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Why did we hand pick Gateshead Farm Cottage?

This venue isn't on
  • Isolated turn of the century cottage deep in a remote valley
  • Stunning rugged mountain scenery in all directions
  • Pristine Bokspruit flyfishing

Gateshead Farm Cottage

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

69km from Barkly East


-30.9721, 28.0015


Gateshead is a 2 000 hectare farm situated near the source of the Bokspruit stream. Aside from the horses, cattle and sheep that are pastured there, the only sign of human habitation is a small cottage, built at the turn of the last century, and set in a grove of equally old fruit trees beneath the towering Gateshead peak.

The cottage was built over a century ago. It has been preserved in its original state and exudes charm and quaintness. It has a north facing veranda that is the perfect place to tie flies in the early morning sun, or just laze around with a good book and a glass of Chardonnay.

The cottage overlooks the Bokspruit which provides 14km of pristine fishing - its upper reaches rarely see an angler. The stream at the top of the mountain provides even more challenging fishing than the valley around the cottage which is more pastoral. It would take a day’s hard angling to fish from the cottage to the escarpment, but horses can be provided for those who would like to fish the upper and seldom-accessed stretches of this stream. Bbe sure to arrange this in advance. The very best fishing is from March to early May.

Rates & Summary

Gateshead Farm Cottage

Sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms 
1 bathroom and shower
Fully equipped kitchen
Jetmaster fireplace in lounge
Serviced on request


  • R 250 pp: up to 4 sharing
  • R 200 pp: 5 or 6 sharing




Kids are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Gateshead is a 2000-hectare farm situated near the source of the Bokspruit stream, which provides 14km of pristine fly fishing. Wily trout are adept at using light and shadow and the kaleidoscope of the brightly pebbled streambed to remain unseen, but reward the dedicated angler. Going out on horseback to fish the upper reaches of the stream (by prior arrangment) must be the highlight of any fishing trip to the area. Gateshead is the last farm in the Bokspruit valley. The road ends here! It provides an ideal refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life in an area renowned for its scenic landscapes, clean air and clear water.


  • Isolated turn of the century cottage deep in a remote valley
  • Stunning rugged mountain scenery in all directions
  • Pristine Bokspruit flyfishing


Aside from the horses, cattle and sheep that are pastured here, the only sign of habitation is this one small cottage.

Things to consider Bringing

Hiking boots, fly rods and lots of good books, for when the fishing feels like too much work!

Road Conditions

Although the road has recently been upgraded, Gateshead is best reached in a vehicle with adequate ground clearance. In wet weather, a 4X4 vehicle is preferable. .

Activities & Attractions

  • Fly fishing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Birding
  • San rock art
  • Horse riding, including fly fishing excursions on horse back


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Periodic housekeeping
  • No laundry service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available

Catering & Kitchen

  • No Catering
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Gas stove


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Gas geysers
  • Electricity from solar

Leisure Amenities

  • No television

Business & Connectivity

  • Limited cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Nearest shops further than 50km
  • Nearest fuel further than 50km


  • Credit cards not accepted
  • EFT accepted




Bokspruit River

Tom Sutcliffe 6:30am 21 Jan

The Anatomy of the Bokspruit River 

I’d rate the Bokspruit as one of the greatest fly waters we have, the more so if you enjoy fishing the dry fly. I have twice dusted the source of this river on Albert Hall at the summit of the Drakensberg where it’s a sinuous and strangely luminous stream with a good head of heavily spotted rainbows. Then on a few occasions some years back I fished the very last section of this river, on the farm Black Rock, where it joins the Sterkspruit as a river of some size.

From Albert Hall the stream...

read blog read article

Arriving at Gateshead

Erik Brits 10:32pm 8 Apr

It had been a long day's fishing, and despite being advised not to, we began the trek up the Bokspruit valley well after sunset. In the foothills there is an ever-present sense of remoteness, but trundling along the rough dirt road with not a single farm light or sign of life in sight, driving past dilapidated buildings with their window panes broken, we felt like we were on the furthest edge of civilisation... and it felt wonderful. The driver proceeded to look for an unlocked door into the cottage, and, as is the passenger's duty, I walked to the rear of the vehicle to begin the...

read blog read article

Friendly N6

Eastern Cape


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.

Look out for

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.

Mgwali Cultural Village near Stutterheim showcases Xhosa culture, with crafts and traditional food on sale. 

Tiffindell Ski and Alpine Resortnear 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.

When to go

To Do

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