In November 2011, Ginny Swart, a YEI subscriber, won the first prize in a YEI competition – 2 nights B&B at the Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve,plus a 3-day car rental – courtesy of Tempest Car Hire.
Ginny and her husband, Pete, took up their wonderful prize recently, and wrote to YEI to thank us for the prize – she had this to say:
Beware of our furry chocolate thief!
This was the sign on the cupboard in our cave at Kagga Kamma, in the Cedarberg, warning us that the Bespectacled Dormouse was a chocoholic and would stop at nothing to get a midnight fix. We heard him rustling and nibbling one night but couldn’t spot him by the light of our torch ( all electricity goes off at 10.30 and it’s candles or torches after that) and in the morning, we found miniscule tooth marks on our bar of Nestles Albany.
Last November, we’d been lucky enough to win two nights B and B at this four star Bushman Lodge, and a car rental, through the YEI website and decided to take it up in April.
The Lodge is three and a half hours from Cape Town, the last bit on good gravel roads, and the surroundings are spectacular. Great orange and brown rocks rearing up in points from the veldt, and the Lodge itself built hard against a solid wall of rock.
We were offered a welcoming cool drink on arrival and then shown to our accommodation –one of ten caves cleverly built into the rock wall, with all mod cons including electricity, air conditioning and a bathroom. Wide glass doors opened onto a stoep with a magnificent view across the vlakte, where various buck were rumoured to live, although we never saw any. We’ve slept in caves in the Cedarberg before but this was the most elegant by far! It even had a hairdryer and dear little tubes of bath salts and shampoo.
Instead of a game drive, we opted for a walk instead. There are three trails on Kagga Kamma –The Klipspringer , which promised Bushmen paintings along the way, the Klipbakkes trail- three and a half hours, very scenic and less strenuous – and the Springbok Trail which is five and a half hours walk through the vast landscape with possibilities of spotting game.
We chose the shortest one, and boy, did we spring over those klippe! I noticed later they had described this walk as “challenging”. I should have been warned! But it’s always good to meet a challenge even if you are left crippled and sunstruck at the end, right?! It took us only one and a half hours and was a great walk, although I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t see any of the Bushman paintings en route, I was too busy thinking about the cold beers we had cunningly brought up from Cape Town in our cool box.
Once back at the car, we headed for the magnificent swimming pool which curls around a huge rock and is backed by more rock walls and edged with grass. A real oasis in the dry brown and grey landscape and a big family of dassies were enjoying the lush surroundings until we arrived. No beers have ever tasted so good! Apparently when they started Kagga Kamma, they put down ten boreholes to find water, all dry. So they bought the next door farm which had water, and these days there’s more than enough piped from several kilometres away.
Dinner was a lavish affair, with three excellent courses and the desert of Malva Pudding with Amarula custard, so good I needed to have the recipe afterwards.
Afterwards we walked back to our cave under the black velvet sky and the brilliant stars, thinking how very lucky we were to experience this.
YEI would like to thank both Kagga Kamma Private Game Reserve and Tempest Car Hire for sponsoring such a wonderful prize.