Invite friends and family to a celebration of history and nature in these charming farmsteads. By Arnold Ras
The Wilderness Seeker
De Zyfer, Tankwa Karoo National Park
Most visitors to Tankwa head to this remote arid park for a few golden reasons: seclusion, silence, stargazing and unique fauna and flora. De Zyfer Cottage sleeps six and offers an equipped kitchen with gas fridge and stove. Wake up to the sweet sounds of nothing. Tankwa is wild and its restored farmhouses are perfectly suited to the no-thrills adventurer looking to deeply connect with nature. Make the most of your time in Tankwa with a high-clearance vehicle so you can explore off the beaten track.
Contact: Central Reservations +27 (0)12 428 9111
Rate: R730 to R805 a night for one or two people
The Active Adventurer
Old Forester’s House, Diepwalle
This historical farm-style building, dating back more than 100 years, is part of Garden Route National Park’s pristine Knysna Section. The setting will transport guests back to a time when loggers dwelled in Knysna’s mystical forests. The charming and rustic house sleeps six and offers a fully equipped kitchen, lounge, washing machine, tumble dryer and even firewood for chilly forest evenings. With secluded trails, fairy-tale flora and elusive Knysna elephants, there will be plenty of adventure.
Contact: Knysna Office +27 (0)44 302 5606
Rate: R525 for one to two people, R180 an extra adult, R90 an extra child
The Gracious Host
Msinsi Nagle Lodge, Nagle Dam and Game Reserve
If you like to spoil your guests with mouth-watering dishes, coupled with a spectacular location, Nagle Lodge will crown you Host of the Year. This farmhouse in the Valleyof a Thousand Hills has plenty of space for 12 people with six bedrooms and five bathrooms, three of which are en suite. Cook up a storm in the well-equipped kitchen, then indulge at the 12-seater dining table. Think starry nights and long chats on the stoep with glittering views of Nagle Dam. Top sightings include buffalo, giraffe, herons and spoonbills.
Contact: +27 (0)31 765 7724
Rate: R2,000 a night for 12 people
The Country Lover
Simes Cottage, Lotheni Nature Reserve
Magnificent Lotheni is within uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, one of southern Africa’s astonishing natural wonders. Explore the landscape from Simes Cottage, a restored farmhouse with space for 10 and an exclusive trout dam. The unit is equipped with gas, but visitors should bring their own towels and linen. The country setting offers exhilarating early-morning mountain walks, many relaxing picnic spots next to the dam, and a heavenly location for braaing your freshly caught trout.
Contact: Central Reservations +27 (0)33-845-1000
Rate: R2,800 a night for 10 people