A little more altitude is calling

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Even the most urban-minded seeks to answer the call of the wild once in a while. That’s when a weekend at Danielshoogte Private Reserve slyly nudges us to take it slow.

If the enchanting sight of rustic cottages perched below Aurora mountain doesn’t bowl you over, then the resident wildlife is bound to seal the deal. What a variety too: the rare Cape Eagle owl, klipspringer, duiker, fallow deer, lynx, aardwolf, porcupine, baboon, leopard and 85 bird species.

Sporting bags of personality, the four no-frills cottages have indoor fireplaces, outside braai areas and all the basics. And no worries, charming host Daniel Truter meticulously ensures all is ship-shape.

With three bedrooms and two bathrooms, Aristea Berghuis is the most spacious. Dating back to 1875, the two-bedroomed Disa and Chincherinchee Thatch Berghuisies ooze character, while the off-grid Dassie – perched by its lonesome – is the perfect couple’s den.

You want it wilder? There’s that too: four campsites in a cosy cave – complete with a braai area and squeaky-clean ablution block.

Bolstered by placid views of distant farmlands and the demure-blue St Helena Bay, you can hike, cycle and swim with vertiginous glee 800 m above sea level. To boot, rare fynbos and riveting rock formations provide an almost symphonic meditation on the grandeur and power of nature in this dazzling reserve.

Rates per night for 2: R700 – R1 400; camping R600. Contact: 082 7799333; danielshoogte@dgtwines.co.za; GPS: 32°41’04”S 18°32’10”E

Photos: Andreas Groenewald