So how did our family get here? Here's a potted hsitory of Kleinvlei Farm where the lodge is situated, one of the oldest farms in the region.

The town of Clanwilliam, and its surrounding farms, was settled in 1807 by some Irish families.  In fact Clanwilliam, in the Cederberg Mountains, is the 7th oldest town in South Africa. (The area had originally been explored by one of Anton's ancestors, Oloff Martinus Bergh back in the late 17th century.) 
The Irish Settlers were led by William Parker who was given a portion of land to farm. This was Kleine Valley (1 600 morgen) which is now our farm Kleinvlei. However this Irishman, used to lots of rain in his home country, had been keen to settle in the more temperate Knysna. So he was not best pleased to come to our hot Meditterranean climate. Thus he soon returned to Ireland. However one of the remaining families, the Shaw family, decided to settle on Kleine Valley (Kleinvlei). They made their home in what is now known as Shaw’s Kloof. One of our farm walks is along this beautiful valley and you pass the remains of their very dilapidated cottages on the walk.

It was hard going from a farming point of view due to our lack of rainfall. But the valley has a river flowing through it which means that it is viable. The settlers later moved further down the valley and built a long white-washed thatched house as their home. Later, in the 1840s, the Bergh descendants of Oloff Martinus Bergh (see our article on the History of the Cederberg), returned to the area. They originally purchased a farm in the “Agter Pakhuis’ area.  This is the other side of the Cederberg Mountains. Later they moved to a farm on the top Pakhuis Pass and some of the graves of Anton's ancestors are there. In 1907 the Bergh Family moved down into the valley and purchased this farm, and it has been in the family ever since. They extended the original 1820’s house so that it became a long four-bedroom house.  

Anton’s grandfather developed a series of irrigation channels which diverted the river into the fruit orchards. So began an early type of necessary water irrigation. Anton's father, Denis, built a large farm dam and this water supply allowed Dennis and Anton to expand the farm. (In our area, the amount of  farming is usually conditional on your water supply, not the size of your farm.) In terms of agriculture, things have moved on since then with large cold stores and packing sheds taking over from the original and picturesque outbuildings.

Unfortunately the original 1820’s thatched Cape Dutch homestead, where Anton’s mother lived, burnt down in late 2013. It took only half an hour because of the thatched roof. This was a huge tragedy (though luckily no-one was hurt.) However instead of building a new farmhouse (which was not strictly needed), we decided to build Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge instead.