|Tracking in Bakkrans Reserve|
Many visitors to Bakkrans are keen to learn more about the wildlife in the reserve. The best way to do this, of course, is to do some tracking on foot.
For us, tracking is one of the most valuable tools to manage the reserve properly. Tracks and signs in the veld show you important information such as when and where particular groups of animals feed, how many animals there are, whether they have offspring, which predators are around, which water points are utilized, and many, many more important things. It is actually possible to get a complete picture of animal movements and habits without physically seeing them. For this, you need a keen sense of observation.
Bakkrans also has huge sandy plains between the mountain ranges, where tracking is indeed very easy, even for the less experienced. Furthermore, Oom Arrie, the reserve manager, is always willing to accompany visitors.
Previous visitors to Bakkrans, gave us the following short recount of their experience of a day’s tracking in the reserve.
"We got up at early dawn on a beautiful spring morning. While we were having our first mug of coffee and rusks, we heard alarm calls from klipspringers not far away. This was unusual, it still being so early in the morning. We eagerly (wishfully, perhaps) concluded that they must have been disturbed by some kind of predator – maybe a caracal, or even a leopard? This was an exciting thought!
Another new for us was to find the spoor of an owl where it had walked in a zig-zag pattern on the ground the previous night for about twenty meters, its massive claws clearly etched in the sand. This was something amazing to see and we wondered how many people ever get the opportunity to experience this. Unfortunately, we were not able to determine for what reason it was actually walking around on the ground. Wish we could.
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.
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!"