Rooms: 3 river cottages with 3 bedrooms each.
Prices: R2,565 – R3,845 per cottage per night self-catering (cottage sleep 6).
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Meals: Restaurant with meals on request: breakfast R90, 3-course set menu dinner R200 (not including wine).
Directions: From Ceres follow signs to Prince Alfred’s Hamlet/Op-die-Berg, up Gydo Pass past Op-die-Berg. First right signed Cederberge - follow tar for 17km then continue on gravel road for another 34km into a green valley.
Do not lose confidence as you rumble along the gravel roads that lead through the Koue Bokkeveld Nature Conservancy to this secluded valley - it’s always a couple more turns. Finally you will arrive in the southern entrance of the Cederberg, dry sandstone mountains rising all around you in impressive dimensions – aim to get there at sunset for full-on effect. You will be given the key to your new home and drive off along a kilometre or so of sandy track to one of three fantastic rustic stone cottages. The river flows past the reeds and rock right by the cottages, clear, deep and wide all year round. You can swim and lie around drying on flat rocks. Birds love it here too. I imagine sitting out on that stoep, on those wooden chairs, looking at that view, beer or wine in hand… a piece of heaven, as they say. You can either self-cater or you can eat at the Old Millhouse restaurant back at the lodge. There are a few other cottages nearer the lodge, which are fine, but you must ask for the stone cottages, which are in a league of their own. A pristine slice of unspoiled nature, cherished by a very knowledgeable Marais family who will help with Bushman rock art and fauna and flora. Do not reach for your red pen by the way… that is how you spell ceder (in Afrikaans) and that is how you spell Jaen! Serious hiking is possible from here. 4 mountain bikes for rent.