Important information about Bakkrans

Answers to questions we regularly get from visitors.
Please be sure to read this well.

Distance & Traveling Time to the Cederberg:

  • All visitors to Bakkrans must first go to the farm Keurbosfontein (see map on website), to collect the keys to Bakkrans. Bakkrans is an uninhabited wilderness and the entrance gates are always locked.
  • Keurbosfontein-farm is about a 3-hour drive from Cape town. Bakkrans is a further 1-hour drive from Keurbosfontein. Although Bakkrans is only 20 kilometers from Keurbosfontein, it takes 1 hour to reach it with a 4x4.
  • VERY IMPORTANT: It is very important for you to plan your trip so that you will reach Bakkrans not later than 16h00 in winter and 17h30 in summer.

Exclusivity for Visitors:

  • When you make a booking for Bakkrans, we guarantee that the reserve and its facilities will be reserved for you exclusively, at no extra costs in addition to our normal rates.
  • We undertake not to take in any other visitors while you are staying there, regardless of the number of cottages you booked or occupy.
  • The whole reserve and its facilities are therefore exclusively allocated to you, to explore and enjoy in total privacy. 

Best Time to Visit / Flowers:

  • The flower season from August to October is our busiest time. The flowers at Bakkrans are plentiful and fantastic in springtime, much like the flowers in the Biedouw valley. Spring is also the time when the veld is full of young animals.
  • Some visitors, however, visit to experience either the winter or summer seasons specifically.
  • It does snow in winter at Bakkrans, but it normally melts after a day or two. In a good year we get about 200/250 mm of rain, so for us rain is always a wonderful experience.
  • Visitors in summer time sometimes sleep outside. (If you are planning to do so, please bring your own sleeping bags).
  • The Rooi Cederberg Karoo (and Bakkrans) is actually very near Sutherland and has superb clear skies for stargazing. When it is full moon, however, the stars are less bright, but then again you can see for kilometers into the distant Karoo – a wonderful experience. 

4x4 Vehicles / Routes:

  • Only 4x4 vehicles are allowed into the reserve. Although Bakkrans can be reached with a 2x4 with a high ground clearance, we do not recommend it.
  • A visit to Bakkrans will take you over about 80 kilometres of wonderful 4x4 routes, but it is not a destination for the 4x4 enthusiast to test the off-road abilities of his vehicle. Our roads are handmade, well kept, two wheel tracks which travel with the contours of the mountains sides and we practice “compact driving” when we drive on them.

Clothing & Other Requirements:

  • Always ensure to bring along warm clothing, even in summertime, when the night temperatures can sometimes get chilly unexpectedly.
  • Although we supply lanterns, candles and small torches, we suggest that visitors also bring their own small head lights, which usually come in very handy.
  • In summer time bring a bathing costume if you wish to use the splash pool. Also, please be sure to bring your own towels to use at the pool as we do not allow our towels to be taken to the pool.
  • Please remember to bring things such as personal medication, sun block, sunglasses, hats, binoculars, cameras, etc.
  • If you plan to sleep outside, please remember to bring your sleeping bags.

Cell Phone Reception:

  • Bakkrans is one of only two small areas in the Cederberg Conservancy that has cell phone reception. Although it sometimes is a good 4-bar MTN signal, the signal is not constant everywhere in the reserve.
  • If required, and you do not use MTN service, you could consider buying a temporary (small) MTN SIM card just for your visit.
  • Since Bakkrans doesn’t get a constant signal, cell phones are only switched on when needed. Cell phones are therefore never an annoyance to visitors.     

Mountain Bikes:

  • We allow mountain bikes at Bakkrans. It is important that riders stick to the roads for vehicles and not ride in the veld or walking trails.

Swimming:

  • We have a small splash pool, which is very popular in summer, but it is not big enough to swim in. The pool is high up in a waterfall and is surrounded by high cliffs, which provide cool shade throughout the day.
  • We provide towels to use at the pool.

Hiking Trails:

  • Our hiking trails are easy to negotiate and parts of it go through beautiful kloofs.
  • Our two-wheel tracks for vehicles run through beautiful parts of the reserve, where they follow the contours of the mountain sides. We have found that many visitors spontaneously use these tracks as hiking trails.

Children:

  • We strongly support the idea of teaching youngsters about the importance of nature conservation and we also encourage children to visit Bakkrans. However, this is with the understanding that parents keep them under strict supervision and proper guidance.

Not Allowed:

  • Roof tents (or other small tents) do not fit in with the ambiance of Bakkrans and we therefore do not allow them. A vehicle with a roof tent also creates its own “footprint” where it is parked, which is not desirable here.
  • Fires or cooking are allowed at the braai area, but not in and around the houses or in the open veld.
  • Firewood may not be collected from the veld. Firewood can be purchased from the reserve manager at Bakkrans.
  • Loud music, pets, firearms, off-road bikes and quad bikes are strictly forbidden.
  • Fireworks may NOT be lighted anywhere at Bakkrans.

Special Tours:

  • We can arrange visits with special themes, such as rock art, photography, tracking, etc. Such visits must be arranged at least 4 weeks in advance and are dependent on a suitable guide being available.

Game / Mountain Zebras:

  • We have a variety of game species at Bakkrans. We adhere to the important ecological principle of keeping only game species that originally and naturally occurred in this Rooi Cederberg Karoo habitat.
  • We have Cape Mountain Zebras, gemsbok, springbok, ribbok, klipspringer, duiker, steenbok, ostrich, porcupine, aardvark, aardwolf, and many more. Predators include leopard, caracal, jackal, African wild cat, badger, etc.
  • We introduced 15 Mountain Zebras during 2000/2001 and now have about 40 animals. These animals are endangered and can only be obtained and trans-located under strict permit conditions from Cape Nature.
  • Bakkrans is part of the research area of the Cape Leopard Trust. The first leopard ever photographed by them was at Bakkrans. His home range is a massive 1 400 sq. kilometers. Our logo is from a picture of this specific leopard.

Library / Information:

  • We have a small portable “library” at Bakkrans with books about plants, animals, birds, reptiles, insects, etc, that can also be found in the reserve. Included are also reports on the geology and rock art at Bakkrans.
  • A small booklet with a brief description about the history, infrastructure and workings of the reserve is also available.     

Risk & Insurance:

  • All visitors enter Bakkrans Nature Reserve and use its facilities, equipment and activities at their own risk. Visitors must arrange and obtain their own (and for their dependants) comprehensive and all-inclusive risk insurance to cover all their possible individual and personal needs and requirements in full, while traveling to and from Bakkrans, as well as during their stay at Bakkrans. These conditions and requirements are also applicable to visitors who enter neigbouring Mooiberg Nature Reserve.

Credit Cards:

  • We unfortunately do not have credit card facilities. This is because we operate mostly from the Cederberg, where we deliberately do not use electricity in our unique old world ambiance. We require full payment to be made by way of bank transfers.

Click here to book

 

Exclusive
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.

Kontrei Audit Certification Rock Art at Bakkrans Environmental Overview and Conservation
Bakkrans in the Press Reptiles of Keurbosfontein/Bakkrans Environmental Overview and Conservation

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.

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.

Vanaf Springbok:

"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!"