Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is probably one of South Africa’s most unique and beautiful tourism gems, nestled in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape. It is a protected heritage and natural site and calls itself an oasis on the edge of time.
When visiting the reserve, it means stepping into another world and discovering a whole new perspective. In addition to the pristine beauty you will experience, the reserve is on a mission to preserve the property with sustainability initiatives through the conservation of naturally occurring species, preserving rock art and implementing environmentally friendly initiatives to secure a ‘greener’ future.
The reserve has endemic species, such as the Bontebok and Spectacled Dormouse and offers guests accommodation like you will experience nowhere else in the world, spectacular scenery, and absolute tranquillity, as well as South African cuisine and fascinating tours and activities.
Since its inception, in 1988, Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve has always valued and upheld environmentally friendly practices, from preserving the natural landscape, protecting the indigenous and endemic wildlife, to offering an eco-centric hospitality experience to guests. Their core mission has always been centred on developing their green initiatives and sourcing improved methodologies for a sustainable future in this beautiful space.
Continuing in this mission, Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve unveiled a new Solar Power Farm on their property in November 2022. The new solar farm provides sustainably sourced electricity to the entire lodge, meaning that the property is officially off-grid and is no longer reliant on resources that negatively impact climate change. The solar farm itself is large and powerful enough to sustain all the lodge’s needs and is coupled with a fuel-powered back-up generator that can maintain the power supply during the rainy season, meaning that Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve will never need to be serviced by the local municipality. At present, the solar farm supplies sufficient energy to 13 chalets, 15 lodge suites, 26 staff homes, as well as the reception, restaurant, bar, spa, laundry and communal areas, though provision has been made for potential future expansion of the lodge.
The solar farm project aligns perfectly with Kagga Kamma’s mission towards being a true eco-lodge, and functions alongside their many other environmentally friendly practises, such as the use of green amenities in-room and as part of their housekeeping services, the replacement of plastic straws with biodegradable ones, and the introduction of glass bottles in-room for guests.
Speaking to other conservation projects at Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, special mention needs to be made regarding their thriving Bontebok population. Of the antelope species found at Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, the Bontebok is the most critically endangered. Bontebok are endemic to the Western Cape and only a small population remains, due to overhunting by Dutch settlers during the 1600s. The Bontebok species’ numbers dwindled dangerously low, to 22 known individuals, before the Bontebok National Park was established to protect them. Over the years, the species has regained its numbers and it is now believed that the population of pure Bontebok is approximately 1000 individuals.
Over the past two years, Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve has welcomed two new Bontebok calves to their growing herd, full siblings born a year apart. Their debut with the herd naturally excited and delighted the nature guides and staff at Kagga Kamma. Both calves are healthy, display boundless levels of energy and continue to grow and thrive on the nature reserve. Kagga Kamma is home to two adult Bontebok individuals, which are dependent on rainfall to ensure a viable habitat for population growth. While the previous years did not yield enough of this precious sustenance, 2020 provided ample rain for the foliage to flourish. This resulted in the birth of the first spritely addition to the Nature Reserve’s population, followed one gestation period later by its sibling.
Preserving the region is not only important for the wildlife who call it home, but also for the rich culture and heritage that is interwoven with the Kagga Kamma story. The heritage left behind by the San and Khoi cultures has always been deeply rooted in the reserve’s ongoing mission to share this special environment with guests. Kagga Kamma continues to pay homage to these cultures that are so integral to South Africa, through preserving the rock art, tools and habits of the San and Khoi and sharing their stories and beliefs with others through experiences that inspire and connect the people of today with our soulful heritage of the past.
Speaking at a recent event, chairperson of the reserve, Niel de Waal, said, “We believe that sustainable tourism is incredibly important for the continued development of the tourism industry in South Africa and, as the stewards of this reserve, we have a duty to minimise the environmental impact of sharing this unique experience with our guests.”