Let’s get away from it all!
A 2022 study revealed that a whopping 43% of singles consider Valentine’s Day to be the most pressure-filled holiday, with many people wishing that it was dumped entirely (pun intended). The research showed that singles prefer low-pressure dating situations, and are tired of the unrealistic expectations that society and social media place on them. The study revealed that Gen Z (60%) and Millennials (52%) feel the most heat leading up to Valentine’s Day, while the pressure trends downwards as singles age. Commercialization and non-stop advertising as well as social media hype proved to be big contributing factors to Valentine’s stress.
If you don’t have someone special in your life, Valentine’s Day is just another day, but with a pinch of FOMO (fear of missing out). At least you will be saving money, not feeling pressured to splurge on flowers or try to book a table for two, somewhere that is not overpriced and overcrowded. You can easily get away to a secluded spot with the love of your live: just your 4×4 and you! I you are partnered up, we have similar advice: get away to a secluded spot with your romantic interest AND your 4×4.
For most of us, the word “secluded” falls into the same category as “you’ll need a 4×4 to get there” – conjuring up pictures of rugged terrain and. Besides, in places like Pakistan, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, celebrating Valentine’s Day could result in severe punishment so let’s use that as an excuse to disappear into the South African “outback” (apparently this is what the Karoo is called by foreigners, and some include anything outside of the major cities, but for us it means anywhere that sedan vehicles won’t go).
In the Western Cape, you can’t find more secluded than the Cederberg mountain region. The Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve is located in the Koue Bokkeveld and is accessible by a wide gravel road (the R303), driving in a westerly direction from the R355. You will travel via Katbakkies Pass, wiggling its way up the hills toward Kagga Kamma’s rock sheltered camping grounds – perfect for romantic relaxation and digital detoxing, the latter mostly made possible by the lack of electricity and character of the camps. At Bobbejaanskrans near the start of the Kagga Kamma 4X4 Trail, you’ll find a true test of rugged camping and camping gadgets. Maybe also a test for your relationship if your partner does not share your love for roughing it, because there is no running water or electricity, and there are no ablution facilities.
The campsite is only accessible by 4X4 vehicles (of course), and the same goes for Joubert’s Werf, which is completely isolated along the 4X4 Trail and offers nothing but nature. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that there is an actual Honeymoon Suite at Kagga Kamma! The suite itself is partially obscured from view by a large boulder that hides the entrance to the cave structure, a room featuring a comfortable double bed, slipper bath and hotel amenities. If you want to test whether your partner is truly your type, share the experience of drifting off to sleep with nothing but the Milky Way overhead in the two open air suites, offering a natural rock pool to refresh in, and the other with a wood-fired hot tub. Both suites are completely exclusive and private, so honeymooners can still enjoy the tranquillity and each other’s company. You don’t have to test each other’s domestic skills too, because you can dine in the private Boma where your will be led to your table by the glow of lanterns, where a private waiter and a three-course dining experience await. At lunchtime the Executive Chef at Kagga Kamma will prepare a picnic basket that you can collect and enjoy anywhere that you like. The team is more than willing to create a moment of surprise on your honeymoon by selecting the perfect spot and laying out your picnic for you. We suggest that you grab the basket and head to the hills!
Remember to notify the reception office before your 4X4 excursion, as there’s no cell reception if you need to call for help. There are many potential turn-offs and trails and each is numbered and represented on the supplied map. The road on the section between the campsite and Joubert’s Kloof gets extremely tight and rocky, where after the trail also becomes rather degraded. On the descent into Joubert’s Werf you will encounter loose, heavy boulders strewn across the 30 degree descent. The descent is rated a Grade 4 (out of a possible 5) and is followed by another treacherous slope with loose rocks. The trail extends about 40 kilometres from start to finish, looping back on itself, and requiring low range for most of the way. You’ll need a proper 4X4 to complete the trail, but anything with 4WD will be suitable on the game drive tracks in the southern parts of the reserve. So if you have a 4WD, and your loved one (and your) are tired of the commercialised celebration of Valentine’s day… just get away from it all!
When you book your spot at the Kagga Kamma, remember to book a spot at our workshop and bring your 4×4 to us for a service or repairs before you drive south: https://n14x4.co.za/category/rmi-certified-workshop/
N1 4X4 is one of South Africa’s biggest suppliers of new, used & reconditioned parts for Cruisers and Toyota 4WD’S.