Bakkrans, Cederberg South Africa
TUCKED AWAY IN A PLACE WHERE TIME STANDS STILL, OUR HOSTED BAKKRANS ITINERARIES ARE PERFECT FOR PASSIONATE HIKERS, AMATEUR PALAEONTOLOGISTS AND DEDICATED FOODIES.
Fully hosted and under the guidance of local experts, explore the area by 4×4, visit ancient rock art, gather for fireside storytelling, enjoy delicious meals and marvel at the star-studded skies.
There are still places in the world where time slows down; places that are wild and remote, free from everyday distraction and that carry the promise of discovery. One such place is Bakkrans, an exclusive 6000ha private concession in a largely undiscovered part of the Cederberg Wilderness Area just a four hours’ drive or an hour’s helicopter flight north of Cape Town.
THE ROOI CEDERBERG REGION
The Rooi Cederberg is found on the remote eastern edge of the famed Cederberg Mountains in a landscape made up of red sandstone cliffs and dramatic rock formations weathered by nature. Named after the region’s rare endemic Clanwilliam cedar tree, it extends into both the Cape Floristic Region and the plant-diverse Succulent Karoo. The area is home to hundreds of indigenous birds, mammals and reptiles, as well as endangered wildlife species such as the Cape Leopard, the Cape Mountain Zebra, the Oryx and the world’s smallest tortoise. Early human history is captured in rock paintings attributed to the Indigenous Khoi and San people who once lived here. These are thousands of years old, as are the many artefacts unearthed in the region. The rock art sites around Bakkrans it one of the best open air art galleries in the world, while no light pollution guarantees incredible star gazing.
OUR FULLY IMMERSIVE BAKKRANS ITINERARIES
Within this Rooi Cederberg and the private Bakkrans Nature Reserve are four sensitively restored thatched stone-walled cottages – that once served as shelter to the shepherds who worked the area. These are offered on an exclusive-use basis, accommodating no more than eight people at a time. They are decorated in furniture built by local craftsmen, the rustic style complemented by luxurious linen, lush bathroom amenities and considered touches.
Our fully immersive 2-night, 3-day conservation-focused Bakkrans itineraries are designed in collaboration with Cape Town based travel company Travel Designer, and intimately hosted by a handpicked group of prominent Southern Africans – each bringing their specific area of expertise to the experience.
- Go hiking with Tony Lourens who has been hiking and mountaineering for over 40 years and who has climbed, trekked, and guided extensively around the world. The Cederberg is one of his preferred playgrounds and he will share with you his preferred walking trails and viewpoints.
- Visit rock arts with Renee Rust, the author of ‘Water, Stone and Legend – Rock Art of the Klein Karoo’. An archaeologist with a doctorate from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Stellenbosch University, Renee has been researching and documenting the San paintings found in these mountains and ravines for over two decades.
- Be enthralled by southern African stories, myths and folklore as told by David Bristow, a nature writer and environmental scientist with over 25 books – and about 100 countries to his name.
- A paleontologist and archaeologist can join the group should there be an interest.
Overseeing it all is Turkish born Ozzy Yerlikaya of Travel Designer. Listed by Conde Nast magazine as ‘One of 14 Globetrotters redefining the way we travel’, Ozzy is well known for expertly connecting travelers to the most remarkable people – in extremely beautiful places. Host extraordinaire, he also pours a mean G&T.
COOKING – AND EATING UNDER THE STARS
WHO WILL LOVE THIS EXPERIENCE?
Designed for travelers with an adventurous spirit who loves to step away from the norm, connect with nature and engage with the local experts most passionate about their chosen landscapes – from dedicated hikers to amateur palaeontologists, rock art enthusiasts to passionate foodies, stargazers and remote wilderness appreciators – as well as those simply wanting a special time off the grid.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR BAKKRANS EXPERIENCE?
Meet your helicopter transfer in Cape Town (or should you prefer road transfers are available) and head into the wild, flying north towards the Cederberg Mountains and the Bakkrans Nature Reserve where you will settle for two nights. Your team of hosts and local experts will await you. Off-roading on a 4×4 trail within the concession will introduce you to the dramatic landscape for which the area is known. Settle into your stone and thatch ‘Shepherd’s Hut’, and enjoy sundowners overlooking the Tankwa Desert, followed by dinner prepared on an open braai by Justin followed by fireside stories. In addition, there’ll be hiking, seeking out rock art, learning about the flora and fora, and an array of activities designed to unlock the area’s magic.
- The Bakkrans concession owner Johan van der Westhuizen is the co-founder of the Cape Leopard Trust, and by arrangement, guests can join a hands-on conservation experience or assist with installing camera traps used by the trust to monitor Cape leopards.
- Ever conscious of treading lightly in protected wilderness areas, Extraordinary Journeys will run a limited number of Bakkrans trips each year. This is not a place for volume, it is where like-minded travelers gather under an African sky in a largely untouched area.
- No electricity, phone signal, light or sound pollution takes you completely off the grid and allows you to reconnect with nature, and yourself.
- The Bakkrans experience can seamlessly be combined with a Cape Town, Cape Winelands and Safari visit.