A weekend away at Bushmanskloof

On Saturday 15th June, with one of us (that would be me) nursing a searing sore throat and hacking cough, the two travel companions gently set off, up the west Coast (on the N7) for the Cedarberg. It was a beautiful day for driving – autumnal sunshine and very light traffic.

According to the clever navigation gadget, the trip would take 2hrs 40min.

We must have sneaked in a few extra fast kilometres, because – even with a pitstop for some water and a bag of ‘naarchies’ (satsumas) – we rolled into the lush Bushmanskloof property in exactly the allocated time.

The air was tangibly crisp, clear and clean; the sky bright blue and the magnificent mountains looked like cardboard cut-outs. It felt as if we were on another planet – not a mere 2-something-hour drive from the city!

We were warmly welcomed by the BK team and after brief formalities whisked off to Cedarberg House (the new addition to the estate).

Our bags magic-ed themselves there (while we poked around the Spa, had a walk through the spectacular surroundings and the meticulous organic gardens from which delicious meals are created) so that all we had to do was hang up the unspectacular contents of our holdalls before setting off to the Manor House for a spot of lunch. Set around one of the pools on the property, the courtyard was a lovely suntrap, serving sumptuousness. No sooner had we finished lunch, the set-up started for afternoon tea!

Wayne opted for a drive with Seppie, the phenomenally knowledgeable Head Ranger, around the 7,500ha area which sits in this natural heritage site.

While – for purely medicinal reasons, I indulged in a facial and massage. The lovely, skilled and sympathetic therapist did not bat an eyelid when my snoring woke me up twice.

Wayne came back filled with flora and fauna information and Seppie’s stories, framed by a magnificent sunset.

By now the temperatures had dropped to a serious ‘chill’ factor, but the lavish Cedarberg House has underfloor heating, a huge fireplace as well as heaters to provide the cosiest of luxurious atmospheres. Each of the two bedrooms are huge, with fabulous attention to detail (from the reading spotlights, to yoga mats discreetly nestled in the wardrobes, massive pop-up tv’s, to beds which kind of wrap around you). In the bathroom, there’s no need to jump from one foot to the other on cold tiles, as the underfloor heating encourages you to linger longer.

The opulent interior of Cedarberg House is enhanced by magnificent original artwork (by well-known South African artists), generous stacks of books and even sketch books and paint sets. Other decadent details can be found in the generously equipped kitchen where an abundance of glass jars containing all sorts of delicious goodies side-by-side with an awesome choice of wines and spirits.

On both evenings, we chose to have dinner in our beautiful weekend home. The meals were exquisitely presented and served.

The next morning Wayne embarked on another drive with Seppie during which time he was able to view some of the 130 sites of Bushman rock art dating back 1,000’s of years. They followed the footprints of an elusive leopard and also saw some of the antelope roaming free in the reserve.

After a delicious breakfast, we made our departure – in a now-clean-car, with no more scratchy throats or coughs – and on our drive towards the estate entrance, an elegant Oryx trotted out of the bush to give us our last little thrill of this truly restorative place.

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by Norma Meyer

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