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Algeria’s inviting new cottages in the Cederberg offer all the elements for a memorable weekend: gorgeous mountain views, a swimming hole within striking distance and all the creature comforts you need. By Magriet Kruger

I’ve always wanted to visit the Cederberg, but I thought it was too far for a quick trip and camping too much of a hassle. But then I heard about the new cottages at Algeria and I checked the actual distance (217km) and thought, why not? And now I can say I have cracked the Cederberg, because a weekend away couldn’t be simpler.

The roadwork on the N7 up to Clanwilliam has been completed, so it’s an easy two-and-a-half-hour drive from Cape Town to CapeNature’s base at Algeria. This means you could even leave after work on a Friday – reception stays open until 21:00 at the weekend.

There are six new cottages just down the hill from reception and set away from the bustle of the campsite. They each have two bedrooms, a double and a twin, plus a sleeper couch suitable for kids. The master bedroom has enormous windows that look toward the mountain and a built-in bench that invites lounging. I could picture myself relaxing there with a good book.

The kitchen is kitted out with modern appliances (including microwave and toaster) as well as the necessary cutlery and crockery. In the lounge two armchairs and a couch are positioned around a wood-burning stove – perfect for chilly winter evenings.

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The weather was beautiful, though, so instead we spent our time on the large stoep. Protected on three sides, it offers privacy and spectacular mountain views. We lit a fire in the built-in braai and as the evening progressed moved from the low stoep walls (enjoying the view with sundowners) to the picnic table (for dinner) to the stoep steps (to look at the stars).

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You can’t come to the Cederberg without walking in the mountains. In the morning we got up early to hike to the waterfall (3 hours return), a good move since we were in shade all the way to the top. It’s quite a steep climb so you don’t want to be doing it in baking sun. This walk is well worth the bit of effort. The fern-fringed waterfall and its rock pool felt like a secret garden, a sensation enhanced by the sight of a few rare red disas.

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One of Algeria’s main attractions is the pool in the Rondegat River. The water’s clear enough to see fynbos fish darting around and on a warm day there’s no better way to cool off. We spent several hours chilling out here and would have stayed even longer if we’d had the foresight to pack an umbrella.

I felt utterly relaxed after my weekend at Algeria. The scenery was good for the soul, the walking and swimming good for the heart, and the price easy on the pocket.

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Rates

Off-peak R800 per cottage for 1-4 people, R100 an extra person (max 6). Peak R1,200 per cottage for 1-6 people. Peak rates charged during school holidays and public holidays, as well as the day before and after.

Bookings

CapeNature Central Reservations +27 (0)21 483 0190