Elegant blue cranes amble slowly between golden wheat at sunrise, blazing yellow canola flowers create floral carpets throughout the day all the way to the horizon, and fields of barley wave rhythmically in the afternoon breeze – these are some of the evocative views through the seasons from The Bungalow’s stoep. Actually, this is a working sheep farm – Halfaampieskraal – so life is lived close to earth’s rhythms. For guests, it’s a fine experience of farm life, without any toil at all; a place to breathe deeply, think clearly and relax completely.
The Overberg is inspiringly beautiful, big sky country, a place of rolling hills and seamless space. And The Bungalow is in the heart of it, equidistant between Napier and Riviersonderend. When you go there, you’ll know the freedom of country living and experience it authentically while staying in an original Overberg farmhouse.
Backed by blue gums that rustle in the wind, the house is a study in simplicity and unfettered living. Previously the farm manager’s abode, different exposed beams and floors allude to how the house has been extended and transformed through the generations. But it retains a classic farmhouse design with a ‘stoepkamer’ bedroom on one side of the long verandah, and a bathroom at the opposite end. The main en-suite bedroom is inside, with a walk-in closet and a dramatic black bathroom to complement it. And in the kitchen, contemporary subway tiles meet corrugated iron in a quirky fusion of old and new.
When you’re at The Bungalow in winter, it’s cosy and cocooning with an indoor fireplace that’s also used for braaing and toasting marshmallows. Summers can get toasty here, so the small pool fashioned like a farm dam is a favourite chill spot – along with lazy meals enjoyed on the deep verandah. But speaking of dams, there’s a big one close by that’s aflutter with beautiful pink flamingos. Guinea fowl are also resident on the farm, and in the evenings the blue cranes fly over the house heading back to their roosting spot. A winter stream near the house is frequented by smaller birds, so pack your binocs if you’re a birder. But mostly, just come and chill and watch the wheat grow or the barley dance. It’s soulful place to slow down and savour the sweeping views in all directions. But mostly, this is the perfect place to do nothing at all. I know we did …
Reviewed by Keri Harvey
What we love:
- the yacht mirrors ‘headboard’
- star-spangled nights and star lights inside too
- the stack doors that open up the house front completely
- fresh bread, milk and boerewors in the fridge, so you can light a fire and braai immediately – and there’s coffee, tea and rusks too
- that you can order a fridge meal and it will be waiting for you on arrival to simply warm up. Just ask for the menu when booking.
Need to know:
- the pool is not covered
- there are ceiling fans for hot summers
- wi-fi is good but cell signal is patchy
- firepit is only for use in autumn and winter, as the area is tinder dry in summer
- inside fireplace and fans for climate control
- Napier and Riviersonderend are both 21km away