Clanwilliam, who knew.

So, why was going to Clanwilliam, taking the 3-hour drive, braving it in 40 degrees, and almost being eaten alive by the fire breathing ants totally worth it? Here’s why.

Firstly, why Clanwilliam? Well, we wanted to go on a little road trip over a long weekend and decided to create our own long weekend over Valentines Day (as it fell on a Friday.) So we Googled a few places and then decided to try our luck on Airbnb and we were not disappointed.

After debating on whether to venture East Coast towards Bettys Bay and Hermanus or to go North towards Matjiesfontein – we ended up going West and hitting up Clanwilliam. We found this absolute gem on Airbnb called Sugarbird Guest Lodge and we were sold.

We decided to make the most of the long weekend, so we booked kayaking on Friday morning, with Atlantic Outlook again, before we ventured off into the abyss.

So glad we did, as that morning we saw dolphins, two whales, and an extremely playful seal.

atlantic outlook

atlantic outlook dolphins

We then hit the road. It took a while. The directions said to follow the highway for about 230km and then follow a dirt road for 15km and take the first right, brilliant. We ate all our padkos before we reached Canal Walk, and then we debated stopping at a small cafe about 2km past Porterville but decided we enjoy living a bit more than eating.

We eventually found the farm, it was at the dead end of the dirt road we were told to follow for 15kms – ideally, if we were told to drive to the end, we wouldn’t have contemplated turning back 25 times after not finding the farm after what we were sure was further than 15km.

The lodge was superb. The pool was exactly how we thought it would be, and it made for the ideal dip in the heat, as well as a spot to snack and consume the champagne we brought.

Our first evening we spent at a pool called “Paradise” where we had a small picnic and finished off the champagne. Then we headed back to the lodge and cooked up a storm.

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The next morning was a slow one, where we cooked a macro mixes nana bread, and made a fruit platter with doughnuts from Scheckters Raw (the best doughnuts in Cape Town hands down) and of course, champagne. We spent most of the day relaxing with our new friend, the local Jack Russell, reading and spending time in the pool.

clanwilliam chilling

Overall it was one of the best weekend aways, it was very holistic and it was great to get out of the city to just enjoy the silence in nature. I would highly recommend spending a night or two at this hidden gem in the West Coast.

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Let me know where your favourite local retreat is!

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