Of all the glorious and dazzling places we can travel to as a family – the places that bring us closer to each other, and to ourselves – there is no place that leads us back to our roots quite like a farm does. The vast, open spaces spur on the explorer in us, as we resort to those childlike ways of discovery.
The long, bumpy dirt roads kick-up dust as thrill bounces about with us in the back of the bakkie. The dams and rivers beckon our birthday suits as we throw caution to the neighbouring farm’s wind. The hills are alive with the sound of our music, as we cackle our ways to the top for that special sunset spot. The cows’ grunts from the surrounding paddocks and the late afternoon call of the African Doves break the silence and welcome nostalgia. We lap it all up and dive back to where we belong as family – doing the things we love to do and sharing the moments we yearn to share within the stillness, seclusion and serenity of farm-life.
For those rare and revered friend and family break-aways, the therapy begins the moment we climb into the car, and head for the hills, towards the farm. Depicting the destination is as exhilarating, as arriving. Because we already know what to expect – a laid-back self, walking barefoot through the wide open front door, out onto the verandah, inhaling the signature whiff of farm air, as we watch our loved ones darting around the place, gleefully unwinding with us.
We’ve collated a list of our unique farm hideaways, showcasing their individual beauty, charms and quirks, for you to travel to, and showcase yours…
With spectacular views overlooking the rugged terrain of the Klein Karoo, this open-plan contemporary farmhouse, serves as a front-row seat to Antelope grazing by day and into the galaxy gazing by night. The farmhouse sits within 2200 hectares of wild and beautiful land for you to go out and explore.
There is no better spot for a morning tea (and rusks) than on the verandah of this breathtakingly beautiful Karoo slate farmhouse, in the hills of Barrydale. Watch the mountain colours transform with the sun’s early rays, enticing you to put down your mug and put on your hiking boots.
This quintessential, charming farmhouse sits amidst the indigenous fynbos, old forests and sweeping plains of Plettenberg Bay. Boundless lands unfold off the front lawn where the cattle roam and the river runs alongside. Even though the town is only 10-minutes away, you’ll find there is no need to leave.
Resting on 2300 hectares of pristine wilderness, this original 1830’s farmhouse in the heart of the Klein Karoo, retains its quirky, old charm and classical style. Beyond the rolling lawns, the swimming pool and the badminton court, there are hundreds of species of succulents, plants, birds and wildlife to discover.
Deep in the valley of Barrydale, this sympathetically restored old farmhouse sits within remote wilderness, surrounded by the Overberg mountain range. Days can be spent lazing about on the lawn, under the trees, dipping into the plunge pool, reclining on the verandah, or venturing out onto the many hiking trails.
This pavilion-style farmhouse sits at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains in Swellendam. The rolling front lawn calls for some cartwheels and croquet once you’ve returned from hiking the nature trails, swimming under waterfalls, in river rock pools, and cycling the around the neighbouring berry farms.
Hidden in the Stellenbosch valley, Patina’s hundred-year-old farmhouse foundations have been transformed into an enchanting sanctuary that surprises and nurtures with its authentic, refined interiors. Where family and nature reign supreme, time will be spent walking through the plum orchards, swimming and kayaking in the dams, or simply relishing the peace that prevails around the farmhouse.
With its cluster of white-washed converted barns and stables, this farm is idyllic for groups to gather together, in the ruggedly wild and beautiful Nuy Valley. Its dams and natural pools, hiking and biking trails, boules, croquet and tennis courts, will keep you occupied from dawn until dusk.
For the love of old farms, and picture-perfect country settings, this 40-hectare farm nestles itself in the Paardeberg Valley, at the foot of the Hex River Mountains. Herds of Nguni and flocks of sheep roam the paddocks, adjacent the vineyards and olive grove. Large open dams for swimming and zip-lining – this farm has it all.
Tankwa River Lodge
You couldn’t get more remote than this 300-year old hideaway in the Tankwa Karoo. Being totally off-grid and surrounded by Springbok, Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Kudu and Aardvark, as well as wild horses, all roaming the vast land before you, there is neither need nor want for more. Evenings spent around the fire-pits under the blanket of stars will be moments to write home about.
So there you have it – inspiration to get your gumboots on and get yourself down on the farm!