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BUSHMANS KLOOF, A MOST UNIQUE RESORT IN SOUTH AFRICA
by Ted Cookson
Published in September 2007
Where can you combine the
viewing of 10,000-year-old Bushman rock art and safari game drives while
enjoying luxurious accommodation, excellent dining and a spa, all in a single
majestic wilderness reserve?
The unique Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat, situated in the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa's Western Cape Province only 3 1/2 hours northeast of Cape Town, offers all this and more!
Over 130 sites with Bushman rock art are located within Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve. Experienced rangers offer guided walks along rivers and across the veld to view these sites, some of which are among the oldest recorded examples of human art. En route guests can witness the scenic beauty of the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains. Waterfalls, rivers and clear rock pools are set against sandstone sculpted by the winds of many millenia.
Bushmans Kloof boasts 35 species of mammals and 150 species of birds. While there are no large predators on the property, the reserve does offer, for example, gemsbok, Cape Mountain zebra, eland, red hartebeest, springbok and black wildebeest. In addition, occasionally it is possible to see bat-eared fox, Cape fox, porcupine, aardwolf and African wildcat. Birds include malachite kingfisher, black harrier and African fish eagle. Night game drives provide an opportunity to view both the various nocturnal species and the magnificent night sky.
Within the reserve there are over 750 indigenous plant species. In fact, the veld bursts with color between July and October as the spring flowers blossom. Those guests who may wish to explore the outdoors further will enjoy hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, fly fishing, archery and even painting!
The retreat's 16 rooms will accommodate a total of 32 guests. All rooms feature separate bath and shower and also a private patio. Some of the deluxe rooms also include a fireplace. All rooms are air-conditioned and have both under-floor heating and a ceiling fan.
The facilities at Bushmans Kloof include the Homestead and the Heritage Center. The Homestead contains two lounge areas, one of which has a satellite flat screen television. There is also an extensive book and DVD library plus a heated outdoor pool and a gym. In the Heritage Center are San Bushman artifacts such as jewelry, dolls and dancing sticks plus a collection of photographs which show the day-to-day lives of these nomads. Rangers give talks in the Heritage Center about various aspects of the reserve.
Other facilities include: a medicinal herb garden which contains plants used by the San nomads to cure various illnesses; a colorful flower garden which yields a number of different scents; and an organic fruit and vegetable garden, the produce of which is consumed at the resort. Finally, the very interesting gift shop contains a variety of items created by some of the finest artisans in South Africa.
Guests are treated to a profusion of gastronomic creations made from produce harvested daily from organically-cultivated gardens. Aside from various indoor and open-air dining venues at the retreat itself, arrangements can also be made to dine at several breathtaking and romantic locations around the reserve.
Finally, up-market Bushmans Kloof is the ultimate venue for a wedding or a honeymoon. The ceremony and reception can be arranged either indoors or under African skies. What better location to begin a lifetime of memories together?
Bushmans Kloof is malaria-free. During the South African summer from November to March a hat, sunglasses, sun block and a swimsuit are recommended. Temperatures range from a high of 40 C./104 F. to a low of 20 C./68 F. during this period. During the South African winter from June to August warm clothing is required. Then scarves, gloves, hats and warm jackets are useful during evening nature drives. Temperatures range from a high of 25 C./77 F. to a low of 0 C./32 F. During April, May, September and October temperatures range from a high of 30 C./86 F. to a low of 10 C./50 F. Casual dress is appropriate all year long. Bring comfortable shoes, a camera and binoculars.
Guests at unique Bushmans Kloof can get close to nature in comfort in a land where our ancestors lived thousands of years ago. Anyone for a safari with a twist?
PRACTICALITIES: Nowadays Cape Town can be reached using many airlines via Johannesburg. Egypt Air is the only air carrier which flies nonstop from Cairo to Johannesburg. Travelers flying on any other airline will also change planes at that airline's hub, i. e. Nairobi for Kenya Airways, Addis Ababa for Ethiopian Airlines, Dubai for Emirates, Doha for Qatar Airways, etc. The 270 km/167-mile-drive from Cape Town to Bushmans Kloof is scenic, and the route is asphalt all the way except for the final 20 km/12 miles which is a good quality gravel road. Transfers from Cape Town by road or by air can be arranged for those who would prefer not to rent a car.
ABOUT TED COOKSON: Egypt's most widely-traveled travel agent, Ted has been to every country in the world! He has also visited 307 of the 317 destinations on the list of the Travelers' Century Club (visit www.eptours.com and refer to World Travel Club). A travel agent in Cairo since 1986, Ted manages EGYPT PANORAMA TOURS, a full-service travel agency, at 4 Road 79 (between Roads 9 and 10, near the "El Maadi" metro station) in Maadi. Contact Egypt Panorama Tours (open 7 days a week 9 AM-5 PM) at: Tels. 2359-0200, 2358-5880, 2359-1301. Fax 2359-1199. E-mail: email@example.com. Web site: www.eptours.com.
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