Photo by Bridgena Barnard.

Lang Elsie’s Kraal Rest Camp in Bontebok National Park boasts family chalets that are spot on for a weekend retreat. By Bridgena Barnard

Why go away if all you want to do is read a book? It’s a question I’ve often been asked, and the answer is obvious: I have a family to consider. So while I was looking for a relaxed weekend to recharge, my nearest and dearest – who had no interest in being transferred to a world of dragons, heroes and romance – had other priorities.

The Bontebok National Park rest camp is on the banks of the Breede River, with wooden decks and braai areas perfectly situated to make the most of sunset. Comfortably seated in a deck chair on the balcony of our log cabin at Lang Elsies Kraal, I paid no attention to my family’s pleas of “I am hungry” or “What are we going to braai tonight?” Hearing bird song and the rippling sound of the Breede River, I wolfed down the pages of my book, a Christmas gift of last year. My imagination coloured the scenes from the book with the soft pinks of the Langeberg mountain, wrapped in loose blue clouds. The smell of the adjacent cottages’ braai fires finally prompted me to put my book down and suggest our supper options.

Bontebok's family chalets are paradise. Photo by Bridgena Barnard.

Bontebok’s family chalets are paradise. Pictures by Bridgena Barnard

The kitchen, fully equipped (stove, oven, microwave and tableware for six) enabled me to prep a salad and some toasties in no time, while handy hubby took care of the braai. After supper the kids started playing cards and apart from competitive shouts, the night was dead quiet. As they fell asleep, tired from swimming and playing outdoors, I listened to a lonely nightjar in the tree outside the chalet and felt wonderfully content. Hubby had enjoyed the birding and his treasure for the weekend was the abundance of black harriers in the area. And I had the privilege to escape to never-never land.

Kick your feet up with family and enjoy the sunset. Photo by Bridgena Barnard.

Kick your feet up with family and enjoy the sunset.

The four family units each sleep four people at a fixed rate, two additional people can be housed at an additional cost. The camping facilities are outstanding.

Bookings: www.sanparks.org or +27 (0)12 428 9111