Most people thought I was mad when I told them I'd be headed out into the Klein Karoo during the summer holidays but I knew exactly what I was in for (heat & sun wise). Sunblock and hats ... and don't go outside between 8am and 6pm. Don't worry, it gets light early and only really properly dark at around 8pm.
This was our first proper getaway on our own since forever, and my husband and I were really looking forward to the isolation. Not that Wolverfontein is *too* isolated, because if you need supplies, you're about 45 minutes outside of the town of Ladismith that has everything from ATMs and Spar to your friendly bottle store. Granted, I must admit to being a bit underwhelmed by dining options but hey, this trip wasn't about going to eat out at restaurants.
Pretty much, ours was a drive-and-flop holiday, and we spent A LOT of time sleeping, reading and hiking about. There are loads of little walks in and around Wolverfontein and, although we don't have mountainbikes, there is that option as there's the Touwsberg Private Nature Reserve right next door that's begging to be explored.
We stayed in Wolverfontein's D'Waenhuis which had more than ample space for the two of us with its eclectic décor. All we needed was ourselves, our luggage and our food – everything was provided: towels, linen, braai wood. The gas stove dates back to the 1960s, I think, and is in perfect working condition. We braaied every night and were very fortunate that there was cloud cover for two of the days we were here, so we were a little more mobile in our explorations.
My *only* suggestion would be to install curtains at the kitchen window, as this is where the sun streams in during the mornings, but otherwise the bungalow was nice and cool even during the hottest part of the day. I loved reading out on the stoep. The birdlife is wonderful for avid twitchers, and I added three new sightings to my Life List: the pale chanting goshawk, the white-throated canary and the titbabbler. Other species abound, such as laughing doves, African rock pigeons, the ubiquitous Cape sparrow, masked weaver, white-backed mousebirds, pied starlings, Karoo prinia and more.
We walked into the neighbouring property that belongs to the Plathuis railway siding to go on succulent hunts and were amazed by the diversity: you can spot various euphorbia species, haworthia, stapeliads, lots and lots of mesembryanthemums. Wildlife also if you're lucky. We saw signs of kudu, eland and porcupine, but alas no sightings. We heard plenty of chacma baboons in the surrounds.
Andre and Ashley have done an amazing job with Wolverfontein Farm Cottages. Their Zara Cottage is more geared for families and larger groups, and this destination is perfect for those wanting to escape to wide open spaces. Their situation also makes Wolverfontein ideal for those wanting to use it as a base to explore further into the Karoo, which we may well do next time. (And this time we'll bring friends.)
A note also: if you love dogs, there are three very friendly Rhodesian Ridgebacks on the farm. Inquire beforehand if you may bring your own pooch but also be aware that this is snake country.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Wolverfontein, nestled at the foot of the Touwsberg Game Reserve on the banks of the Touws River, is conveniently situated just of the popular route 62, between Barrydale and Ladismith. These fully equipped self-catering farm cottages are beautifully restored historical buildings and offer a unique and authentic experience. ... more less
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