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Why did we hand pick Woodcliffe Country House?

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  • Beautiful 'last farm in the valley' location high up in the Little Berg
  • Excellent stream flyfishing with walking distance
  • Variety of scenic hikes on the farm

Woodcliffe Country House

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

22km from Maclear

 

-30.995, 28.1745

About

To get to Woodcliffe, you take the dirt road out of the town of Maclear, in the direction of Naude’s Nek. After 14km, turn left at the sign post onto a smaller dirt track. Woodcliffe lies nestled in a beautiful valley at the end of this road. (The dirt track that runs to and through the farm is eminently suited to mountain biking.)

The fly fishing infrastructure in Maclear has not been as extensively developed as that of its neighbour, Rhodes, which lies on the other side of the Naude’s Nek pass. Neither can it match Rhodes or its quaintness and charm. But the fishing is just as good – just a little harder to get information on. Woodcliffe is arguably the best placed venue to start exploring from, not least because you have one of the region’s best streams, the Little Pot, running right past the cottage.

There is great hiking on the farm, with three day routes clearly marked out. Shortcuts can be taken, so you can tailor your day from a casual stroll to an intensive eight-hour outing. In addition to the day hikes, you can do a five-day trail. Some of the overnight spots are in caves, but you will have to carry a full set of provisions, including a tent – it’s a proper hiking trail!

This part of the Drakensberg is host to 55 species of alpine orchids. Late spring and early summer are when they bloom and people come from all over the world to enjoy them. Phil and her guiding colleagues are quite conscientious and will scout out an area before taking out people to make sure they are not taken to an area where the bloom is over. Guiding fees are in the region of R 900 - R 1 000 per day, and guiding must be arranged in advance.

There are some exquisite rock paintings on the farm, and the area is rich in birdlife. One of the largest colonies of Southern Crowned Cranes in the country is found in the area. White storks are common summer residents and Wattled Cranes can usually be found with a little effort.

Rates & Summary


Cottage

1 km from homestead
3 Double bedrooms, 1 shared bathroom
Open plan kitchen & lounge

Farmhouse

Rooms in the owner’s homestead
5 Double bedrooms, 2 shared bathrooms

Garden Flat

Mountain view open plan flat
Double bedroom en-suite
Kitchenette

Camping Site

Electricity and scullery
Hot water ablutions
Portable braai
Excellent mountain views

Pricing

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

Catering

Self-catering or B&B option
Dinner by arrangement

Kids

The cottage is fenced in (primarily to keep the donkeys out!) so little ones have free run of the large lawn. The farmhouse has a large garden and shady trees. There are no childminding facilities.

Why Stay Here?

Woodcliffe is nestled in a beautiful valley in the Drakensberg and is surrounded by the ridges of the 'little Berg', with the peaks of the main escarpment visible in the distance. The crystal clear Little Pot river tumbles out of this valley and runs through the farm. The cottage is situated about 200m away from the river, with stunning vistas up the valley – although riverine shrubbery prevents a clear view of the water. The main homestead is further away from the river, while the garden flat has a lovely north-facing view of the mountain. Some of the best walks, cycling and fly fishing in the district are found in this quiet setting.

Summary

  • Beautiful 'last farm in the valley' location high up in the Little Berg
  • Excellent stream flyfishing with walking distance
  • Variety of scenic hikes on the farm

Privacy

You will have the cottage exclusively. It is very secluded, but is located on a servitude road and the occasional farmer's truck passes by.
The owner lives in the Farmhouse and you may have to share the homestead with other guests.

Things to consider Bringing

It's a long way from town, so remember to bring all food & drink supplies and other essentials.
The cottage does not have a verandah, so bring a large beach umbrella for sitting outside.
Torch, sunblock, hat, hiking boots, swimming towels, insect repellant, mountain bike, fishing gear, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

Typical rural dirt roads, probably best handled in a bakkie or SUV, but entirely navigable by normal sedan. The roads can become very slippery after summer rainfall, particularly the last 7km to the farm. Although it is always gut-wrenching to drive on wet muddy roads, people actually very seldom get stuck. It is advisable to arrive before sunset.

Activities & Attractions

  • Fly fish for trout on 3km of river on the farm – fishing on farms in the area can be arranged with little effort
  • Day walks or overnight hiking, including a 5-day/50km option
  • Swimming in clear mountain streams 
  • Mountain biking
  • Bushman art on the farm and in the vicinity – there are a number of THETA registered guides in the area who specialize in rock art and local botany, including the owner
  • Indigenous flora with orchids in summer
  • Abundant bird life, including crowned cranes and white storks in summer

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • 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
  • Electric stove
  • Fridge and freezer

Utilities

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

Leisure Amenities

  • No television

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Limited cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

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

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted

Gallery

Map

Blog

The forgotten luxury of the bare essentials

Erik Brits 4:24pm 4 Apr

I live my city lifestyle unashamedly. I have cellphone signal 24/7, and the petrol station cafe will provide most of what I could possibly run out of at 3 a.m. (usually chocolate - I'm not complicated). The list goes on, but the point is, my childhood days in a seaside village with no Eskom, no tv, and gas geysers, are long forgotten. It was with a shock then, that on our trip through the Eastern Cape, something awoke in me a nostalgia that I was totally unaware of. I say 'something', but I've pinpointed the culprit. On my various travels, I've experienced the spectrum of accommodation,...

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Home of the wild trout

Erik Brits 9:40pm 17 Mar

Our blogs have been unusually quiet this weekend, so you might have wondered where in the world Nightjar Travel went?! Well, we went somewhere wild... to the home of some of the most spectacular trout fishing in South Africa, and some of the best home cooked meals we've had in years.

Yup, we are in the Eastern Cape!  It's hard not to feel like you're on holiday and forget the rest of the world exists when you're this far up in the Drakensberg foothills, but we will do our best to remember our responsibilities and keep up the blogs this week :-)  and we'll keep the tales of...

read blog read article

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

Welcome Message

Nightjar

Welcome to our website. South Africa is awesome and you've come to the right place to help you explore it!

Enjoy the site
Erik