Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat

Sample Itinerary—Wonders of the Cederberg

Curated exclusively for National Geographic

Delve into early human history in the Cederberg mountains. Explore this unparalleled landscape—where an open-air gallery of ancient rock art meets a unique wildlife sanctuary—with guided hikes, walks, drives, and unforgettable dining experiences in the bush.

Your experience at the lodge will be tailored to your interests. The sample itinerary below was designed for National Geographic travelers and can be customized as you wish. Some experiences featured in this itinerary incur an additional cost.

Highlights

  • Join the lodge's rock art curator for a private presentation on the history behind the property’s Bushman Rock Art sites, followed by a guided tour of the onsite Heritage Centre and a private drive through the lodge reserve to view some of its spectacular San rock art murals (National Geographic Exclusive).
  • Spot rare Cape mountain zebras, ostriches, and endemic antelopes on a guided drive into the predator-free reserve, and learn about the Cape Leopard Trust.
  • Hike or bike trails that course through the fynbos landscape, where some 750 indigenous species bloom each July to October.
  • Venture into the reserve at night with a stargazing expert.

Day 1—Arrive Western Cape, South Africa

Upon arrival, join the general manager for a welcome cup of homemade rooibos tea. Get settled in your room and enjoy a traditional high tea in the main lodge’s elegant dining room. Then set out on a drive across the surrounding predator-free reserve with a field guide, and spot unique wildlife, including herds of Cape mountain zebras, indigenous eland and springbok antelopes, and more than 150 bird species. Learn about the lodge’s support of the Cape Leopard Trust, which tracks the movements of this rare and secretive predator that roams the Cederberg Mountains. This evening, savor South African specialties in an open-air dining lounge flanked by fireplaces.

Day 2—Rock Art Heritage

Enjoy breakfast in the bush, and then journey through history on a walking tour of the lodge grounds—a South African Natural Heritage site and home to more than 130 ancient Bushman rock art sites. Get a taste of old-world elegance with lunch at the Homestead. Then join the lodge’s rock art curator for a private presentation on the history behind the property’s rock art sites at the onsite Heritage Centre, where you can peruse dancing sticks, hunting kits, jewelry, and more cultural artifacts. Tonight an unforgettable evening awaits: Dine by candlelight and lanterns in a former shepherd's cottage in the heart of the reserve, followed by a traditional fireside performance by a local Riel revival dance troupe.

Day 3—Fynbos Adventure

Set out on foot or mountain bike into the fynbos-blanketed reserve—part of the Cape Floral Kingdom and particularly spectacular during September’s peak bloom. Take a dip in the Crystal Pools, surrounded by towering rock formations and cascading waterfalls. Canoe across a dam for a picnic lunch, then try to outwit the endemic Clanwilliam yellowish during an afternoon of catch-and-release fly-fishing. Savor evening drinks and contemporary Cape cuisine in a natural sandstone amphitheater under a twinkling sky. Cap off the night on a stargazing adventure in the reserve with the lodge’s resident experts.

Day 4—Bush Healing

Spend your final day harnessing the natural healing energy of the sandstone surroundings. Head to the outdoor riverside spa gazebo, and indulge in therapeutic treatments based on African traditions and the aromatic blend of rooibos and fynbos. After relaxing in the steam room of healing rock quartz crystals, take a tour of the kitchen garden and learn about San medicinal herbs. On your final night, linger at the river boma as the sun sets over the Boontjies River to the sounds of twittering birds.

Day 5—Depart

Enjoy a final breakfast, and then Depart for the airport or your next destination.

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