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Why did we hand pick Cypress Cottages?

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The two cottages at Cypress Cottages are located across the road from each other on a quiet and picturesque street in Graaff-Reinet, offering luxury bed-and breakfast-accommodation that perfectly complements the olden-day atmosphere of this historic Karoo town.

Cypress Cottages

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

In Graaff-Reinet


-32.2588, 24.5298


Established in 1786, Graaff-Reinet is the fourth-oldest town in South Africa, and its colourful history can be clearly seen in the dozens of heritage sites that line the quiet streets.

The houses at Cypress Cottages, dating back to the 19th century, are outstanding examples of Cape Dutch-style architecture and have been restored with meticulous attention to detail. The exteriors of the white cottages have been renovated to include green shutters and door frames that match the surrounding trees. Interiors incorporate the reed ceilings commonly found in the homes of the day, along with pine floors and antiques that convey an authentic Karoo ambience.

There is a dazzling variety of both indoor and outdoor seating areas, and guests may well choose to use each of them to migrate from one to the other to enjoy sundowners throughout their stay.

Cypress Cottage is home to two double rooms and a family unit accommodating four people. The rooms have features ranging from grand brass, iron and stinkwood bed frames, to rich wooden panelling, country furniture, vibrant carpets and slate and pine floors. Each room has its own colour scheme and character, along with very comfortable percale-linen-covered beds. Bathrooms have deep baths which make you long for a soak, with wooden detailing and brass taps giving an authentic country feel.

Across the picturesque street, the Jacaranda Cottage has three en-suite bedrooms, a dining room, sitting room and stoep. The warm climate of the Karoo means that dining in the outdoor dining and braai area in the sweeping gardens, beneath a vine-covered pergola, is an absolute delight.

The rooms are adorned with cottage furniture, with traditional riempies benches lending a distinct appeal. An oasis of comforting colour schemes and interesting antiques, Jacaranda is luxury but welcoming.

A very pleasant surprise awaits visitors behind both cottages in the form of seating areas leading out onto huge manicured gardens with breathtaking mountain backdrops.

The sunny Karoo mornings are ushered in by an extensive country breakfast spread that includes fresh farm fruit, homemade preservatives, freshly laid eggs and bacon, along with the usual array of cereal, muesli and yoghurt, to be enjoyed in the dining room or the garden.

Exploring the tremendously historic Graaff-Reinet, which is uniquely located within a 15000ha nature reserve, is a cinch for guests staying at Cypress Cottages. The town is home to more national monuments than any town or city in South Africa, so visitors could dedicate a whole day to discovering all of them. Ask your hosts about some of the guided tours that are available.

The surrounding, pristine region of the semi-arid Karoo is filled with hiking and horse trails, nature reserves, haunting bushman paintings and adventures such as quad biking, while, in the town, visitors can indulge in leisurely pursuits such as lawn bowls and golf.

While you’re in the area, you might as well visit the nearby village of Nieu Bethesda. Donkey carts still traverse the streets, and the Owl House, once the home of the eccentric Helen Martins, is one of the most absorbing attractions to be found anywhere in the country.

Rates & Summary

Cypress Cottage

Twin Room

Sleeps 2 in twin beds
En-suite bath and shower

Double Room

Sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite bath and shower

Family Room

Sleeps 4 in double bed and two single beds
En-suite bath and shower

Jacaranda Cottage

Twin Room

Sleeps 2 in twin beds
En-suite shower

2 Double Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite shower


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


Continental and traditional country breakfast included


Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

With a history dating back to the 1800s, the restored cottages are packed with character, combining old-world Karoo styling, antique furniture and reed ceilings with modern comforts. The gardens are immaculate and have views of the surrounding mountains.


The two cottages at Cypress Cottages are located across the road from each other on a quiet and picturesque street in Graaff-Reinet, offering luxury bed-and breakfast-accommodation that perfectly complements the olden-day atmosphere of this historic Karoo town.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, golf clubs, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

The roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Museums and historical attractions
  • Art galleries
  • Hiking trails
  • Horse riding
  • Quad biking
  • Golf
  • Lawn bowls
  • Township tour


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Electric blanket included
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Iron and ironing board available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast
  • No Restaurant
  • Not licensed
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Fridge and freezer


  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

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

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Babysitting available
  • Very child friendly
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 2km
  • Nearest fuel within 1km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards not accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted




Karoo Heartland

Eastern Cape


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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