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Why did we hand pick Angler and Antelope Guesthouse?

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  • Very knowledgeable and well connected flyfishers' venue
  • Beautiful old church, tastefully converted
  • Fishing shop on premises

Angler and Antelope Guesthouse

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

In Somerset East

 

-32.7216, 25.5869

About

The Angler & Antelope comprises four buildings centrally situated in Somerset East, surrounded by the haunting beauty of the Klein Karoo. The guesthouse was built as a residence in 1893 and housed only three families in the 100 years that followed.

Owners Alan and Annabelle are not only affable hosts, but are also extremely passionate about their town and the region, and Alan is regarded as one of the fly-fishing gurus of the area. He has managed to secure exclusive access to some of the wildest rivers and lakes in Eastern Cape, providing fly-fishermen with a golden opportunity to catch a wide variety of species in waters that are rarely fished. Avid anglers may wish to attempt the unique feat of catching all eight of the freshwater species that can be caught on fly in Somerset East.

The country-style guest rooms at Angler & Antelope are homely and welcoming, but equipped with luxuries such as air-conditioning, hair dryers, wireless internet, safes and televisions, with DSTV available in the executive rooms.  

Each room is individually decorated to reflect the characteristics of the family that inhabited the house before it was restored and converted. 

It gets particularly cold in this region during winter, so the electric blankets on the beds and the underfloor heating in the full en-suite bathrooms are very welcome. All the bathrooms have double vanities, but the standard room makes do without the underfloor heating and air-conditioning, supplementing these with a fan and a panel heater, and has an en-suite shower only.

Basic self-catering facilities, perfect for warming up a lunch or having a braai, are available in the Trout & Antelope rooms. The two family units are spacious and more comprehensively equipped for self-catering.

In the huge indigenous garden, the old St Francis Roman Catholic church - built in 1906 - houses an unexpected but delightful surprise. The church has been converted into a culinary centre, which serves up some mouth-watering dishes, ranging from oxtail to succulent Karoo lamb shank, a variety of desserts and, of course, freshly caught trout.

The last priest to serve in St Francis, Father Michael Scully, was known to enjoy a spot of Irish whiskey, so it is fitting that the church is also home to Nigel’s Pub, which Alan has stocked with a magnificent range of quality malt whiskies. As if that weren’t enough, the old confessional vestry has also been converted into a fully stocked fly-fishing shop.

If fly-fishing and whiskey aren’t your thing, there are numerous other attractions in and around Somerset East. 

Outdoorsy types and adrenaline junkies can enjoy mountain biking, hiking, paintball, horse riding and wing shooting, while some fantastic game viewing can be had in the Addo or Camdeboo National Parks within an hour’s drive of Barkly East.

For a more leisurely experience, take a walk through the picturesque town streets, learn about the history of the village at the Somerset East Museum, browse the range of mohair products for sale and stop in at the Walter Battiss Art Museum, which showcases more than 60 paintings from the late artist.

 

Rates & Summary


5 Executive Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in King-size/double/twin beds
Executive King can accommodate 2 children on sleeper couch
En-suite bath and shower
1 room has basic self-catering facilities and a braai area

1 Business Room

Sleeps 2 in twin beds
En-suite bath and shower
Basic self-catering facilities

1 Standard Room

Sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite shower

Family Suite (self-catering)

Sleeps 4 guests in Queen-size bed and 2 single beds
Bathroom with shower only
Lounge and kitchen

Family Cottage (self-catering)

Sleeps 4 guests in double bed and 2 single beds
Bathroom with shower over bath
Basic self-catering facilities, no kitchen
Private garden with braai

Pricing

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

Catering

Default meal plan is Bed & Breakfast
Dinner is available at extra cost

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

The Angler & Antelope has secured exclusive access to several dams and stretches of river in the unspoilt Karoo, which provide superb fly-fishing for trout and yellowfish. The ancient church on the property has been converted into a restaurant and pub housing more than 50 varieties of fine whiskey. At the Angler & Antelope, old-world charm meets modern comfort, and offers luxury bed and breakfast accommodation on an historic property in the secluded Klein Karoo town of Somerset East.

Summary

  • Very knowledgeable and well connected flyfishers' venue
  • Beautiful old church, tastefully converted
  • Fishing shop on premises

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, fly-fishing gear, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

Tarred roads lead to the guesthouse.

Activities & Attractions

  • Fly fishing
  • Fishing shop
  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Historical tours
  • Walter Batiss Art Museum
  • The converted St Francis Church

Nearby: wing shooting, game viewing, horse riding, bowls, paintball, spa treatments, mohair products.

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Electric blanket included
  • Bring your own firewood
  • Under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Licensed
  • Kitchenette
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Hot Plates
  • Fridge or minibar
  • No cleaning materials

Utilities

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

Leisure Amenities

  • Television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • Limited business centre
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Limited wheelchair friendliness
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 2km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Personal safe

Gallery

Map

Blog

Karoo Heartland

Eastern Cape

About

The Karoo Heartland area lies in the Eastern Cape province, inland from the busy coastal city of Port Elizabeth. It embraces the eastern landscapes of the Great Karoo and, like the rest of this vast and semi-arid region, it is sparsely populated and little developed.

Rising in the north-west of the region are the Sneeuberg mountains. As their name suggests, the higher reaches are often draped in a blanket of snow during winter. Further east they link up with the Bankberg range. From here the landscape drops in altitude in a series of gentle slopes and rolling foothills.

For the motorist, the steep gradients are traversed via the winding roads of the Lootsberg, Naudesberg, Ouberg and Wapadsberg passes. In the south the landscape flattens out in a sweeping flat expanse, referred to as the plains of Camdeboo. In the eastern extremes the traditional Karoo scrub gives way to waving grasslands, tall slender aloes and tree-choked gorges.

Amongst the koppies and expansive plains are small rural towns like Graaff Reinet, Cradock and Nieu Bethesda. All of these are popular with visitors and well-known for their fine architecture and enduring charm. Graaff Reinet is best known for its magnificent stone church, the historic Drostdy with its colourful Stretch’s Court. It also has tranquil tree-lined streets sporting grand old houses and quaint cottages.

On its outskirts, the 19 000ha Camdeboo National Park almost encircles the town and protects the habitats and wildlife of the area. Within its boundaries stand the pillars of balancing rock that make the Valley of Desolation so intriguing. Nearby, the Sundays River flows into the Nqweba Dam.

A short drive north, at the base of the towering Kompasberg Peak, is Nieu Bethesda. Its main attractions are the Owl House with its artwork, and the mythical figures in the Camel Yard. The town is loved by seekers of tranquillity who come to escape in its rural charm and laid-back ambience.

In the east the busy, upbeat town of Cradock on the banks of the Fish River boasts a wealth of interesting architecture. The best preserved of examples form part of the well-known Tuishuise.

Each year canoeists converge on the area for the annual Fish River canoe marathon.

Cradock’s natural icon comes in the form of the Mountain Zebra National Park. This expanse was proclaimed in order to protect the endangered mountain zebra, which now number around 300 in the park. The variety of game includes cheetah, Cape buffalo and black rhinoceros. The landscape varies from rugged mountains to plateau grasslands.

Throughout the region there is a cultural richness, and strong traditions still survive in the towns and on the farms. With an extensive network of gravel back roads that lead to hidden farms and stunning views, the Karoo Heartlands is ideally suited to the explorer. It’s also home to large game lodges, 4x4 trails, hiking and mountain bike routes, fishing, and birdwatching.

Look out for

Camdeboo National Park – on the outskirts of Graaff Reinet, this 19 000ha park protects some of the low-lying plains as well as the mountainous terrain in the area. It contains the Valley of Desolation. Within its boundaries are 12 species of large game and 225 bird species. There are several hikes, varying from a 1.5 km stroll to a day walk and an overnight trail. 4x4 enthusiasts have a choice of either the Koedoeskloof or Driekoppe trails. There is a tented camp and some campsites are being developed in the park. 

The Valley of Desolation - is formed by the extraordinary geology of the mountains that create impressive dolerite rock pillars, which are easily seen from various viewpoints along the walking trails. En route to the main viewpoint a toposcope stands on a small koppie, from where there is a magnificent view of Graaff Reinet.

Mountain Zebra National Park – situated 12km from Cradock, the park nestles amongst the craggy heights of the Bankberg mountains in the far eastern area of the region. Proclaimed in 1937, the park embraces undulating plains and plunging valleys where the Cape mountain zebra was saved from extinction. Accommodation is in the restored Victorian homestead at Doornhoek (that sleeps 6), or in cottages and campsites at the main rest camp. There is an à la carte restaurant, a shop selling basic commodities, a fuel station and a swimming pool. Day visitors are welcome.

The Owl House – this iconic house was created by eccentric artist Helen Martins. It became famous by being featured in world-renowned playwright Athol Fugard’s film, ‘The Road to Mecca’. Obsessed with the interplay of light, colour and reflection, martins covered walls, ceilings, windows and other surfaces with bright paint and glass. The effect is amplified by the many candles, lamps and mirrors she collected. The Owl House is rated a premier ‘outsider art’ destination and attracts 15 000 visitors annually, from all over the world. It’s open to the public daily (except Christmas day). Opening times: 09h00-17h00 in April to September / 08h00-18h00 in October to May.

Blouwater Railway - for a rail journey with a difference give Charles Kingwill a call to book a seat on his rail van, which trundles up the 11km-long Lootsberg Railway Pass and back. He can take a maximum of 9 passengers per trip. Trips run from Monday to Saturday between 09h00 and 15h00. It takes 2 hours, and you can take your own picnic and refreshments.

Tuishuise –mention Cradock and the first places that come to mind are the historic Tuishuise. Even if you’re not planning to stay overnight (although you should), make a point of exploring Market Street where they are situated. 

When to go

To Do

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