Kagga Kamma Private Nature Reserve:
Kagga Kamma Private Nature Reserve nestles in the Southern Cederberg mountain area. My husband and I decided to celebrate completion of our part time studies with a well-deserved break, and this reserve was a perfect choice.
This trip started with a bang! As we approached the campsite, we had a bit of a hiccup/ “Voetspore” incident in Kagga Kamma reserve. Our car got stuck in unexpected soft sand, on the only road to the campsite. We wanted adventure but the last thing we needed was getting stuck 20 metres from the campsite as the sun was setting. Fortunately, it did not last too long as we dug our way out and drove out within a few minutes.
Camping at Kagga Kamma:
There are only five campsites located at Kagga Kamma nature reserve. I loved the campsite as it was remotely located away from the other accommodation on site. The night sky was spectacularly lit by all the stars. This meant star gazing like you have never seen, as there are no lights on the individual campsites.
One of the benefits of going to visit in Autumn, other than cooler weather, was having the camp area to ourselves. The facilities are very clean and well maintained. There is a large swimming pool located next to the campsite, for use by campers and self-catering accommodation guest.
The Rock Dassies of Kagga Kamma:
The campsite is located next to some large rocks, which is home to a colony of about fifty rock dassies. They are also referred to as rock hyrax or rock rabbits. They seemed to have hierarchy in this area and were thriving here. There may not be enough natural predators here to control their numbers, as we found large thriving colonies in varies areas on the reserve.
It appears that campers are feeding them, as they would come up close to us at our campsite. I named one of them ‘Tenacious D’, as it was trying to steal our food at every opportunity it could. This dassie followed us from our campsite and went into stealth mode. The next thing I saw in the corner of my eye while I was reading on the sun lounger, was a dassie trying to steal some liquorice out of a packet on my lap.
Things to do at Kagga Kamma:
There is no shortage of activities at Kagga Kamma. It is set in such a serene environment. If you are visiting to get away from the hustle and bustle, that is exactly what you will get.
There are unique San and Khoi rock art in locations on the hiking trails at Kagga Kamma nature reserve. Part of the fun is that you walk the route and find the rock paintings yourself. There are guided tours if you prefer not to go at it on your own.
They offer various other activities, including spa treatments. We booked our activities at the reserve. The food at restaurant at the reserve was quite good and there is a pub as well. The small shop at reception sells some necessities including firewood.
This was my first-time quad biking. We chose the hour ride on the grounds, as that we the only time slot available on the day. It takes you on sandy and rocky paths so you can really test the quad bike. At first I found turning a bit challenging, as I owned a motorbike previously and my head kept on telling me I was going to fall over when I turned. Within minutes I got the hang of it though and soon I was speeding along the paths at the pace of our tour guide. We managed to see some birds of prey hunting for snakes on our ride but not any snakes. Overall this was an hour of good fun and by the end I was standing and riding.
There are various hiking trails on the reserve you can choose from. We choose to hike the blue hiking trial, which was only four kilometers but it offered the opportunity to view rock paintings. It involved quite a lot of climbing over rough terrain and looking for the rock art/paintings.
The landscape is a rugged and desolate terrain. It is hard to believe that the San and Khoi lived here and the thought of hunting in heat in harsh terrain to find food, is daunting. It’s a truly unique environment, one I had not experienced before and a lot different to the Central Cederberg Mountain area I visited on a prior trip.
Kagga Kamma’s San & Khoi Rock Art:
There is a rock art site right next to the pool adjacent to the campsite. This is perfect if you want to see art with minimal effort or no climbing.
To access the other Rock art at Kagga Kamma requires moderate fitness levels. The blue hiking route on which the majority of the paintings are found, involved scrambling quite high to see them. Climbing through crevices and searching high and low is all part of the fun. There are five rock art sites on this route and we found four of the five sites.
I do recommend wearing a hat and taking water with you as it gets quite hot during the day. There are guided walks as well.
How to get to Kagga Kamma Private Nature Reserve:
The reserve is located 265 kilometers from Cape Town. Driving to the reserve involves a lengthy stretch of quite rough gravel road, well over 20 kilometres. We did it in our hatch back and it was not a pleasant drive. The bumpy ride is short lived though and the stay at the nature reserve makes up for this.
The Kagga Kamma website does recommend a higher clearance vehicle for visiting the reserve. There are potential areas on the main route within the reserve where you can get stuck in the soft sand. Keep and eye out when you are driving for potential areas of soft sand and you will not need a four wheel drive vehicle.
There are hundreds of unusual rock formations along this gravel route, especially as you get closer to Kagga Kamma reserve. At times the landscape becomes almost other worldly. This terrain was something I have not seen in South Africa yet.
Bucket list for next time:
We discovered that Kagga Kamma offers an open air ‘room’ that you can stay at on the reserve. I would absolutely love to experience staying in this open air ‘room’ entails sleeping under the stars and waking up with a view across the reserve. I added this unique experience to my bucket list!
Until next time, adventure awaits! Kagga Kamma campsite