This exclusive itinerary perfectly combines the incredible setting of Bushmans Kloof with fellow National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World property - the five star eco paradise, Grootbos. This itinerary creates a unique and diverse experience between two properties that share great synergy and passion. From discovering 10,000 year old rock art in the Cederberg, to the Marine Big 5 in Walker Bay, you'll be welcomed with extraordinary experiences, extraordinary dining and more.
In the heart of the Cederberg, just 270 km from Cape Town, set among wide-open plains, majestic rock formations and crystal-clear waterfalls, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, a member of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, is a haven of staggering beauty and timeless tranquility. A South African Natural Heritage Site, it has long been the proud custodian of the cultural heritage and rock art of the San people who traversed this area thousands of years ago and still plays an important role in supporting local culture in the Cederberg region, by involving the local communities in various tourism and conservation projects.
Pick up from either Cape Town International Airport, central accommodation or hotel such as the incredible Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa. Continue for your 3 hour transfer to Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness retreat.
14:00: Arrive at Bushmans Kloof for an early afternoon check-in at the Manor House and enjoy a complimentary glass homemade Rooibos iced tea, Sherry or Sparkling wine and a cool towel to freshen up. After an orientation of the Lodge settle in to your room.
15:30: Enjoy High Tea on the Manor House Deck, under the ancient wild fig trees – a tranquil open-air dining venue next to the Lily Pond.
17:00: Depart for a nature drive to see some of the unique species and ever-changing landscapes that we pride ourselves in protecting at Bushmans Kloof. Stop for Sundowners at a picturesque spot on the reserve, before returning to the Main Lodge to prepare for dinner.
19:00: Rock Art Talk in the Heritage Centre, hosted by our resident Rock Art Curator, Londi Ndzima. Londi will take you through, the history and lives of the San people, through artefacts and images, including the famous Rudner Collection comprising jewelry, dancing sticks, hunting kits, musical instruments, dolls, digging sticks and magic sets, as well as some important 19th century sticks and other objects made by the San.
19.30: Depart from Reception for Dinner at one of the Reserve’s extraordinary dining venues, where nature is an integral part of the dining experience. The choice of Venue will be decided based on weather and seasonal conditions.
07:30: Meet at Reception and depart for a nature drive to Fallen Rock, for ancient rock-art viewing with one of our knowledgeable guides. Bushmans Kloof is custodian to more than 130 unique, ancient Bushmen rock art sites, some as old as 1000 years.
Relax over a hearty Bush Breakfast at a surprise location after viewing the Rock Art.
12:00: Get close to nature with a Spa Treatment in the secluded Riverside Gazebo and be seduced by a unique combination of soothing therapeutic treatments based on ancient African traditions and the aromatic power of South African blends of indigenous Rooibos and Fynbos vegetation and healing plant oils.
14:00: The best possible way to get up-close-and-personal with the animals, flowers and rock formations is to enter the wilderness on two feet or two wheels. Mountain bike down to the main Dam, collect your canoes and paddle to your beautiful picnic spot for an al fresco lunch. Return at leisure.
16:30: High Tea is served at Makana – a beautiful open-air dining venue overlooking one of the Numerous swimming pools and rocky formations of the reserve. Designed to emulate the sheltered ambience of an open cave, the word “Makana" means ‘to feast’ in the ancient San language,
18:30: Enjoy pre-dinner drinks at the Riverside Boma before Dinner in the private Walled Garden. Renowned for our cuisine, savour a meal where fresh produce from the garden, as well as locally-sourced ingredients from the surrounding area, have been used to create an exceptional dining experience.
07:30: Early morning walk into the Reserve…solo or with one of our experienced guides, who will share the hidden treasures of the fauna, flora and wildlife with you first-hand. Take your swimming costume along to make the most of the cool mountain streams and waterfalls along the way.
07:30 - 12:00: Return to the Lodge for Breakfast at Makana.
14:30: For gardeners, gastronomes and plant lovers, take a tour of our marvelous organic gardens, with the scent of ripening vegetables and herbaceous fynbos all around you. Our fruit trees, herbs and vegetables are grown seasonally under scrupulous sustainable farming practices.
Afternoon at leisure to enjoy a host of activities available at the Lodge including:
- Outwit the endemic Clanwilliam Yellowfish, strictly on a catch-and-release basis, fly-fishing at one of our beautiful dams.
- Practice your skills with a bow and arrow with archery equipment available from the Lodge.
- Play a leisurely game of croquet on the lawns near the Lodge.
- Try your hand at painting or drawing on the lawns or at a picturesque spot in the reserve. Watercolour paint sets are available in each bedroom, for your use.
19.30: Depart reception with your guide in an open vehicle for a candlelit Dinner under the African stars at Kadoro, an old shepherd’s cottage located 20 minutes from the Lodge. Here you’ll enjoy a traditional Barbeque and a host of South African specialty dishes, prepared by your own private chef.
07:30 - 12:00: After Breakfast at Makana,enjoy your last few hours at leisure, before your check-out and departure for your road transfer to Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. (Transfer time is approximately 5 hours).
As well as relaxing and unwinding, a trip to Grootbos is also packed full of adventure, from exploring costal caves and heading off on 4x4 floral safaris to encountering sharks or whale watching by boat. No matter what you do while you are here, you will leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and inspired by the unspoilt natural beauty that surrounds you, and the people you meet along the way.
After a celebratory drink on arrival, enjoy a delicious lunch either in our restaurant or on the deck outside. After lunch, check into your suite and make yourself comfortable before taking a trip to the pristine Walker Bay beach, where dramatic rock formations and a vivid blue ocean provide the perfect backdrop to your historical cave tour. Back at Grootbos, enjoy the most decadent 5-course dinner paired with award-winning wines.
Enjoy breakfast in our restaurant or on the outside deck, before gearing yourself up for a morning of adventure. Experience the adrenalin rush of a personal encounter with sharks during a once-in-a-lifetime shark cage diving excursion (R 2250.00 per person). Alternatively, experience the Marine Big 5 first hand on a boat based trip when you spot whales, sharks, penguins, seals and dolphins (R 1290.00 per person). In the afternoon, embark on a horseback adventure through the reserve before ending your day with another sumptuous 5-course dinner.
Explore the unique Cape Floral Kingdom on a revitalizing 4x4 tour through the reserve as you soak up the fresh air and natural beauty that surrounds you. During the trip, our specialized guides will tell you the facts about this rare flora in ways that will amaze and fascinate you. After lunch, learn more about our Green Futures and Growing the Future Colleges which help with the upliftment of local communities. After a busy morning, relax with a full body massage in our Forest Spa (R 960.00 per person), surrounded by ancient Milkwood trees. End off the day with another 5-course dinner and retire to your suite sun-kissed and sated
On your last morning at Grootbos, join one of our guides on an early morning walk through the magical Milkwood forest as the dappled light and gnarled ancient branches create a mysterious setting. After a final breakfast in our restaurant, depart Grootbos with a host of memories you won’t forget soon. Transfer to Cape Town International Airport or hotel, our recommendation being The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa as the final cherry on the cake to end an unforgettable South African experience.