Cape Town is one beautiful-ass city. The mountain, the beaches, the women, the wines, the song. Come on. But living in the city can, without you even knowing, start to ever so slowly drag you down. The constant noise, the sirens, the lack of stars, the complete lack of silence. So as your attorney, I advise you to head out to the country for a few nights. All right, I’m not Benicio Del Toro, but it’s the best advice you’ll get this year. Not only that, I am going to tell you how to take that advice, go all in, and take the pot, because there is one place you need to go for your bush getaway, and that’s Kagga-Kamma.
I did, and I returned to the city a refreshed man. It was as if the Cape hinterland’s peace and quiet had washed off the city’s hustle and bustle like soot off a miner’s face.
We left town and headed into the Cederberg. The three hour drive to the resort is enough to let you start shedding the stresses of the city. As you work your way toward the resort space opens up, mountains rise around you, the Ceres-Karoo approaches as deadlines fade quietly into the background.
The resort is of the old school. Situated in the Swartruggens region – essentially the meat in a Cederberg/Karoo sandwich – the property was purchased in 1986 and was opened as a Game Reserve in 1989, with the first antelope being introduced that same year. The reserve is around 15000ha in size and has a variety of antelope, birdlife and other game within its boundaries.
We arrived and moseyed into the reception where a welcome drink was handed to us. Sipping our glass of bubbly, we wandered around the premises. The main building that houses the bar, restaurant, reception, and spa is nestled into a rocky outcrop so that the buildings blend in with the surroundings almost seamlessly. The air was still, the silence almost thick. I was relaxing faster than I could keep up with. But the real treat was still coming.
After our drink was done, we were shown our room. A thatched rondavel, with a view onto a plain that rockily made its way toward distant mountains. The room has aircon, and the power is solar/diesel run, and is on from 06h00 to 22h00 (although, apparently 24 hour electricity can be arranged). The resort also offers unique “cave suites” where the rooms are built into the sandstone rock-formations.
We were told to be back at the reception at 18h00. I assumed it was for a game drive. I have never been so happily wrong in my life. At the reception we were met by a guide who was waiting with three quad-bikes. Donning helmets, we jumped on the bikes and drove for five-minutes or so into the bush. We drove around a corner and headed for another, smaller, outcrop of rocks. As we rounded them I almost fell off the bike. Tucked into the outcrop I saw what can only be described as an outdoor hotel room. Double bed, nightstand, coffee table and chairs, a shower and a fire. This was our room for the night.
As the guide drove away I thanked the various gods. And then did a little dance. There is a specific joy in dancing like a mad man on a double bed, outside, in the karoo. The fire just needed a match and before long we were braaiing the chops that had been provided. I would go to Kagga Kamma just for this feature. We lucked out and had a full-moon, I cannot explain the feeling of waking in the early hours, sitting up in bed and seeing the Cedeberg’s stark, arid, landscape lit up my the moon’s rays. And then rolling over back under your duvet. The morning came, the sun rising from behind the rocks so we were not up too early. A coffee over the fire was made before mounting our quad bikes and heading back to the restaurant for breakfast.
As soon as the full-english had been transported from plate to gut, we were on the quads again for a two-hour ride through the bush. Now I am not sure if I just generally luck out with guides, but our man, from Scotland, took us through the standard one hour trip in 20 minutes. Which, was awesome. Blasting around sandy corners, across rocky river beds, we chased away the animals, but good lord it was fun. We took a break and walked a bit to see some bushman paintings. The reserve has a a selection of bushman art scattered over various spots which can be reached on quad bike tours, hikes, or specific rock-art tours.
The rest of our time spent at Kagga-Kamma was mostly dedicated to some extreme chilling by the pool, with a game drive thrown in here and there. Before we came back to the city we finished our stay off with a luxurious full-body not-rock massage, that was the the bold, underline, exclamation-mark ending to the stay.
If you are heading out of the city for awhile, take my advice: go to Kagga-Kamma and stay in the out-crop room. Your life will be better. Seriously.
For more info check out http://www.kaggakamma.co.za/
Catch you on Tuesday.....
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