Sales Director Chris Wain reviews Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat in South Africa.
Covered Cape Town? Seen Stellenbosch? Found Franschhoek? If you have ticked off the Cape’s big-hitters and are looking for something or somewhere new, head north and aim for the Cederberg mountains, and more specifically the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat.
Located an easy, and very scenic, three hour drive north of Cape Town, the lodge lies in an area of photogenic rock formations, high mountain passes and wide open plains. It is a place of clear starry skies, where you can do as little or as much as you choose.
Morning visits to rock art sites, (there are over 130 in the locality, and they are much more interesting than they may at first appear to be), and afternoon nature drives are the only fixed activities, the rest is up to you. Self-guided walking trails have been clearly laid out, whilst mountain bikes and canoes are available for the active, (just be careful on the bikes, as the sand tracks can be a little slippery).
Fly-fishing, archery & croquet can also be arranged, but you should also just spend some time at the lodge doing nothing – marvelling at the never-ending views, dipping into one of the 4 swimming pools, (be warned though that only one is heated), or walking and cycling amongst the unique desert plants and proteas in the immaculately-kept gardens. There are just four treatment rooms in the spa but the treatments are as good as any you would find in a much larger property, although the indoor fitness centre, (a very small room with a few pieces of equipment), should really be traded for exercise in the great outdoors.
Bushmans Kloof is a member of Relais & Chateux and it shows; an excellent breakfast spread is followed by a proper lunch and then, mid-afternoon, a high tea - a wonderful selection of sandwiches, pies, pastries & cakes which puts many lodges’ dinner offerings to shame. Should you still be hungry, a 3-course dinner is then served every evening.
There are only 14 rooms and 2 suites, so the place never feels crowded, (which would be difficult anyway on a 7,500 hectare reserve). Those seeking even more solitude can book the private Koro Lodge, which sleeps up-to 8 and has its own host, chef & guide.
Our tips would be to spend three rather than two nights here if your time and budget allow, to try to time your visit with the wild flower season, (August & September), and to not arrive with expectations of seeing great numbers of wildlife - Bushmans Kloof is about so much more than simply ticking animals off a list.
If you are interested in visiting Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat for yourself, get in contact with one of our experts on 020 7843 3597.
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