Bushmans Kloof is set in 7,500ha of private wilderness.

Bushmans Kloof | Cedarberg Mountains Luxury South African Safari Lodge

Discover an ancient art gallery at Bushmans Kloof, 7,500ha of private wilderness in South Africa where the San once roamed. Visit some of the 130 rock-art sites, spot the rare Cape mountain zebra on guided walks or game drives, or enjoy archery, fly fishing, mountain biking and canoeing.

The place

The scene on the wall looks like that of a prehistoric child’s. Simplistic figures in washed-out blue retreat from a long-limbed, burnt-orange figure that could be a shaman. Our guide is enthusiastic: telling us how these images were drawn from pigments created out of urine, blood, ocher, ostrich eggs and charcoal, and painted with porcupine quills and coconut palms by the nomadic San people (or Bushmen) who roamed this territory 20,000 years ago. We’re at Fallen Rock Cave, one of some 130 ancient rock-art sites on the expansive grounds of Bushmans Kloof in the arid Cederberg Mountains, just north of Cape Town in the Western Cape. We’re amazed to learn that these 7,500ha were once rooibos plantations and farmland. As we drive through the now-pristine private game reserve to the lodge, I can almost imagine San trekking next to us.

The scene on the wall looks like that of a prehistoric child’s. Simplistic figures in washed-out blue retreat from a long-limbed, burnt-orange figure that could be a shaman. Our guide is enthusiastic: telling us how these images were drawn from pigments created out of urine, blood, ocher, ostrich eggs and charcoal, and painted with porcupine quills and coconut palms by the nomadic San people (or Bushmen) who roamed this territory 20,000 years ago.

We’re at Fallen Rock Cave, one of some 130 ancient rock-art sites on the expansive grounds of Bushmans Kloof in the arid Cederberg Mountains, just north of Cape Town in the Western Cape. We’re amazed to learn that these 7,500ha were once rooibos plantations and farmland. As we drive through the now-pristine private game reserve to the lodge, I can almost imagine San trekking next to us.

The room

We arrive back at the whitewashed luxury South African safari lodge, which looks much like a grand cottage set in lush botanical gardens. Our suite, a short walk away, is equally impressive – a huge, pillowy bed takes pride of place in the centre, while a Victorian-style ball-and-claw bath dominates the bathroom. I love the cavernous ceilings, exposed beams and handmade furniture, all of which combines to evoke a distinctly luxurious feel. We walk out onto our verandah, gazing out into the landscaped indigenous gardens. The lodge is surrounded by shady trees that cool us from temperatures that can pass 40°C, though we have air conditioning should we need it – and under-floor heating, should converse conditions occur. It’s warm enough to consider a swim before lunch, so I quickly change into my bathing suit and head to one of four outdoor pools.We opt to have a picnic lunch, which we devour amid the fynbos and soaring rock formations. With everything sourced from the organic garden, our meal tastes fresh and alive, a wonderful prequel to the six-course dinner we plan to indulge in later.

We arrive back at the whitewashed luxury South African safari lodge, which looks much like a grand cottage set in lush botanical gardens. Our suite, a short walk away, is equally impressive – a huge, pillowy bed takes pride of place in the centre, while a Victorian-style ball-and-claw bath dominates the bathroom. I love the cavernous ceilings, exposed beams and handmade furniture, all of which combines to evoke a distinctly luxurious feel.

We walk out onto our verandah, gazing out into the landscaped indigenous gardens. The lodge is surrounded by shady trees that cool us from temperatures that can pass 40°C, though we have air conditioning should we need it – and under-floor heating, should converse conditions occur. It’s warm enough to consider a swim before lunch, so I quickly change into my bathing suit and head to one of four outdoor pools.

We opt to have a picnic lunch, which we devour amid the fynbos and soaring rock formations. With everything sourced from the organic garden, our meal tastes fresh and alive, a wonderful prequel to the six-course dinner we plan to indulge in later.

What sets it apart

It seems fitting that Bushmans Kloof is a Natural Heritage Site, not least because of the ancient artworks that it preserves, but also because of the abundance of indigenous flora and fauna found here, including many endangered species. The food too, is authentic, with a menu that draws inspiration from the Cape Floral Kingdom surrounding us – think signature dishes that use fynbos and rooibos as ingredients.We loved that we could dine almost anywhere – next to the fire in the dining room, on a picnic in the veld or beside a cascading waterfall … or even enjoy a traditional South African braai under the stars. We relaxed at the spa or explored the reserve’s hiking trails, discovering breathtaking viewpoints of the desert-like, rocky landscape, particularly beautiful when bathed in sunset light. It was a wonderful slow-safari experience.Then there’s the incredible conservation work that Bushmans Kloof is doing – from preserving one of the largest private herds of the rare Cape mountain zebra in the world, to reintroducing endangered Clanwilliam cedars into the area.

It seems fitting that Bushmans Kloof is a Natural Heritage Site, not least because of the ancient artworks that it preserves, but also because of the abundance of indigenous flora and fauna found here, including many endangered species. The food too, is authentic, with a menu that draws inspiration from the Cape Floral Kingdom surrounding us – think signature dishes that use fynbos and rooibos as ingredients.

We loved that we could dine almost anywhere – next to the fire in the dining room, on a picnic in the veld or beside a cascading waterfall … or even enjoy a traditional South African braai under the stars. We relaxed at the spa or explored the reserve’s hiking trails, discovering breathtaking viewpoints of the desert-like, rocky landscape, particularly beautiful when bathed in sunset light. It was a wonderful slow-safari experience.

Then there’s the incredible conservation work that Bushmans Kloof is doing – from preserving one of the largest private herds of the rare Cape mountain zebra in the world, to reintroducing endangered Clanwilliam cedars into the area.

At a glance

  • An exclusive lodge on a Natural Heritage Site with 16 freestanding rooms and suites and the private Koro Lodge villa surrounded by botanical gardens. The lodge has four swimming pools, conference rooms, multiple restaurants and bars as well as a spa, fitness centre, heritage centre, wine cellar, shop and stone boma. 
  • Natural Heritage Site, varied dining options, flexible schedules and opportunity for a slow safari. Koro Lodge has a private host, chef and guide.
  • Game drives, guided rock art excursions, fynbos excursions, rock- and swimming-pool swimming, canoeing, fly fishing, hiking, archery, croquet, stargazing, birdwatching, picnics, mountain biking (additional cost), gym, spa treatments (additional cost) and Heritage Centre visits.
  • Children are welcome. Family suites available and Kora Lodge is suitable for families and large groups. Babysitting available at an additional cost.

  • An exclusive lodge on a Natural Heritage Site with 16 freestanding rooms and suites and the private Koro Lodge villa surrounded by botanical gardens. The lodge has four swimming pools, conference rooms, multiple restaurants and bars as well as a spa, fitness centre, heritage centre, wine cellar, shop and stone boma. 
  • Natural Heritage Site, varied dining options, flexible schedules and opportunity for a slow safari. Koro Lodge has a private host, chef and guide.
  • Game drives, guided rock art excursions, fynbos excursions, rock- and swimming-pool swimming, canoeing, fly fishing, hiking, archery, croquet, stargazing, birdwatching, picnics, mountain biking (additional cost), gym, spa treatments (additional cost) and Heritage Centre visits.
  • Children are welcome. Family suites available and Kora Lodge is suitable for families and large groups. Babysitting available at an additional cost.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

The weather in the Western Cape, and along most of the Garden Route, is almost the inverse of the rest of South Africa. These warmer summer months are the driest time of the year. The beginning of summer ushers in the end of the whale-watching season, but game drives in Addo Elephant Park and Bushmans Kloof can be even more rewarding as the vegetation dies back. For ideal beach weather, you should look to be here between January and March.

If you’re from the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll find that winter in the Western Cape and Garden Route is much like spring back home: mild, sunny days interspersed with wet, windy ones. At it’s coldest, from June to August, daytime temperatures are usually 14–18°C. Southern right whales migrate into the Cape’s waters from June to November to give birth and nurse their young, with peak calving season being in July and August, easily seen from land.

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