Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve
What We Love
- Staff archaeologists lead tours of over 130 ancient tribal rock paintings, some 10,000-year-old
- Traditional South African braai (bbq) under the stars
- Stargazing while sipping homemade hot chocolate
- Four pools — one heated — open year round
What To Know
- Book spa treatments ahead of time, especially in the Riverside Gazebo treatment room
- Young families can splash out on the Koro Lodge, a secluded private villa that’s child-friendly
- Meals are included but there are surcharges for special experiences like picnics or waterside BBQs
- Easy three-hour self-drive from Cape Town; chauffeured transfer, flight/helicopter transfers also available
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Sorry, lions. Animals aren’t the only stars of this 16-room all-inclusive luxury eco-lodge on 18,532 predator-free acres bursting with 750-plus species of native flora. Instead it’s equal parts adventure (hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, rock-climbing, fly-fishing, archery, swimming), culture (regional Heritage Centre, botanical tours, 10,000-year-old San Bushman rock paintings), and indulgence (Rooibos-infused spa treatments, organic food and wine weekends) that propel this Relais & Chateaux-approved property into the best-of-the-best African lodges. Colonial elegance pervades the rooms, spread over whitewashed, thatched roof Cape Dutch buildings and an 1843 manor house.
In the Area
As part of the UNESCO-designated Cape Floral Region, the surrounding countryside is ideal for outdoors lovers. Multi-day “slackpacking” trails on the Cederberg Heritage Route offer hikers the option of carrying only day packs and staying in guest cottages along the way (meals-inclusive). Less hardy types can immerse themselves in local agriculture’s biggest export with a visit to Clanwilliam’s Rooibos Tea Factory and gift shop (arranged tours beforehand) or Elandsberg Farm for a “Rooibos safari.” Wine lovers have three excellent routes to choose from: The Darling, The West Coast, and the Santam Swartland Wine Routes, as well as South Africa’s highest elevation vineyard, Cederberg Private Cellar.
How to Get There
Upon arrival we were shown our room, which was very clean and well presented. There was bug spray and all the amenities you would require.
We went to afternoon tea. Oh my gosh, I have never seen such a selection. Scones, cake, sandwiches, pastries etc all overlooking the most gorgeous views.
There were two drives day with your guide which is allocated to you. We had Daniel and he was amazing. So knowledgeable and passionate.
There is kayaking, mountain bikes and lots of walking to do in addition to the game drives and we took dull advantage.
The food is amazing. We never made lunch so can’t comment upon that, only because we were still full from breakfast.
All of the staff from the Manager down (who takes the time to walk around and talk to guests) were exceptional.
The views are amazing and we were lucky to have four nights here.
I would return and would definitely recommend it.
We spent three days at this incredible lodge and retreat. I'd personally never been to such a high-end property, and every second I was there was like a dream. The property is beautiful----it feels like you're going back in time to a romantic era. You have all the conveniences (like WiFi, hairdryers, etc.) but it feels magical. Every square inch of this place is sumptuous, decorated with care and a great eye for detail.
There is the infinity pool with cool water that overlooks the rock faces in the distance. Birds will swoop in to cool down----when we were there it was over 103 degree Fahrenheit. You can fly fish if you'd like at a nearby lake (with a guide), or take a walk along a well-marked path. Not far from the resort are cave painting dating back 5000-7000 years ago. They are very well preserved and there is great reverence for them.
Our guide, Seppie, was friendly and very knowledgable. He took us on several "drives" (safaris) and we saw ostriches, zebras (a different variety than you'll see if you go to Krueger National Park), Spring Bok, Impala, foxes----and everyone gets along. This amazing property is set on 18,000 acres, so there's lots to explore. On our first night, after driving around, we stopped and had cocktails and snacks to watch the sunset. Felt like a dream.
The rooms and common areas are GORGEOUS. The rooms are spacious and comfortable (with air conditioning that was welcome in the heat wave), and the bath rooms were really nice too.
Their food was fantastic. The morning buffets are ample to fill you up (which we did) before understanding there was also a menu to order from if you wanted (we never did). The evening meals are amazing, and luxuriously long and relaxed. Be sure to order the salad---it has the best dressing I've ever had in my life. And all their lettuce and veggies are grown on-site in impressive gardens you can explore.
For me, the highlight of the trip was our hike to the crystal caves. You drive to a place where you park and walk from there. It's an easy hike until you get to a challenging vertical climb. Not too challenging and definitely worth it. At the end of the uphill climb is a gorgeous aqua marine pool surrounded by a cliff. It was very hot, and after the climb it felt amazing to jump into the cool water. GORGEOUS!
Loved every minute of this place. For us it was a bit of a splurge, but totally freaking worth it.
We had a great birthday and anniversary weekend at Bushman's Kloof. The service from Marcell, Nicolas, Charlie, Wessel, and Londi was superb. They took care of every possible desire and gave us great ideas for hikes and activities. We really appreciate their attention to details.
Spotting a bug from behind the wheel of a safari jeep, our guide slows the four-wheel drive to a halt and jumps out to pick up the creature. Cradling the moving, jet black exhibit in his hands, he introduces it to my tour group before passing it back for us to inspect. The bug explores my cupped hands for a few seconds before I release it back to the wild a few metres from the entrance to Bushmans Kloof.
Wonders of the outdoor and indoor variety abound at this enchanting, star-lit, nature-embracing wilderness retreat, where zebra roam the surrounding plains in the day and stars pierce the clear sky at night.
Located in boulder-strewn country, visitors can take safari drives in a nature reserve under the craggy Cederberg Mountains. Before our nature guide demonstrated such laser-like vision, we had been for an early morning ‘bush breakfast’ near a large watering hole and the day before had spotted zebra, springboks and been obstructed by a family of road-hogging ostriches.
The multi-award winning retreat, which also has a spa and wellness centre, allows guests to experience nature while enjoying the unassuming country style and supreme comfort of the lodge-style accommodation.
Cooing birdsong is pretty much all you’ll hear at night.
Thoughtfully designed and in harmony with its gloriously rugged surroundings, Bushmans Kloof is barely visible from the track that serves as the only route in and out. Rooms are nevertheless high spec, though without any of the fumbles you find in some high-end hotels. I walked back to my time-suspending quarters, named River Reeds 2, from a kingly evening meal to find a lit candle flickering in the bathroom and an African campfire story on my pillow. Goodnight, Anansi.
My group only stayed one night, so this review covers but a fraction of what Bushmans Kloof has to offer. As it was, we departed on a floating cloud of wild animals, star-gazing and Amarula nightcaps. We also left assured that the creatures of the Cederbergs are in safe hands, no matter how great or small.
This was our second visit to Bushman’s Kloof. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel individual and special. The staff were friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble.
We shared a nature guide who offered twice daily drives into the massive estate where there are ancient rock art sites and wildlife including Springbok, Eland, Hartebeeste, Zebra and Ostrich.
The food was incredible but really too much as we skipped lunches and went from a late breakfast after a drive to afternoon tea and then dinner!
Whilst being remote, that adds to the charm and the journey is certainly worth the effort.
We will return!