Every place has its own story to tell, its exposed and hidden beauty to share, its purpose and its promise to uphold. Some live up to our expectations and others supersede them. Heron House does just that – it delivers all that it says on the packaging, and then more – unravelling itself to reveal the most tranquil, alluring sanctuary within the private Elandsberg Nature Reserve. Elegantly standing beneath the ancient oaks, this hideaway quietly resides upon the Victorian homestead of Bartholomeus Klip overlooking the Limiet Mountain Range, the Riebeek Valley and the farmlands it inhabits.
Set on two levels of open plan, laid-back living – with its five spacious bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, enchanting garden, delightful front deck and swimming pool – this colourful hideaway lends itself to groups of families and friends to gather together and completely immerse themselves in glorious country living, amidst one of the most ecologically valuable conservation areas in South Africa. Just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the property is set on 4500 hectares of untouched terrain – recently denounced a natural heritage site – and 2000 hectares of sheep and wheat farmlands.
You’ll rise with the notorious call of the fish eagles, as they span their mighty wings above the dam, hunting ahead of the jackal buzzards. Early morning game drives, guided hikes and tortoise trails are on offer for the eager early birds of the group. Climb aboard the game vehicle and watch how the wildebeest, porcupines, ostriches, eland, mongooses, springbok, baboons, Cape mountain zebras, bat-eared foxes, honey badgers, and the rare Rau Quaggas announce dawn. In tune with a choir of over 150 bird species that sing the wildflowers to life. For those that’d rather greet the day less energetically, the guided activities will resume in the evening (for some lucky leopard spotting), after hours spent swimming, canoeing, paddle-boarding and windsurfing in the dam. Or just simply snoozing on the banks beneath the oaks, watching the kingfishers and cormorants dart about the reeds, as you snack from the picnic basket. Or perhaps the kids would like to experience the workings of the farm and witness the skill of the sheep dogs as they round up herds of up to 3000 merino sheep.
When it comes to feasting, Heron House has all of the fun and fancy appliances to completely self-cater. Breakfast, dinner and a full braai platter, with locally sourced produce for the whole group, can be ordered and delivered to the house. On the occasion that a bit of fine-dining might take your fancy, adults can dine at the farmhouse for brunch or dinner in the conservatory.
The packaging just continues to unravel throughout the hours of the day, ensuring each one is golden and spent to your whole heart’s content.
By Colleen Ogilvie
• 5 x bedroom (twin three-quarter beds)
En-suite bathrooms with shower
A sleeper couch can be arranged on request
All linen bath & pool towels provided
• Stove (gas)
• Oven (electric)
• Nespresso machine (pods provided)
• Coffee plunger
• Serviced (daily)
• Guest toilet
• BBQ/Braai (charcoal/wood)
• Pool (with net)
• Bluetooth speaker
• Game drives can be arranged at additional cost
• No animals permitted
• Smoking outside only
• Max 12 guests
• Check-in: 14:00
• Check-out: 10:00