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Why did we hand pick De Zeekoe?

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  • Lots to do on this charming working farm, including meerkat tours
  • Picturesque riverine scenery, with a mountainous backdrop
  • Luxurious rooms and warm service

De Zeekoe

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

9km from Oudtshoorn

 

-33.6378, 22.1423

About

De Zeekoe is one of the only places to be located in an area containing three overlapping flower zones, and in Spring the landscape is covered in blankets of floral colour. Surrounding attractions include ostrich farms, the R62 wine route, the Cango Caves, waterfalls and museums. The farm's name is derived from the Dutch name for the farm, Zeekoegat, which literally means 'hippo waterhole'. Over a century ago, these odd-looking, water-loving creatures used to frequent the riverbed that still runs through the property to this very day.

De Zeekoe's 150-year-old homestead plays host to a range of stylish superior, luxury and standard rooms equipped with all the trimmings expected from a 4 star establishment. The rooms offer guests beautiful views of the garden, mountains and river bed. Meticulous attention is given to the smallest details in the superior rooms - from the ostrich cushion feathers, Persian carpets and soft lighting to the sandstone tiles in the bathrooms. The rustic self-catering lake cabins are situated 2km from the main house and offer good facilities and breathtaking views over the lake.

With 162 species of birds and numerous mammal species on the property, a host of activities is on offer, including the unmissable wild habituated meerkat tours for which prior booking is essential. You can also learn more about this working farm with its modern equipment, ostriches, springbok, cattle, sheep and alfalfa fields on a farm tour. Treat yourself to complete relaxation in the salt water swimming pool, before sitting down to exquisite fare. 

A restaurateur with a passion for food serves up Klein Karoo classics such as ostrich, lamb and venison, along with vegetarian dishes featuring a unique Karoo twist. Fresh organic produce is harvested daily from the farm gardens. Dinners are complemented by a comprehensive range of local wines supplied by the wine cellar. De Zeekoe's restaurant is skirted by an expansive lawn and the Olifants River, offset by the background of natural Karoo veld and mountain views. The farm is also a delightful venue for weddings and conferences. 

Rates & Summary


5 Superior Double Rooms 

Full en-suite bathrooms 
Open air showers
Wheelchair friendly
2 rooms have lounges with fireplaces

9 Luxury Double Rooms

Each opens onto a private veranda

3 Standard Double / twin Rooms

Double rooms have en-suite shower
Twin room has full en-suite

4 Self-Catering Lake Cabins

Each sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms
Shower, lounge, kitchenette 
Large fireplace and deck 
No TV or WI-Fi signal

Pricing

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

Catering

Full breakfast included 
Self catering option available

Restaurant open for dinner, light lunches and picnic baskets on request

Kids

There are plenty of activities on the farm that the kids will love.

Why Stay Here?

Surrounded by the famous Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains, De Zeekoe is a convenient base from which to explore the Oudtshoorn area. It promises top class facilities and high service standards, with an emphasis on showcasing the natural wonders of the region. Situated on a beautiful 2 000ha working farm in the Klein Karoo, De Zeekoe is a stylish establishment. It offers a variety of accommodation options, and activities, including an absorbing meerkat adventure.

Summary

  • Lots to do on this charming working farm, including meerkat tours
  • Picturesque riverine scenery, with a mountainous backdrop
  • Luxurious rooms and warm service

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, mountain bike, fishing gear, mammal and bird books, binoculars for bird watching and game spotting.

Road Conditions

The approach is on good 1km gravel road, suitable for any vehicle.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Canoeing on the river
  • Birding 
  • Game viewing
  • Fishing (bring own gear)
  • Mountain biking (bikes for hired)
  • Hiking trails
  • Farm tour
  • Meerkat Tours
  • In-house treatments xone 
  • Wine tasting
  • 4x4 routes
  • Stargazing
  • Skydiving

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning in some rooms
  • Heater included
  • Fireplace
  • Limited firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming 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)
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Kitchenette
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Hot Plates
  • Fridge or minibar
  • Basic cleaning materials

Utilities

  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Solar and electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

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

Access & Convenience

  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Babysitting available
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 10km
  • Nearest fuel within 10km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Personal safe

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Map

Blog

Klein Karoo

Western Cape

About

The name ‘Karoo’ is synonymous with vast semi-arid landscapes, small rural towns, large farms, and few people, and here it is no different, except for that small word ’Klein’ (meaning little). There’s really nothing small about it, and only its modest title differentiates it from its big brother to the north, the Great Karoo.

The reason the Klein Karoo is dry is because it lies in the rain shadow between two long ridges of the Cape Fold mountains - these are made up of the Swartberg and Little Swartberg ranges in the north and the Outeniqua and Langeberg in the south. 

The 125 000ha Swartberg Nature Reserve, which includes the lost valley of Gamkaskloof, embraces most of the Swartberg range from De Rust in the east, past Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp, and on towards Ladismith. It achieved World Heritage Site status in 2004. A section of the popular tourist ‘Route 62’ passes through the Klein Karoo from east to west, and is sometimes referred to as the ‘mountain route’ because the visitor is never out of sight of the impressive ridges. 

Getting to and from the region, the traveller has a choice of interesting options through or over the mountains. 

In the north, the amazing natural gateways of Meiringspoort and Seweweekspoort wind beneath the plunging cliffs, while the high altitude route is via the Swartberg Pass. In the south the Outeniqua and Robertson passes are no less sublime.

Big, bold scenery aside, the Klein Karoo has lots of smaller natural wonders that make it interesting, one of these being its wealth of plant species - the region is part of the succulent Karoo biome. 

Plant lovers will be happy to know the region takes a healthy third place in the succulent diversity rankings in South Africa. Many of these unusual plants are tiny and finding them requires the donning of hiking boots and a sun hat and stepping out into the veld. Other outdoor pursuits are plentiful with hiking trails, mountain bike routes and bird watching being popular.

The Klein Karoo also has a wealth of tourist attractions, many of which are centred around the region’s biggest town, Oudtshoorn. The fascinating Cango Caves, for example, attract around 250 000 visitors a year.

However, every town along the route has something unique on offer.  

As part of the longest wine route in the world, each town has either wine estates or a wine co-operative. Running parallel with this viticulture, but not as well known, is the R62 Brandy Route. This should bring a gleam to the eyes of many a South African, as Brandy is amongst the nation’s favoured spirits. Producers include Mons Ruber near De Rust, Kango Wine Cellar and Grundheim in Oudtshoorn, and Boplaas in Calitzdorp. 

As a destination the Klein Karoo is generous in its offerings which, like all good things in life, should be enjoyed slowly.

Look out for

The Cango caves are situated at the end of the R328, about 40km north of Oudtshoorn. Of the 5.3km of caves, 1.2km is open to the public and the Standard Tour is an easy walk through the first six largest and most spectacular halls to the ‘African Drum Room’. The Adventure Tour lasts 90 minutes and takes one deeper into the caves, but is strictly for lean, fit people who are definitely not claustrophobic because adventurers have to squeeze through narrow fissures. There’s an interpretive centre offering a short film, a museum, gift shop, bureau de change, bar and coffee shop, and a photographic Fantasy Theatre; plus a restaurant specialising in ostrich dishes. Open 363 days a year, but closed on Christmas Day. 

Wine, Port, and Brandy tasting - each town has at least one cellar where visitors can sample some of their produce, from Mons Ruber in De Rust, through to Kango Wine Cellar and Gundheim in Oudtshoorn, Boplaas, De Krans, and Calitzdorp cellars in Calitzdorp and Ladismith Wine Cellar in Ladismith.

Swartberg pass - This sinuous road, which climbs and dips between Prince Albert in the north to Matjiesrivier valley near the Cango Caves is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular mountain roads in the world.

Gamkaskloof, or Die Hel, as it is more commonly known – this lost valley, which was only connected to the outside world in the 1960’s, was once home to a remote group of people for over a century. At the time, they were described as ‘the most isolated community within a community of their own kind in the world’. The valley is now a nature reserve and offers overnight accommodation in some of the restored houses from that amazing era, as well as camping. Getting there is half the experience.  It takes more than two hours along the narrow gravel road from the top of the Swartberg Pass to cover the 50km to the end of the valley.

Meiringspoort - is the eastern gateway into the region and once in the poort the serpentine road winds around sheer cliffs of orange rock and across the mostly serene waters of the Grootrivier (Great River), which it crosses 25 times. It falls within the Swartberg Nature Reserve and there are numerous well-maintained picnic sites along the way, some with braai facilities, and it’s easy to spend half a day exploring from one end to the next. Make a point of stopping at Waterfall Drift picnic site and taking the short stairway to view the waterfall with its 60m drop culminating in a deep pool.

Seweweekspoort - This spectacular gateway through the Swartberg Mountains is situated 24km west of Calitzdorp and winds below the imposing 2 325m Seweweekspoort peak - the highest in the Swartberg. In many ways it’s similar to Meiringspoort, except here the road is gravel and the atmosphere is more primitive. Visitors can also picnic in the poort itself, and one spot that’s perfect to break out the sandwiches is at the thatched umbrella below the cliffs.

When to go

To Do

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