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Why did we hand pick Lupela Lodge?

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  • Secluded valley setting with rugged cliffs & great views
  • Great stream flyfishing on the farm and up the valley
  • Good mountain biking, including kiddy friendly routes

Lupela Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

26km from Lady Grey

 

-30.7977, 27.2839

About

Lupela Lodge is situated in a peaceful, scenic valley in the Witteberg Mountains on the farm, The Camp, 26km from Lady Grey and 56km from Barkly East on the R58. The last 5.5km to the farm travels along a gravel road alongside the river, and is ideal for mountain biking, particularly with little ones. The gorge finally opens into a wide valley of green pastures and sandstone mountain sides as you get to the lodge.

Lupela means “where the road ends”. During the 1860s the farm was used as base camp for surveyors, hence the unusual name. For 40 years the farm was used as access road to Lady Grey by the mountain farmers - before the completion of Joubertspass this was the most practical way to get their wool and livestock to market.

The main dwelling, a little way from the Lodge, was built in 1926 from sandstone blocks quarried on the farm.  The sandstone shed was built during the Korean war and at the peak of the wool boom.

The present owners, Alf and Denise Ross, started leasing the farm in 1978 and bought it in 1980. The farm is 1 250 hectares in size, and is a working cattle farm. Game on the property includes the Mountain Rheebuck, Vaal Rheebuck Cape Grysbuck and Blesbuck. This is a place to relax and to revitalise your soul. Picnic baskets can be arranged in advance for those lazy days under a tree next to the river.

Rates & Summary


Lupela Cottage

5 En-suite bedrooms
Sleeps 10 comfortably
Electric blankets in winter

The Silo

Old grain store converted into a cottage
En-suite bedroom upstairs
Living room/kitchenette below
Electric blankets in winte
Sleeper couch in the lounge for toddlers

Pricing

Lupela Cottage

  • R 280 pp sharing self-catering
  • R 350 pp single self-catering
  • R 290 pp continental B&B
  • R 330 pp full English B&B
  • R 420 pp D&B
  • R 500 pp DB&B

The Silo

  • R 550 per night for the unit

Catering

Self-catering, B&B, D&B or DB&B options

Kids

There is a beautiful lawn in front of the cottages, ideal for kids.

  • 0 - 1: stay for free
  • 2 - 10yrs: R 160 pp

Why Stay Here?

Lupela is essentially the last farm in this little scenic valley in the Wittenberg Mountains and affords a great sense of seclusion and tranquillity. The rock formations are impressive and beg to be explored on long rambling walks. The fly fishing in the Karnemelk Spruit is excellent. There are a number of activities on the farm, and others that can be arranged locally. Pleasingly decorated, well equipped and homely, it provides a comfortable base from which to explore the area. The night sky offers incredible stargazing in this scarcely populated region.

Summary

  • Secluded valley setting with rugged cliffs & great views
  • Great stream flyfishing on the farm and up the valley
  • Good mountain biking, including kiddy friendly routes

Privacy

The cottage and the silo are about 25m apart, but it is seldom that both are occupied - and even then, privacy is really not an issue.

Things to consider Bringing

Torch, sunblock, sunglasses, hat, walking shoes, tick protection, swimming towels, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

The last 6km after the turn-off from the tar road is on a normal farm track.

Activities & Attractions

  • Flyfishing (catch and release)
  • Hiking
  • Rockpool swimming
  • Mountain biking
  • Horse riding
  • Birding
  • Rock art
  • Hunting
  • The 8 Mountain Passes
  • Vulture colony (by arrangement)
  • River rafting (by arrangement)
  • Tubing (when the river is high enough)
  • Wing shooting (in winter)

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

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

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast and dinner by arrangement
  • Not licensed
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Basic cleaning materials

Utilities

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

Business & Connectivity

  • No cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Child friendly
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km

Payment

  • Credit cards not accepted
  • EFT accepted

Gallery

Map

Blog

Friendly N6

Eastern Cape

About

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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