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CLIFF LODGE
Cliff Lodge is a stylish seafront guest house, superbly positioned on the dramatic cliffs of De Kelders, overlooking Walker Bay...

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UNSPOILT BEACHES
Walk to beautiful white beaches in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve and swim in hidden coves.

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OCEAN FRONT RETREAT
OCEAN FRONT RETREAT
Cliff Lodge offers luxurious accommodation and excellent personal service, with sea views that will take your breath away.

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AMONGST WHALES
De Kelders offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. The Southern Right Whales come very close inshore to the sheltered deep waters between June and December each year.

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HIKING IN DE KELDERS
Cliff walks, beach combing, and hikes in the mountains around Gansbaai to explore the bird life and fynbos.

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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR ANCESTORS
Klipgat cave is a short walk from Cliff Lodge, on a beautiful beach in the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. This is one of the most important cultural assets in the Western Cape. One can visit this cave and see how the Khoisan’s way of life set the blueprint for our first steps out of Africa.
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OCEAN MAGIC
The wild, beautiful ocean of Walker Bay offers a unique eco-experience – this is truly the Kruger National Park of marine tourist attractions in South Africa! A variety of whales, Great White Sharks, Cape fur Seals, dolphins, and extensive bird and fish populations thrive in these waters.
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WHALE WATCHING MECCA
De Kelders is the whale watching mecca of the Western Cape, and has what is arguably the best land based whale watching in the world.

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Rock Art on Cape Whale Coast

Published by : Gill
On 2017 March 20 13:01

Yesterday I visited the recently discovered rock art in a beautiful cave on Phillipskop Mountain Reserve near Stanford.  This has now been declared a Heritage Site as it is the only recorded rock art on the Cape Whale Coast. Although there are many thousands of rock art sites in the Western Cape, the majority of these are clustered in areas such as the Cedarberg. Rock paintings in the Overberg are very rare. The paintings were discovered in the spacious cave at Easter time in 2016, and since then the owners - Drs Chris and Anna Whitehouse, have been working with archaeologists to investigate and record the rock paintings, and put together a management plan to care for the site.

The paintings, which depict a group of men, an antelope, and various decorated hand-prints and finger dots, represent both the San hunter-gatherer and the Khoe herder traditions which began thousands of years ago and persisted into early colonial times. This rock art not only reflects the life of the past, but also the cultural conceptions of the artists, and it is of important historical, spiritual, cultural and educational value.

The rock art is situated in a large, beautiful cave, near a stream – an ideal shelter for San and Khoe people. The cave is now surrounded by beautiful Rock Candlewood trees and the views are wonderful. Archaeologists think that the decorated handprints and finger dots are the work of Khoe pastoralists, and are approximately 1,000 – 2,000 years old. The fine-line human figures and antelope paintings represent the work of San hunter-gatherers, and are likely to be significantly older. It was a wonderful experience to see this art and how incredible that the paint that they used withstands the rain and weather over so many years! The paintings are very faint, and it’s easy to see why they have only recently been discovered.

Phillipskop's rock art site is approximately 30km from Cliff Lodge, and a 30-40 minutes' walk from the reserve's reception and carpark. The lovely, well made trail takes you up to a small waterfall at the foot of the slope near the cave. There is a short but steep path up to the cave. Good shoes are essential and a reasonable level of fitness. The reserve is open every day and a fee of R40 is charged. The paths are well marked and easy to follow. I loved the hike through the remarkable Fynbos and enjoyed the beautiful, unusual rock formations along the trail. The cave and rock art are magical and I look forward to many future visits.

 
 
       
   
   

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  “Simply this: The most beautiful view of the ocean, any ocean in the world”
David Doubilet National Geographic USA

“ From De Kelders there is a superb view over the great sweep of Walker Bay where whales flirt and laze, and white sand dunes rise in strange contrast to the blue mountains of the coastal range.”
T.V. Bulpin; Discovering Southern Africa

“…this little town is able to offer some of the world’s best boat and shore-based whale watching and unquestionably the world’s best white-shark diving. The sensational marine tourist attractions should not be the only things to lure you, however. Some of the Cape’s best-conserved fynbos adorns the mountains in the area and numerous walks and trails criss-cross it. After a week spent wandering the streets of Gansbaai and its surroundings, we can comfortably say that this, truly, is the gem of the Overberg.”
Cameron Ewart-Smith; Getaway Magazine March 2003

 

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