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More often than not, the most beautiful things are borne out of the most simple ideas that only ever surface in the mind once we’ve allowed it to run free for a fleeting moment or two. When we pass perfectionism over to curiosity, and intuition takes hold of the reigns. When the relationship between craft and creativity merges into mastery.
It’s evident here, on a 215-hectare game farm, just ninety minutes south of Johannesburg, that mastery has been achieved. A trusty relationship between two Belgian brothers, and their free-flowing proficiencies in sustainable architecture, was the core component in the build of Witklipfontein. Their combined ingenuity and unbridled visions of building an eco game lodge on a Unesco World Heritage Site, is seen in the walls that have been raised from the earth and seamlessly blend into the prevailing nature. It’s felt in the gentle breeze and beautiful natural light that wafts through the vast, open spaces, enveloping the monumental entertaining, living, dining and reclining areas. It’s smelt in the thickness of the fresh African air that’s pungent with indigenous vegetation, and the occasional blesbok dropping. It’s heard in the chirps and shrills of the weavers, the waxbills, the finches and the francolins as their songs glide the open skies, around the kitchen, through the library and back out into the wild garden. It’s tasted in the fresh vegetables that are grown in the permaculture garden, from the formation of mandala symbols. In letting loose with their ideas, the brothers have mastered perfection. Yet all in keeping with this hideaway’s grand statement on the circle of life, and how to honour it.
Situated on the Vredefort Dome, not far from the town of Parys, Witklipfontein emerges from the soil and looks out over rugged, undulating plains where wild antelope roam, kloofs soar, dams and rivers flow and the burgeoning bushveld thrives. Accommodating up to 10 guests in the capacious ensuite bedrooms and family rooms, this award winning hideaway is totally in tune with nature, and implores you to adjust your clocks to it too. Being totally off-grid, with a substantially stocked library – that includes French comic collections – and a garden that’s as wild as they come, there will be endless hours of the day spent reacquainting yourself with the most simple and satisfying pleasures of life. From long walks and bike rides around the warm, to wading about in the natural swimming pool as the birds dart in and out of the water. From embarking on a number of hiking trails to the top of kopjes or the nearby farm’s bushmen paintings, to taking shade beneath the acacia as you immerse yourself in a good book. The kids might be hanging out with the goats and their kids whilst you submerge yourself into that dreamy bathtub with a dreamy drink and watch the leaves dance in the breeze. Or perhaps you’d like to spend time in that heavenly kitchen that holds centre stage to the house, preparing the evening’s feast that’ll be beside the fireplace, as you all share tales of the day gone by, looking out to the breathtaking blanket of stars.
One thing that’s certain – a week of a simple existence, surrounded by your favourite people, and the nature that abounds, is nothing less than perfection.
What we love!
What you need to know…
Reviewed by Colleen Ogilvie
Sleeps 10 guests in 3 bedrooms (Max 10 adults)
The lodge can accommodate 4 additional kids
on stretcher beds
Children under 2 are classed as infants and stay
at no charge
No Pets Allowed
Note: There are two dogs who live on the farm - both
very friendly and lovable. One Great Dane and one
Africanis. They are happy to visit guests and join on walks
if guests wish!
Summer Rates: November - April
R9 300 per night up to 6 guests
Additional guests are billed R930 per person per night
Winter Rates: May - October
R6 800 per night up to 6 guests
Additional guests are billed R680 per person per night