Lodges and Resorts

ID #5180

The Baths, Citrusdal, Boland, Western Cape, South Africa.

Warm, wet and wonderful – a natural hot-water (43 deg C) spring 2 hours from Cape Town on a citrus farm in the Olifants River Valley. The climate is winter-rainfall, with the spring flower season, autumn and Winter being most popular. Water from the Koue Bokkeveld mountains seeps down through sandstone. After heating by the surrounding stone, it passes underneath the Olifants River and up on the other side, where it emerges in the kloof at 43 deg C. The water emerges crystal clear from several “eyes” (artesian wells) at a rate of 105 000 liters per hour

In 1739 Johan Cruythoff reported to the Council of Policy on raids by the Bushmen (San) he suggested that a military post be set up and manned by Piekeniers on the farm with the warm baths. Daniel van den Henghel, acting governor of the Cape, decided that the Dutch East India Company should erect a “handsome” building and thatched bathing huts for visitors to the area. Because of the distance, it was difficult to maintain The Baths in good order so, on May 15 1778, a letter was sent from the Castle of Good Hope to Schalk Willem Burgher authorizing him to move to The Baths. “Maar ook dit behoorlyk te repareeren”. In 1855 the British Government decided to sell the baths. John Lawrence Sharp paid GBP 350 for The Baths. A commission of enquiry was set up in 1895 and a doctor was celled to give evidence. He testified that, despite neglect, there was no doubt that the Olifants River Baths deserved its reputation for healing powers. The commissioners formed a syndicate and bought The Baths. They planned to build a railway line from Porterville. However the Boer War intervened and in 1903 James McGregor bought the property at auction in Clanwilliam. The property is run by his great grandchildren to this day.

Established in 1739, this self-catering resort with handsome Victorian style buildings maintains an old-world charm in a scenic rural setting. Accommodation includes:

o    Valley-View Chalets: 5 fully-equipped 2-bed chalets outside the kloof, each with air-conditioning, fireplace, private bath and bedding. Magnificent views.
o    Victorian Building: six fully-equipped 2-4 bed flats with antique oak furnishings
o    Dwarsgebou: Six duplex 4-6 bed flats with the kitchen and main bedrooms downstairs and the toilet and second bedroom upstairs. The building has a central function hall.
o    Caravan and Camping: 15 well-shaded campsites, some of which have electrical outlets but no grass. Special rates for overlanders who are most welcome.
o    Kloof Chalets: 8 fully-equipped 2-6 bed chalets in the kloof, with fireplaces and braai areas. Bedding for hire.
o    Olsen House: Six stylish self-catering flats with private baths, bedding, microwave, fireplace, air-conditioning and under-cover braai facilities.

Other facilities include a shop for necessities as well as a licensed restaurant, hot and cold swimming pools, rock pools, private baths, tennis courts, a trampoline and a small playground for children. Activities include hiking, bird watching and mountain biking. Nearby attractions include:
o    Citrusdal: the citrus packhouse, Citrusdal Wine Cellar, “Sandveld Huisie” Museum, Mountain Bike and Hiking trails, rock art and a golf course.
o    Cederberg Mountains: Algeria forestry, wine cellars, hiking, mountain biking, rock art and observatory.
o    Clanwilliam: Rooibos Tea Co-op, shoes, jail museum, graves, hiking trails, rock art, dams and water sports, Reinhold’s Restaurant, Ramskop wildflower garden.
o    Wupperthal: Historic mission, handicrafts, shoes, passes and wildflowers of the Biedouw Valley
o    Lamberts Bay: Crayfish factory, Bird Island, Heerenloggement Cave, an open- air restaurant.
o    Klawer: Wine cellars
o    Elands Bay (Elandsbaai): Verlorenvlei Bird Sanctuary, crayfish and surfing beach.

Citrusdal is on the N7 180-km north of Cape Town, which is at the intersection of the N7 with the N1 and N2. Turn east off the N7 onto the R303 and travel for 1 km. Turn off towards The Baths and travel for a further 16-km. The turnoff is well-signposted and tarred. A shuttle service for those arriving on the Intercape Bus (0861 287 287) is provided. Please ensure that you notify reception of your arrival timeously.  GPS location: 32 44 09.5S and 19 02 26.3E

Contct:      The Baths (Pty) Ltd
Box 133 Citrusdal
7340
South Africa
Telephone: +27 (22) 921 8026
Fax: +27 (22) 921 8029
Email: reservations@thebaths.co.za
Web: www.thebaths.co.za


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Last update: 2014-03-06 23:03
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.1

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