South Africa | family, group, honeymoon, lgbt, safari, solo | safari-lodge | mountain, national-park | luxury
Set at the picturesque foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve offers guests a unique wilderness experience surrounded by sweeping plains, against the backdrop of ancient sandstone formations and crystal waterfalls. Located only 270 km from Cape Town, the multi-award-winning Relais & Châteaux Lodge consists of 16 luxurious and stylish guest rooms and 2 private villas which are surrounded by a beautiful 7500-hectare private reserve with stunning flora and fauna. Guests can enjoy the breathtaking experience of watching incredible wildlife with more than 200 species of animals, and admiring the 755 species of indigenous fynbos plants.
R364 Agert Pakhuis Pass Clanwilliam, 8135, South Africa
The beautiful drive to Bushman’s Kloof from Cape Town offers stunning views of pristine beaches, swaying wheat fields, a vast nature reserve and local towns and villages such as Clanwilliam and Paternoster. The dramatic landscape leading to the lodge gives guests the perfect introduction to the Cederberg region. The drive is approximately 2 and a half – 3 hours and approximately 270 km from Cape Town. Guests can be collected by the 7-seater minibus and be brought to the lodge or self-drive. The gates close at 5 pm.
Alternatively, guests can reach Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve by flying to Cape Town International Airport and then transferring to Bushman’s Kloof’s private airstrip. The air transfer takes around 1 hour and is followed by a 20-minute drive to the lodge itself.
- Set within a 7500-hectare reserve
- Abundant wildlife viewing
- Part of the World Heritage Suite, the Cape Floral Region
- Outdoor dining
- 16 luxurious rooms and suites, with 2 private villas
- Four swimming pools
- Soothing spa treatments and wellness facilities
- Custodian of over 130 ancient San rock art sites
Bushmans Kloof is home to an incredible array of ancient artwork left behind by the San Bushmen, with over 130 paintings that date back 10,000 years. These stone-age artworks document the history and ideas of the ancient people who once called the mountains their homes, and offer a glimpse into the past and the world that they lived in.
The wilderness reserve features an array of natural wonders including the stunning mountainscape, amazing wildlife encounters and beautiful vegetation. The fynbos vegetation of Bushmans Kloof falls is part of the Cape Floral Region, which was made a World Heritage Site in 2004 because of its biodiversity. The Cape Floral Region features 20% of Africa’s plant species, with three times the floral diversity of the Amazon Rainforest, despite only covering under 0.5% of Africa.
The weather in the Cederberg Mountains can be split into 4 distinct seasons. Winter begins in late May and lasts until mid-August with daytime temperatures of 20-24 degrees. The mornings and evenings are often cold and rain is more likely. Spring and Autumn (Mid-August to mid-October, mid-March to May) are usually warm, with cooler evenings, and average temperatures of 24-30 degrees. Summers at Bushmans Kloof are hot and dry and can peak at 40 degrees. Summer begins around late October, lasting until March. The hottest time of year tends to be January and February.
Each of the Luxury Rooms includes its own private patio and en-suite bathroom, offering guests a secluded and private space to relax and unwind in. Guests can enjoy beautiful landscape views from the comfort of the outdoor seating area and take in the stunning plains and mountains. The luxury rooms also offer quick and easy access to at least one of the lodge’s four refreshing swimming pools where you can escape the midday heat and take in the scenery of the landscaped gardens.
Each room has a choice of a double bed or two twins, with comfy furnishings, a well-stocked minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, a flatscreen TV and complimentary wi-fi. The en-suite bathrooms include both a bath and shower, underfloor heating, Bespoke B|Africa bathroom products, a fluffy bathrobe and a pair of comfy slippers. Air conditioning and ceiling fans have also been provided to help maintain a pleasant climate.
All of the Deluxe Rooms are designed to be a spacious and comfortable home away from home, featuring exquisite views of the sweeping landscape and convenient access to one of the four swimming pools at the lodge. Each deluxe room includes a relaxing lounge where guests can enjoy entertainment with the satellite TV, DVDs and iPod docking station provided. Some of the deluxe rooms also have a roaring fireplace – ideal for snuggling up beside in the cooler winter evenings.
Each deluxe room has a choice of a double bed or two twins, a well-stocked minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, a flatscreen TV and complimentary wi-fi. The en-suite bathrooms include both a bath and shower, underfloor heating, Bespoke B|Africa bathroom products, a fluffy bathrobe and a pair of comfy slippers. Air conditioning and ceiling fans have also been provided to help maintain a pleasant climate. Guests can also enjoy sitting out in the sunshine on their private terrace.
The Niven Family Deluxe Room features all of the amenities of the other deluxe rooms but with an additional bedroom. The master bedroom includes a king-size bed and the second room has your choice of either two twins or a double. This room is ideal for families or small groups travelling together, with a living room perfect for spending some quality with one another. Both rooms have their own en-suite bathrooms and the suite also features a large private terrace for relaxing and enjoying the stunning landscape views.
Located in the restored Manor House, The Paterson Suite features a range of luxury amenities including a king-size bed, spacious separate lounge area and a large private patio. The bedroom leads to a private en-suite bathroom with heated floors and towel rails. The bedroom is spacious, with a four-poster bed, fitted with luxurious linen, and a private verandah where you can take in the stunning view of the lodge’s gardens and surrounding natural beauty. The lounge area includes comfy armchairs, sofas and a toasty fireplace, and opens out onto a second terrace offering breathtaking terrace views of the river and mountains.
The beautiful Riverside Supreme Suite rests on the banks of the Boontjies River, overlooking its tranquil waters. Guests can enjoy a relaxing and comfortable stay in this elegant suite which features a separate lounge with a welcoming fireplace, large terrace, outdoor shower and its own heated swimming pool.
Surrounded by breathtaking jagged rock formations, mesmerising crystal rock pools, and verdant lawns, the riverside supreme suite is perfect for couples looking for an unforgettable romantic getaway. The spacious master suite includes a comfortable king-size bed with luxurious linen and plush pillows. The contemporary-classical interior features a number of special touches and elegant furnishings to provide a homely environment.
Koro Lodge is a private villa with fully inclusive and entirely independent facilities. The charming villa features two master bedrooms – both with modern and stylish en-suite bathrooms, a comfortable loft area that can sleep up to four children, an independent family area with en-suite facilities which can cater for an additional two guests, a fully equipped kitchen, living room and bar with a grand fireplace to keep the house warm, a mini library and a wrap-around terrace with barbeque facilities and a private swimming pool.
Guests at Koro Lodge can be treated to incredible culinary creations by their own private chef, with a private guide to take you on trips into the wilderness. This lodge is perfect for families, and Bushmen’s Kloof’s friendly team will help create an exciting and fun holiday for younger adventurers.
The interior of the lodge has an air of comfort and luxury created through natural fibres, earth tones and traditional South African finishes. This inviting and relaxing space sits on the edge of an untamed wilderness, offering incredible views which can be enjoyed while you unwind and interact together. Enjoy music through the lodge’s iPod docking station and speakers, and watch amazing documentaries about the local wildlife on your flatscreen TV.
Cederberg House features two master bedrooms for a total of four guests. Each spacious room is designed with elegant furnishings and includes a king-size bed and a private en-suite bathroom. A separate outdoor shower is provided in the courtyard, offering incredible views over the banks of the Boontjies River. The house also features a private guide to lead you through the expansive private reserve where guests can explore the magical wilderness and witness amazing wildlife in its natural habitat.
The House also includes a separate bar area, dining area and living room with a cosy wood-burning fireplace to keep you warm on the cooler winter evenings. The bar fridge is well-stocked with complimentary drinks, and tea and coffee making facilities are available. The living room includes a 55 inch TV as well as a sound system and complimentary wi-fi so that families can spend some time together watching a film or listening to music. Enjoy a dip in your private heated swimming pool with river views and relax in this secluded corner where your every whim can be catered for.
The heart of the lodge, The Homestead is a comfortable yet formal dining room with a warm atmosphere and luxurious design. Guests can relax in this elegant space while admiring the incredible private art collection and enjoying a refreshing beverage from the congenial bar.
The Homestead features two lounge areas, one a communal spot with a flatscreen TV for watching a film or sports match with your fellow guests, and the other a cosy fireside area where you can rest and enjoy gentle conversation or a book from the well-stocked library around the glowing embers.
Indulge in a selection of dishes from the Executive Chef’s table d’hôte menu. Dishes are a combination of local flavours and homely dishes, served with true South African hospitality.
Embers is a charming outdoor dining area that overlooks the stunning giant boulders clustered around Cederberg, and the surrounding plains. Enjoy a delicious meal under a canopy of stars from the deck perched on a cliff for dramatic panoramic views. Lit by a roaring fire and dozens of candles, Embers is a beautiful spot, perfect for a romantic meal with a magical atmosphere.
Choose a selection of mouthwatering choices from the buffet, including home-baked breads, salads, a choice of grills, including Karoo lamb, traditional boerewors sausage, succulent steaks and chicken kebabs, followed by a sweet and delectable dessert and a refreshing nightcap.
Makana comes from the ancient San language, meaning ‘to feast’. The Makana dining area creates a rustic and natural environment where guests can enjoy delicious meals in the shelter of an open-fronted cave. With twin fireplaces and an elegant lounge encompassed within the natural stone walls, this charming alfresco dining area overlooks the verdant lawns and banks of the Boontjies River.
Guests can enjoy afternoon tea against the backdrop of the wilderness with the just bubbling of the nearby river. Indulge in a selection of sweet and savoury treats, including a light slice of mouthwatering homemade cake before venturing out on a nature drive. After dark, you can enjoy a candlelit dinner with a wide choice of succulent grills and organic vegetables, as well as a glass of fine South African wine.
Kadoro is a rustic and secluded cottage that offers guests a variety of hearty culinary delights in the centre of the reserve. Originally the home of a shepherd, the cottage has been refurbished, but not modernised – keeping in line with the traditional design of the house. Kadoro doesn’t have electricity, and so guests can enjoy endless views of the starry skies while dining beneath the moonlit Cederberg Mountains.
Enjoy a unique candlelit dinner in a stunning rural setting while delicious braaivleis (barbecues), wholesome soups and comforting stews are brought out to you. The Kadoro Extraordinary Dining experience is only available on request.
Guests can take part in one of Bushmans Kloof’s Extraordinary Dining experiences, located at a selection of venues including the lodge’s beautiful walled garden, packed lunches in the reserve beside the spring flowers, rocky outcrops or crystal waterfalls, or an exclusive meal at the River Boma. Guests can enjoy a variety of culinary delights, prepared in a range of styles that pay homage to traditional South African dishes.
Extraordinary Dining Experiences come at an additional cost and are only available on request.
Enjoy a range of activities that celebrate the natural landscape and stunning wildlife within the private nature reserve and make the most of this amazing location. Guests can connect with history on a trip to the ancient San rock art which dates back approximately 10,000 years, and learn about the people who lived in the mountains long ago from the images they left behind.
Expert guides are available to take you on nature walks and drives through the private reserve, allowing guests to explore the wilderness and learn about the amazing creatures that inhabit it. Indulge in sundowners and picnics while looking out for Cape Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Grey Rhebok and Ostriches. Smaller species including the Bat-Eared Fox, African Wildcat, Cape Fox, Caracal, Cape Clawless Otter, Baboon, Rock Hyrax, Aardwolf and Aardvark can also be found among the sweeping plains and rocky outcrops.
Avid birdwatchers will be able to enjoy searching for a plethora of feathered creatures, which can be found on nature drives from the comfort of your own private terrace. The reserve is home to around 150 species, including the African Fish eagle, Sunbird, and elusive Black Harrier. Additionally, a large number of Waterfowl flock to the dams which have been established around the lodge.
Despite its small size, the Cape Floral Kingdom has the highest concentration of species in the world. The area is filled with 1,300 plant species per 10,000 square kilometres, over four times higher than the Amazon rainforest. 80 % of the flora is made up of various types of fynbos which are endemic to South Africa, and Bushman’s Kloof is home to more than 755 indigenous plant species.
Guests can also embark on tours of the organic gardens at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and view the vibrant fruit trees, herbs and vegetables which are grown seasonally. Guests can learn about the uses of different plants for both cooking and medicines.
Due to the predator-free nature of the reserve, guests at Bushmans Kloof are free to explore the striking landscape on their own, and expose themselves to the natural beauty and wide-open spaces. Visit the turquoise waterfalls and wander amongst the verdant greenery in this lush oasis.
Guests can explore one of the biking trails and get up close to amazing animals and abundant fynbos. There are a range of routes with varying difficulty so that riders can enjoy a leisurely journey or challenge themselves as they please.
Guests can also hike up the mountain trail or ravine trail and explore on foot. Backpacks filled with delicious treats, a drink, maps and other useful items are provided and guests can go out with a guide if they wish.
You can also enjoy a range of activities by the river including fly-fishing, canoeing and swimming.
Enjoy a variety of soothing and relaxing activities while learning about the stunning constellations of the southern hemisphere. The lack of light pollution creates an incredible display of shining planets and distant suns which contrast against the inky skies.
The natural beauty of the wilderness fuels creativity, and so watercolour sets are available in each of the rooms. Photographers can also take advantage of the inspiring shadow and light that creeps through rock formations and fynbos grasses.
Guests can take a trip to Bushmans Kloof’s award-winning wine cellar and sample the amazing wines of Bouchard Finlayson. Culinary weekends are also bookable, offering the opportunity to taste delicious gourmet dishes.
Mankind’s oldest nation, the San Bushman tribes have lived in the antediluvian mountains for millennia. Bushmans Kloof is the custodian of more than 130 unique rock art sites, some dating back 10,000 years. The art was created using oxide pigments to stain the rocks. These sites of cultural and spiritual legacy have been preserved and protected by Bushmans Kloof, and guests, archaeologists and researchers are able to visit them.
Bushmans Kloof Heritage Centre opened in 2004 and is home to an impeccable collection of priceless artefacts, jewellery, dancing sticks, hunting kits, musical instruments, digging sticks and other items which offer an insight into the lives of the San Bushmen.
Enjoy a trip to Cederberg’s nearby towns and attractions, such as Cederberg’s wine routes: The Darling Wine Route with world-famous cellars, the West Coast Wine Route which incorporate the whole of the Olifants River Valley area, and the Swartland Wine Route which features a large geographical diversity and crafts a range of wines with distinct scents and tastes.
The Clanwilliam Museum is situated at the end of the town’s Main Road in “Die Ou Tronk” and offers guests a deep insight into Clanwilliam’s Voortrekker history. Guests can also learn about the growth of the Rooibos Tea industry, and view Voortrekker wagons and a variety of artefacts from the time of the pioneers.
Visit Wupperthal, a small and picturesque Moravian Mission Village which rests 75km from Clanwilliam, in the remote TraTra valley. Visitors can walk along the scenic streets, passing traditional thatched, whitewashed cottages. Visit the velskoene factory and treat yourself to a pair of traditional hand-made walking shoes.
Guests can also take a trip to Lamberts Bay, a fishing village famous for its pristine surfing beaches. Travel to Bird Island, an important breeding site for Cape Gannets, where you can visit the many species of coastal birds.
Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve is a founder member of Beyond Green, a collection of hotels and lodges which are committed to sustainable travel methods. Their guiding principle is ‘to provide a more purposeful way to explore the world, where good guests meet good hosts, presenting genuine hospitality by the people for the planet.’
This aim is built out of 3 missions: environmentally friendly practices, protection of natural and cultural heritage, and a social and economic contribution to local communities. On top of this, Beyond Green members ‘adhere to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism criteria and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.’
Bushman’s Kloof supports the Elizabethfontein Primary School through continuing donations of stationery and equipment each year and sponsoring the annual youth camp. They also donate essentials such as linen, towels, blankets, crockery and cutlery to elderly residential homes.
Bushman’s Kloof also hosts Grade 7 children at a “Footprints for the future” open day, giving them the opportunity to gain experience in the hospitality industry and learn about conservation work and why it is important. When positions become available at the Lodge, Bushmans Kloof prioritises candidates from local communities.
Bushman’s Kloof is part of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that encourages guests to travel light and utilise their spare suitcase space to bring essential supplies that can benefit the local Elizabethfontein Primary School which houses 230 children and is home to the BETJIES children’s dance troupe, which has become a famous attraction in the region.
Guests can help support these children by providing book bags, chalk, colouring pencils, erasers, glue sticks, markers, pencils, pencil cases, pens, rulers and other stationery. The children would also be benefitted from the donation of dictionaries, textbooks, working laptops, educational games, sports equipment and musical instruments.
Bushman’s Kloof is the custodian of 130 San rock art sites painted 10,000 years ago by the indigenous San people. Bushman’s Kloof has been declared a South African National Heritage Site, highlighting the cultural value of these artworks. The Bushman’s Kloof Heritage Centre was established to teach guests about the history and culture of the San Bushmen, and consists of a comprehensive reference library, artefacts and photographic records.
Specialist talks are given by their in-house curator and the knowledge of San history and culture is able to persevere. From learning about the importance of the rock art sites, guests are encouraged to be respectful of them when visiting, helping to preserve them.
Bushman’s Kloof supports The TreadRight Foundation, The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) not-for-profit organisation which is working to create a ‘more solid, sustainable future for all creatures, great and small, across the globe.’
TTC and The TreadRight Foundation are both working alongside the Cape Leopard Trust and Cheetah Outreach to reduce conflict between humans and predators. They ensure that local communities can protect themselves and their livestock without causing harm to some of Africa’s most endangered wild animals. To keep predators from attacking livestock, Anatolian Shepard dogs have been introduced to guard and protect farmers’ livelihoods and keep predators from being killed in retaliation.
Cape Leopards are able to thrive within the endless protected territory of the Bushman’s Kloof conservations grounds, boosting their numbers and helping their populations to recover. This in turn benefits the whole natural ecosystem and means that the natural order is able to manage wildlife sustainably.
‘Cape Leopard Trust (Trust) is recognised by Bushman’s Kloof, TTC and TreadRight as an exceptional organisation dedicated to intelligent, accountable and sustainable preservation of the Cape’s predator diversity. Bushman’s Kloof is immensely proud to partner with the Cape Leopard Trust in a shared commitment to Leopard ecology and sustainability in the area.’
Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve grow indigenous herbs and vegetables in their organic garden which are then used to create dishes for guests. Their specially designed Fynbos menu incorporates local ingredients which are freshly picked each day to create a range of authentic South African dishes. This means that less food needs to be imported and fewer carbon emissions are generated as a result. None of the crops are treated with artificial pesticides or fertilisers and drought-resistant species of flora are planted wherever possible to conserve water.
The lodge has built a large compost area where prunings are shredded and composted for mulching along with vegetable waste, tea leaves, coffee grounds and eggshells. This can then be used to naturally revitalise the soil in their kitchen garden.
Bushman’s Kloof has implemented a number of policies that are designed to protect the environment. Guests at Bushman’s Kloof are reminded to respect the ancient rock sites in order to protect them and particularly sensitive sites are off-limits to the public and can be viewed through virtual presentations instead. Only indigenous wildlife species are introduced on the reserve in order to keep the ecosystems balanced.
The gardens are watered little and often using an irrigation system to prevent loss of water due to evaporation, and processed greywater is used to irrigate the larger grassed areas. Lodge sewage is treated in a Biolytix system where worms break down the raw sewage, and all organic waste is used as mulch and compost in the gardens.
Vehicles are prohibited from driving off-road in order to protect wildlife habitats, and all of the reserve’s roads are maintained annually so that they are clearly marked and visible.
To reduce carbon emissions, all staff members live on-site, reducing the need for transport. The lightbulbs are energy efficient and all lights in public areas are on set timers. The kitchen stoves run on gas rather than electricity and solar-powered geysers are being introduced in the staff accommodations. Lights in the Homestead are switched off when possible during the summer and outside dining is used in order to reduce energy consumption.
The spa steam room is only active when guests have booked a treatment in the steam room to conserve water, and alien vegetation is removed from the reserve as non-indigenous plants consume lots of water and lead to erosion. The alien vegetation is then used for firewood in the lodge.
Eco-friendly cleaning products and detergents are used throughout the lodge and all development plans for the land must go through strict environmental scoping protocols before they are approved.
Children of all ages are welcome at Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve