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During summer in Prince Albert, a little, old fashioned Karoo town just off the N1 about four hours from Cape Town, most people are up and about early while it’s cool and the air’s still crisp. But by midday the searing heat silences even the geese squabbling in the leiwater, the water rushing through the irrigation channels lining the streets, and torpor grips the inhabitants – although nothing a cool beer or two in the shade of the pepper tree beside the museum can’t remedy. By contrast, winters, though sunny, are cold and often there’s snow on the magnificent wall of undulating rock, the Swartberg Mountains, just to the south. It’s an old farming community here, at the heart of which African Relish, a cookery school that has gourmands going weak at the knees, has spawned a foodie culture.

Whitewashed Swartberg House sits in a field on the edge of Prince Albert. Olive groves and vineyards, acacias and veld plants, surround it and it’s well fortified not against attack by wild tribes from the mountains but against the heat of the summer. ‘It was important that the house functioned well in the extremes of hot and cold’ says the owner, an architect who designed it as a cluster of contemporary-looking ‘boxes’ of varying volumes, some laid on their sides, others upright, all of them interconnected by transitional spaces defined by low or high ceilings and steps. There’s a wonderful sense of discovery as you turn yet another corner and find a view framed by an aperture in the wall – either a narrow slit or a vast square window that, when rolled back into its slot in the wall, lets in the breezes that ventilate the house and cool it down. Sitting room and kitchen/dining room occupy the bulk of the building, the roof of the former soaring upwards and lit by high clerestory window slots that direct the incoming sunbeams so that light and shade are a moving pattern on walls of the room down below.

Click here for an Insider SA film show-casing Swartberg House

Children's policy

Only children over 5 who can swim are allowed (with the exception of babies in arms). Pool is walled with a lockable gate - but no net. There is also an unfenced irrigation dam on the property.


  • 2 x Bedrooms (queen)
  • 2 x Bedrooms (single)
  • 3 x Bathrooms (shower & bath)
  • Bath towels
  • BBQ (Weber)
  • Beach towels
  • en-suite
  • Firelighters (supplied)
  • Firewood (supplied)
  • Freezer (small)
  • Fridge (medium)
  • No TV
  • Oven (Electric)
  • Pool (lap)
  • Servicing (on request)
  • Stove (Gas)
  • Wheelchair access
  • Wi-fi modem (bring 3G card)

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0 / 10

Based on 2 reviews

Guest reviews are written by our customers after their stay at Swartberg House.


Guest reviews

  • Guest

    We had such a lovely time in the Swartberg house. Every moment was special. The architecture is inspiring and does the beautiful environment justice. Inspiring to explore it and live in it for a week. Thanks to you guys and Jennifer for making it possible for us to experience such a unique place in this way. We look forward to exploring more unique places through PH in the future.

  • Guest

    Amaaaaazing. That was just the best. We looooooved it soooo much. How brilliantly designed and equipped. The teenage girls loved it and we loved the heat and the lazy desert days. We had walks to The Lazy Lizard every day for their fabulous coffee and some exercise of course as lunches were spent on the braai and around the pool. We put the black cover on the pool which made the pool divine. Lovely holiday was had by all Thanks so much

Prince Albert, Karoo

Prince Albert, Karoo  The Perfect Hideaways team are veteran road-trippers who are only too happy to share their black book of things to do when you book into one of our hideaways.

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R4 800 – R6 600

All prices are per night/per property. Please confirm availability / actual rates, and enquire for DISCOUNTS & SPECIAL OFFERS.

Accepted credit cards

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Cancellation / Prepayment

The 50% rental deposit and the 50% balance of payment due 30 days prior to arrival are non-refundable. However, in the event of a cancellation management may consider refunds where those days can be rebooked after deducting any costs incurred with respect to the re-booking and preparation of the residence.