My family and I have just gotten back home this afternoon from a quick adventure – we have decided to start traveling regularly even if it is just for one night away every month.
I love traveling and exploring, however with my work schedule, my husband’s job and his studying, plus young kids we have not managed to get away much. The kids are a little older now (6 and 4 years old) and I am able to gear down my work a little which is awesome.
***Full Disclosure – This post is not sponsored in any way. I am simply sharing a lovely night away with my family***
My husband searched online for a suitable place that was not too far away and would suit our needs – had came up with Da Pakhuys which is in Clanwilliam.
We booked for and planned to stay in one of their Bedouin Glamping Cabins (glamour camping). However when we arrived yesterday it was scorching hot and our host Thys suggested that we instead take the Waboomhuys cottage which was right next to the pool. He said that in the heat the glamping cabins were insanely hot.
The Waboombuys cottage has air conditioning and did I mention the pool? So yes, we decided to take him up on his suggestion and made the change.
We originally chose the glamping cabin because camping is just plain fun, plus we like being secluded and the glamping cabins are more out of the way. But as luck would have it Thys said it had been crazy busy over the festive season but this weekend was rather quiet so we just about had the run of the place which was awesome.
Soon after checking in my kids were screaming for the pool and I don’t blame them it was well over 35°C. I quickly rummaged around to find their swimming costumes, swimming wings and tubes, since they can’t swim yet.
Da Pakhuys – Waboomhuys Facilities
The cottage was really nicely set out and comfortable with a king size bed for us and a single bed for my two kids to sleep top to toe. There was a sofa with a coffee table, a dining table with 4 chairs and a little kitchenette.
The kitchenette had all the utensils we could possibly need and there was a braai grid outside for us. Sorted since I was not going to be cooking while away, going away means braaing for every evening meal.
There was a microwave, two plate stove, oven, fridge, kettle and toaster.
All bedding was provided, as well as towels.
There was a TV with a satellite dish – the only thing is that you need to bring your own DSTV card, which we didn’t have since we were not prepared for even having a TV. No big loss we didn’t drive about 200 kms (from Saldanha) to watch TV indoors! If you are traveling from Cape Town to Da Pakhuys it is about 255 kms.
There is wifi available too but I chose not to bother since I am usually always connected and I just felt the need for screen free time. My phone had no signal so we were left in peace.
While my husband and kids got acquainted with the pool I made us some lunch and unpacked.
The Swimming Pool
The pool is heavenly, it wasn’t very big but it was warm and so calming. On one end the pool overflows into a little channel. I have no idea where the water came from but I think it was fresh water, maybe from a stream or underground water? It just felt fresh and clean – not like normal pool water that has chemicals in it.
Both my kids were initially a little scared of the water, especially my son, but within a very short space of time they were both having an absolute ball.
I’m not usually one for swimming for a long time, I am more of an in and out person but I was in that pool for about 2 hours playing with my kids.
The Waterfall Walk
When it got to 5pm we all put on our tekkies and got in the car to drive to the camping site where the walk to the waterfall starts. You can walk from where we were staying but the walk itself is about 2 kilometers to the waterfall which would equate to a total of 4 kilometers for my young kids already plus it was still very hot.
I love hiking, when I was growing up my dad would take us hiking often and I have lots of fond memories. I have not had the opportunity to take my kids in many hikes until now.
The hike was great, there was a lot of scrambling over rocks which always adds an element of fun. There was a little bit of a let down when we arrived at the waterfall where it was more like a trickle than a waterfall, but I guess there is a drought so we should have been prepared for a bit of a let down. There was a lovely pool at the top which my daughter and I jumped into while my son refused to get in.
The view was absolutely stunning looking over a ravine.
It took us about an hour and a half to do the entire walk, including the quick dip. Not bad for a hike with two kids.
There were a few hairy moments with our kids not listening and trying to charge ahead which was scary since there were lots of drops which we were worried about.
I would have liked to take in the beautiful scenery a bit more and get out my camera to take photos but we didn’t want to distract our attention from keeping an eye on the kids.
There are a few other trails available which we chose not to try out because they were longer and my kids wouldn’t have managed those so well.
Night Time Trouble
When we got back all hot and sweaty from our hike we all had another very welcomed swim before having our braai. The kids were so wound up and excited from the day so it was tricky getting them to sleep.
Eventually they fell asleep and my hubby and I managed to have some alone time at the fire. It was a beautiful and still evening with the stars shining in the clear sky.
When we got into bed I was exhausted and thought I would drop off to sleep very fast but I heard my son start wiggling around in his sleep. I was worried he would fall out the bed in a strange environment. Eventually I got up and lined the floor with pillows just in case. As I was dropping off to sleep I heard the thud of him hitting the pillows. I put him back in bad and he went straight to sleep.
As I was drifting off for a second time I heard my son hit the pillows again. After settling him I went back to bed and fell asleep, only to be woken up by the load thump (then scream) of my daughter hitting the floor when she fell out the bed. It took a while to calm her down and get her settled.
I climbed back into my bed and as I was drifting off I could hear my son starting to move around again, so I got up and took them both out of the bed, pulled the mattress on the floor and got them both settled.
**Mental note for future trips – put their mattress on the floor in the first place**
Then typical of the way sleep goes for me I lay awake, exhausted, for ages while everyone else snored around me.
The area is a well known bouldering area – bouldering being something I had never actually heard of before. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing where no equipment is used. Obviously bouldering is not as harsh or long as traditional rock climbing where you use equipment.
In the morning when it was still cool my husband headed off alone to go and have a closer look at the bouldering climbs and do a bit of exploring on his own.
The kids and I lazed around for a while and had some breakfast. Then the kids had a swim with my husband while I tidied and packed up.
Da Pakhuys Clanwilliam Review Summary
This was an amazing (if short) trip for my family that we all enjoyed immensely. Da Pakhuys is a lovely place, with a friendly and inviting atmosphere. Thys was incredibly helpful and accommodating.
At R900 per night the Waboomhuys is an absolute steal and I highly recommend that you visit Da Pakhuys if you have a young family.
My husband and I are most definitely wanting to go back there again – possibly in the colder months to try out the glamping cabins. Hopefully the waterfall will be running too if the weather is colder!
Big time thumbs up for a memorable night away.
Hi Lynne. What an idyllic little cottage! We have been living in Clanwilliam for 7 years, and have driven out on the Pakhuys pass many times, but have never stayed at De Pakhuys. I will definitely put this beautiful place n my bucket list. Thank you for the thorough, detailed description.
It is a pleasure! We are so going to go back sometime. There were also tents that were half in the rocks, I can’t explain it better but it was stunning so we are thinking about what to book for next time. We has such a special time there – I am sure it will be one of my kids special memories when they look back on their childhoods.
This place is stunning. The pool is breath taking. Just be looking at the pictures, I am convinced this is a terrific holiday destination.
I oversee all accommodation and rentals at work, it is part of my job. I occasionally come across such stunning places which a reasonably priced, but nothing as wonderful as in this article.
Unfortunately I hardly go around the country and since I’m based in Durban, this place is rather far for me. It would make an ideal place for a quick getaway.
Thank you for providing us with beautiful pictures, nothing less than a professional photographer.