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Why did we hand pick Mount Melsetter Karoo House & Hunt?

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  • Verdant gem in the middle of the desolate Karoo
  • Variety of outback exploration on offer
  • Spacious and elegant country homestead

Mount Melsetter Karoo House & Hunt

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

65km from Middelburg EC


-31.4427, 25.4704


Mount Melsetter was named after a listed House on the island of Hoy in the Orkneys. The farm has been in the hands of the family for 3 generations, and they have farmed sheep or stud horses here since the late 19th Century. Surrounded by trees, gardens, a pool and gazebo, clay tennis court, grass volleyball court, and horse paddocks, the original Karoo farm house is filled with history.

Relaxed and gracious hosts, Mike and Candy Ferrar, will go out of their way to ensure that your stay at Mount Melsetter is memorable. Should you choose the dinner tariff, be prepared for delicious food and tempting desserts. Candy serves superb meals, specializing in game, Karoo lamb, local beef, organically grown fruit, vegetables and other local produce.

Mount Melsetter, a summer rainfall area, has a topography that includes a grassy mountain, hills, plains, and riverine country along the banks of the Great Brak River, bringing with it an abundance of bird life. Migrant White Throated and Greater Striped Swallows nest under the eaves of the farmhouse during spring and summer, while a pair of Verreauxs’ (Black) Eagle nests up on the crag of Mount Melsetter itself.

Your knowledgable hosts also offer an eclectic library, which includes a diverse section of bird books for reference, with a varied and interesting selection of literature on African game, and hunting in Africa.

Mount Melsetter offer ethical hunting. The terrain is challenging and varied, and all hunting is by walk-and-stalk, except for springbok which are hunted on the open plains by ambush. Trophy species generally on offer are gemsbok, oryx, black wildebeest, white tailed gnu, blesbuck, mountain reed buck, common & black springbok, red hartebeest, common duiker and steenbok.

One, two or three day mountain bike tours are run from Mount Melsetter, all starting and finishing on the farm. Daily distances vary between 50km and 75km through the unique Karoo countryside on quiet public dirt roads and 16km of tar, with vehicular back-up for the duration of the ride.

Rates & Summary

5 Double Bedrooms

Main en-suite has King or twin beds 
Family en-suite has King and twin beds
Two twin bedrooms with wash basin
1 Double bedroom with washbasin


  • R 455 pp B&B
  • R 575 pp DB&B

No single surcharge
Option of full board up to 1 week stay: R 650 pp


Mealtimes are tailored to guest arrival/departure times
Dinner tariff includes Karoo lamb, beef, or game & home-grown produce


  • 0 - 12yrs: 50% of the adult rate

Why Stay Here?

At this spacious, elegant country home, a cool pool or a game drive with sundowners up on the Nek welcomes you after hot summer travel, while a glowing fire warms the lounge, bar and dining areas on cold Karoo nights. Mount Melsetter is a gracious old Karoo homestead that provides a superb venue for breaking away from the pressures of day to day living. Situated at the foot of its eponymous 1527m mountain, lies an oasis of greenery on the Great Brak River with a rich palaeontological, historical, technical, architectural, floral and faunal heritage, offering a unique hunting experience, fossil walks, bird watching, hiking, mountain bike trails and adventure motorcycle outride tours.


  • Verdant gem in the middle of the desolate Karoo
  • Variety of outback exploration on offer
  • Spacious and elegant country homestead


The main bedroom has private outside access.

Things to consider Bringing

Torch, sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming towel, tennis racquet, motorbike, mountain bike, hunting equipment, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

The road is tarred all the way.

Activities & Attractions

  • Trophy hunting
  • Game viewing
  • Melsetter MTB Tours
  • Mountain bike & motorcycle trails
  • Fossil walks
  • Hiking & climbing
  • Horse riding
  • Swimming
  • Tennis, volleyball, croquet
  • Orange-Fish River Tunnel


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Dining table
  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Fireplace
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Self-service laundry available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • Designated smoking areas

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Licensed
  • Braai area available


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

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Child friendly
  • Pets allowed by arrangement
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 50km
  • Nearest fuel further than 50km


  • Credit cards not accepted
  • EFT 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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