By Chantal Malan, a Guest at Bushmans Kloof
I was not quite prepared for the enchanted stay we enjoyed at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, and least of all, was I prepared to leave it behind. It was the exquisite mountains and the life it nurtures in all its miraculous diversity, and the rocky sentinels that made a footpath through sacred space and whispered secrets of the Bushman in its caves, that captured our hearts.
It was the expansive reach of its boulders that laid a table for us under the stars, gave us a splendid view at dawn as it proudly revealed the antelope at dusk, and that showered us with the sound of a river carving a way through its ancient landscape, patiently posed for each breathtaking glance, imprinting its beauty in our souls.
It was the rock art excursions that invigorated us with the scent of fynbos lingering in the crisp morning air, the bush breakfast in full sight of dassies while enjoying a sweeping view of the reserve, and a walk through indigenous miracles, that connected us with the slow and harmonious pace of nature again.
It was Simone, our friendly dedicated guide, who enthusiastically shared details of the fauna and flora of the area, who taught us about the plight of the endangered species, and who powerfully recreated the world of the Bushmen, sparking our interest in the sights and the sounds of a spiritually sensitive community who revered the Earth they inhabited many millennia ago.
It was the scrumptious meals carefully prepared by chef Floris and his team, served at inspiring venues with panoramic views, that will bring back happy memories of food in which we could taste the passion and expertise of those who prepared the menu.
It was the spacious and elegant rooms that pampered us with luxury linens, spa products and a discreet cleaning service that made us want to enjoy the good life for longer.
It was the tranquility of the riverside gazebo Spa where healing hands massaged stress out of the body, which the sound of the gently flowing river carried away, that truly rejuvenated mind, body and spirit, and where therapists like Nikki give tailor made wellness treatments, making you feel right at home with their kindness and dedication.
It was on the sunset game drive that we saw the sun brush the antelope with dusky hues and bathe the landscape in a golden glow, and when we stopped to watch the luminous sun slide below the horizon, as we drank in the last of its brilliant rays over a sundowner.
As I said goodbye to the other guests on the morning of our departure , I excitedly reviewed my inspiring holiday. I decided that although I could not stay at Bushmans Kloof, perhaps I could bring the spirit of Bushmans Kloof home, committing to take better care of myself, to reach out in kindness to others, and to take care of the environment as it take cares of us.
Last night, as I set the table at home, and Edith Piaf’s voice soared through the dining room, I consciously connected to the people I cherish, the food I enjoy and the music I love. Ultimately, this is what happened: I fell in love with Bushmans Kloof and was reminded to fall in love with all the other aspects of my life again. And if you love something, you take care of it.
Image credits: All photos were taken by Chantal Malan