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Why did we hand pick Sederkloof Lodge?

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  • Luxury stone and glass hideaways with warm and professional service
  • Sweeping views over a gorge from all chalets
  • Spectacular, rugged, wild Baviaanskloof location

Sederkloof Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 6 years and older

75km from Willowmore

 

-33.5668, 23.9771

About

Upon arrival at Sederkloof Lodge, guests are either taken up to the mountain lodge in a 4x4, or they have the option of driving up there themselves if they have a suitable vehicle, after signing the guest register in the main lodge building. Each luxuriously appointed stone and glass mountain chalet is carefully situated at the edge of a gorge to provide complete privacy and an unimpaired view of the gorge and mountain. Included accoutrements are a writing desk, reading lamps, a safe, candles, coffee and tea tray with rusks, insect repellent and battery torch.

The main lodge building is similarly spectacularly located on the edge of another gorge with glorious views of the Baviaanskloof mountains. There is a phone and free Wi-Fi, and the bar and lounge make it the ideal place to relax, socialise or read a book. The large outside deck, partly under cover and partly open, has sun loungers and a crystal clear swimming pool.

Delicious meals are served either in the dining area or outside, as preferred. Guests can expect home-grown salads and vegetables and organically reared lamb or venison from the farm. When guests stay three or more nights, a romantic dinner by firelight in a large sandstone cave with old bushman paintings and white quartz crystals provides for a very special and intimate experience at the entrance of the Groot Naguna gorge. Prepare yourself for a fine dining experience in the wilderness!

Activities led by professional guides include the Langrug 4x4 Sunset Game Drive, during which you can observe a watering hole where gemsbok, kudu, blue wildebeest and monkeys come to drink before a spectacular sunset lights up the skies. The Cedar Hiking Trail takes you up to the endemic Willowmore Cedar trees and into a gorge surrounded by red sandstone cliff faces where black eagles nest. Teeming with wildlife such as porcupines, bush pigs and kudus, and ideal for early morning bird watching, hiking through forest vegetation leads to the cedar tree forest.

The Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site Day Trip takes you to a wilderness area of untouched natural beauty where buffalo, rhino, eland and bushbuck can be encountered. Steep and dramatic mountain passes, deep river valleys and abundant wildlife makes this a nature lover’s dream. The Groot Naguna hike starts at the Bushman cave in the  gorge in front of the lodge and includes some amazing plant life and original Bushmen rock art.

At the Sewefontein fountains, crystal clear water flows from arthesian fountains. A wooden boardwalk takes visitors through a maze of wild fig trees, and on to an open borehole which has been supplying the local community with clear spring water continuously since 1937. Sederkloof Lodge farms in an ecologically sensitive manner and guests are welcome to visit the "opstal" to see how they farm in the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site.

Rates & Summary


6 Luxury Mountain Chalets

Each sleeps 2 adults
Bath with beautiful view
Private outside shower
Lounge & deck chairs
Most have sun umbrella

Pricing

  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above

Catering

Full board
Guests staying for 3 nights or more enjoy a special Cave Dinner

Kids

Not suitable for children under 6 years.

Why Stay Here?

Sederkloof Lodge offers six luxury stone-and-glass hideaways in the mountains on a working sheep, lucerne and organic vegetable farm. Each chalet is spectacularly located on the edge of a gorge with glorious views of the Baviaanskloof mountains, and is a short walk from the main lodge building with communal lounge and dining areas, a pool, and bar facilities. The ethos of Sederkloof Lodge is the tranquil enjoyment that the spectacular Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site offers, with an emphasis on privacy, luxury, delicious food, fine wines, and a choice of guided activities, topped off with warm and professional service.

Summary

  • Luxury stone and glass hideaways with warm and professional service
  • Sweeping views over a gorge from all chalets
  • Spectacular, rugged, wild Baviaanskloof location

Privacy

Each chalet is carefully situated at the edge of a gorge to provide complete privacy and an unimpaired view of the gorge and mountain.

Things to consider Bringing

Warm jacket, rain coat, scarf and gloves during winter and early spring.
Sunblock and hat in summer.
Hiking boots, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

Access from Patensie is only by 4X4, while access from Willowmore is on gravel road suitable for any vehicle.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming in the pool
  • Hiking
  • Rock art
  • Baviaanskloof Day Trip
  • Langrug 4x4 Sunset Game Drive
  • Cedar Hiking Trail
  • Groot Naguna Hiking Trail
  • Sewefontein Fountains
  • Farm life at Sederkloof Lodge

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Heater included
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Licensed
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Fridge or minibar
  • Fully stocked with cleaning materials

Utilities

  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • No cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Not child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Covered parking
  • Nearest shops further than 50km
  • Nearest fuel further than 50km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Personal safe

Gallery

Map

Blog

Baviaanskloof

Eastern Cape

About

Hundreds of years ago, explorers brought home tales of strange monsters. One of these was a race of “dog-headed men”, which they called cynocephali. Today, reports of this “monster” are thought to have their origin in sightings of baboons, whose Latin species name remains cynocephalus. Baviaans is the Dutch word for baboons, and the Baviaanskloof (baboon gorge) is most certainly the ideal habitat for these family-orientated apes, and for the leopards that prey on them. Both species have a difficult history with humans in this area, with baboons being hunted for their pelts and leopards blamed and shot for stock losses. 

Happily, today baboons have only the leopards to worry about, and the local farms proudly proclaim their leopard-friendliness, seeking alternative methods of protecting their sheep, such as the introduction of Anatolian sheepdogs.

The Baviaans area of the Eastern Cape is a marvel - a vast land of craggy beauty in the Karoo Midlands, encompassing the Groot Rivier, Groot Winterhoek, Langkloof, Baviaanskloof and Kouga mountains, with the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve wedged in the green valley between the latter two ranges. The Baviaans Municipality covers an area of 7 727 square kilometres, encompassing the Baviaans and Steytlerville, with Willowmore as the administrative hub. Agriculture (mohair and wool production and ostrich farming) and tourism are the cornerstones of the area’s economy. The Baviaanskloof Mega-Reserve covers 90% of the local municipality area.

Uniondale,  Avontuur and De Vlugt are towns often visited or passed through by those visiting the Baviaans area, but they are technically in the Western Cape, while  Willowmore, Baviaanskloof, Steytlerville and Patensie are in the Eastern Cape.

The R329 from Willowmore meets the R75 at Wolwefontein, which continues to Kirkwood and Addo, forming the shortest route from Cape Town to Addo. This route is generally the second choice, given the popularity of the N2 Garden Route. The Port Elizabeth and George airports are nearest to the Baviaans (about 165 kilometres away).

Visitors exploring Baviaanskloof can choose the main R332 route through the remarkable Nuwekloof Pass, which was cut through the earth by the famous “colossus of the roads”, Thomas Bain, and on through Studtis to Patensie (known as T1). There is also the more straightforward R329 from Willowmore to Steytlerville, or you can take the Winterhoek/Grootrieverpoort route (T3). One of the most rewarding routes to Knysna is from Uniondale down the incredible Prince Alfred’s Pass, another of Bain’s legacies, which has amazing views and superb birdlife, including Cape sugarbirds and rock thrushes. Unfortunately, what often happens is that places such as Uniondale and Willowmore seem like little more than useful pit stops on the way to somewhere more rugged and exotic, but these little towns are bright, quaint, quirky and well worth exploring.

Travelling on the N9 from Graaff-Reinet, the Karoo breaks out into undulating hills of scrub. Winding down the dirt roads into Nuwekloof Pass, curiosity is replaced by awestruck amazement at the cliffs of red rock towering on either side of the cleft. As you loop slowly through this rocky landscape with a craning neck, it seems so extraordinary and alien that you would hardly be surprised to see dog-headed men loping around.

The area has a “wild west” atmosphere and was once feared because of the bandits and scoundrels who took refuge in its caves - hence local names such as Moordenaar’s Kloof (Murderer’s Gorge). Baviaanskloof has some blood-curdling ghost stories linked to it and is the resting place of South Africa’s only mummy, which was found in 1999 and nicknamed Moses. He is 2000 years old and likely to be an ancestor of the Khoisan people. You would think twice about venturing out at night in this eerie place, where leopards roam in the shadows, but the brave will be rewarded with overwhelmingly beautiful star-gazing on clear nights.

The Baviaanskloof Mega-Reserve encompasses 500 000 hectares of protected land collaboratively managed by Eastern Cape Parks and is the third-largest wilderness area in South Africa. It is a world heritage site because it contains seven out of eight of South Africa's biomes, with aloes, spekboom, fynbos and 17 protea species. There are 310 recorded bird species, including sparrowhawks and jewel-like malachite sunbirds. The Mega-Reserve encompasses the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, an area of about 250 square kilometres wedged between the Baviaanskloof and Kouga Mountains, with more than 50 mammal species, including Cape buffalo, kudu, Cape leopard, mountain zebra and, of course, baboons.

The vast crenulated cliffs and unspoiled mountains, indigenous forests, and pure mountain streams, pools, and waterfalls offer secluded malaria-free hiking. Self-catering chalets, huts, camping and caravan sites are distributed throughout the park. Although this area may seem dry, it never runs out of water due to deep underground springs. This can sometimes put a glitch in travel plans because the numerous rivers cross and flood the roads. While water is plentiful, petrol is scarce and is available only at Willowmore, Studtis and Patensie.

This is a mecca for adventurers who want to give their 4x4s something to bite their tyres into. It is extremely unlikely that those without a 4x4 will be able to make it all the way through Baviaanskloof, and even 4x4 drivers may have some hairy moments. You can make it through the whole park in a day but that really isn’t something you’ll want to do, given the beautiful scenery and the natural pools to bathe in along the way.

Craggy overhangs on the route preserve San rock art and many resorts recommend trained local guides who give tours to these sites and can educate visitors about the medicinal uses of the plants and other natural resources. The locals are welcoming, extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the area and the Baviaanskloof Tourism Office makes sure that the special art and craft talents of the locals are available to tourists. The joy of this area is taking it slowly and enjoying the parched vistas and aloes and finding the little treasures on the way, such as Vero’s Restaurant near Studtis, which serves tea, coffee, cold drinks and roosterbrood alongside a marvellous garden with odd totemic sculptures made of discarded items such as dolls’ heads and old number plates.

Look out for

Smitskraal day visitors area is a picnic spot on the Kouga river banks. Visitors may swim in the river. Day visitors’ permits are available at the Baviaans Tourism Office in Willowmore, Makkedaat Caves, Zandvlakte Guest Farm, Komdomo Office in Cambria and at the eastern and western reserve gates.

Makkedaat Caves is cave accommodation tucked away behind indigenous bush on Rietrivier farm. Far from being rudimentary troglodyte fare, the caves are spotless and stocked with useful implements, comfortable bedding and even lovingly tended pot plants. It is a not-to-be-missed experience of being immersed in the stark, isolated beauty of the Baviaanskloof valley. Hans Jumat gives guided tours.

Sewefontein Community Farm boasts seven natural springs where tourists can sample the fresh mountain water and hike along the fountains. Guided tours are offered to the artesian borehole or the old wild fig-tree forest. Picnic and camping sites are available.

Middle Keurbooms Conservancy – a number of biomes meet here: renosterveld, fynbos, valley bushveld and riverine forest. Landowners have ensured the conservation of a large area, which will form a link in the Addo to the Eden wildlife corridor, allowing animals to move between the new Garden Route National Park, Soetkraal Nature Reserve and Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area.

Nature Field Guides - nature enthusiasts can learn about the Karoo with a local guide trained through the Baviaans municipality and qualified in nature field-guiding and level-one first aid. Contact, Pieter Maganie of the Cedar Guesthouse and Retreat Centre. Ask him about the Cob Cottage (an extraordinary house built entirely of organic materials) and Martha’s Restaurant.

Gamtoos River Valley - an hour from Port Elizabeth, this warm, welcoming farming area hosts Hankey, Loerie and Patensie, is the eastern gateway to the Baviaanskloof Wilderness area and offers historical landmarks, game reserves, farm activities and hiking trails.

Elands River Valley is 52 kilometres from central Port Elizabeth and is the eastern end of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve.  It offers various eco-friendly accommodation camps and other activities.

The Tsitsikamma National Park (two to three hours away) encompasses the exquisite Tsitsikamma Mountains and a stretch of the Indian Ocean from the Bloukrans River in the west to Clarkson in the east. Tsitsikamma means "place of sparkling water" and is lush indigenous forest, with ancient yellowwood, stinkwood, hard pear and ironwood trees. It has hiking and walking trails, include the Otter Trail. Blackwater tubing, canoe trails, a tree-top canopy tour and the world's highest commercial bungee jump (216 metres) are among the other attractions.

Groendal Wilderness Area has rugged terrain, streams and vast ravines encompassed by the Groot Winterhoek Mountain range. Wonderful hikes are to be had.

When to go

To Do

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