6 July 2016

Starry starry night

By In Travel

You’ve all probably seen that image of the 5 billion star hotel, the one with the most amazing night sky. Heck you’ve probably even shared it, or at least considered it, we did, but we’d rather share this… do you have what it takes to visit this “hotel”?

Oh and today you’re being introduced to Dakrak, the official road trip vehicle of The Louwkuls.

A night under the stars

This past December we made a little road trip out of a family get-together, as we do,  and discovered a shortcut to heavenly bliss. After a lot of driving on a serious detour from Mossel Bay we spent one of the nights camping in Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve with @dakrakthedefender. Camping? Yes, this is one of the things required to fulfil this idealised image of the 5 billion star hotel, trust us, it’s worth it.

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Just to set the record straight we’re not glamping or living in luxury with our tents being pitched by a team of staff. We’re talking about the rugged outdoors and winging it with the bare essentials and lots of red wine. More on camping techniques in a different post though. 

The nature reserve which is situated in the Cederberg, roughly 300km from Cape Town, offers very fancy cavelike chalets but Swartrug campsite nr 1 is where the magic happens, avoid nr 3 by the way. To give you some context, there are only 5 secluded campsites and at R65 per person per night it is definitely not breaking the bank.

The enormous swimming pool, hidden between a few rocks, is a lifesaver in the summer heat and make for a great spot to relax. All within walking distance from the camp, this moonlike landscape really comes to life at sunset. The mountain dassies also come to pay their last respects for the day and the moment draws closer.


This is the perfect time to get the fire going and get something on the braai as the light takes a while to fade on the open horizon and at this “hotel” there is no room service. Just sit back and watch the night sky slowly light up with millions of stars, we counted around 16 shooting ones while sitting around the fire.


Now we know everybody wants to see the northern lights, it’s on our bucket list too, but there is no excuse not to get out there in the meantime and go count some stars… unless you’re too scared to camp off course.

Are you feeling it, you’ll need this out there in the wild;

  • 4×4 (Preferably a Land Rover Defender like Dakrak or a rental Polo Vivo)  
  • A tent and a decent sleeping bag, night time is chilly
  • Something that makes a light, there is no electricity
  • A lot of water to hydrate (it was 40 degrees Celsius during the day)
  • Firewood and meat for the Braai off course
  • Utensils and some form of crockery, don’t get fancy, paper plates and a spork does the job
  • A tripod or something to balance your camera on, you have to get a photo of your experience

Let us know where your favourite star-gazing spot is.

Written by The Louwkuls

a guy, a girl & an old land rover
  1. Timmee 14 July 2016

    A rental polo vivo!

  2. The Louwkuls 14 July 2016

    Off course, best 4×4

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