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Why did we hand pick Stoneridge Guesthouse?

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  • Luxurious and spacious rooms will imbue that 'holiday' feeling
  • Great vistas from the guesthouse, and beautiful scenery to explore nearby
  • Well located to break the JHB - CPT drive, but consider staying on for a day

Stoneridge Guesthouse

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

In Gariep Dam


-30.6009, 25.4919


Laying claim to be South Africa’s youngest town, the village of Gariep Dam was established in 1960 as the home of labourers who were constructing what would eventually become South Africa’s largest inland body of water. Standing out like a sapphire jewel in the dusty Bo-Karoo, this massive dam, along with the surrounding nature reserves, is a popular destination for water sports and wildlife enthusiasts, and has turned the village into a thriving resort town.

Stoneridge Guesthouse is one of the town’s more luxurious establishments, offering characterful, well-appointed accommodation to weary travellers and holiday-goers. Set in lush gardens on a hill overlooking the arid mountains and plains, the guest house has four individually-decorated double rooms, each gleaning its name from recognisable landmarks in the dam.

Guests will be impressed by the spaciousness and comfort of the rooms, which all have air conditioning, satellite televisions, tea/coffee facilities, safes and bathrooms with boutique Du’Val Collection products. Antique pieces merge tastefully with contemporary fittings to create a homely feel, and the plump double beds are romantically draped with netting. 

Named after a bay with an airfield on its western bank, the Aerodrome Bay Room has a patio with views of the bay and mountains. The modern en-suite bathroom contains a large shower. 

Overlooking a pretty vista of craggy mountains that resemble the scenery at another of the dam’s bays, the Pams Bay Room has a shower over a bath, and a patio with garden and mountain views. 

Porcupine Passage - a narrow, treacherous stretch of water connecting Gariep Dam to Muddplain and Springbok Dam - gives rise to the name of the third room, which is reached via its own, far less threatening passage. This room is decorated with rich colours and has a shower overhanging a spacious bath.

Also housing a bath with overhead shower, Eagles Crest is named after Eagles Crag, a steep series of cliffs which form a perfect breeding ground for various eagle species. The room has a quirky tree motif on the bedroom wall, and the melodious call of a fish eagle is often heard whilst admiring the rocky koppie behind the room. 

Meals at Stoneridge can be savoured in the delightful atmosphere of the Flirting with Theatre dining room, which is adorned with mementos that illustrate the owners’ passion for the performing arts. A filling breakfast is included in the rates and is served on the patio in sunny weather, allowing guests to enjoy beautiful views of the gardens and landscape. Hearty dinners are served on request. 

The dining room opens onto a cosy lounge area where guests can sink into a couch with a book from the library, or play a game of chess. On cold winter evenings, the fireplace offers warming relief. Apart from spending lazy hours around the splash pool, there are a variety of activities to keep guests busy during the day. 

In addition to a host of water-based activities on the dam, the surrounding nature reserves play host to several antelope species and many birds, while hiking, horse riding and quad biking are also on the cards. Visitors can take a fascinating guided tour inside the dam wall, or visit a range of equally-interesting historical sites in the area. 

Being just off the N1 connecting Bloemfontein to Cape Town, the guesthouse is also an ideal stopover point for motorists, who may well decide to stay for longer than initially expected.

Rates & Summary

Aerodrome Bay Room

Sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite shower
Patio with bay and mountain views

Pams Bay Room

Sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite bath and shower
Patio with garden and mountain views

Porcupine Passage Room

Sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite bath with overhead shower
Patio with garden and mountain views

Eagles Crest Room

Sleeps 2 in double bed
En-suite bath with overhead shower
Patio with garden and mountain views


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


Continental and cooked breakfast included
Dinner on request


Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Situated in the small town of Gariep Dam, less than a kilometre from the dam itself, Stoneridge Guesthouse offers plenty of tranquillity and entertainment for holiday-goers, while being a convenient stopover point for travellers driving along the N1 between Bloemfontein and Cape Town. Guests will enjoy a serene atmosphere close to the boating, angling and nature lover’s paradise of the Gariep Dam. Rooms are individually-decorated and stylish, while delicious food is served in the unique Flirting with Theatre Dining Room, where guests can immerse themselves in the beauty of film.


  • Luxurious and spacious rooms will imbue that 'holiday' feeling
  • Great vistas from the guesthouse, and beautiful scenery to explore nearby
  • Well located to break the JHB - CPT drive, but consider staying on for a day

Things to consider Bringing

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

Road Conditions

All roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Splash pool
  • Nearby: fishing, boating, canoeing, nature reserves, quad biking, hiking, horse riding, gliding, dam wall tours, historical sites.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Air conditioning
  • Electric blanket included
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Fridge or minibar


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

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • No business centre

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • No babysitting
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 2km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe




Motheo & Xhariep

Free State


The Motheo region of the Free State occupies a nook in the south-east of the province, a piece of flat land that comes up against the magnificence of the Malotis, the mountain range that forms the border between South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Consisting of farm land in the main, Motheo holds the province’s capital and the judicial capital of South Africa, Bloemfontein. Motheo translates from the Sotho to “foundation” or “strong base of a building”, an appropriate term, as it is from here that the building and progress of the province is governed and monitored.

The region is striking for its very diverse cultural flavours – Bloemfontein has long been an Afrikaner stronghold and reflects this in its history, architecture, language and lifestyle. It falls into the same municipality (Mangaung) as Botshabelo, an urban township formed far more recently, and Thaba ‘Nchu, a predominantly Basotho frontier town set among sandstone cliffs.

Compact towns such as Dewetsdorp, Excelsior, Hobhouse, Ladybrand, Tweespruit, Van Stadensrus and Wepener are small centres of sandstone buildings, breaking long stretches of maize and wheat fields. They have their origins in chapters of South African history such as the Basotho Wars or the Anglo-Boer Wars.

Xhariep, the region south of Motheo, stretches to the Eastern and Northern Cape borders, separated from both these provinces by the 2 000-kilometre Orange River. A terrain mainly of grassland but changing to semi-desert as it edges into the Karoo, it is irrigated by the Orange, now increasingly referred to by its original Khoisan name, !Gariep.

Xhariep is sparsely populated with large expanses of farmland cultivating grain and rearing sheep, cattle and ostriches.

Its main attraction is the vast !Gariep Dam, the largest dam in the country and a tourist attraction growing in popularity as an increasing number of recreational activities set up on its banks.

On its northern shore is an 11 000-hectare game sanctuary. Tourism is helped by the fact that three national roads traverse Xhariep - the N1, N6 and N8 - ensuring it is “on the way” for many travellers.

Sprinkled throughout are 17 small towns named for landowners, men of the church and historical characters.  Among them are Bethulie, Edenburg, Fauresmith, Jacobsdal, Luckhoff, Petrusburg, Phillipolis, Reddersburg, Rouxville, Smithfield, Springfontein, Trompsburg and Zastron.

Trompsburg, a centre of merino sheep-farming, is the seat of administration.  Two other towns, Koffiefontein and Jagersfontein, are diamond-mining centres.

Xhariep revels in big blue, unpolluted skies, religious and historical sites and some fascinating geographical features. 

Look out for

Capital city architecture – Bloemfontein has historical buildings by the dozen, many of them reflecting the sandstone architecture of the late 19th century.  The institutions that line President Brand Street are good examples.  See the City Hall, the Ou Raadsaal, the Literature Museum and the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Naval Hill – This hill is a source of pride to residents of Bloemfontein.  It offers great views of the town and its slopes are the location of the Franklin Game Reserve.  An observatory at the top has been converted into a theatre.

Ladybrand – This town, from where the sandstone to construct the Union Buildings in Pretoria was mined, packs a lot into limited space. In its vicinity are rock art sites, two locations where important dinosaur fossils were found, and Modderpoort, an Anglican Mission Station that also contains the grave of the legendary Basotho prophet, Mantsopa.

Maria Moroka Game Reserve – This national park, which includes the Groothoek Dam, is found at the foot of the Thaba Nchu Mountain and contains zebras, eland, red hartebees, black wildebeest, springbok, blesbok and white rhino.  An eight-kilometre hike through the park is popular with tourists and yields good birding.  Alternately, game drives under the guidance of a ranger can be taken.

Zastron – Situated between the Caledon and Orange Rivers, Zastron boasts a number of natural features.  The Eye of Zastron is a hole in a large sandstone ridge on Aasvoëlberg or Vulture Hill, looming over the town. The Hippopotamus Cave takes its name from numerous hippo paintings on its rocks created by the San, while on the Glen Rosa Farm there’s a cave with a San frieze five meters high. Two dams in the town’s environs offer recreation – Eeufeeskloof and Montagu.  The Manyaputi Nature Reserve in also located here.

Tiger Canyons Breeding Project – On the farm, Tiger Canyons, wildlife specialist John Varty is undertaking an experiment to breed free-ranging, self-sustaining tiger populations in the wild, outside Asia.  Visitors can take a game drive in a 4x4 vehicle, adapted for their safety, in order to see the tigers at close range.

Letsatsi Game Lodge – This reserve is located near Smithfield on the road to Bethulie and offers game drives, horse rides and hiking.  Both chalet and tented accommodation is available. There are also conference facilities.  Buffalo, eland and black wildebeest are some of the game stocked.

Jagersfontein’s diamond heyday - In the 1890s, diamond mining in Jagersfontein yielded two notable gems, the 972-carat Excelsior diamond and the 637-carat Reitz diamond.  Digging came to an end in the late 1960s, but one can still visit the old mine where the diamond rush started.  The Open Mine Museum makes an interesting tour, or one can hike the Diggers Groot Gat Trail, a 35-kilometre walk over three days.

Oude Kraal Country Estate and Spa is a great place for good food and wine. The Colonial Restaurant offers six-course dinners and the food is legendary.

When to go

To Do

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