We sit watching as the light illuminates the evening sky with shades of orange, pink and purple. This is it. We sought out a place of adventure and romance, a place where we can reconnect with the wilderness; to have a moment of peace as we leave behind our pressured lifestyles, to emerge into wide open spaces and complete stillness.
As the radiant colours bounce off the escarpment and dramatic rock formations all around us, the indigenous fauna and flora is highlighted, glowing in the last moments of today’s light. Ancient paintings and engravings left behind by the earliest hunter gatherers in the southern most reaches of Africa bid farewell to yet another day. We lose track as time shifts us from day to a seat under the most phenomenal night sky.
In an effort to exercise the spirit of adventure, we set off on the road.
With a spring in our step and excitement in our hearts, we soaked up the journey to Kagga Kamma. A destination that has long been on our bucket list. The reality of us finally going seemed too exciting to bear…
Our voices loud and proud as we sing in mismatched harmony to our favourite tunes.
The sun beating down on our little sedan as we drive through the wilderness of the Koue Bokkeveld, brings welcome heat to a somewhat cold day, backdropped by snow settling on the distant mountains. Boiling hot cooldrink rattles around in the cupholders, dust kicks up as a car passes.
Katbakkies Pass: our steep pathway leading us through the Skurweberge Mountains.
First order of business? Get out of the car and snap some pictures of the scenic beauty that lies before us. Now carry on through isolated wilderness and unique rock formations. The radio is off, the windows are open and the smiles are relaxed.
The entrance is in sight. We are ready to experience Kagga Kamma.
Besides the fact that this is where busy movers, seekers and overloaded mortals come to relax and take in the panoramic, vast, untouched expanses of the Cederberg mountains.
This is what that brought us to Kagga Kamma. The star attraction: their open-air suites.
Here you can lose yourself in nature and become one with your surroundings; your accommodation blends in with terrain and puts you in touch with the land of the ancients and the history of those before you.
To experience The Sky Suite or The Star Suite.
To be isolated, to hear the calls of nature, to watch as the sun sets over the valley, it’s orange and pink light bouncing off the mountains in the distance, dazzling hues surrounding you. The steam rising off your wood-fired hot tub, the flames from the boma crackling and competing with the orange of the sky. The champagne ready to pop and mouth watering treats waiting to be tried, all before you settle down, cuddled up in luxury comforts while you have a billion stars to gaze upon and a million sounds to take in, the life that distracts us completely removed, the sound of cars, replaced by the wonders and beauty of the universe.
Who wouldn’t want to experience this?
The Cave suites are also a really cool option!
There are 10 cave suites. The front of the caves are man-made, while the back of the caves use the original natural sandstone of the mountains.
(Note: the shower in the cave suite was a little small, so we think someone who is tall might struggle a little.)
There are 5 Hut Suites at Kagga Kamma that are made to resemble traditional dwellings inhabited by the people of the area many years ago.
These are more suited for families as they offer a king-sized bed and a sleeper couch.
The idea of camping here is spectacular and we definitely want to come back and try it out.
There are a few camping areas, some closer to the lodge than others. Swartrug Campsite is the closest to the lodge and offers warm ablution facilities and even it’s own pool. The others are more difficult to get to, don’t have any facilities and might require a 4×4 vehicle, but that is how you access the beauty of the untouched wilderness!
They do have 6 and 8 sleeper chalets that are available to timeshare owners and DAE & RCI exchanges.
Timeshare owners also get 30% off various lodge activities.
We are always on the lookout for companies and brands that are environmentally conscious and strive for a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.
Luckily for us, Kagga Kamma has gone green! In 2013 they received the RCI Green Award which recognises resorts for actively engaging in sustainable practices.
They run off of a solar-powered system that provides the whole resort with environmentally friendly power. This in-turn reduces hazardous emissions and reduces their carbon footprint. The whole goal is eco-tourism; to preserve the environment and cultural heritage of the area by using renewable power, implementing water initiatives and even enriching local communities and families.
One bummer for a more tech-savvy world is that because of these initiatives you struggle with cellphone reception. However, we feel that it’s a sacrifice we are willing to make! Put away the phone and embrace the great Cederberg Wilderness in all of its glory. If you are desperate to contact someone, you can always purchase WiFi vouchers at the main lodge.
This helped us after we got engaged when we tried to call our families to let them know what had happened. It was an awfully disappointing – buffering and broken-up conversation, ones we can’t help but laugh about now, it was just so anti-climatic!
Us: “We’re engaged!”
Us: “We got engaged?”
Mom: “Let me turn off my WiFi”
Us: “Can you hear us?”
Mom: “Hello, can you hear me?”
You get it.
Yes, we got engaged at Kagga Kamma and Wow! What a crazy way to end the day. Byron proposing was definitely the last thing on my mind.
We were seated at the beautifully laid out table and were filming, of course, because that’s just what we do. Byron ran over to the camera and told me to look out at the mountains while he got a shot for our video. When he returned and the “video had been taken” he handed me some pictures. They were pictures of us. Pictures of us on our travels, in Thailand, Bali, Nusa Penida and South Africa. He recalled some of our favourite memories and linked them to the pictures I was holding.
You see, Kagga Kamma was so high on our bucket list that we always said once we go there, we have “made it” and are living the lives we want to live, so it was a little celebratory moment for us getting there… or so I thought.
Then he told me to turn the pictures around, which I did. There was writing on the back of all of the images I was holding. Byron explained that it was a letter and I had to put it together.
I began my sleuth work and started to decode the letter, Byron soon noticed that this was going to take me a little too long and said that if I’d like it, I can have the cheat, which I took.
I was handed a paper that had the finished letter assembled. It was a love letter. I read the letter, shed a little tear, gave B a kiss and I thought that was it.
Next I was given another piece of paper. This time a blank piece with holes cut out.
I turned the letter over and on the other side were all of the pictures I had previously looked at, like a collage. The instruction was to place the blank paper over the photos.
When I did, signboards and names in the background of our pictures turned into the words “Will You Marry Me?”
I won’t lie this took me a minute to process, I wondered if I was really seeing these words appear or if it was just my imagination.
It was all set in stone when Byron got down on one knee, just as the sun was setting and repeated the question.
My only reaction after a very surprised “are you serious”, was to leap off of the chair and engulf Byron. YES!
Then all that was left for me to do was jump up and down like a child for the next hour or so…
(I just can’t believe that Byron planned all of the images, I would have never guessed that when I was standing, posing for a photo at Angels Billabong in Nusa Penida that he was scouting out letter in the signs.)
Guests can choose from an à la carte menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also cater for different dietary requirements and even have vegan options! Whoo Hoo!
Unfortunately continental buffets are no longer a thing, but don’t fret, you can still enjoy your own continental breakfast all to yourself, it will all be on the menu, with your hot breakfasts listed as well.
Lunch can be enjoyed on the restaurant terrace with some delicious wood fire pizza or the most amazing grilled mushroom vegan burger!
This is the most exciting part in our opinion. Enjoy your own private dinner experience under the stars, surrounded by natural towering rock formations that take your breath away.
This was where we spent our evening just after getting engaged! It was so super romantic. We had a 3-course meal, enjoyed a bottle of champagne, and laughed as we called each other fiancé after every sentence.
What is really cool is that the deck is private and cut off from the main open-air boma, so you have the whole space to yourselves and you even have your own fire-pit near the deck where you can sit, relax and admire the sky. After dinner, we made our way here and spent hours talking about how Byron planned everything, how he asked for my dad’s blessing and we even made our very anticlimatic phone calls from here.
YES, a big resounding YES!
If you are interested in the open air (Sky or Star) suites, you have to come during the warmer summer months.
We visited in August, the last of the winter months, and my word was it cold! It was even snowing on the mountain! There is no way you could stay in the open-air suites, you might freeze to death!
So, if you’re planning on having a night of romance under the stars, summer is a must. (September to mid-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, while 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!
How long should you stay? At least two evenings, but I’d say add on an extra one. One night has to be spent in an open air suite, you then want time to explore everything Kagga Kamma has to offer and you want a chill day of complete nothingness in the mountains.
As with so many things, Kagga Kamma is more accessable from Cape Town, but that doesn’t really matter does it, because an adventure is an adventure!
It’s about a three and a half-hour drive from the Cape Town International Airport.
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.
(There is also a runway on site for those that’d like to use it.)
You can book directly through their site. There is a tab called “ONLINE BOOKING”.
We loved our time at Kagga Kamma. It holds dear and precious memories for us. It allowed us isolation in the wilderness and romance under the stars.
Have you ever visited Kagga Kamma or is it still on your bucket list? Let’s chat!
Disclosure: We received a sponsored stay at Kagga Kamma 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.