Budget Getaways Review
Before we get started, Gecko Creek's age policy is no kids under 16 years. If that doesn't apply to you then keep reading...
Ever dreamed of escaping into the gut of the Cederberg with your loved one, surrounded by nothing but mountains, fynbos, cascading streams and tortured rock formations?
How about adding to this office fantasy a dollop of simple luxury: dangling in a hammock on your deck, catching the dying embers of the day, taking a once-in-a-lifetime plane flip over the surreal moonscape, passing the summer heat in a crystal pool, pretending you're at work with free high-speed wifi…
Well, if you’re not calling in sick already, best dust off the oars and pull in the email sail, for Gecko Creek here we come.
Set on 517 hectares of private reserve, bordering the gobsmackingly beautiful Cederberg Wilderness Area, it’s hardly surprising that Gecko Creek Lodge is Lonely Planet’s “pick of the Cederberg".
Go for either safari tents or wooden cabins, depending on what takes your fancy.
The three wooden cabins offer king, double or twin-bed options, each spilling out onto spacious decks with mountain and fynbos vistas second to none.
Four sturdy canvas dome-tents with twin beds are set out on a spacious grassed area with equally appealing views. What’s more, you don’t need to bring your crusty old sleeping bag - all beds are made up and ready.
Nearby ablutions sport solar-powered hot showers with ample hot water.
If you can't resist regaling your traveller's tales and sharing a beer and some grid space with fellow adventurers, there’s a communal thatched cooking and dining lapa, and a large braai lapa.
While your vegetarian kebab browns over the coals keep looking skyward, as it's claimed that a shooting star fires across the Cederberg night sky every 15 minutes.
Horse riding, fishing, hiking, a scenic plane flip or a visit to nearby caves are only a few of the reasons you’d need to drag yourself away from the lodge’s swimming pool and it’s long views over the valley.
Before we forget, Gecko Creek is only for kids over 16 years - great news for couples, bad news for families.
All in all, a good spot for some down time in the Cederberg; in fact, in the words of one guest, Gecko Creek is “The best gateway to the Cederberg.”
Offering fair value, social ambience, spotless facilities and quality a notch above the camping norm, this is one Creek you'd be quite happy to lose a paddle in.
"The host and hostess are amazing people!"
(Aylean Esterhuysen, visited Mar 2016)
"What a great place, and evident that they are working towards making it more amazing with the luxury tents being built. Some minor false marketing perhaps or just misunderstanding that most of the activities are not actually offered on the farm but close by. So pretty much all the hikes and everything else is offered elsewhere and some hikes require special permits you have to get in the town between certain hours at the municipal office. Still more than enough to keep you entertained. And those moon rises in the clear dark skies. Wow!"
(Daniel Boshoff, visited Mar 2016)
"Our visit surpassed all of our expectations. We have stayed in this area over the last eight years but this camp is the one that we would like to return to, again and again. You will not be disappointed."
(Venetia Hill, visited March 2015)
"Fantastic hosts. Definitely go back. Only for those who enjoy a really laid back lifestyle. More South Africans should frequent this place."
(Eldrid Petersen, visited January 2015)
"Had a wonderful time. Enjoyed hiking and chilling around the big fire at night. Good meals served and very relaxed atmosphere. Wish we could stay longer."
(Heleen Fabricius, visited January 2015)
"A nice weekend away. Tented camps are very close set, but are very good value for money none the less. An ideal destination for groups of friends, family or company functions, less so if you are looking for a private weekend of solitude."
(Cassy Sheasby, visited August 2014)
"What a beautiful setting with rolling mountains, fynbos and amazing birds. We were a bit unprepared we didn't know that there would be no lights in the cabins so you have to bring a headlamp. You are also not allowed to braai with wood only charcoal, a bit of a warning would have been welcome as they don't sell charcoal and the nearest shop is quite far. Luckily they had a torch we could borrow otherwise it would have been a bit of a nightmare as the ablution facilities is far from the cabins. It is impossible not to mingle with the rest of the guests as you have to share the kitchen with them. You are not allowed to cook/braai at your cabin, which is not a problem but I think we were looking for something more solitary. So overall great venue, everyone was very friendly. But pack as if you are going camping (headlamps etc) and if you are looking for a getaway away from people then this is not it as the whole set up is geared for socializing with your fellow guests."
(Barbara Kritzinger, visited August 2014)
"Awesome! A magic spot."
(Sandy Deacon, visited April 2014)
"We had the most lovely and relaxing weekend staying at Gecko Creek. John, the host, was very welcoming, caring and fun to be around. He and the wolf were the perfect "pack" to spend the weekend with. All in all worth a visit and we'll definitely be back. Thank you for the great time."
(Sarah wocknitz, visited August 2013)
"Only a couple of hours drive from Cape Town, but seems like a world away! I felt like I was completely in the middle of nowhere - just what I was searching for. Hosts very accommodating and helpful and will recommend things to do in the area - if you want to. I was quite happy to relax by the pool and listen to all the birds. I'll be back!"
(Lenore Marshall, visited January 2012)
"Gecko Creek Lodge is a fabulous, tranquil spot located on a plateau in the Cederberg. Their facilities are amazing: very clean cabins/tents, immaculate showers with loads of hot water, fully equipped lapa for cooking/eating, as well as a beautifully inviting boma. Each night guests gather in the boma to enjoy the fire, try out the African drumming and exchange stories under a spectacular night sky. Owners are extremely helpful and friendly, ensuring that your every need is met without intruding on your privacy. Fabulous hiking trails both on and off the property suitable for all ability levels. Close to scenic caves, Cederberg Winery, rooibos tea farm tours, and the quaint town of Clanwilliam. Highly recommended."
(Morag Watt, visited January 2012)
"Stunning scenery, friendly staff, awesome night skies, spotlessly clean facilities, very affordable - the best gateway to the Cederberg."
(Tracy Melass, visited September 2011)
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Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Franschhoek • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stellenbosch • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein