Now Open: ’AFRICAN CRAGS ECO-LODGE’, PLETTENBERG BAY, GARDEN ROUTE
Offering stunning views of The Crags and Formosa Peak as well as sparkly glimpses of the Indian Ocean, African Crags Eco-Lodge has opened for guests end of 2016. The idyllic retreat rests on a lovely 11ha private nature reserve just a 18-minute drive from Plettenberg Bay.
Co-owners Marc Bakker and Marjolijn Botje, successful owners-managers of the 4-star African Queen Guesthouse in Noordhoek, Cape Town, chose The Crags as the ideal location for their next venture. As outdoor-loving people with a keen sense for ecological sustainability and hospitality, they fell in love with the unspoilt environment, natural beauty and pleasant climate of Plettenberg Bay and the surrounding areas.
African Crags Eco-Lodge offers modern comfort and excellent facilities in an environment of immense natural beauty and ancient history. The main house offers 3,5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1 mezzanine-style bedroom (‘up in the air’), sleeping a maximum of 10 people in total (4 adults and 6 children). This space can conveniently be divided into 2 separate units. A separate cottage, with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, sleeps 4 people, and has a small lounge with a kitchenette and a covered outdoor porch. Rainwater is harvested from a dam and held in storage tanks for household use, while cooking is done using natural gas. At the main house, a veranda overlooking the nature reserve and an indoor-outdoor lounge area provide intimate relaxation space. A pizza oven in the lounge area is perfect for making the most amazing fresh pizzas, which you can top with herbs from the vegetable garden! Depending on the season, breakfast will either be served on the veranda overlooking the mountains, the canyons and the ocean, or at Peppermill restaurant, a mere 4-minute drive away. Self catering options are availabe.
While WiFi is present, it is definitely not the main attraction or purpose for visiting African Crags Eco-Lodge. Along with the vegetable garden, there are plenty of interesting places for children to play. Your kids will love the ‘Kids-Hike Quiz’, which covers topics such as climate, environment and nature. At African Crags you will find a peaceful space in which to read, play games, lounge at the natural dam-pool, or just contemplate how beautiful our planet still is. The property and surrounding areas have revealed Stone Age tools (on display) that date back to between 150,000 – 200,000 years ago. Theory has it that this is the place where our ancient ancestors made the last jump into becoming modern Homo Sapiens. If you look at the surroundings, you can see how nature provided the perfect ingredients for this remarkable event in our history.
The Crags, with its gentle slopes and cool sea breezes, is blessed with several vineyards who produce award-winning white wine varietals, pinot noir and Methode Cap Classique bubblies. A variety of great restaurants and plenty of fun attractions for children and parents abound. Whether it’s riding elephants, walking with cheetahs, or getting up-close-and-personal with birds, monkeys, or snakes, The Crags is the nature-lover’s destination of choice. If adventure is your thing, the area also boasts everything from mountain biking and abseiling, to canyoning and zip-line experiences. The quaint villages of Nature’s Valley, Keurboom and Kurland are only a short drive, and offer interesting day trips, local produce, arts and crafts, and fine dining opportunities. There are several hikes in The Crags, anything from a leisurely stroll to a strenuous day-hike, that will take you through ancient coastal forests, past flowing rivers and into spectacular canyons. Golf lovers will be pleased to know that two world-class golf courses are just a couple of ‘good drives’ away, and Polo, the noble ‘Sport of Kings’, is played on many fields in the area. Lastly, and certainly not least, the nearby beaches of Nature’s Valley, Keurboom and Plettenberg Bay offer a great opportunity to dip one’s toes into the warm Indian Ocean.