervans to our latest new kids on the block, the modern ‘Africana’ T5 long wheel based campervans - so there is always something for everyone.

  • How can people contact you?

You can reach me personally on hannes@lekkercamper.co.za anytime. We are always available and happy to answer any queries through our website - www.lekkercamper.co.za, email - info@lekkercamper.co.za, facebook - www.facebook.com/lekkercamper or by phone or whatsapp on +27(0)765929389. On our website then you will find lots of information about camping in South Africa, suggested itineraries, top tips and more. On our facebook page then you can keep in touch with us and engage with other customers and check out an array of campervan holiday photos.


Camping in Namaqualand
VW T3 Classic Campervan - The beauty of flower season in Namaqualand


 

Lekker Camper Office hours
08:00-16:00 (Monday-Thursday)
09:00-12:00 (Friday, Saturday, Public hols)
09:00-12:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Christmas Day

Contacts:
Name: Hannes van Tonder
Email: hannes@lekkercamper.co.za
Office: info@lekkercamper.co.za

 

Activity local operators
Add the following activities onto your campervan rental:
Shark Diving
Mountain Bike Hire
Surfing racks

Campervan bookings
Web: www.lekkercamper.co.za
Facebook: www.facebook/com/lekkercamper
Email: info@lekkercamper.co.za
Tel: + 27(0)76 592 3989


 

Posted by Greta Wermig 22/10/2015

 

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