Cederberg

Cederberg Accommodation for Nature Lovers

Immense Appeal and Inspiration of the Cederberg 

Even those who don’t classify themselves as nature lovers are drawn to nature in some respect, be it a holiday at a beach resort where they swim in the sea or lie on the beach, acquiring a golden suntan, or a preference for taking their vacations in the Bushveld or a nature reserve, where they book their accommodation at a lodge that sees to their creature comforts. Committed lovers of nature appreciate this diverse marvel, which distinguishes Planet Earth from others, in all its guises – water, fauna, flora, and its ever-evolving historical path. This is a major reason for the appeal of the unsullied Cederberg.

Our private nature reserve, Kagga Kamma, situated in the heart of the hauntingly beautiful Cederberg, offers nature lovers and romantics at heart the prime location from where to indulge their passion for the natural phenomena and features of this craggy region. Additionally, the surrounding Cederberg sandstone rock faces and weather-worn Cederberg Mountains offer almost unlimited opportunities to stand in awe before ancient rock art paintings, executed millennia ago by the Khoi and the San people, who once inhabited this wild and wonderful place.

Accommodation Inspired by Nature

Kagga Kamma’s location and architecture are inspired by the distinctive natural features and history of the Cederberg, complimenting these aspects as far as possible, while making the most of that which nature has provided. Guest accommodation options include two campsites, more formal and comfy accommodation in “Cave” and Hut suites, Star and Outcrop outdoor rooms, and time-share chalets (terms and conditions apply to the latter). There’s a restaurant, outdoor boma and cosy bar; relaxing treatments at our spa remove the last vestiges of city stress and strain. A host of optional activities are on offer at Kagga Kamma; all revolve around and incorporate nature, much to the delight of our nature-loving guests.

Why People Love Cederberg’s Natural Environment 

  • Man is drawn to nature because we are part of it, an integral part of the whole kingdom of nature. This is something which is often forgotten or missed when one lives, works, and plays in the city. Nature is the life force that created Man.
  • In going back into nature, one is returning to one’s roots and origin, the origin of the species (Homo sapiens). It’s a home-coming.
  • When nature lovers are in their natural environment, such as the Cederberg, a sense of place, peace, tranquillity, wonder, and love enfolds them. If accompanied by a romantic partner, a sense of overwhelming love and receptiveness to and for love is enhanced. Exploring, discovering, and sharing the wonders of nature foster an immensely bonding experience.
  • Being alone or with someone significant in privacy, in untamed nature, makes you feel like the only people in the world; it engenders a healthy, balanced perspective and a positive sense of wellbeing – spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
  • At Kagga Kamma, we limit guest numbers, maintaining the sense of privacy that our nature-loving visitors appreciate.

There’s not much left to be said about the Cederberg and the Kagga Kamma experience that isn’t acclaimed by nature lovers as being downright superlative, bar one other comment – book your accommodation at Kagga Kamma, without delay.

Nature Reserve Cederberg Mountains

Nature Paradise in the Cederberg Mountains

Sunny South Africa is a large country with a character that’s all its own. Its diversities are even larger in number and apply to just about any aspect you care to mention – its peoples and places, landscapes and features, fauna and flora, cities and rural areas, and best of all, its diversity and number of nature and game reserves that continue to fascinate tourists and leisure travellers. Some of the country’s conservation reserves are rather commercialised nowadays, too much so according to many a South African, who recalls the days when the roads in the biggest national parks were unpaved and facilities at the rest camps were rudimentary, especially when compared with the modern facilities installed in the latter years.

Wild Wonderland

Fortunately for true lovers of nature, there are still completely unspoilt areas where nature continues to rule the wild exactly as it has for millennia. The Cederberg is one such wonderland, likely to remain pristine for a very long time still. Environmentally aware nature reserve authorities and nature lovers are firmly focussed on preserving this natural paradise for posterity.

Cederberg Nature Reserve

For many years, only the initiated knew about the magical Cederberg Nature Reserve and the breathtaking, beautifully rugged Cederberg Mountains of the inland Western Cape, a mere two hours’ drive from Cape Town, but a whole world away. It is untamed, unexploited, unsullied, and tranquil – a sanctuary for lovers of nature.

Fauna

Some 69 different mammal species occupy the Cederberg Nature Reserve. These include small antelope, larger ones like the gemsbok, Cape mountain zebra and bontebok, plus rock hyrax (dassies), mongooses, and predators such as caracal and leopard. Being solitary and shy apex predators, leopards avoid humans and are seldom encountered; the rocky terrain and wilderness offers ample habitat in which to remain unobserved and undetected. Numerous reptiles are also found in the rock-strewn Cederberg region, certain snake species included, but they tend to avoid contact with hiking human beings. 

Principal Flora 

The Cederberg was named after the indigenous cedar trees which once grew here in abundance. Sadly, there are very few of these now-endangered trees remaining in the area; those which survive grow mainly on the cooler upper slopes of the Cederberg Mountains. Rooibos is synonymous with the Cederberg, the only place where these therapeutic plants grow wild. Two types of fynbos also occur in the Cederberg, one each on the eastern and western slopes of the mountains. As is usual in most mountainous areas in the Western Cape, Proteas are part of the 1000 floral species of the Cederberg Nature Reserve.

Where to Stay in the Cederberg 

Nature lover or not, when visiting the Cederberg Nature Reserve, you’ll need a place to stay while immersing yourself in the wonders of the region. Kagga Kamma, a private nature reserve within the Cederberg Reserve, is that very place. Kagga Kamma’s Hut, “Cave”, Star, and Outcrop suites retain the essence of the rugged nature that surrounds you, while providing you with excellent comforts and amenities. All your needs (and more) are met at Kagga Kamma, right down to an a-la-carte restaurant, wine cellar, swimming pools, and spa. What more could you want in the heart of the Cederberg Mountain region?

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations Western Cape

With Love from our Western Cape Romantic Honeymoon Destination

Congratulations in advance. You’re about to get married and cannot wait to go away on your honeymoon, especially after seeing to all the arrangements for your wedding – and there are typically many of those, particularly if you want to ensure that this special occasion is perfect in every respect. You want your honeymoon to be equally special. However, you’ve still to decide where to go for this eagerly anticipated time away with your spouse. All couples want a honeymoon destination that is romantic and unique, somewhere that allows them feel as though they’re the only two people in the world.

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Cederberg Mountain Accommodation

Accommodation Amid the Cederberg Mountains

The Cederberg Mountains mean different things to different people. Some will immediately think about rooibos tea, that delicious, healthy brew made from this bountiful little red bush with which the Cederberg has blessed South Africans (rooibos is now also exported). Rock climbers and those who live and love to boulder adore the Cederberg Mountains, where they can do their thing to their heart’s content. Artists, historians, and archaeologists – amateur or otherwise – are fascinated by the outstandingly well-preserved rock art paintings that survived for all to view, evidence of the presence, culture and beliefs of the ancient San people who dwelt and hunted in the area eons ago.

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Cederberg Self-Catering Accommodation

Cederberg Self-Catering Accommodation for the Ultimate Romantic Getaway 

Looking to whisk your partner away on a romantic getaway to the Cederberg Mountains over the December holidays? Yes, when the end of the year rolls past, everyone is rushing off to book their year-end holidays. Not only is December the one time of the year when you can forget about your work stresses, but I i’s that one time of the year where you can wake up late, spend quality time with your significant other, and just live in the moment.

Situated 200 km north of Cape Town, Cederberg is a place born of pure rugged beauty and solitude. Stretching from the Middelberg Pass at Citrusdal to the Grootrivier in the south, the 71 000-ha mountainous Cederberg terrain offers families, couples, corporates, and tourists a chance to escape the world, relax, get pampered, explore nature, and experience loads of adventure and history.

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Cederberg Nature Reserve Accommodation

Variety of Accommodation Options in the Cederberg Nature Reserve Area

South Africans have always loved and been extremely proud of their country’s super selection of game and nature reserves, which has also been a major drawcard for visitors from overseas, and it’s not surprising. Being accommodated in a completely natural environment, away from one’s usual routine and everyday surroundings restores one’s balance and inner peace. However, the country’s designated conservancy areas are about as diverse as the visitors who are attracted to them and wish to immerse themselves in everything each reserve has to offer as well as the natural wonders of Africa at its best.

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Cederberg Self-Catering Lodge

Luxury Meets Ancient Culture at Cederberg Self-Catering Lodge  

Should you choose to book your Cederberg holiday or weekend breakaway in one of Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve’s self-catering units, it’s unlikely that you’ll decline a few meals at our lovely à la carte restaurant. Here you can indulge in typical South African cuisine at its finest, accompanied by an excellent selection of Cape wines, not to mention spoiling yourself with some of our professional chef’s divine dessert delicacies.

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Cederberg Self-Catering

Cater for Yourself or Dine Out in Cederberg Style

The baby boomer generation will recall that there were very limited numbers of self-catering establishments on offer to holidaymakers when they were young. At that time and in the minds many a person, the Cederberg region was just a vague swathe of countryside as it appeared on maps of South Africa’s Western Cape. They knew little else about this rugged wilderness area. Boomers’ parents either booked the family holiday by the sea, in a hotel that provided full board accommodation, rented a free standing holiday home for the duration of their stay, or they signed a short-term rental agreement on a flat.

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Unusual but True – 4-Star Accommodation in the Cederberg

The Cederberg region of South Africa’s Western Cape province is vast, but its towns are not very large; some of them are only country villages with small “urban” populations. 4-star luxury has never really been a feature of SA’s small towns and country villages.

For many years, the secluded Cederberg remained largely undiscovered by leisure travellers; most flocked to Cape beach resorts and other busy destinations which were traditional tourist drawcards.

Kagga Kamma’s Modest Beginnings

Only a select few were privy to the rugged, unique charm of the Cederberg, among them the founders of Kagga Kamma, our exclusive, very unusual 4-star resort, right in the heart of this remarkable south-western region – seemingly a world away from civilisation.

These fellows bought land in the area and built a modest cottage as weekend accommodation for their visiting friends, who enjoyed themselves so much so that they could barely wait to be invited again and again.

Non-Intrusive and Eco-Friendly Objectives

Our founders were quick to recognise the potential of this untamed region, acquired more land and built Kagga Kamma, taking care to ensure that all buildings were non-intrusive in the Karoo-like natural landscape, and blending in with the pristine surroundings and distinctive, craggy sandstone rock formations.

Moreover, our resort, its operation and its guests should never have a negative impact on fauna, flora and the environment, which was to be preserved at all costs, without compromising guests’ comfort and convenience.

Today, in keeping with our 4-star status and luxurious standards of accommodation, our resort has a reliable electricity supply, via its own state-of-the-art solar-based power system, leaving the environment as unpolluted and unspoiled as nature intended it to be.

Kagga Kamma succeeds in its objectives of providing guests with exclusively unique accommodation, which remains intimately close to nature, whilst ensuring that service, mod cons, facilities and amenities meet modern standards of luxury.

Guest numbers are controlled, so that maximum numbers are not exceeded, preserving exclusivity and discreet privacy for all visitors. This policy also enables our management to ensure that the environment and its heritage remain unspoiled.

Accommodation, Cuisine and Spa

Sleep under the stars (availability, weather and season permitting) in a comfy bed, made up for you with top-quality, cosy bedding in our new Star suite or Outcrop room – something of which you’ve probably only dreamed, but never thought possible.

Perhaps mankind’s earliest types of shelters hold more appeal. In this case, book your accommodation in either our “cave” rooms or spacious thatched hut suites, reminiscent of the ancient San dwellers of the Cederberg region (remember to include our San rock art tour in your list of pursuits while at Kagga Kamma).

Breakfasts, lunches and dinners at our à la carte restaurant represent the art of freshly prepared, fine South African cuisine. Dinners may be served under the magical African stars, if weather permits.

No visit to our resort is complete without at least one indulgent spa treatment. Special facials, deluxe manicures and pedicures, and a host of therapeutic, rejuvenating massage treatments await you – far away from the normal trappings of a hectic city-based salon.

Lots More Too

There’s so much more on offer at Kagga Kamma in the Cederberg, and lots, lots more to say about our leisure activities, attractions, history, heritage, facilities and accommodation – you simply must experience these delights for yourself.

“BUSHMEN” HACKS, CULTURE AND FASCINATION WITH THE ELAND

Six Interesting Facts You Have to Know About the San People of Southern Africa

Once Upon A Time … a very long time ago, an interesting clan called Kagga Kamma and the Cederberg area home.  The clan, known collectively as the San (or “Bushmen by some) were a group that were known for their hunting, foraging/gathering and symbolic paintings on cave walls. Their mantra was to live in harmony with each other, with nature and always humbly giving thanks for anything they received. Although the San people have moved on   from Kagga Kamma, there is still evidence at the Reserve of them once living here and the group is still in existence today with the same beliefs, skills and habits of their forefathers.

The San people who make caves, rocks, over hangings and even temporary huts their homes, are certainly a group of people who have many interesting hacks, a remarkable culture and a serious spiritual connection with the eland. See the six interesting facts you need to know about the San below.

1)      Governance, Leadership and Gender Roles – Equality for All

The San people, unlike most other African clans, have no official chief or leader. Instead they govern themselves through group consensus.  So if a fight or dispute happens, lengthy discussions are held until the issue is resolved. Individuals might naturally become leaders in certain areas; like if a member of the clan is the best hunter he or she would naturally become the leader of hunting. Also fascinatingly, gender roles are not fixed in the San culture like so many other cultures– some women hunt and some men forage.

2)      Hunting Hacks – Using Venomous Poison

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The San’s weapon of choice when hunting is the bow and arrow. But instead of having standard arrows in their quivers, they make theirs poisonous or at least the arrowhead contains poison. So the animals they hit are not killed by the actual arrow but by the slow release poison on the arrowhead. This means that the San have to track the animals they hit for a couple of hours in the case of small antelope, several hours for larger game and for something as large as a giraffe, days.

The San are also smart about where they put the poison – it isn’t put on the tip of the arrowhead, which would be fatal if they by mistake cut their fingers on it. Instead it is put on the sides and more often the back of the head.

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What do the San make their poison from? Beetle larvae, poisonous plants, caterpillars and sometimes even snake venom; this is boiled until it makes a toxic jelly substance. What is also truly amazing is that the deadly mixture only affects the area where the arrow hits – the rest of the animal is safe to eat.

3)      Sharing is Caring but the Rule Doesn’t Apply to Everything

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The San hunt together and the people who successfully track and kill an animal gets to distribute the meat as he or she sees fit. So meat is shared amongst the clan. The San women (and some men) are expert foragers and know thousands of plants, which are mainly gathered to eat or for medicinal purposes. Interestingly, foraged items are not shared with the clan like meat is – but it is only shared with the immediate family.

4)      Rock Art – More than just Crude Stick Figures

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San art is often found inside caves or on outcrops; what might look like mere stick figures at a glance is actually art with deep spiritual and religious significance.  One of the most painted animals and the creature with the most spiritual significance is the eland (a large antelope). The Shaman (“Medicine Man”), when painting the eland on cave walls, is not just simply paying homage to the sacred creature but harnessing its essence. Painting actually is a ceremonial act, which in the mind of the San opens a portal into the spiritual realm. Many of the paintings are done in a reddish-brown, orange, white, yellow and black. Kagga Kamma actually has numerous sites and a guided tour where visitors can check out some of this rock art for themselves.

5)      Belief System  - One Main God, Less Significant gods and Respect for the Dead

In general, the San believe in one powerful god and have a few lesser gods. Remarkably, one of the most important spiritual beings is /Kaggen –his name can be translated as meaning mantis. This name and translation possibly stems from the legend that this god manifested as a praying mantis before. But /Kaggen, often known as a trickster, manifests into various forms not just a mantis. This praying mantis business has led to a few people inaccurately believing that the San worship the insect.  Moving away from then insect story…the San also believe it is important to pay homage to the dead.

6)      San Rites of Passage and Spiritual Ceremonies

The eland is a very spiritual creature to the San (as mentioned above). There are four rituals where the eland plays a central role – boys first kill, girl’s first menstruation, marriage and during trance dances. A fascinating ritual happens during the girl’s first menstruation – the girl is isolated in her hut, the San women dance around the hut and enact the eland cow’s mating ritual; the San men act like the eland bull with “horns” on their heads.  This elaborate dance is to keep the girl beautiful, peaceful and protected from hunger and thirst for the rest of her life.

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The San people in Western Cape and beyond are truly remarkable and have unparalleled wisdom, and knowledge of environment they live in.  When a Danish anthropologist, Jens Bjerre once asked an elderly San tribe member how old he was, he responded “I am as young as the most beautiful wish in my heart – and as old as all the unfulfilled longings in my life…”
It seems we have much to learn from the fascinating San culture and people.

To learn more about the San people and see rock art that possibly dates back thousands of years: visit Kagga Kamma for an informative Rock Art Tour.