Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge

Posted by Matt Sterne on 5 March 2019

It’s dusk at Cederberg Ridge and guests gather on the newly-laid lawn to savour the spectacle. But instead of looking towards the sunset, we turn our backs and watch the orange mountains take on an amber glow, as if they’re submerged in honey.

The main house has a dining area, library, lounge and spa – and a luxuriant carpet of lawn in front. Image: Mathew Sterne

The ridge we’re on is a ripple on the great tidal wave of the Cederberg range. Pepper, quiver and fever trees are scattered around the wild garden. Between us and the mountains lies Spitzkop, which I explored on a guided walk that afternoon. We found old abandoned farm cottages, Cape leopard tracks and rocks painted red with lichen.

The main house is made from local stone and has beautiful, large glass gables to let in the light. The nine rooms – most of them separate from the main building and opening onto the veld – are understated but spacious and luxurious, with outdoor showers and baths with a view.

Image: Mathew Sterne

With a firepit for stargazing, the lodge has a bush feel about it. ‘I want it to be a very homely sort of place, where people can relax and kick off their shoes,’ says owner Kate Bergh.

She started her tour business 25 years ago and this lodge is the flowering of a long-held dream. ‘We’ve always tried to promote the Cederberg, but it was unknown compared to the tourist routes. People come here and see the big open spaces and aren’t quite sure what to do. So our idea was simple – you just get yourself here, or we can even pick you up from Cape Town, and we’ll take care of the rest and show you the Cederberg.’

Guests can go on guided walks, a tour of the High Cederberg, a rock-art tour, a day on a boat out on the Clanwilliam Dam, or a trip down to the coast with a stop at a rooibos farm on the way. This is the tea’s heartland, after all. There’s even a café in town where visitors can taste 100 variations of rooibos. ‘There’s a lot to do here,’ Kate says, ‘although we’ve found that many guests just like to drink wine by the pool and admire the view.’

The 14-metre pool is a favoured hang-out. Image: Mathew Sterne

Best feature: The food. Chef Paul Wakelin sources local flavours, and his love for developing new recipes shines through in his meals. All the wines come from within an 80-kilometre radius, too.

Cost: From R1,895 per person sharing DBB. The ‘local is lekker’ special for SA residents gives 30% off a booking 30 days prior to travel, with a minimum two-night stay.

Contact: 087-151-4520, cederbergridge.co.za

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