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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.

The Bizarre Collective Nouns of Kagga Kamma

If you are asked what the collective nouns for fish, puppies and birds are– you’d say school, litter and flock with ease, right? Probably equally so if you thought of lions, bees and locusts, which are pride, swarm and plague. But then you move far beyond the normal, the mundane and the examples you can easily recall. You move into collective nouns that are quite literally bizarre, funny and maybe even silly.


Kagga Kamma has compiled the funniest, most unusual and interesting collective nouns from the mammals, birds and reptiles found at our Reserve.

Kagga Kamma Mammals


Now some might argue that “aardvark” is already an unusual name (and creature) but did you know the collective noun for them is an armoury? Yes, an armoury of aardvarks. And then you get the Chacma baboon that does not fall into one group but multiple – a troop, flange, tribe, rumpus or congress of baboons. Flange is however contested because it was invented by a comedy writer, Richard Curtis in a Not The Nine O’Clock News skit. Some primatologists swear by a flange of baboons. So we happily included it on our list.


If you spotted a “group” of leopards you could say “look there are a leap (lepe) of leopards over there”. Porcupine – a prickle; striped polecat – a chine; and wildebeest – an implausibility!  Here are some more collective nouns for you to enjoy:

–       Black Backed Jackal: a pack or skulk of jackals.
–       Burchell’s Zebra: a dazzle or herd of Zebra.
–       Bush Karoo Rat: a colony, horde, pack, plague, swarm of rats.
–       Cape Hare: a drove, down, flick, herd, husk, kindle, leash, trace, trip of hares.
–       Four Striped Grass Mouse: a mischief, horde, nest or trip of mice.
–       Honey Badger: a cete or colony of badgers.


Kagga Kamma Birds

You probably know that a “flock” of crows are known as a murder? But did you know a “bunch” of eagles are – a convocation or aerie, a “flight” of Karoo Thrush – a mutation and a “cluster” of Jackal Buzzards – a wake. A wake is grimly suitable name when buzzards are often picking the last bits of flesh off a carcass or dead thing; and a wake in human terms is “a watch or vigil held beside the body of someone who has died, sometimes accompanied by ritual observances including eating and drinking”.


Don’t miss the list of a few more examples below and impress your friends and family with your knowledge:

–       African Harrier Hawk: a mew, aerie, cast, kettle, moulting, screw or stream of hawks.
–       Barn Owl: a parliament or stare of owls.
–       Crowned/ Blacksmith Lapwing: a deceit or desert of lapwings.
–       Cape Turtle/Laughing Dove: a dole, dule, flight, piousness, pitying or prettying of doves.
–       Karoo Lark/Clapper Lark: an exaltation, ascension, bevy and flight of larks.
–       Common Starling: amurmuration, chattering, cloud, clutter or congregation of starlings.
–       Hadeda Ibis: a colony of ibises.


 Kagga Kamma Reptiles


Now for the collective nouns from the more cold-blooded variety…Not everyone find reptiles delightful, interesting and hope for a chance encounter with the tetrapods but fortunately other people find them fascinating. Unfortunately the latter group didn’t give the reptiles their collective nouns; see for yourself below.

A “handful” of snakes are known as a den, a bed, a knot, nest, pit or a trogle. Black Spitting Cobras or Cape Cobras are known as a quiver collectively – probably a side effect of seeing one; and Puff or Red Adder is a sum.

Groups of Cape Sand/Western Sandveld/Dwarf Plated Lizards… in fact any and all the lizards at Kagga Kamma are known as a lounge of lizards. Finally, the poor tortoises! Somewhere along the way the tortoise must have gotten a bad reputation because a “team” of tortoises is officially known as a creep.

Now that you know your dazzle, from your aerie or mutation from your creep… what would you call a bunch of your friends and family on holiday? A good time? An exhaustion?

 Let us know below!