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Why did we hand pick African Vineyard?

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  • Picturesque location on an island
  • Delicious country food and warm hospitality
  • Incredibly region for nature lovers to explore

African Vineyard

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

32km from Augrabies

 

-28.6556, 21.0779

About

With a surface area of 2553 hectares, Kanoneiland, directly translated as Cannon Island, is the largest inhabited island in South Africa. Perched in the middle of the Orange River, this special place used to be home to the indigenous Koranna tribe, whose leader Klaas Pofadder was believed to have killed six of his own troops with a homemade cannon while trying to ward off colonial forces in the 19th century.

Although Upington lies in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, the Orange River has ensured that Kanoneiland is a lush piece of land perfect for cultivation, and around half the island is now farmland. African Vineyard is one of the working grape farms on the island, and the modern country-style guest house is surrounded by lush gardens and vineyards.

The 10 luxurious rooms, decorated with warm colours and cheerful artwork, are each named after a grape cultivar, and all have cotton percale linen, minibars, air-conditioning, DSTV and tea and coffee facilities. The outdoor seating areas have various views of the gardens or vineyards. Standard rooms are well appointed and have either showers or baths, while the luxury and executive luxury rooms are larger, and also have a choice of shower or bath.

The two executive suites are regal, enormous open-plan rooms with opulent leather couches and large full en-suite bathrooms, providing an optimum level of comfort for guests. Cuddling up to Ruby Cabernet’s fireplace is a pleasure during winter, while in summer visitors can walk out of their doors and straight into the cooling shade of the garden. Birds love this shady oasis, so take along your binoculars.

African Vineyard is a worthy member of the Kokerboom Wine and Food Route, serving up mouth-watering breakfasts prepared with the freshest farm herbs and farm produce. At extra cost, guests can treat themselves to a gourmet dinner or a sumptuous six-course food and wine pairing.

Attractions on the property include a swimming pool, while in summer guests can partake in the annual grape harvesting. There are plenty of activities to enjoy on the Orange River, including river rafting, fishing and cruises, and family fun can be had with horse trails and camel rides.

Guests can travel along the food and wine route to sample some of the best wines and cuisine in the area, or take day trips into the arid beauty of the game reserves in the Kalahari Desert. Opportunities abound for photographers, who can capture haunting images of the distinctive quiver trees or the colourful flowers of Namaqualand, which is 250km away. There are plenty of other activities around, so ask your hosts about the best ones to suit your taste.

Rates & Summary


2 Standard Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite shower or bath
Outdoor seating area
Vineyard views

4 Luxury Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite bath or shower or bath/shower in room
Outdoor seating area
Garden views

2 Executive Luxury Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite bath or shower
Seating areas
Outdoor seating area
Garden views

2 Executive Suites

Each sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite bath and shower
Lounge
Ruby Cabernet suite has a fireplace
Outdoor seating area
Vineyard views

Pricing

  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above

Catering

Full country-style breakfast included

Kids

Children of all ages welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Situated on the beautiful, historic Kanoneiland outside the Kalahari town of Upington, African Vineyard offers a variety of luxury accommodation on grounds covered in vineyards and tall trees. The guest house occupies a unique location on an oasis-like island in the middle of the Orange River. The establishment is part of a food and wine route, and is known for its delicious country food, quality accommodation and warm hospitality.

Summary

  • Picturesque location on an island
  • Delicious country food and warm hospitality
  • Incredibly region for nature lovers to explore

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, fishing gear, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

The short gravel approach road is suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Grape harvesting (in season)
  • Beautiful gardens
  • Fishing in the Orange River
  • River rafting
  • Nearby: wine tasting, Kokerboom Food and Wine Route, hot springs, river cruises, hiking, bushman caves, horse trails, camel rides, 4x4 trails, game viewing, Augrabies Falls National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, golf, casino. 

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Fireplace
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • No Restaurant
  • No braai area available
  • Fridge or minibar

Utilities

  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • No gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Good cell phone reception
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Covered parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km

Payment

  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

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Map

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Green Kalahari

Northern Cape

About

The Green Kalahari embraces a large tract of undulating red dunes, mountain desert, and grasslands in the far north of the Northern Cape Province bordering Namibia and Botswana. In the extreme north it is home to the popular Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park where the black-maned lion is king, while in the west lies the Augrabies Falls National Park.

Upington, which straddles the banks of the Orange River where the N10 and N14 intersect, is the region’s main town. Further down river the other important regional towns of Keimoes and Kakamas bask amongst the vineyards. 

Many may consider ’green’ a little optimistic where the Kalahari is concerned. However, the ‘Green’, in this case, is in reference to the extensive vineyards that flank the Orange River as it curves through the region. In summer they trace a lush, verdant line against an otherwise arid backdrop of hills and plains cloaked in autumnal colours for most of the year. The vineyards follow the river for 350km and cover over 17 000 hectares making it one of the most intensively farmed areas in South Africa. 

From here table grapes are exported to Europe, while some cultivars are turned into award-winning wines by Orange River Wine Cellars. This five-cellar co-operative, which produces around 30 different wines, is the largest in the country. 

Paradoxically, for a region considered by many to be a desert, there are plenty of water-based activities, all of which are centred on the Orange River - at 2200km it’s South Africa’s longest River. Great river-rafting opportunities can be enjoyed along the stretch between Kakamas and the Augrabies falls.

There’s also fishing, ‘twitching’ along the banks, and in Upington, an evening cruise while supping a few cold beverages to watch the sunset.

Then there’s the varied desert wilderness to explore, from the rocky environs around Augrabies Falls and Riemvasmaak, through the rolling red sand dunes further north, to the vast flat pans in the Mier area. Amidst all this rugged scenery Camelthorn trees dot the landscapes and the large thatched nests of the busy sociable weavers crown both trees and telephone poles alike. 

Game viewing in the Green Kalahari is somehow more rewarding than in areas more flush with rainfall. Perhaps it’s the amazement at the variety in an arid land. 

The prime spot is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, but there’s also Augrabies Falls National Park, isolated areas like Spitskop Nature Reserve near Upington, and a host of game farms.

Birdwatchers, and especially those into raptors, are likely to suffer whiplash from swinging the binos around at the variety, especially in the far north. From the mighty martial eagle to the diminutive pygmy falcon, the region is a birders’ paradise. Wine-tasting, recreation and adventure sports, game-viewing, and bird-watching… and the area is well-known for its dried-fruit production. 

In essence a visit to the region is all about discovery, where visitors can shun the ordinary and expect the unusual. It’s not just an aimless wander through a barren desert, but rather an odyssey across a new frontier far removed from the tourist crowds. Above all, welcomes are as warm as the weather, the hospitality is superb, and the food – especially the meat – is excellent and plentiful.

Look out for

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - in the far north of the region is a vast wilderness of red dunes, dry savannah, and majestic camel thorn trees along the Auob and Nossob Rivers. It’s a birders’ paradise and there are plenty of antelope and their associated predators, including the black-maned Kalahari lion. The park has 264 bird species, including two thirds of the raptors found in South Africa, however, this list includes many vagrants so numbers vary throughout the year. There is an abundance of smaller wildlife, from mammals to rodents, reptiles, and insects that will keep nature-lovers enthralled for hours. The three traditional camps are Twee Rivieren, Nossob, and Mata Mata, which offer accommodation in both chalets and campsites, and they have shops and sell fuel. However, there are also a number of wilderness camps - some accessible only in a 4x4.

Augrabies Falls National Park - the principal attraction here is the 6th largest waterfall in the world. Other highlights include Moon Rock, a massive granite monolith, and Ararat viewpoint which overlooks some of the 18km gorge below the falls. Although it is primarily a scenic park, wildlife includes giraffe and several antelope species, and 180+ bird species have been recorded. A drive along the network of gravel roads or a walk on one of the trails will reveal some of the region’s sublime mountain desert scenery. Accommodation is in chalets, bungalows, or camp and caravan sites, and there’s a licensed à-la-carte restaurant, a coffee shop, and a shop with basic foodstuffs and curios. Day visitors are welcome.

Orange River Wine Cellars - the cellars at the towns of Upington, Kakamas, Keimoes, Groblershoop, and also at Grootdrink (alongside the N10 between Upington and Groblershoop) offer wine tastings and sales.

Riemvasmaak Hot Springs - 56km north-west of Kakamas, is situated in a deep ravine surrounded by a mountain desert landscape. The 75 000ha wilderness near Augrabies Falls offers visitors a chance to relax in the soothing waters of the hot springs, take up the challenge of three 4x4 trails, break out on foot along three hiking trails, or enjoy other adventure activities. They have basic self-catering accommodation.

River rafting on the Orange - for specialised 4-day canoe safaris and shorter river trips around the Augrabies Falls call Kalahari Outventures. They also do 5-day back road trips through the Kalahari. Khamkirri Private Game Reserve, 30km from Kakamas, is a one-stop activity centre, excellent for those who get bored of routine. They offer game drives, river rafting, angling, horse riding, abseiling, tours to local attractions, 4x4 routes, and bird watching. They also have a range of accommodation.

Dried Fruit - there’s an unbelievable variety of dried fruit that can be bought at farm stalls throughout the region.

When to go

To Do

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