A Feast of Farmsteads
Words Arnold Ras
The Wilderness Seeker - De Zyfer, Tankwa Karoo National Park
Most visitors to Tankwa head to this remote arid park for a few golden reasons: seclusion, silence, stargazing and unique fauna and flora. De Zyfer Cottage sleeps six and offers an equipped kitchen with gas fridge and stove, as well as linen. Wake up to the sweet sounds of nothing. Tankwa is wild and most of its accommodation, including De Zyfer Cottage, is perfectly suited to the no-thrills adventurer looking to deeply connect with nature. Make the most of your time in Tankwa with a high-clearance vehicle so you can explore off the beaten track in search of klipspringers, martial eagles and fascinating succulents.
Rate: R730 to R805 a night for one or two people
Contact: SANParks Central Reservation 012-428-9111, www.sanparks.org
The Country Lover - Simes Cottage, Lotheni Nature Reserve
Magnificent Lotheni Nature Reserve is within uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, one of southern Africa’s astonishing natural wonders. Explore the landscape from Simes Cottage, a restored farmhouse with space for 10 and its own exclusive trout dam. The unit is equipped with gas, but visitors should bring their own towels and linen. The country setting offers exhilarating early-morning mountain walks, many relaxing picnic spots next to the dam, and a heavenly location for braaing your freshly caught trout on glowing coals.
Rate: R2,800 a night for 10 people
Contact: Ezemvelo 033-845-1000, www.kznwildlife.com
The Active Adventurer - Old Forester’s House, Diepwalle
This historical farm-style building, dating back more than 100 years, is part of the Garden Route National Park’s pristine Knysna section. The setting will transport guests back to a time when loggers roamed Knysna’s mystical forests. The charming and rustic house sleeps six and offers a fully-equipped kitchen, lounge, washing machine, tumble dryer and even firewood for chilly forest evenings. With secluded trails, fairy-tale flora and elusive Knysna elephants, there will be plenty of adventure.
Rate: R525 for one to two people, R180 an extra adult, R90 an extra child.
Contact: Garden Route National Park Knysna Office 044-302-5606, www.sanparks.org
Good to know: check-in times at the Diepwalle Office are from 14:00 to 16:00.
The Gracious Host Nagle Lodge, Nagle Dam and Game Reserve
If you like to spoil your guests with mouth-watering dishes, coupled with a spectacular location, Nagle Lodge will most certainly crown you Host of the Year. This farmhouse in the Valley of a Thousand Hills has plenty of space for 12 people with six bedrooms and five bathrooms, three of which are en suite. Cook up a storm in the lodge’s well-equipped kitchen, then indulge at the 12-seater dining table. Think starry nights and long chats on the stoep with glittering views of Nagle Dam. Top wildlife sightings include buffalo, giraffe, eland, herons and spoonbills.
Rate: R2,000 a night for 12 people
Contact: Msinsi 031-765-7724, www.msinsi.co.za
Source: Wild Magazine