The Storytellers, acommodation in Rocklands, Cederberg - rocklands

Dassie Den

Dassie Den is our largest glamping unit. Uniquely situated with unparalleled views of the Rocklands cliffs, it includes a fully furnished luxury tent, a covered eco-kitchen and dining area, fabulous reclining chairs, and a bathroom featuring a restored Victorian tub and art deco dresser. The unit is completely off-grid, but does have hot water (by wood burning "donkey"), a gas cooker, a gas fridge and solar lighting. 

Rates are R750 for the unit in 2018. 

Towels, linen, gas and wood for the donkey boiler and the braai are provided. With one double bed, the unit is ideally suited to a couple, but it has a very comfortable sleeper couch which is suitable for one adult (two if willing to be cosy!), or two children.

If additional space for one extra adult/teenager is required, the furnished pop-up safari tent can be booked for an extra R120 setup fee. Please let us know well in advance as we currently only have one available. 

Glamping accommodation

Peaceful, off-grid luxury in the Agter Pakhuis Valley, Rocklands, Cederberg.

Our aim is to create, for our guests, a gentle yet authentically close to nature experience of the northern Cederberg. In keeping with our own ideals, we’ve kept everything very simple, organic and ecologically sustainable, but at the same time, comfortable and cosy. 

We care for our accommodation and our guests personally. We built the units ourselves, we do all construction upgrades ourselves and we clean and maintain them ourselves. In short, we take a hands on approach to our accommodation offering, so you an rest assured that we are here to ensure you have a memorable Cederberg experience.

Our three units are positioned without line-of-sight to ensure your privacy and peace of mind for the duration of your stay. All of our units are furnished with one queen size bed and one comfortable sleeper couch, which is made up in an extended section of the tent (a separate "room"). The sleeper couch is intended for one extra adult or two children, but can sleep two adults if you are willing to be cosy! On request, a pop-up safari tent (furnished) can be set up as extra space for a single adult or two children / teenagers (this option is available for a once-off surcharge of R120). This option must be booked in advance as we only have one available at this time.

Our accommodation is off grid. Lights are solar powered and hot water is provided by either a wood-fired "donkey" boiler (Porcupine Place and Dassie Den) or a gas geyser (Tortoise Terrace). All of the units have private bathrooms with either just a shower (Porcupine Place and Tortoise Terrace), or a shower and an antique claw bath (Dassie Den only). The three tents are equipped with simple gas-powered kitchens and enough cutlery and crockery for your stay. We also supply all bed linen and extra blankets; handmade organic soap and toilet paper; as well as matches, firelighters and firewood. 

What about connectivity? We don't have wi-fi at our units or our home. We do, however, have a small office next to our house, where a high-speed LAN-based internet point is available to guests, free of charge, where you can privately plug your laptop in (you can also charge all your cameras and other devices here). In addition, the whole of the Agter Pakhuis Valley has very good MTN data reception. Simply purchase an MTN SIM card for 40c and you're good to go!

We also have a plugged-in freezer in our home to allow guests to store additional meat or other frozen foods, should you have more than can go into your fridge/freezer in the unit. 

Our accommodation is pet friendly, provided your animals are well socialised with other animals.

 

Storytellers Trading Post

...a store that tells a story

Why Storytellers?

Well, it started simply, as an acknowledgement of the way in which knowledge was passed down by the Bushmen and later, the Khoi people of this region. They would gather around the fire and tell stories about the plants, the animals and all of creation.  They also told stories through their art (which may be found on rock faces and cave walls) and in the form of dance – an expressive and energetic form known as the Nama Riel. 

But as we’ve evolved our life on the farm, a new chapter of the story has started to tell itself; a story about working with plants, listening to the animals and experimenting with organic, communal gardening. About foraging – not just for food but also materials for building, furniture and general creativity. About safari tents and recycled pallets. About bouldering and ethnobotanical studies as vehicles for personal growth. 

Storytelling is not just a way of passing down knowledge. It is also a way of sharing ideas; of postulating different ways, as it were. We wanted to create a space to share our story, to have it grow interactively, and to allow people to take a piece away with them. 

Welcome to Storytellers: we have now divided our space into two:

  • a permanent "Trading Post" where you can buy organic skin and body care, herbal salts, pickles and preserves from the farm, superfood snacks, eco-gear for the outdoors, and many more interesting goodies, and
  • a pop-up "Story Space" for interactive learning events, workshops, market days and more.

The Trading Post may be found near the plateau section of the Rocklands boulders on De Pakhuys farm (see pic above). The pop-up Story space is also on De Pakhuys, near the Dihedral boulders. See pic below.

 

Opening hours:

Storytellers Trading Post -Monday to Friday, 09:00 until 17:00, Weekends by indicated time. 

Story Space, next opening: Saturday 29 August 2015.

13:30 – 15:30 :: Interactive learning session in which we will be making jewellery from crystals and other "found objects". It will be aimed at the Rocklands Rangers climbning school children (and the primary language will thus be Afrikaans. All are, however, very welcome. 

 

 

The Place

Nestled amongst the world-famous boulders of Rocklands in the northern Cederberg, is a small piece of paradise. Here, amidst the lizards and the dassies, we are working to create, for our visitors, an authentic interaction with the Cederberg wilderness. Inspired by the rocks, the plants, the stories the animals leave behind, the intensity of the weather and the spirit of the bushman people that came before us, our intention is to continue the narrative; to invite people to come and experience this world - unplugged and unadorned.

To this end, we have created three glamping accommodation units, all of them tucked away in their own space, virtually inside the wilderness area. The units are off-grid, but nonetheless equipped with all the amenities one might need, even for a long term stay. Click here to find out more about the accommodation or here to book.

Another important part of our own narrative is the work we are doing with plants - the kind one grows to eat, AND the kind that grow in the wild. Our ongoing research on plants in the wild is starting to bear fruit in the form of a growing bank of exploratory pages on the plants of the Agter Pakhuis and the ways in which they can be used. We also have a range of natural skin and bodycare products, using indigenous medicinal herbs, called Pakhuis Botanicals. More about that here. But we don't just forage for plant foods. The strange white nets that you will see in our fields protect an organic food garden and mixed orchard that is slowly but surely taking shape. 

For visitors to this place, there is an extraordinary beauty to be experienced, any time of year, as well as many interesting and exciting things to do.

  • Bouldering and sports climbing: We are right in the heart of Rocklands, as close to the boulders as you could possibly be.
  • Exploring rock art: There are hundreds of rock art sites in this area. Many are very sensitive and not promoted to the public, but others can be accessed with a guide, whilst our neighbours, Travellers Rest, have a marked trail of sites that can be visited. Don't forget to visit the Living Landscape project, with their archaeological time machine.
  • Hiking:While the central Cederberg is better known for its hikes, the Northern Cederberg and Agter Pakhuis boast some beautiful walks as well as some strenuous hikes.
  • Fascinating historical explorations: The shady colonial history of the Western Cape in the last 300 years was a rude interruption to a rich cultural past of at least 8000 years in this region, probably more like 30 000. Both aspects of regional history, ancient and modern, have left us with an heritage to explore when you are here - from the old mission villages with their beautiful way of life, to the historical town of Clanwilliam itself.
  • Flower-spotting: Pretty much any time of year, with the possibly exception of February. The incredible biodiversity of the Cape floristic kingdom ensures that every time you go out hiking, there will be something new to see.
  • Swimming in natural water: De Pakhuys farm, on which we are situated, has a magnificent swimming dam, which is continuously fed by the Brandewyn river. Even at the peak of summer, there are gorgeous cold currents. The dam is also clean and safe. There is also a waterfall where it is safe to swim, as well as a series of rock pools which are enjoyable, generally until the beginning of December. Of course, the Clanwilliam Dam, 30 minutes away, offers major watersports and competitive fishing. A day at the beach is only an hour's drive away. And last but not least, most long term visitors will generally make at least one pilgrimage to the famous hot water springs at The Baths in Citrusdal.
  • Learn about rooibos tea: Rooibos tea is endemic to the Cederberg, and there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself.
  • Taste and buy wine: The Cederberg region is dotted with wine farms from high up in the mountains to the shores of the West Coast itself, producing everything from rich, full-bodied reds to crisp whites. Our neighbouring farm, Alpha Excelsior, produce their own reds and offer wine tasting. Further afield, you can visit the world-famous Cederberg Wines, the uniquely situated Friar's Cove, Sir Lamberts and Kookfontein - to mention but a few! 
  • Experience Clanwilliam culture: The town of Clanwilliam is one of the first ten towns established in South Africa since the arrival of the Dutch settlers in 1652. A settlement began where Clanwilliam now stands sometime in the late 1700's, and this settlement was officially named Clanwilliam in 1814. Influences from this period can still be seen today in modern local cooking, architecture, art and dance.

Views of the area

Our three glamping units are situated on De Pakhuys Farm, Agter Pakhuis Valley, Rocklands, Cederberg. 


Rocklands has become world renowned as one of the best bouldering destinations in the world. Here is a short video clip, filmed in 2014 by Red Point Movies, showcasing the beautiful scenery and some famous bouldering problems.


 

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