For something a little different in South Africa
On my most recent trip to South Africa, I had the privilege of spending a couple of nights at the beautiful Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Retreat. This stunning 16-room lodge, located in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, offers morning and afternoon activities, a fantastic spa, and amazing food and wine (it is, after all, part of Relais and Chateau). There is also a private, fully catered villa available to those who prefer a bit more exclusivity. It is also an easy 270 km to Cape Town. I chose to self-drive, but a car transfer can easily be arranged.
While on the property, guests can take part in morning visits to Bushman rock art sites (over 130) and afternoon game drives (no big five here, but the area is home to 150 kinds of birds, 750 plant species,s and over 35 species of mammals). There are also mountain bikes, hiking trails, canoeing, and swimming for those who want to burn a few calories. Or if R&R is more your style, make sure to hit up the spa and follow that with a swim in one of the many pools. Plenty of other activities are available as well!
Our first evening, we did a relaxing game drive to see more of the property. Saw some beautiful antelope and a spectacular sunset. In the morning, we visited one of the rock art sites and learned about the history of the Bushman people and their nomadic lifestyle. My afternoon of canoeing to a picnic spot was scrapped due to high winds, so instead I opted for the bubbles at the pool. It turned out to be a great alternative.
On our last evening we did a bit of a hike to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole. Given the winterish temperatures (for South Africa at least), we weren’t inclined to take a dip, though after climbing are way through the rock formations, which turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected, we may have regretted the decision to leave the swimmers behind.
Prior to departure the next day, it was time to visit the spa. After 30 minutes in the steam room, I headed into the treatment area where I had one of the best and longest facials of my life. The spa alone was worth the trip!
For those looking for a way to wind down after safari or a long journey, Bushmans Kloof is worth considering. Not being a beach girl myself, I found this to be the perfect place to decompress and is perfectly suited for those who prefer a healthy combo of outdoor activities, great food and wine experiences (make sure to book one of their “extraordinary” dining options), and plenty of R&R options.