Wildehondekloof is a true hidden gem of South African resorts. This enchanting destination, with its sprawling grounds and breathtaking views, provides a haven of tranquility and adventure, and a true respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This owner-run member of the Cape Country Routes is set on 4000-hectares of magnificent private game reserve located in the Swartberg Mountains in the Little Karoo, roughly 45km outside of Oudtshoorn. It turned about to be a fabulous choice for us as a family looking for a remote getaway, not only because of its enviable location on many of South Africa’s best road trip routes but also because the reserve is malaria-free and home to a variety of animals, including Cape Mountain zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and a whole host of different antelope species.
We were booked into one of just nine luxurious en-suite rooms which had its own indoor fireplace for those cold Karoo nights. Our room faced rolling green lawns (a luxury find in this desert area), where a resident herd of bushbuck came every night to dine under the starlight, and a small river beyond provided an enchanting natural playground for our little one. In the centre of the lawns, we also discovered a beautiful communal swimming pool which we made good use of during those hot Karoo days. For bigger families, the reserve is also home to one self-catering unit which can accommodate four adults and two children across three rooms.
However, a real treat for us travelling with a young toddler, is that we didn’t have to worry about cooking as included in our package was breakfast and dinner at the on-site restaurant. The breakfast being a contemporary continental spread with hot breakfast made to order fresh from the kitchen while evenings brought forth an ever-changing three course delight of delicious local flavours. With the chef and kitchen staff also recently having undergone a cooking with fynbos course, there are also plans afoot to introduce a delicious high tea/tea tasting offering bringing in some of the herbal and medicinal fynbos varieties found on the farm.
With daily morning and evening game drives on offer to see some of the wildlife up close while enjoying the stunning views the property has to offer, as well as guided walks around the reserve, and various hiking trails to enjoy, days at Wildehondekloof are best spent staying put, getting closer to nature, and simply relaxing. And to really melt away the stresses of everyday life, you can even take advantage of a soothing aromatherapy massage in the comfort of your room.
When you want to venture further afield, a trip into Oudtshoorn is easy on good gravel roads, and there’s plenty to offer here including a visit to the world-famous Cango Caves, or a trip to see the hungry ostriches via a fun tractor ride at the Safari Ostrich Farm. When leaving, or arriving, depending on your next stop we also highly recommend planning your drive along Route 62 whose quirky shops and eateries are well worth a visit.