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Why did we hand pick Matjiesvlei Guest Farm?

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  • Rustic, comfortable farm accommodation offers great value
  • 4x4 trails, hiking, mountain biking, swimming in the river and more
  • A family-friendly fun stopover along the famous Route 62

Matjiesvlei Guest Farm

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

13km from Calitzdorp


-33.4734, 21.627


Matjiesvlei Guest Farm offers a relaxing stay in a choice of self-catering cottages and camp sites. Nestled in a picturesque valley at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains, the cottages all have fully equipped kitchens, braai facilities, bedding, oil lamps, candles, towels and hot water. Three of the cottages have electricity, and three have indoor fireplaces.

Comfortably furnished and tastefully decorated Thiart house sleeps 6, was built in 1936, and has two bedrooms with a double bed, and a third room with both a double and a single bed. Douglas house sleeps 6, and dates back to 1860. It also has 3 bedrooms. Electricity in both cottages is only available in the kitchen. Oppie rant sleeps 6, and is a 3-bedroom cottage with beautiful wooden floors and ceilings. It has a magnificent view of the mountains. It does not have electricity, but is equipped with gas lamps and a donkey boiler for hot water. Completely isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can enjoy breathtaking sunsets from the veranda. 

Oupad se kloof sleeps 4, and has one bedroom with a double and single bed, with an extra single bed in the open plan lounge/kitchenette area, and a separate bathroom. It has electricity. Cloete house sleeps 4, and is amongst one of the oldest buildings in Matjiesvlei. It is a great honeymoon breakaway. It does not have electricity, but is equipped with candles, oil lamps and a donkey boiler for hot water. Die wa-huis sleeps 2, and is situated on top of a hill overlooking a 2km stretch of the Gamka river. It does not have electricity, but is equipped with candles and lamps, with a gas stove, fridge/freezer and donkey-boiler for hot water.

For those who prefer being even closer to nature, the dam river camp on the banks of the Gamka River is a spacious, shady and well grassed 4X4 bush camp, offering privacy at each campsite, with modern washrooms and hot water. 

Starting at the bush camp, through and along the Gamka river, you can drive the rugged Bojaankop 4X4 trail, across some of the finest succulent Karoo landscape in the region, climbing steeply to a height of 540m for some spectacular views. The river crossings can be very interesting, especially when the river runs high. 4X4 routes are R 150 per vehicle. 

Rates & Summary

4 Self-Catering Cottages

Three sleep 6 in 3 bedrooms
One sleeps 4 in bedroom & lounge
Each has fully equipped kitchen
Some have electricity in the kitchen

Candles, oil/gas lamps & donkey boiler

2 'Honeymoon' Cottages

One sleeps 4 in bedroom & annex
The other sleeps 2 in double bed
Each has own bathroom
No electricity 
Candles, oil lamps & donkey boiler

Dam River Camp

Shady sites with spacious privacy
On the banks of the Gamka River
Modern wash rooms and hot water


Self-Catering Cottages

  • R 240 pp sharing
  • Enquire about larger groups

Dam River Camp

  • R 150 per vehicle - max 6 people




  • Kids are welcome at Matjiesvlei.
  • 0 - 12yrs: R100 pp.

Why Stay Here?

Enjoy the serene and tranquil beauty of this valley, situated at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains between Calitzdorp and Ladismith, where farming dates back to the 1820s. Explore the range of activities on offer, then kick back and savour the magnificent scenery over a barbecue in the mellow late afternoon Karoo air. Matjiesvlei offers a peaceful, relaxing break in a choice of historic, self-catering cottages or spacious riverside campsites. With scenic 4X4 routes, mountain biking & hiking trails, swimming and rowing in the Gamka river on the farm, Matjiesvlei is also a perfect base for day trips to Oudtshoorn and the Garden Route.


  • Rustic, comfortable farm accommodation offers great value
  • 4x4 trails, hiking, mountain biking, swimming in the river and more
  • A family-friendly fun stopover along the famous Route 62


The cottages are set well apart.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, hiking boots, swimming towels, fishing rods, mountain bikes, canoe or inflatable boats, binoculars for bird watching and otter spotting.

Road Conditions

The last 6km is on dirt road.

Activities & Attractions

  • 4X4 routes
  • Swimming and canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Birding
  • Mountain biking
  • Horse rding trails
  • Tractor tours
  • Post office museum on site
  • Local wineries


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Fireplace
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Periodic housekeeping

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Stove
  • Fridge and freezer


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Eskom electricity

Business & Connectivity

  • No cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Child friendly
  • Pets allowed by arrangement
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel within 10km


  • Credit cards not accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Office safe




Bojaankop 4X4 Trail

Nightjar Travel 11:55am 22 Nov


As you may have gathered by now, the only thing hardcore about the Nightjar off-road team is its bakkie. It’s not that we mind a bit of a hard slog now and again, but it has to serve a greater purpose. In other words, it has to be about more than just surviving a bad stretch of road. If it’s a bad road experience you are after, rather do a road trip on the provincial roads of Mpumalanga. At least it comes with farm stalls as compensation.

The Bojaankop (baboon’s head) 4x4 trail is our kind of trail. (http://nightjar....

read blog read article

Klein Karoo

Western Cape


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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