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Just over ninety minutes from Cape Town, nestled in a basin of mountain ranges, sits the charming, rural village of Tulbagh that dates all the way back to the 1700’s. On one street alone, the largest number of Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian heritage sites have been dutifully restored, earning its title of being the 4th oldest town in South Africa. This blissful little hamlet is a desirable destination for nature enthusiasts, wine lovers, adventure-seeking and serenity-savouring families, alike. The enigmatic mountains pull you in with their soaring cliffs and deep crevices. Every season is as pleasant as the other, with the crisp clean air being the only element that remains the same throughout the year. Sign posts are often handwritten, pointing you in the direction of firewood and toffee apples, as the roads wind through the valley, up into the vineyards, and out towards the farmlands.

If you follow one of these winding roads for twelve minutes of scenic driving, away from the village and into remote pastures, you’ll arrive at the bucolic bolthole of Nibbana Farm. Set on 190 hectares of agricultural land and lush wilderness, this hideaway unravels itself from the pillars of the front stoep, across the green lawn, the swimming pool, the paddocks, the line of oak, eucalyptus and tall cypress trees, and all the way to the foot of the Witzenberg mountains. The sight of which, magnetically draws you in and softens your stance, as your eyes take flight and travel the breadth of the tremendous view that marks the beginning and end of natural beauty.

All this pulse-raising stuff swivels your step and leads you inside for a welcome tipple of your choice. Chunky wooden beams, flagstone floors and rough cement walls are offset by copper fittings, open fireplaces and an impressive collection of antiques. With its crushed velvet furniture and consciously curated artwork, a colourful story of curiosity ensues. It’s as enchanting inside as it is out. You really get the feeling of being hidden away from everything else.

The owners of Nibbana Farm earnestly resurrected the existing foundations and restored the old farmhouse into a contemporary, playful manor house with four adjoining cottages. All displaying an eclectic blend of vibrancy, heirlooms, bespoke carpentry and utter luxury. The pièce de résistance of the property is the secret garden, behind the manor house, just a 10-minute stroll past the olive trees, garden sculptures and free-roaming sheep. A secluded oasis enclosed by thick stonewalls and entered through large wooden doors reveals a wonderland of greenery and dreamy dappled light. Old oak trees, ferns, flowing streams forming crystal clear rock pools, more quirky sculptures, hammocks and recliners will occupy you for hours on end. You’ve earned every still second of it, after hiking the mountainous terrain, jumping from waterfalls and swimming across the large farm dams.

Some say, to live amongst the mountains is the healthiest life you can live. I gather the owners of Nibbana Farm concur and thus created a haven of healthy hedonism.

What we love!

  • The multitalented farm manager, Don, who not only maintains the property, rears the sheep and landscapes the gardens, but creates contemporary works of art with his garden sculptures, carpentry and interior design. He will also furnish you with all the tips and tales of the town.
  • The pizza or bread oven in the secret garden that’s waiting to be fired-up to dish-up some crusty dough.
  • The endless walking trails and little hidden nooks around the garden for meandering and discovering Don’s collection of contemporary art.
  • Watching the sun set from the front stoep as it falls behind the mountains, transforming the colours of the valley.
  • The delightfully decorated rooms and cottages, each telling an individual story with their unique furnishings, fabrics and ornaments all placed and styled with intention, for you to discover.

What you need to know…

  • As a working farm and natural wilderness area, you may experience close encounters with farm animals, as well as the odd baboon, genet, snake and other small animals and insects. Please respect the environment you are in.
  • The area is fantastic for avid horse-riders. Horse About Trails offers rides for beginners and advanced riders.
  • Combine it with a picnic, wine-tasting or sundowners overlooking the valley.
  • Tulbagh’s topography is ideal for viticulture. Spend a day touring the Tulbagh wine route and sample some the finest grapes in the western wine region, including Rijk’s, Montpellier and Schalkenbosch wine estates.
  • Combine wine-tasting with an art gallery visit at either Krone’s Twee Jonge Gezellen or Saronsberg wine estates.
  • For a bit of a family adventure, do the Ceres Zip Line – the longest of its kind in Africa. Eight slides, 1.4km in total, over breath-taking nature, rocks and rivers in the Skurweberg Mountains. It’s open everyday from 8-5.

Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie

Facilities

  • 1 x Bedroom (double)
  • 1 x Bedroom (king ensuite bath & shower)
  • 1 x Bedroom (king)
  • 1 x Bedroom (twin bedroom)
  • All linen provided
  • BBQ (wood)
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • DVD player
  • Electric oven
  • en-suite (shower & bath)
  • Fireplace
  • Freezer
  • Fridge
  • Gas stove
  • Netflix
  • Pool (net)
  • Towels (swimming)
  • TV
  • Wifi

Guests

Main House - Sleeps 8
Whole Farm - Sleeps 22

Pets

No pets allowed

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Tulbagh

Just over ninety minutes from Cape Town, nestled in a basin of mountain ranges, sits the charming, rural village of Tulbagh that dates all the way back to the 1700’s. On one street alone, the largest number of Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Victorian heritage sites have been dutifully restored, earning its title of being the

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Rates

Whole Farm: R18625 per night
Main House: R4250 - R6000 per night