Every kind of season for every kind of traveller. Summer stirs a childlike sense of excitement within us all; balmy days spent chasing the warm sun, splashing about in a refreshing pool and marvelling at the clear night skies during an outdoor dinner. Winter calls for a period of rest; broody mornings waking from slumber with a slow stretch under cotton comforters, brisk walks with crisp air tugging on tendrils of hair from beanies and crackling fireplaces with a glass of ruby red, giving us pause to appreciate the peace. There is so much to be cherished of every season and Kagga Kamma certainly boasts every kind, indeed!
Day breaks on a glorious day at Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, and from the footpaths of a hiking trail, the sun dazzles as it lights the fynbos plains and chases away the dark. The best time of day to enjoy a hiking adventure is on a summer’s morning, such as this. The air is refreshingly cool yet soon the sun will climb high and the dry heat of the day may usher you poolside or under the bliss of an air-con in your Suite. Summer days, between November and March, can reach the mid-30°s, so cool cotton shirts, breezy maxi-skirts and swimwear is a must when packing for your stay. It seldom rains in summer in the Cederberg, though it is advised to pack a light jacket. As the day draws to a close you will find yourself meandering to the Open Air Boma where you can enjoy a delectable meal as the Milky Way explodes across the night sky above; cloudless skies and nary a wind makes for spectacular stargazing, so you may wish to join a Stargazing Tour or experience the Open Air Suite while visiting.
Autumn, which begins from April and sparks a slight chill until mid-May, creates a buzz at Kagga Kamma, as this is “chocolate thief” season. The Spectacled Dormouse is a critically endangered, endemic species which starts its chocolate (and all things sweet) collecting during these cooler months, in preparation for hibernation during the winter. You may be lucky enough to spot them in a Cave Suite, as they make their home in the fascinating rock formations against which these Suites are nestled. The perfect, family-friendly outing to enjoy during autumn at Kagga Kamma is the Rock Art Tour. This guided excursion takes place from 10:00 to 12:00 daily, and while autumn days are delightfully warm under the African sun, it is not quite as hot as during summer, which makes this excursion a pleasant way to spend your morning. Pack light clothing for midday but be sure to include pants and a warm jacket so you can still soak up the atmosphere at a leisurely Open Air Boma dinner.
Autumn introduces the Kagga Kamma winter and, just as the Cederberg region begins to look dry, the skies turn moody and burst forth with blessed rain accompanied by thunderous applause. A treat for many locals and international guests wishing to experience the contrast of a white wonderland in the middle of semi-desert terrain, a window of snow always teases in the Cederberg. In the distance, the Cederberg mountains are capped with white powder and, on occasion, enough snow carpets the Main Lodge to set snowman competitions into motion. It is a unique wonder to behold, but be sure to pack warm clothing as temperatures can plummet to 2°C during the evening. As a semi-desert, most days are pleasantly cool with temperatures averaging in the low 20°s. Before long the snow melts away and then pastel and bright hues of every imagination wake. The fynbos shrubs turn from muted greens and greys to a carpet of colour as far as the eye can see. Flower season is usually in August and some guests are lucky enough to witness the shift until early September when spring looms.
The arrival of spring is always a cause for celebration on the Nature Reserve as the Nature Guides scurry out onto the plains to report antelope births. In 2020, Kagga Kamma welcomed the first Bontebok calf in recent years and our hopes remain that this family will continue to grow in 2021, too. Spring in the Cederberg can still offer a chill so guests are advised to pack light clothing with one or two staple warm pieces. Midday sunshine turns the cool air away and often guests can be spotted lounging poolside again, cocktail in hand and sun hats on display. The evenings remain cool and some rain can still be expected throughout September, so often guests are treated to hearty meals in the Restaurant at dinnertime, while lunches remain light and summery. It is recommended to try an Early or Late Night Nature Drive during this period, as the wildlife appreciate the cooler periods of the day and you may perchance spot a new-born amongst the Zebra or Springbuck – a lovely treat!
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ― Albert Camus. There is, within each of us, a trait that appreciates elements of every kind of season. Spring through Winter: there exists a unique world of perspective at Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, no two are alike. Visiting the Nature Reserve in any season is an absolute treat, an escape to an ‘oasis on the edge of time’; but, experiencing every season – well that is something else entirely and we highly recommend that you try it for yourself.