Native explores greatest tenting spots on-line

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A park edge musician and driving instructor is also the driving force behind an online tourism promotion project aimed at discovering and exploring the best campsites across South Africa.

Charl Barnard, known for years of musical performances and charity events in Boksburg, started the Two Dam Fools series on YouTube with his business partner last year.

The team has already released five episodes on the online channel, covering four provinces, with a sixth episode – in a fifth province – due for release in early September.

“Initially, the focus was specifically on dam resorts – hence the title – which also highlighted the importance of our water resources in our extremely arid country,” explains Barnard, who is co-leading the project with the Gqeberha-based journalist. Brett Adkins.

The co-hosts are nicknamed “Challa” and “Slukker” respectively.

“But after we posted our first few episodes, the reactions from many camping resorts made us realize that there was a need to further expand our network and travel to a wider range of outdoor camping destinations – be it conventional camping, Glamping, caravanning or holiday hut formats.”

The Two Dam Fools’ assignments have already taken the team to Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West, resorts in the Drakensberg and Midlands in KwaZulu-Natal, Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, and a pocket of the Vaal Dam in Gauteng where Barnard of his 13th was accompanied by -year-old son Blake and his wife Morna to emphasize the family-friendly value of the venue.

“The presentation style is as much about having fun as it is about providing information, so we don’t stick to a formal script, which makes it very unpredictable for our audience as well as ourselves,” joked Barnard.

This could include anything from canoe trips and thrilling canopy tours to learning to fish, dodging snakes in a river and discovering where to get the biggest T-bone braai you’ve ever seen.

“At the same time, we provide as much relevant information as possible – about accommodation options, washrooms, leisure facilities, sports activities, catering needs and the nearby attractions, including places like flea markets, restaurants and pubs.”

When it comes to the technical side of filming, editing and accompanying music, the duo have been assisted by a number of additional crew members depending on where they happen to be traveling, with Barnard becoming quite tech-savvy himself in the process, he admitted.

“Once I managed to master the editing process, I got pretty creative and inventive with it,” he added with a chuckle.

“We also conclude each episode with a friendly challenge between Slukker and myself – I’ll write and sing a song with guitar dedicated to that particular place, while Slukker shares a bit of philosophy about what we’ve learned on the journey.”

Local Boksburg hospitality and catering companies, Bennigan’s Restaurant and The Meaty Place, have also provided sponsorship in the form of delivery baskets.

You can find the first five episodes of the series on YouTube by browsing episodes one through five of Two Dam Fools.

“And of course, if you like it, please ‘like’ and ‘subscribe’ – that’s our best reward. We appreciate that,” Barnard said.

In episode six, which will be released next, Two Dam Fools visit Limpopo and the Olifantsriver where they encounter crocodiles just to add to the mix.

“We’d love to get as much feedback as possible, so we encourage our followers to suggest destinations that they think are the best places to camp in South Africa. We have such a diverse, great country and we have to show it off,” concluded Barnard.

Contact for more information [email protected]

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