Very early in the morning, on October 22nd, I made my way to the Jenman African Safaris office to meet up with Garth (the boss!), Patti and Wayne. At 6am we were already on our way to explore the greater Cedarberg region – also known as South Africa’s best kept secret – an area featured in our Cape Town Wildlife Safari, and a region that was up until that day completely unknown to me… This area and tour can be found on most of our websites, including CapeTownSafaris.com!
After a long and picturesque drive we stopped (en-route of course) to have some breakfast… At that time I was already quite fascinated by the gradual but also drastic change in the surroundings.
The Cedarberg region is famous for its spectacular rock formations… and this became more and more apparent as we were driving along. We proceeded up and over the mountain pass and after a stop at the Leipoldt Grave we drove on to Travellers Rest – which is a self-catering accommodation establishment, and is also a farm situated just outside Clanwilliam. The overall impression we got was one of ancient history… and then we continued on our way…
Next we arrived at Heuningvlei, a rural village nestled in a mountain valley. This stop provided us with a memorable encounter with the locals… Offering in-house living, the little community is ideally located for people who love to explore the surrounding hiking trails with day packs or on donkey-drawn carts! Local guides accompany them and food is provided for (upon return to the village). It is a quiet and withdrawn village and provides for the ideal get-away from the hustle & bustle of the city life! We were very impressed by this hidden treasure and the genuine friendliness of the people.
We then drove to the town of Wuppertal, which turned out to be quite an attractive oasis within the very rugged terrain, and is located just south-east of Clanwilliam. Wuppertal seemed to me to be completely untouched by tourism – maybe due to the terrain. The town was originally founded by Moravian missionaries, although its origins are actually Rhenish. The name “Wuppertal” derives from the Wupper River in Germany, and not only could one detect a definite German heritage in this name, but also in the architecture of the town. We had a closer look at the Shoe Factory, which turned out to be quite an experience for Garth, who, after 4 unsuccessful attempts due to temporary closure, was finally able to see the inside of this place! As you can imagine he was very happy to discover that it was finally open….
We then proceeded to tackle a mountain pass, only accessible by 4×4, which turned out to be a very joyful and bumpy 2-hour drive, interrupted by a spectacular waterfall, known to the locals merely as “The Waterfall”. Even though it had no name, this waterfall turned out to be a sight of great natural beauty and a definite highlight of my day!
And just when I thought things could not possibly get any better, we arrived at the Gecko Creek Lodge, a self catering camp situated on a private nature reserve. Stunning cabins and permanent tents overlooked the sunlit valley. This combined with a brilliant overall setting, a tame wolf, a well-kept lapa, a very friendly host & a crystal-clear pool just made me want to turn in for the night. But alas, we still had over 200 km to travel back to Cape Town and therefore had to confine our visit to a very speedy inspection. I found solace in setting my eyes on returning soon, at my own leisure and with ample time in hand. I can’t wait!
Upon having returned to the office at around 9.30pm that night I was able to look back on a very eventful and enjoyable day! I know that we all had a great time…