Self catering Backpackers, R600 per room per night, bedding and towels not provided.
Situated at reception area where the Leopard trail starts and finishes, this is the perfect base to book for the night before and the night after you hike. The Backpackers consists of three separate rooms each with their own entrance. Each room has 4 single beds, solar power for lights and charging electronic devices, and a safe for valuables.
There is one communal bathroom with toilets and hot gas showers. There is a large, well equipped shared kitchen with gas fridge/freezer, gas stove top, hot running water and wash facilities. Connected to the kitchen is a covered veranda with a portable braai as well as a fire pit.
The rate is R600 per room per night – please bring your own sleeping bags, bedding and towels.
You can find relief on hot days in the large cement reservoir swimming pool that is available to all guests at Cedar Falls, fed by clear, fresh water from the mountain stream.
Please note that as we are in a World Heritage Site, we are unable to accommodate pets.
Check in is anytime from 2pm onwards, and check out by 10am. Guests are welcome to arrive earlier and leave later if you want to do walks, however please ensure you are out of your accommodation so that our team can start cleaning for the next guests.
Other Accommodation Options at Cedar Falls
10 years ago the idea of the Leopard Trail was born around a camp fire by the team at Cedar Falls. Those sitting there were dwarfed by the night sky and the silhouette of the magnificent mountains of the Baviaans World Heritage Site Reserve – a call to create something special. The next day we worked through the plan of how it could work, what would be required and how to set it up as a community project. We had one problem though – we needed some mountains to walk through.
The best routes would take us into the reserve, and for that we would need the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) to agree to the project and give us permission to send hikers into the great Baviaans mountains. We were confident that given the incredible potential of the project to combine community development, conservation and the promotion of a green economy, we could get the ECPTA onboard.
And indeed, over the next few months the ECPTA became an enthusiastic partner, supporting the idea wholeheartedly. While they did not have resources to help get the project started, the ECPTA team created the enabling environment and permissions for the project to keep moving, while also committing to see if they could help in the raising of funds for the eventual building of huts that would open the project to a wider audience of hikers.
It took us a good few years to get the hike to a point where we could get the first feet on the trail. Our community project finally received the Environmental Impact Approval we needed, and was able to borrow money to get a team of locals into the mountains for 8 months to create the trail and buy a 19 year old Land Cruiser to transfer hikers bags from night to night. During this time we were always hopeful that somehow we would find funds to eventually build huts for hikers, though for the time being the trail started with a tented camp option.
Five or six years into the project we received an unexpected and surprising call from the ECPTA. Through a partnership with the National Department of Tourism they had been able to secure funds for the building of huts on the trail! The actual construction of huts would not start for another two years, but for all of us involved we felt massive relief and excitement that huts would be coming.
The huts are now complete and are superb! The Leopard Trail is consistently included in most bucket lists of must do hikes in SA, and with the addition of the huts it is becoming vital for hikers to book way in advance to secure a spot. Through the partnership between the Leopard Trail and the ECPTA, the idea that was born 10 years ago has grown into a project that is far more than just a hike. It is a stunning example of how great partnerships can change lives.
So from the team that sat around that camp fire 10 years ago and all the people on the ground who are involved in the bigger project, we would like to say a heart felt thank you to all of our partners at the ECPTA. Here’s to a long future of creating a legacy for hikers and locals alike.
It is always great when the the top magazines call and ask to pay us a visit. Not only is it good exposure for our project, but most of the time it is good solid outdoorsy type people. Justin was a good example, willing to traipse along as we checked cameras and hiked to the Cedar Falls. What we appreciate most about this write up is that he gets our mission – to provide the base camp from which people can explore the true magnificence of the Baviaanskloof from OUTSIDE of their vehicle. Most people visiting the area stay firmly inside their 4×4’s. The true magic however is what you find when you go for a hike, jump on your MTB or get your trail running shoes on.
As this hiking guide is still on sale, we can’t give away too much. You can buy it here: https://winkel.weg.co.za/produk/go-hiking-guide-2020/
In the article author Leentjie Du Preez gives a personal account and guide to hiking the Leopard Trail.
We had an awesome stay and will be back. What an experience, we took photos but will never capture the mountains and the experience we had. We enjoyed our stay and Willem went out of his way to assist.
Thanks so much. We had a great time. Bietjie dry but very lovely and your staff were wonderful.