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Special feature: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Retreat, South Africa

My husband and I were indeed fortunate and privileged to stay for three nights at Bushmans Kloof.   I had been hankering to stay there for many years as I had heard much about it and it certainly did not disappoint us in any way.   The beauty of the site is breathtaking – so tranquil and unspoilt but the quality of the staff, the service and attention to detail to ensure a happy stay is literally second to none.   Nothing is too much trouble for anyone. Our Deluxe room (one of 6) that shared a beautiful outdoor pool with our neighbours was vast, had two bathrooms, lounge area and enormous private patio with dining table, chairs and settee. We were able to make use of the lounges in the Homestead which were well stocked with an extensive book and DVD library along with Internet access and were intrigued by all the Bushman artefacts in the Heritage Centre.   The gardeners were eloquent guides around the medicinal herb garden and also explained how most of the fruit and vegetables served by the excellent kitchen were grown organically in the walled garden despite regular raids by the resident troop of baboons.   Unfortunately time did not permit us to make use of the Spa. We dined in three different venues during our stay – each magical in its setting but perhaps the greatest surprise was the drive out to Embers which is out in the reserve set high up amongst the rocks under the star-filled skies.   There we had a wonderful braai (barbecue) complete with an explanation of the stars we could see that night.   Every detail had been thought of for our delight and delectation from the gas flares in the rock to the rugs for our shoulders in case we felt cold.   The staff had set everything up during the day and nothing was too much trouble. Chris Mare the Executive Chef very kindly gave us a tour of the kitchens and explained the ethos behind the cuisine at Bushmans Kloof where they use indigenous fynbos plants and herbs to create an imaginative contemporary Cape cuisine.   Chris is obviously a very talented young chef and is someone to watch in the future.   He also took us out to Kadora, meaning a Tinderbox of Stories, where guests can choose to dine at this secret dining location in the reserve with their own chef.   This is a wonderful spot deep in the reserve lit by candles and oil lamps making a very romantic setting.   Each guest is allocated a Ranger who looks after them during their stay at Bushmans Kloof and is there to explain all the wild life, walking trails but in particular the art of the Bushmen.   Our Ranger, Regardt Boshoff was very knowledgeable and brought everything to life for us.   He explained how the more potent ochre and yellow colours had survived the test of time better than the black colours derived from charcoal and manganese dioxide along with the whites from clay as these had faded in most cases.   There was one spot however where he took us that was well protected and there we saw a magnificent black painting of a buffalo. Considering that the tools used by the Bushmen to paint were twigs, grasses and feathers and that some of the art is over 10,000 years old, these paintings can only be described as remarkable.   Bushmans Kloof is fortunate to have over 130 pristine sites of rock art on the reserve making it one of the few places in the world to see such a diversity of these oldest recorded examples of human art. Our stay at Bushmans Kloof was a pure delight.   We have been fortunate to stay at many very special places throughout the world but we both reluctantly left the reserve in the Cederberg mountains feeling refreshed and invigorated having been cosseted in a beautiful part of South Africa surrounded by majestic, wind sculpted reddish sandstone rock formations.   The Lodge is situated within the Cederberg Wilderness Area forming part of the Cape Floral Region which is a World Heritage Site.   It is also a member of Relais & Châteaux.

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  1. I’m hankering after Bushman’s Kloof, too! Only, I’m not sure when I’ll actually get there! They have been constantly on everyone’s gold list of top hotels in the world, and I’m curious to know why. However, you have explained quite well on this post why they are a leading luxury hotel!

  2. this sounds absolutely amazing a stunning venue and the pics look fab – i am very envious, no wonder they are one of the top hotels.

  3. Is this Judy Johnson from 10B?
    I’ve been wanting to go to Bushman’s Kloof, one of the only places I didn’t make it to while in South Africa. I’ve heard rave reviews from others.

  4. I don’t know what 10B is either!! Would be interested to know though!

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