June 2021

With temperatures suddenly rising the past week and touching 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) – in the beginning of winter – we were ready for a weekend away!

But where to go … oh we know, our favourite mountains, the Cederberg!

Where will you find the Cederberg mountains?

The Cederberg mountains are located near Clanwilliam, approximately 300km (186 miles) north of Cape Town. The mountain range is named after the endangered Clanwilliam cedar, which is a tree endemic to the area.

These mountains are no stranger to us – we’ve hiked and camped a couple of times in this beautiful mountain range (you can read about it here). And Clanwilliam is also the little town where I’ve started and completed my high school career … hey, those were the days!

So, let’s go!

As we’ve entered Clanwilliam, we had some weekend shopping to do … but first, it was time for a well-deserved lunch. Our choice fell on Velskoendraai.

It’s hard to translate this word to English, but let’s try: ‘Velskoen’ – ethically handcrafted genuine leather boots/shoes (and made here in Clanwilliam). ‘Draai’ – turn. So, the restaurant is named after a well-known shoe that is made locally and it’s on the turn as you enter Clanwilliam 😊.

Here is an example of Velskoene – made by Strassbergers Shoe Factory in Clanwilliam (Photo credit: Strassbergers)

Lunch at Velskoendraai

Velskoendraai is a farmstall and restaurant in one and a great place to visit. They’ve got a wonderful gift shop and yummy home-made preserves (such as jams, baked rusks and cookies).

As it was a lovely sunny day, we’ve opted to sit outside to enjoy our lunch. Their spinach and feta quiche, served with a side salad, was really tasty – perfect to start a lazy weekend away!

A healthy lunch
I had to laugh at this saying …

After our shopping was done, we’ve got on the gravel road to travel the short distance towards Rondegat.

Rondegat Cottages

We’ve decided to stay at Rondegat Cottages – situated on a farm, about 13km (8 miles) from Clanwilliam and next to the Clanwilliam dam. We’ve booked a beautiful self-catering cottage with amazing views.

Our view from the front porch

To our surprise, there were no (or very little water) in the dam going towards Rondegat. Charl, the owner of Rondegat, explained to us that they were waiting for the first hard winter rainfall to fill the dam to the shores.

We did bring one kayak along … oh well, with a view like that, we did not really mind … maybe we can explore our surroundings then. It shows, you must always have a plan B!

Our cottage with its wonderful front porch
A big green lawn – it’s like an oasis next to the dry dam

Our cottage is minimalistic – just the way we like it! But it had everything we needed … great bed, bathroom with a shower, fridge and stove (though, we might use the outside fire pit more than the stove 😉). And no TV … the best part for us, because there is an amazing view to enjoy after all!

Our bedroom – that bed is amazing!

We’ve decided to take the short walk down to the dam (or where the water is supposed to be). There are nice ‘braai’ (barbeque) facilities under trees and the perfect spot to relax when the dam is full.

We’ve came across this beautiful tree
The floodplain in the last light of the day
Looking back towards our cottage on the hill, between the high trees

After a day of travelling and experiencing such a glorious evening, it was the ideal time to light a fire and have some steak on the coals.

A fire on the first evening at Rondegat
The sun finally sets behind the mountains

While enjoying the absolute silence next to the fire, we’ve decided to take a drive into the Cederberg mountains tomorrow. We want to visit a famous South African poet’s grave, pay a visit to the historical village of Wupperthal and find the ‘soldaatkop’ (soldier’s head) … if we can find it between all the magnificent rocks in the mountain!

What a magical first evening at Rondegat

Rondegat Weekend (Day 2) will continue here

Categories: South African Break Aways


  1. We would love to have 30 degrees in our summer! Take a look at our latest blog 😆Looks like a great weekend trip, jealous of the BBQ 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • My goodness, I’ve just read about your ‘summer’ in the UK … to be honest, that would be very difficult for me 😳. We had a great time – love going to the Cederberg mountains and it was the perfect weekend (blue skies and lots of 🌞).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 30 degrees in winter, I think I need to emigrate! We’re enjoying some lovely, warm (for us) sunny days right now but we get excited when the Mercury reaches 22! At least we’re experiencing long days as it’s light here until 10.00 p.m. Your cottage looks idyllic and the pool very inviting. As you say, there’s no need for television when you’re somewhere so beautiful! Hope your week is going well. Marion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha Marion 😁, I think we were lucky with this hot weekend … we are now back at 18 degrees. Oh yes, I’ve heard about your lovely long days (that is not the case here right now) and like you’ve said, at least you can enjoy that. It was such a great weekend, loved our cottage and the peace & quietness.
      Thanks for reading and wish you a good week as well. Corna

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely spot. The pool looks sublime (30-35 degrees daily here in Belgrade and not a pool in sight), while the porch and views look equally wonderful. Looking forward to your mountain adventures…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Leighton, we were lucky to find this place … ahh, that pool (who thought we would enjoy this in winter?) We love the Cederberg mountains – it’s hard to capture the beauty on camera, but we hope you will enjoy our next post as well. Thank you for reading and your comments … now, I hope you find a swimming pool soon somewhere in Belgrade!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was wondering if you were complaining or bragging with 30C in the winter😊 Looks like a nice retreat. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You always go to the most amazing places!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s always great to just get away. You weren’t kidding about how you like to make a fire outside. What a lovely way to end the day and enjoy the transition from dusk to evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a gorgeous-looking cottage to stay in and with such a view! I can’t believe your winter temperatures – we has a few summer days around that temperature last week but then it plummeted and apparently in some parts of the UK the summer solstice as colder than last winter’s one had been, around 13 degrees! Even in the south in London we only managed 16 earlier this week, although today is better at 21 degrees 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That looks brilliant. The silence,,,divine. And the cottage too, without TV. I love mountains…shall be looking for part 2.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what we’re always looking for in a weekend away … silence and peace … and to see the stars clearly in the sky! Our mountain adventure will be on our blog within the next day or so – I’m sure you will enjoy the scenery 👍🏻. Thanks for reading and your lovely comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I really like the cottage you stayed at. It has everything needed but still minimalistic as you say.

    When I flew from Cape Town to Kruger a few years ago I was surprised that South Africa has mountains with snow. Looking forward to more beautiful scenery and surprises from your trip. 😊 John

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading John. Yes, that cottage was just perfect … you don’t need a lot to have a great time 😉.
      It is quite common to see snow on the higher mountains in South Africa. We even have a ski resort (Tiffindell), located in the Southern Drakensberg … but of course nothing like those you have in the US ☺️.
      I’m sure you will enjoy our next post – the Cederberg mountains are pretty special with its beautiful rock formations.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Looks like a real little oasis! My mom and aunt had those veldskoen, exactly those blue ones. 😜💞

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lees nou eers jou pos! Was al eenkeer in Clanwilliam. Die weer was so ongelloflik daardie naweek. Reen al die heeldag hier by ons…wonder of daardie dam darem al voller is?

    Liked by 1 person

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