Lupela Lodge Enquire
Denise & Alf Ross
26km from Lady Grey
+27 51 603 7034, +27 82 922 1334
- 5 En-suite bedrooms
- Sleeps 10 comfortably
- Electric blankets in winter
- Old grain store converted into a cottage
- En-suite bedroom upstairs
- Living room/kitchenette below
- Electric blankets in winte
- Sleeper couch in the lounge for toddlers
- R 250 pp sharing
- R 300 pp single rate
- R 500 per night for the unit
- R 40 pp Continental breakfast
- R 60 pp English breakfast
- R 110 pp Dinner
- R 150 pp Breakfast & dinner
Why Stay Here?
- Lupela is essentially the last farm in this little valley and affords a great sense of seclusion and tranquility. The rock formations are impressive and beg to be explored on long rambling walks. The fly fishing in the Karnemelk Spruit is excellent. There are a number of other activities on the farm, and others that can be arranged locally.
- Lupela Lodge is situated in a peaceful, scenic valley in the Witteberg Mountains on a working farm. Pleasingly decorated, well equipped and homely, it provides a comfortable base from which to explore the area. The night sky offers incredible stargazing in this scarcely populated region - ask for a star map and explore the universe.
- The cottage and the silo are about 25m apart, but it is seldom that both are occupied - and even then, privacy is really not an issue.
- There is a beautiful lawn in front of the cottages, ideal for kids.
- 0 - 1: stay for free
- 2 - 10yrs: R 160 pp.
Things to consider Bringing
- Torch, sunblock, sunglasses, hat, walking shoes, tick protection, swimming towels, binoculars for bird watching.
- The last 5.5km after the turn-off from the tar road is on a normal farm track.
Activities & Attractions
- Flyfishing (catch and release)
- Rockpool swimming
- Mountain biking
- Horse riding
- Rock art
- The 8 Mountain Passes
- Vulture colony (by arrangement)
- River rafting (by arrangement)
- Tubing (when the river is high enough)
- Wing shooting (in winter)
Lupela Lodge is situated in a peaceful, scenic valley in the Witteberg Mountains on the farm, The Camp, 26km from Lady Grey and 56km from Barkly East on the R58. The last 5.5km to the farm travels along a gravel road alongside the river and is ideal for mountain biking. The gorge finally opens into a wide valley of green pastures and sandstone mountainsides as you get to the lodge.
Lupela means “where the road ends”. During the 1860s the farm was used as base camp for surveyors, hence the unusual name. For 40 years the farm was used as access road to Lady Grey by the mountain farmers - before the completion of Joubertspass this was the most practical way to get their wool and livestock to market.
The main dwelling, a little way from the Lodge, was built in 1926 from sandstone blocks quarried on the farm. The sandstone shed was built during the Korean war and at the peak of the wool boom.
The present owners, Alf and Denise Ross, started leasing the farm in 1978 and bought it in 1980. The farm is 1254ha in size and is a working cattle farm. Game on the property includes the Mountain Rheebuck, Vaal Rheebuck Cape Grysbuck and Blesbuck. This is a place to relax and to revitalise your soul. Picnic baskets can be arranged in advance for those lazy days under a tree next to the river.
Accommodation & Hospitality
- Dining table
- Verandah / patio
- Firewood provided
- Bed linen supplied
- Bathroom towels supplied
- Daily housekeeping
- No laundry service available
- Self-service tea and coffee available
- No smoking indoors
Catering & Kitchen
- Breakfast and dinner by arrangement
- Not licensed
- Full Kitchen
- Braai area available
- Microwave oven
- Fridge and freezer
- Basic cleaning materials
- Own water supply, good for drinking
- Electric geysers
- Eskom electricity
Business & Connectivity
- No cell phone reception
Access & Convenience
- Child friendly
- Off street parking
- Nearest shops further than 10km
- Nearest fuel further than 10km
- Credit cards not accepted
- EFT accepted
The Friendly N6 route runs between Bloemfontein and East London, connecting the provinces of the Free State and the Eastern Cape. Aliwal North is at the border of the 2 provinces. South Africa is famous for horizons that stretch for kilometres, so wide open spaces and endless skies are a traveller’s constant companions on the N6. The route takes one through about 600km of peaceful, diverse and beautiful land, giving one a sense of just how vast the country really is.
The N6’s attractions include everything from sea to snow, interspersed with charming towns. These are only slightly off the beaten highway, and are intriguing and pleasant places to explore. In the Free State, Bethulie and Zastron are within easy travelling distance of the N6, while Reddersburg, Smithfield and Rouxville are main stops along the route.
In the Eastern Cape the towns of Dordrecht, Molteno, Elliot, Rhodes, Burgersdorp, Barkly East and Lady Grey are all worthwhile diversions for curious travellers with time on their hands. For those sticking to the highway, Aliwal North, Jamestown, Queenstown, Cathcart and Stutterheim are along the route. These provide a sufficient diversity of interests and activities for guests. The highway is also relatively close to the Gariep Dam, Oviston and Hogsback Nature Reserves.
Sprawling sheep farms are probably the most obvious and frequent feature of the landscape, but the area is rich in cultural significance and interest. Apart from San (or Bushman) history and rock art, there are also interesting museums and art galleries, and fine local arts and crafts. The route’s proximity to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho means that Basotho culture is an important and unique influence on the culture of the area. Xhosa culture is proudly and strongly entrenched in the Eastern Cape.
The hills and towns of this area were witness to the Great Trek. This was the migration of the ‘Trekboers’ from the Eastern Cape across the Gariep River, (previously the Orange River) further into the central interior. It is often mentioned as an example of Afrikaner rebellion, perseverance and endurance. This same Afrikaner resilience cost Britain an unanticipated £190 million in the South African (or Anglo-Boer) War, which is commemorated at many sites and towns along the N6 route.
Travelling south to East London from Aliwal North, tourists are afforded a majestic view of the Maluti mountains of Lesotho, as well as a sample of the Great Karoo in Stutterheim and Queenstown. East London itself is a lovely city which really lives up to the ‘friendly’ N6 brand. It has some interesting tangible links to prehistory: the East London Museum displays the last remaining dodo egg, as well as the body of a coelacanth, one of the oldest species on the planet. This fish was thought to be extinct until one was found alive on a fishing boat in the East London harbour in 1938.
When to go
Relax and rejuvenate in Aliwal North’s hot springs and appreciate its beautiful old buildings.
The Kologha Forest and the Kubisi Indigenous State Forests are less than 10km from Stutterheim. Large swathes of ancient indigenous forest are home to yellowwoods, ironwoods, white stinkwoods, Cape holly and Cape chestnuts with montane grassland cresting the slopes. Six well-marked forest trails, from 3-17km long, start and end at the Kologha Picnic site. They lead to waterfalls and good trout fishing and birdwatching spots. Rare birds found here include the endangered Cape parrot, grey-crowned crane and white-starred robin. Mountain biking and horse riding are allowed on certain trails. Maps are available at the forest kiosk.
The Thomas River Historical Village is in the Amathole mountain region on the 31 000ha Thomas River Conservancy between Stutterheim and Cathcart on the N6 highway. The area was named after Thomas Bentley, a deserter from the Van Der Kemps Missionary who was shot dead with an arrow while crossing the river. The conservancy offers a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, hiking, rock art talks and trails, fishing, birding, and paintball. The village dates back to the 1870s, has a popular restaurant and houses museums themed on wagons, rock art, pubs and vintage motor cars. Tel: +27 45 843 1504.
Mgwali Cultural Village near Stutterheim showcases Xhosa culture, with crafts and traditional food on sale.
Tiffindell Ski and Alpine Resort near the picturesque village of Rhodes is South Africa’s only ski resort. It offers snow adventures on the slopes of Ben McDhui, the tallest mountain in the Eastern Cape.
Lady Grey and Cathcart are quaint, peaceful towns to visit. There is a Cape vulture sanctuary 12km from Lady Grey at the Karringmelkspruit gorge. Cathcart is known for its wildflowers, San rock art, excellent hang-gliding launch sites, fishing, birdwatching and adventure activities.
Malaria-free game viewing is possible at the Lawrence De Lange Nature and the Longhill Nature Reserve near Queenstown, as well as at Tsolwana Game Reserve near Tarkastad. Big 5 game viewing is possible at the Mpongo and Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserves, both within 35km of East London.
At the N6 route’s end, East London, visit the Python Park and Lion Park, the Queen’s Park Zoo, the East London museum and the aquarium. Enjoy the shopping, restaurants and, of course, surf the waves. The Calgary Transport Museum (5km north of East London on the N6) has a quaint collection of carts, wagons and buggies. It is open daily from 09h00 to 16h30.