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Why did we hand pick Rietfontein Ostrich Palace?

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  • Fascinating fun on the oldest working ostrich farm in the Cape
  • Charming colonial architecture, offering elegant comfort
  • Set in a  beautiful Karoo landscape

Rietfontein Ostrich Palace

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

34km from Oudtshoorn

 

-33.5462, 21.8738

About

The huge building that greets guests arriving at Rietfontein Ostrich Palace creates an awe-inspiring first impression. The grand colonial-style palace, surrounded by large trees and set against a backdrop of rugged mountains, was built by the Potgieter family in the early 1900s. The red roof tiles, gables, columns and a captivating turret make the building exceptionally easy on the eye, setting the tone for an intriguing, comfortable stay at Rietfontein.

The three accommodation units on the farm, ranging from the symmetrically designed Hoepoe unit, to the gabled Emma and the more classic farmhouse-style Ostrich Nest, are equally attractive and ooze plenty of old-world charm and comfort.

Guests are welcomed to the Emma Unit by a delightful little street post, before passing through the wooden front door into a room with a grand metal-framed double bed, antique furniture, and some historical artwork adorning the walls. The en-suite bathroom incorporates country-style wooden furniture with modern fittings.

The Hoepoe unit has two double rooms, also exuding an elegant colonial country atmosphere. The rooms can be taken separately, but are inter-leading, making Hoepoe ideal for families. Each room has air-conditioning and wall heaters to keep you comfortable in any weather.

The Ostrich Nest accommodates six guests in three double rooms and is also perfect for larger groups.  The house has wooden floors, which contribute to the farmhouse feel, and is packed with some amazing antique furniture. A spacious lounge with a fireplace is an opulent and cosy gathering place for guests, especially during the Karoo winters.

Lawns around all three of the units give plenty of space for kids to run around while parents watch  from the seating areas on the stoeps with a tea, coffee or cold beverage in hand.

The restaurant is situated in another breathtakingly beautiful gabled building on the property and has a grand spaciousness to complement its colonial charm. Here, guests can enjoy some delicious breakfasts and dinners at skilfully-crafted wooden tables, under romantic chandeliers and high wooden-beamed ceilings.

Apart from the hospitable staff, the farm’s starring residents are the ostriches. Rietfontein can lay claim to being the oldest working ostrich farm in the ostrich capital of Oudtshoorn, and guests can meet these magnificent birds on a one-hour tour held daily. After the tour, a dip in the swimming pool is a refreshing treat.

There are some stunning natural attractions worth exploring around Oudtshoorn, with the most noteworthy of these being the Cango Caves, meerkat safaris, camel riding and nature reserves.

For some unique cultural and farm-style experiences, take a donkey trail, go on a township tour or experience a guided tour to a traditional Xhosa village. Before reluctantly leaving Rietfontein Ostrich Palace, you may want to buy an item from the on-site curio shop to take a little piece of this extraordinary farm home with you.

Rates & Summary


Emma Unit

Sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
En-suite bath and shower

Hoepoe 1

Sleeps 2 in King-size/twin bed
En-suite bath and shower
Interleading doors with Hoepoe 2

Hoepoe 2

Sleeps 2 in twin beds
En-suite shower

Ostrich Nest 1

Sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
En-suite shower and bath
Shares lounge and kitchenette with Ostrich 1 and 2
Lounge has a fireplace

Ostrich Nest 2

Sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
En-suite shower and bath

Ostrich Nest 3

Sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
En-suite shower and bath

Pricing

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

Catering

Continental and cooked breakfast included

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Rietfontein Ostrich Palace is situated on South Africa’s Route 62, between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn, and offers unique and comfortable colonial accommodation for parties of two or large groups. The guesthouse is located on the oldest working ostrich farm in the Cape, housing guests in charming colonial buildings packed with character inside and out. The farm offers daily ostrich tours, while the restaurant’s speciality is its delicious ostrich cuisine.

Summary

  • Fascinating fun on the oldest working ostrich farm in the Cape
  • Charming colonial architecture, offering elegant comfort
  • Set in a  beautiful Karoo landscape

Privacy

The freestanding Emma Unit offers extra privacy.
The Hoepoe unit and Ostrich Palace can be booked out for private group accommodation.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

All roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Curio shop
  • Ostrich tours

Nearby: wine tasting, 4x4 routes, donkey trail, camel rides, hiking, nature reserves, meerkat safari, wildlife ranch Cango Caves, township tours, cultural experiences, Calitzdorp Spa.

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • No dining table
  • Uncovered verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Heater included
  • No under floor heating
  • 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
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • No braai area available
  • Fridge or minibar
  • No cleaning materials

Utilities

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

Leisure Amenities

  • No gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Limited cell phone reception
  • Limited business centre
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Babysitting available
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km
  • No shuttle service available

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Personal safe

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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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