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4 STAR LODGE IN THE OUDTSHOORN
WESTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge presents a spectacular game farm nestled in the lush Cango Valley, right at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. Buffelsdrift Lodge is recognised as being South Africa's 6th World Heritage Site.
The rich variety of Succulent Karoo vegetation combines with a natural waterhole spanning 5 hectares to create a welcome home to a host of game species including elephants, rhino and Cape buffalo (3 of the Big Five), giraffe, hippo, Cape Mountain Zebra, Eland, Kudu and Springbok (South Africa's national animal). Avid bird watchers are treated to over 217 bird species residing in the area. The Ostrich is, naturally, the easiest to spot!
Buffelsdrift Lodge is just 7km outside the Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, acclaimed as being 'ostrich country'. The Swartberg Mountain Nature Reserve and the remote valley of Gamkaskloof ("Hell") are only half an hour's drive away from the lodge. Route 62 is known in South Africa as being part of the 'circle route' and Buffelsdrift Lodge is situated just off this major route. From Oudtshoorn, visitors travel through the Swartberg Mountain Pass, via the historic village of Prince Albert, through the gorgeous Meiringspoort Gorge, via the De Rust (a quaint South African village) and back to Oudtshoorn.
Guests staying at Buffelsdrift Lodge are accommodated in luxury tents; each equipped with en-suite facilities and air-conditioning. Taking full advantage of their prime location on the shores of the waterhole, each tent, as well as the conference venue, restaurant and wedding chapel boast humbling views of South Africa's Klein Karoo. Our experienced guides offer informative game drives in the early morning and late afternoon to allow for prime game viewing opportunities. These game drives, or bush safaris, are conducted from open safari vehicles, and a pitstop at one of the lookout points. This gives tourists a chance to capture the rich game and vegetation on film, as well as to take in the splendid views.
A perfectly placed deck is the ideal venue for refreshing sundowners, whilst regaling your travel mates with exciting stories of the day's sights and sounds. Neighbouring the deck is a well-stocked, open-air bar.
Luxury accommodation awaits the discerning guest in the form of 25 hospitable tents. Each tent enjoys a private wooden deck and spectacular views. From here, guests are introduced to many of the local game species, as they roam around peacefully. Accommodation is either Superior or Luxury.
Superior Accommodation - Superior Tents are available, all nestled along the water's edge. Private, spacious wooden sundecks overlook the dam. All Superior Tents have convenient en-suite facilities and an outdoor shower with hot and cold water - a refreshing retreat on summer days in Africa. The Karoo area experiences hot summer days and chilli winter nights. For this reason, each tent has a dual air-conditioning unit to ensure our guests' comfort through all seasons. Other amenities include tea- and coffee-making facilities, a digital safe, mini bar, hairdryer and telephone.
Luxury Accommodation - Luxury Tents are placed alongside the water, and each boast gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and the serene dam. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom, with an outdoor shower for a uniquely African experience. Hot and cold water is available. AS with the Superior accommodation, dual air-conditioning units come standard in each tent to keep visitors warm during the cold winter nights and cool during those hot summer days. Standard amenities include tea- and coffee-making facilities, a digital safe, mini bar, hairdryer and telephone.
Guests of Buffelsdrift Lodge have exclusive use of the crystal-clear swimming pool that is hidden away between the tents.
Guests are welcomed right from their arrival, when a qualified guide awaits them in the car park. This guide will collect your luggage and take you to the lodge's reception area for check in (from 14h00). Your luggage will be taken to your luxurious tent while you are invited to sip on a refreshing drink in the lookout lounge. Once you have relaxed and recovered from your trip, you will be directed to your tent to prepare for the stay of a lifetime.
Buffelsdrift Lodge is designed to promote a sense of seclusion, serenity and peace. This lodge provides a spectacular retreat from the busy city life, and a fabulous escape to indulge in belated reading or exploring the African bush.
Buffelsdrift Restaurant provides guests with a varied menu (either à la carte or buffet) that reflects the Karoo cuisine in a unique and satisfying way. Homemade preserves, chutneys and pickles are combined with dishes made using locally-grown herbs and fresh breads from the oven.
South African wines have been voted as some of the world's best. Our winelist presents guests with a comprehensive, broad spectrum of these delectable vintages. The R62 is the longest wine route in South Africa and Buffelsdrift Lodge takes advantage of its locale right off this route by providing guests with a fantastic opportunity to sample some of these award-winning wines. Buffelsdrift Restaurant is available for corporate and private functions.
About the Restaurant
Buffelsdrift Restaurant seats up to 120 guests who are invited to enjoy the cosy comfort of a grand piano, fireplace, and access onto the wooden decks, boasting fabulous views. The professional PA system enhances the venue's practical value.
The Buffelsdrift Game Lodge helipad was launched on 28 November 2006. In association with On Air Helicopters, our esteemed guests are now able to experience South Africa in a completely new way as they soar along the famous Garden Route.
The welcoming open-air bar offers refreshing cocktails, to be enjoyed at the actual bar, or on the nearby wooden deck. The dam makes for a lovely view, as do the surrounding Swartberg Mountains.
The well-stocked gift shop is located at the lodge's reception area. This shop exposes guests to the local arts ands crafts including stylish leather products and a wide array of quality clothing.
The Lookout Lounge at Buffelsdrift Lodge is the perfect venue from which guests can enjoy breathtaking views from an elevated position. The Lookout Lounge has gorgeous big fireplaces, and a plasma screen TV for sports fans.
Residents-Only Swimming Pool
No swimming is allowed n the dam at Buffelsdrift Lodge as our resident Hippos and other wildlife prefer not share this facility with guests. The swimming pool is nestled between tents to allow a private, relaxing ambience for Buffelsdrift Lodge guests only.
A Bush Safari is the perfect way to take in all that the South African "veld" has to offer. Open game vehicles ensure an uninterrupted view of the local flora and fauna. These drives mean two hours of experiencing the game and Swartberg Mountains that so aptly define the area.
Elephant Walk Safaris
Walk with these majestic beasts in the early morning or late afternoon, as they congregate around the local waterhole. This safari lasts for one hour and includes a stunning sunset experience.
Elephant Feeding Experience
Enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of feeding and interacting with the African elephant. Meet each elephant and get to know them by name, feel their tough skin and sit on their strong knees.
Relaxing under starry Karoo skies
Africa is known the world over for its clear, high skies. The Karoo enjoys good weather all year round, and the Klein Karoo seems to show off its extra-bright moon and the myriads of sparkling stars.
Trained guides lead guests on the back of one of the local steeds. This gives visitors the opportunity to get a close-up view of the local game and the surrounds without tiring too quickly.
Guided Nature Walks
Trained guides offer guests an early morning walk into the South African bushveld to experience indigenous succulents and fynbos, or to experience the wide range of bird species in the Karoo.
Summer Sundowner Trips
The Karoo boasts amazing sunsets, which are ideally viewed from the Spioenkop view point. These impressive displays of pink, orange and grey are best enjoyed while sipping on refreshing and indulgent sparkling wine or a cold beer.
Buffelsdrift Lodge lies approximately 300km east of tourist Mecca, Cape Town. Oudtshoorn is situated across the semi-arid area known as the Klein Karoo, and has been dubbed as "the capital of ostrich country", Oudtshoorn as a town is associated with feathers, fame, art, culture and the must-see Cango Caves. Hartebeesrivier is a farm that was the original site of the town. The farm owner, CP Rademeyer, donated 4 hectares of ground for the building of a church, which was completed in April 1839. This is now the addition to the previously existing community centre.
This area was named Oudtshoorn in approximately 1839 after the granddaughter of Baron van Reede van Oudtshoorn, the recently-appointed governor of the Cape. She was the Civil Commissioner of George's wife. The George residents did not approve of this new neighbour and mockingly called it 'Velskoendorp'. "Velskoen" refers to the raw-hide shoes worn by the inhabitants, and "dorp" is the Afrikaans word for 'town'. Oudtshoorn became a magistracy in 1855 and a municipality on 1 September 1863.
Oudtshoorn is linked to the Garden Route by the Robinson Pass to Mossel Bay (R328) and the Outeniqua Pass to George (N12). Route 62 (R62) is a well-known scenic route from Cape Town to Oudtshoorn.
The Ostrich Feather Boom
Ostrich farms began being set up (mainly in Europe, but also in other parts of the world) during the 1860's in response to the increasing demand for coloured ostrich feathers. This is when Oudtshoorn made its mark on the map. After 1885, the world experienced a 2-year dip in demand (as a result of the fickle nature of the fashion industry). Thereafter, and right until 1914, the industry prospered. However, since 1914, it has never really regained the initial success it enjoyed. It was during the boom that people like George Wallis, Charles Bullock and JE Vixeboxse opened their offices in Oudtshoorn and accomplished the providing of a distinctive architectural heritage for the town, reflecting the splendour of the Ostrich Feather Boom of 1860-1914.
Ostriches continue to be farmed to this day, mainly for their leather, low-fat meat, and as popular tourist attractions. Feathers are popular for acclaimed events such as the Rio Carnival in Brazil and the Moulin Rouge in France.
The Cape Floral Kingdom
The Cape Floristic Region is made up of eight protected areas, which extend from the Cape Peninsula to the Eastern Cape. This is the 6th South African Site to be recognised on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). This includes the Swartberg Mountain Range, best enjoyed from the comfort of Buffelsdrift Lodge.
The Cape Floral Kingdom represents less than 0.5% of the total area of the African continent. However, it is also home to almost 20% of the Africa's vegetation. The plant species of this area are known as some of the most diverse, dense and endemic in the world. The area has been identified as one of the world's 18 biodiversity hotspots. Fynbos vegetation is unique to the Cape Floral Region and the site displays incredible ecological and biological processes associated with this vegetation.
The eight heritage sites considered to be the most notable examples of the Cape Floral Kingdom are: