Woodcliffe is a 1000 ha cattle farm extending into the upper slopes of the Southern Drakensberg and is situated 22km from Maclear. Nearby is the remarkable Naude’s Nek pass, at 2 620m, the highest mountain pass in South Africa.
On the slopes of the Southern Drakensberg near Maclear in the North Eastern Cape, where the valleys and waterways cut and gouge their way to the sea, can be found what many describe as the ultimate ‘eco’ experience. At Woodcliffe the peaks of the high ‘berg soar to touch the sky, tumbling, cascading waterfalls laugh and chatter through stunning riverine landscapes where indigenous forests cling. Here the call of birds without number chases the sound of city life. This is Woodcliffe, home of the famous ‘cave trails’ and a sheer delights for the ‘eco’ tourist, hiker, artist, photographer and birder.
Woodcliffe Cottage: situated at the start of the trail, this modern cottage has three bedrooms with four single beds and one double, bedding and towels. There is also a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom with bath, shower and toilet, electricity, hot water, a stove, fridge and other furnishings. Wood and a grid are supplied for braai-ing, as well as garden furniture..
Tok's Cave: situated under a large, deep overhang and offering a magnificent view, this cave can be used for the first and second nights of the trail, or just for the second. With dung floors and three small rooms built at its closed end, it has a large supply of sheepskins in lieu of beds, a braai grid, a couple of pots, a kettle, lamp, firewood and water. There is also a pit toilet nearby. Up to 30 people can overnight here.
The villages of Ugie and Maclear, situated among the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, in the Eastern Cape, are surrounded by natural scenery which is grand and impressive and unforgettably beautiful The towering mountains, innumerable streams, winding rivers and large dams make this area a veritable paradise for the angler, hiker, bird watcher and indeed anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Situated on R56, which is the shortest route between the Durban area and the Western Cape, and tarred throughout these two villages are readily accessible and offer excellent and varied accommodation for overnight sojourners and holiday makers. The climate is bracing and healthy. Although cold in winter, it is never oppressively hot in summer.
Before 1750, although the Pondomisi people had passed this way during their migration south from mid Africa, the only permanent dwellers were the San. They have left behind a rich legacy in many fine examples of rock art to be found throughout the area. From 1819 onwards many tribes fled the aggression of the Zulus under king Shaka and found refuge in this area.
However they found the winters too cold, and the summers too wet and the San people rustled their cattle. They soon moved and this area became known as "no man?s land". Perhaps the first recorded white men to pass this way would be the Voortrekker Pieter Uys and his party of Grahamstown burgers on their way to explore Natal. Pieter Uys commented in his journal on the beauty of the area and the mountain that looked like a picture -
Woodcliffe Farm House Cottage - Maclear
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