Are you ready to Bid Adieu to the hustle and bustle of your city life in return for some much-needed tranquillity at Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge? You are? Well then pack a bag! It’s time to head out to the mountains.
I am writing this to you as I sit staring out from the large grandiose window nook where I am currently perched.
I watch as the flora in front of me gently blows back and forth in the wind, backdropped by the raw majesty of the rugged Cederberg mountains.
It is currently morning and the fog has rolled in off the mountains to hover over the town and the landscape alike, covering it all like a thick blanket.
It is still winter here and the chilly mornings prove it to be so; even still, the birds continue to chirp and go about their merry day.
Back inside, the kettle is on the boil. In a few moments, I will put down my computer and go out onto the patio with a cup of coffee in hand. Then I, too, will be overtaken by the fog and become one with nature. A complete and utter detox.
The car began to slow down, I turned to Byron and smiled as I opened the passenger window. I could feel the cool winter air streaming inside and lightly touching my cheeks. I wanted more. I stuck my head out of the window like a child. A deep breath in. I exhale. I allow the fresh mountain air to medicate my weary soul.
The gate opens and we start to ascend up the long and windy sand road, leaving a trail of dust behind us. As we climb, I feel my troubles getting further and further away.
Upon arrival, we are welcomed in by friendly faces. We are drawn to the large french doors of the atrium. The pinnacle moment has arrived as the serenity and stillness washes over me. I gaze further into the distance to be met with the rugged beauty of the Cederberg.
Guided to a seat in the lounge, we are delivered a special treat; a Rooibos Chai Latte. The local South African delicacy was prepared from rooibos tea that can only grow right here. The perfect winter welcome and greeting gift.
There are currently 9 Rooms available at Cederberg Ridge. Two are Classic rooms; three are Luxury suites; and four are Superior suites.
The suites break away from the lodge and offer guests their own sense of isolation in the wilderness.
The rooms are light and airy, with warm white walls, natural wood textures and a neutral colour palette with a tiny and subtle pop of colour.
The tones in the rooms perfectly represent the mountain range itself. The light wood and earthy tones pay homage to the colours of the surrounding landscape, while the pink pop of colour continues towards the magnificent sunset over the mountains. Well, at least to me they do.
My favourite features of the room have to be the window nook and the freestanding bath with large-view windows, that offer commanding views of the Cederberg Mountain Panorama.
Byron would probably tell you he loved the outdoor shower the most, unfortunately for him, the weather was just a little too chilly to enjoy a long outdoor shower.
If you are looking for some romance under the brilliance of the night sky. Cederberg Ridge definitely has you covered. If you visit in the warmer months (Oct-March) and are staying in a suite, you have the option of a romantic sleep-out on your own private terrace!
Can you just imagine it? Okay, let me paint the picture. After dinner, you walk to your suite, holding hands, laughing, bellies full and happy. You run a bath or take an outdoor shower. You make some tea or pour some wine as you walk out onto your terrace. The night sky erupts before you into a display like no other.
The only thing left to do is cuddle up to your significant other, as the sound of silence mixes in with some lonely chirps and high-pitched raspy squawks from the resident insects nearby. It is you and your sweetheart in the heart of the wilderness.
Cederberg Ridge offers dining as an experience. They are inspired by their natural surroundings and offer local flavours and delicacies, while employing a farm to table method. You choose what you desire from the à la carte menu provided.
They can cater for different dietary requirements; already including one or two vegetarian meals on the menu. If you or on the hunt for vegan options, all you need do is ask. Before your trip they send you an email to complete, where you list any requirements you might have. I would let them know then so that they have some time to prepare.
Maybe It’s just us, but we love to wake up on holiday knowing that we have a wonderful breakfast awaiting us. You exit your suite, walk along the path, past a huge tree filled with what seems to be at least 100 birds nests. You sit down in the big and airy dining room or maybe out on the deck if the weather is on your side.
In no time at all, you are faced with the toughest decision of the day: which breakfast meal to pick. Coffee is poured, your nose is triggered by passing plates and happy holiday goers are chatting away with newly formed friends.
Then the moment arrives. It’s time to indulge.
They do offer both a continental breakfast as well as a hot breakfast. We visited while very strict Covid protocols were in place, so we don’t know if the continental breakfast is served as a buffet option or not, but you can still order a continental breakfast from the à la cart menu.
They serve up some delicious homemade croissants, pastries, different types of bread, marmalade, jams and fruits from their own farm.
Not into continental? Maybe order some smoked salmon? Or be like Byron and order the french toast with berry coulis, caramel sauce, cream and mixed berries every day!
After a busy day of activities or just some pure hours of relaxation, you will need to fill up on either a hearty meal to keep you going or simply a light lunch.
We decided to head out with David (our guide from Cederberg Ridge) to explore a little more of the surrounding area. The kitchen very kindly packed all three of us a lunch pack to take with. It included sandwiches, snacks like boerewors and biltong, sweet pastries, apples, juice, cooldrink and water.
However, if you are not out and about you can also enjoy a meal at the lodge.
Let’s celebrate that it’s time to eat again! Go and get dressed up (not necessary, but it always feels more fun) and head to your 3-course dining experience. On your menu, there will be around 5 or 6 dishes that you can choose from.
Why not try some local delicacies like Skilpadjies and pickled cauliflower or fynbos and honey-glazed roasted baby beets? We would recommend the chicken with a mushroom, cumin and bacon filling wrapped in parma ham, as well as the lentil curry and orange and sage-roasted butternut saffron ravioli.
I would say that depends on what you are looking for.
Personally, we think Cederberg Ridge is great all year around. We went in the colder season (August) and still had a ball!
A pool in the mountains is a big drawcard, but let me tell you that the water is absolutely freezing in winter! In spite of this, there was a couple there at the same time as us who insisted on an early morning swim before breakfast.
If you are planning on having a night of luxury and romance under the stars on your private terrace, I would suggest the warmer summer months of October to March.
Summers (November to Mid March) are hot and dry.
Autumn (Mid-March to April) are warm in the daytime, while a little cooler in the evenings.
Winter (May to Mid-August) have comparably high daytime temperatures for winter. The evenings and mornings prove to be chilly. You could also be faced with one or two rainy days.
Spring (September to October) The winters have passed and the flower season is in full swing!
The Cederberg Mountain Range is a world like no other, with its dry landscape and unique rock formations. Luckily for you and us, Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge offers a whole array of guided experiences and excursions out in the area, so you don’t actually have to make the trek out yourself (unless you want to of course).
They work off of a three-day seasonal programme of activities. If you walk on over to reception, you will see all of the daily activities already planned for you and all you have to do is choose which outings you’d like to join and then go out and explore!
We were blessed with David. He was such a wonderful and knowledgeable guide! At the end, he felt like more of a friend than anything else.
When you have booked your stay download the app Vamoos and then you have access to all of the information about Cederberg Ridge. You can look through the gallery, browse the directory, view the activities on offer, check the weather, you name it.
How long should you stay? That, I’m afraid, is up to you. If you are interested in doing all of the activities and excursions on offer, then I would say stay between 4 and 5 days. Remember that they offer a 3-night rotating programme, but you’ll still want some time to relax by the pool and lodge itself.
We will be honest and say that it is a lot more accessible from Cape Town as it is about a 2 and a half-hour drive. If you are in Cape Town and don’t really have the means to travel on your own, you can call the reservations team and they can arrange transfers from Cape Town if you would prefer it.
However, the Cederberg in itself is worth a visit and we highly recommend making it a part of your must-do South African Road Trip.
I would book directly through their site. It’s worth going to have a look because they offer a bunch of different special offers throughout the year.
Overall, we had a splendid time at Cederberg Ridge. You know sometimes you visit a place and you are satisfied, once your trip is over you wouldn’t necessarily make the journey out again to visit based on the accommodation? Well, this is different, we would come back here in a heartbeat just to have the opportunity to relax and unwind in the mountains once again.
The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, while the atmosphere is peaceful and luxurious. A definite must experience in our opinions.
Has Cederberg Ridge always been on your bucket list? Or is it a new addition? One way or another, we are sure it’s there!
Disclosure: We received a sponsored stay at Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge in exchange for this written article and inclusion in our video travel guide series. We always give our honest opinions and beliefs on products and services; our views, reviews and opinions are entirely our own. See our Disclaimer Policy for more info.