|Bakkrans Nature Reserve|
32º24.50’S / 19º21.43’E
"Real old-style veld cottages"
EXCLUSIVE PRIVACY: Bakkrans Nature Reserve is a unique Cederberg wilderness offering, not repeated anywhere else in the Cederberg – your own private sanctuary when you are visiting. When you reserve accommodation at Bakkrans, we guarantee total exclusivity to your group. We undertake not to accommodate any other visitors in the reserve while you are staying with us, regardless of how many cottages you occupy. The entire reserve and its facilities are therefore allocated to you exclusively, to discover and enjoy at your leisure.
Bakkrans Reserve is a remote and little known 6000 ha wilderness area in the rugged Rooi Cederberg Karoo Park, with magnificent mountain ranges and a great variety of plant species, indigenous game, birds and other wildlife. Its earlier human history is captured in rock paintings that are thousands of years old. Artefacts that are thought to be ±100 000 years old have been found here.
The reserve is a pristine, uninhabited environment and you will not encounter any other tourists, tourist lodgings or other residential buildings anywhere while exploring the reserve, whether you are hiking, mountain biking or while on scenic game drives.
A visit to Bakkrans is very far removed from your everyday tourist fare. The grouping of stone houses at Bakkrans occupies a tiny and restricted footprint in the reserve. They are nestled amidst many rock art paintings on spectacular rock formations and surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. The houses are traditionally thatched, stone-walled veld cottages, built with materials that were mostly obtained from the reserve. We have furnished them to reflect the lifestyle of herders, who stayed in this area during a bygone Cape frontier era. In all, the accommodation here is unpretentious, but comfortable with crisp white linen. Please also view our picture gallery and Virtual Tour for more detail.
The "bathrooms" (for each separate house) are designed in such a way that you can have a grand 100 kilometre open view across the greater Karoo and enjoy a real sense of freedom while taking a shower. We have taken great care to do the building work with a light footprint and not disturb the environment. Please continue reading below the picture gallery...
NOTE: This picture gallery displays location authentic pictures. All the pictures were exclusively taken from within Bakkrans Reserve.
Click on the main picture for a description or click on the 'i' icon for more info.
We use open fires and gas for cooking. You can therefore prepare food in the traditional way, using traditional methods, which is always a highlight for visitors. Lanterns and candles are used for light.
You can partake in various activities. Game and scenic drives can be taken during the day. There is also opportunity for photography, bird watching, game tracking, leisure walking, star gazing, plant and flower spotting - or simply just sitting somewhere quiet to soak up the silence and clean air. Night drives can be taken to track leopards and other nocturnal animals.
Our Geology & Rock Art Trail takes you to fossils of the very first tiny trees that grew in this area ±360 million years ago, as well as different sites with rock art that are thousands of years old.
When walking the Leopard Trail you can observe a research site (cameras) of the Cape Leopard Trust, as well as an old stone cage that was used in earlier years to capture leopards. The trail is well frequented by leopards. Bakkrans was the very first research site of the Cape Leopard Trust, where they also photographed their first leopard.
A visit to Bakkrans will take you over about 80 kilometers of wonderful 4x4 routes, but it is not a destination for 4x4 enthusiasts to test the off-road abilities of their vehicles. Our roads are handmade, well kept, two wheel tracks which travel with the contours of the mountainsides and we practise “compact driving” when we drive on them. If visitors don’t have a 4x4 available, they can travel to Bakkrans together with the reserve manager in his Land Rover Defender from our farm in the Cederberg.
Bakkrans is the only spot in the Cederberg Conservancy that has limited cell phone reception and it is possible for you to make contact with the outside world if really necessary. Although it sometimes is a good 4-bar MTN signal, the signal is not constant everywhere in the reserve and you would therefore only switch on your cell phone if indeed you really need to make a call. Visitors are therefore never disturbed by cell phones.
Bakkrans is a founding member of the Cederberg Conservancy and the Rooi Cederberg Karoo Park. We have no inner fences in the reserve to control and obstruct the free movement of our game. Where we were able to convince some of our neighbours, we have opened corridors in our border fences to allow all small game unhindered movement between our properties. The only game that cannot access these corridors are our Cape Mountain Zebras, which are an endangered species and must be kept safely within the borders of Bakkrans Reserve. Please read to get a broader sense of Bakkrans Reserve and our conservation ethos. The whole infrastructure of the greater reserve, as well as all tourist facilities, is maintained by employing local workers and craftsmen exclusively, thereby ensuring that the employment benefits which flow from Bakkrans, always stay within our local communities.
Facilities & Services Supplied
Tariffs and Terms
Reservations and Payments
At our Red Cederberg accommodation destinations you don’t share your facilities, space or privacy with any other tourists. When you or your group visit any of our tourist destinations, it is allocated to you exclusively, at no additional cost above our normal rental rates.
From Germany, a Geographist says:
We are back from our 6 weeks adventure trip through South Africa and Namibia. We made nearly 3000 digital photos and many video films.
We saw a lot of very nice places and very nice landscape, but one of the highlights was Bakkrans with the stone houses. Never before I was on such an isolated and quiet place - and as a geographist I have seen a lot of places in the world. That is what I love, because you will not find it in Europe and even in southern Africa there are less and less places like your Bakkrans. This was the 10th time within more than 40 years that we visited southern Africa and every time all the nice places are more and more crowded.
So thank you very much again that we could stay in your brilliant restored stone houses. Perhaps you can print the photo and give it to Arrie, he is a very nice man. He showed us a lot of the landscape, several animals and the bushmen paintings.
A letter from Cape Town architects:
"Bakkrans is such a fantastic place, we so enjoyed every aspect of it. The attention to detail is so subtle and so appropriate to the site. I took many photos of the wonderful landscape, the cottages, even the catches on the windows.
It was also amazing to be able to have exclusivity. Arrie is a most special person, and he amazed me, rescuing drowning bees in the water troughs! He is very discreet, but a comforting presence to have around.
We enjoyed also the information book and the style in which it is written. The modesty of the way you have done things is outstanding."
Visitors from an outdoor magazine wrote:
"What a hidden gem Bakkrans Reserve turned out to be for us, an earthy place, fortunately not spoilt by offerings of excessive luxury.
We all enjoyed the opportunity to explore this beautiful landscape at a gentle pace, setting our own timetables. We particularly enjoyed walking the Leopard Trail, and the stars at night were absolutely amazing!
We have to commend you for allowing the local craftsmen freedom to express their “hand-made” mastery when building and restoring the houses. Their unpretentious styling, together with the sensitive layout, allowed Bakkrans to evolve into something very special indeed.
Your light footprint is an example of responsible tourism to many in the industry. Well done!"
From Cape Town, a seasoned traveller writes:
“Over many years I have travelled more than 200 000 kilometres in and around Africa. I was stunned to find a place like Bakkrans, hidden right here on my doorstep in the Cederberg Karoo – a place with truly spectacular natural beauty and unspoilt serenity, unsurpassed anywhere else around here.
My stay at Bakkrans was filled with an overwhelming sense of spirituality and appreciation for the greatness of our creation. Thank you for making it possible for me to share this wonderful place with my family.”
From Camps Bay, Cape Town:
"We have just returned from our third visit to Bakkrans. Thanks again, for sharing this very special place with us. We so much enjoy the freedom and clean air. What we find most pleasant, is that there is no need at all for us to get into our vehicles at any time to explore this beautifully sculptured landscape.
The klipspringer family spent a lot of time amongst the houses and we were amazed at how nonchalant they were. The youngster can only be a few weeks old, but is already an expert on the rocks.
Please let us know when next the black eagles are nesting in the waterfall as we would love to witness that".
And from Johannesburg:
"Thank you for a unique Cederberg experience. We spent a peaceful weekend knowing that the whole reserve was ours to enjoy exclusively.
We just loved the authenticity of Bakkrans, especially since it is without the usual hi-tech facilities found everywhere else. Please don’t change this formula!"
Thank you for letting us visit this very special place. We’re hoping to return soon.
"Ons ry al vir jare deur die Cederberg en kon nie glo dat ‘n plek soos Bakkrans al die tyd daar weggesteek is nie. Die aardsheid en eenvoud is fantasties om te ervaar.
Komende vanaf Springbok, was ons aangenaam verras om al die blomme op Bakkrans te sien.
Wat ‘n fonds! Ons kom definitief weer!"