Family-friendly farm with three thatched rondavels, a larger eight-sleeper cottage, and a ten-sleeper thatched lodge

Budget Getaways Review

Frog Mountain is a popular family getaway, which we first came across in the form of a glowing review in The Big Issue.

The farm is ideally appointed in a rural cul-de-sac; this means even the most hyperactive child is able to roam safe and secure - in fact, the only vehicle you're likely to come across is the farm's tractor as it grinds through its daily chores. Since Frog Mountain is an 80ha breeding farm you'll also hear the occasional moo from host Peter's indigenous herd of Nguni cattle - in our view the most beautiful of all bovines.

Adding to the weekend appeal is a stretch of Buffeljags river cutting through the farm, and offering canoeing, swimming, a fishing dam stocked with bream - there's even a kid-friendly foefie slide. Further up the way, about a 20-minute walk through indigenous forest, you'll discover an amazing perennial waterfall; extending your walk to a 1.5hr hike leads through mountain fynbos and spectacular views across the Overberg.

Back at basecamp reward yourself with a late afternoon dip in the Frog Mountain's swimming pool, then head to the TV lounge to see what's happening in the real world. Another great one for the whole family is a sunset cruise on the Buffeljags Dam. 

Turning to your lodgings, these come in the form of three comfortable, thatched rondavels, spaced adequately apart, and sleeping four to five guests (preferably in the form of two parents and their kids, as access to the bathroom is through the main bedroom). The larger Nguni Cottage can accommodate up to eight guests (four adults and four kids), while the recently added 10- sleeper, Willow Lodge, is a spacious abode perfect for large families (four adults and six kids).

All the units come fully equipped with linen and towels, not to mention complimentary tea, coffee, rusks, sugar and milk - plus special little extras like fresh farm roses, fresh farm eggs and free firewood. Drinking water comes courtesy of the local spring - so no need to bring the Perrier. A central thatched boma with braai area is a useful add-on in rainy weather, as well as a gathering point for group bookings.

As a getaway tailored specifically to frazzled parents and their offspring, you're unlikely to go wrong with Frog Mountain.

Getaway Facts: Frog Mountain Getaway
Where18km from Swellendam
GPS co-ordsS 34°00'02''  E 20°35'39''
SleepsRondavels 4-5; Nguni 4 adults, 4 children; Willow Lodge 4 adults, 6 children
Meals availableno
Activitiesbirdwatching, canoeing, farm animals, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, stargazing, swimming, walking, wine routes

Guest Comments

"Our family was desperately in need of some intimate and private family time and at the same time a little adventure to reboot our spirits. We ended up going to Frog Mountain and what a gift of an experience it was! From our first contact via email, they were so professional, helpful and personal. Once we arrived we unpacked within minutes and we're settled in as if it was our own home Within the surreal surroundings of nature Utopia! We woke up every morning and went Canooing, followed by a hike, then a swim and 'foefie' slide adventure, followed by some fishing,then finished our day off around a fire. It was bliss. Our wood supply was constantly kept full and we were checked on enough to be awesomely caring, to ensure we did not need anything. I would rate this getaway as 10 out of 10. The best setting, a very special family and incredible value for money. My children are already begging us to go back." (Laura Middleton, visited February 2015)
"Best time ever. Kids enjoyed themselves immensely on the 'foofie' slide. Playing in the river and swimming in the cool pool by the waterfall. They especially loved Tessa, the friendly farm dog." (Fiona Snyman, visited December 2014)
"We had a fantastic time. We absolutely loved Willow Lodge and as for the kids we had no worries at all. You guys have thought of everything to keep them busy. We can’t stop talking about Frog Mountain which has now been voted our favourite family getaway place. See you soon." (Renecia Marks, visited August 2014)
"Our stay at Frog Mountain was lovely. Our kids enjoyed it too." (Liezl Davids, visited August 2014)
"We were lucky enough to take advantage of Frog Mountains winter special and are so glad we did! Even though we weren't able to fully enjoy all the activities (like swimming in the river and waterfall or riding the foefie slide because it was too cold) we still had a fabulous time. The rondavels were so well equipped with everything little thing you didn't even think of from the down duvets and good quality pillows to a few plasters, panadols and even *tampons*! Whether we were cozying up by the indoor stove heater, lazing in the sun in our hammock on the porch or saying "hi" to the cows and playing some mashie golf we enjoyed every second. It was even fun to see Brian cruising around the farm on his Segway. Its the perfect self catering getaway and we hope to book a summer visit so we can really get the full experience." (Helen Paice, visited August 2013)
"Was absolutely awesome, the kids loved meeting yours and having new friends in South Africa; they are still talking about them and want to come back. Thanks you for the amazing peace and tranquility with a bit of adventure thrown in (foefieslide and canoes). We loved it and Rob has used the braai stand already and we are not even home yet, thanks again." (Natasha Apperely, visited December 2013)
"We would just like to say a special thank you for making our stay at Frog Mountain so memorable. Not only did we have a great time in celebrating Aehrin’s 5th birthday, but we also enjoyed the quietness of the area, the fresh air, hearing and seeing the birds and animals. Aehrin had a fantastic time at the play park, while Michael and I enjoyed golfing and canoeing. In particular Brian was very helpful and deserves a great deal of praise for his excellent customer service. We will definitely recommend Frog Mountain to our friends and family. Thank you so much for creating the perfect getaway that has the balance with both adults and kids in mind, it has been great. Keep up the good work and looking forward to our next visit!" (Audrey Roberts, visited June 2013)
"We had an absolutely superb weekend at this establishment for my son's 13th birthday. The boys had a fun-filled weekend, that is to be remembered for a long time to come with all the great activities, sights and tranquil settings. The hosts were incredibly attentive and generous, they run a spotless, well appointed and comfortable establishment and we will definately be back next year! A great time was had by all :)" (Candice Fraser, visited November 2012)
"Our kids and us had a wonderful time although be it bit short. The accommodation was clean and outdoor activities were great including the foefi slide (if that's how you spell it), we caught frogs and a snake and swam, kayaked and walked, drank great beer and braaid, stargazed and sucked up the scenery. What more could you want?" (Pete Meyer, visited August 2011)
"We have had the most wonderful time at Frog Mountain! My kids just love it and keep asking to go back. Thank you for thiking of everything to make the stay comfortable, from an umbrella for the unexpected rain shower, hot water bottles for the cold wintery nights and plastic cups and plates for the children, to name a few! Thank you for a fantastic time!" (Debbie Schalker, visited September 2011)
"We spent a wonderful 4 days at Frog Mountain. We found the Frog Mountain team to be exceptionally friendly and accommodating. The location is spectacular, in fact you couldn't ask for much more for a family holiday. The kids ran free, arriving back at the cottage only when it was dark. There are not many places left in SA where you can still let your kids do that! We stayed in both a rondavel and the Nguni cottage. Both were very clean and well equipped. Nguni gets my thumbs up for a family holiday as space is a bit of a factor in the smaller rondavels. We'll definitely be going back!" (Kate Polley, visited July 2011)
"Frog Mountain is the ultimate kids paradise - from the cosy rondavels to the many activities that are available for them to enjoy. It is so wonderful to visit such a special and beautiful place where our children can just be and run free. We have visited twice and will be making many more bookings in the future, in part due to constant nagging from the little ones wanting to know when we will be visiting again and also our satisfaction in knowing that we will always have nothing short of a fantastic holiday there." (Carolyn Raad, visited July 2011)
"We have been to Frog Mountain several times and love it there. We are always made to feel welcome and the Frog Mountain family go out of their way to accomodate our needs. The setting is so tranquil, facilities great and the children are able to run free. We will soon be back for more!" (Lisa Smits, visited June 2011)
"Loved our time here. The kind, friendly and caring nature of our hosts really made it particularly special. The scenery was so stunning; made my month! Thanks Frog Mountain." (Gus Firth, visited August 2011)
"We had the most wonderful visit in August. We were the only guests so had the place to ourselves!! After living in Dubai it was wonderful to let the kids spend the whole day outside!! So much to see and do! Highlight fort 9 year old was catching toads, tadpoles and a very small snake! The hosts provide lovely thoughtful things in the room, even plasters which were much appreciated!! Will be return clients for sure!" (Vanessa Meyer, visited August 2011)
"We were 5 adults in two cottages in the off season and all enjoyed our 3-night stay immensely - Frog Mountain itself and its proximity to Grootvadersbos and the Bontebok Park outside Swellendam." (Carl Pohl, visited July 2011)
"These were the good things: • The offer to stay for 3 nights at a 2-night off-season rate we thought was generous, unexpected and much appreciated. • Nguni cottage, prepared with fresh flowers and all the necessary utensils, towels and bedding, we found neat and welcoming. • Mountainous surrounds for lovely walking and mountain-biking, easy river access, thoughtfully family-friendly designed activities and serene night skies left us eager to return with the children for a longer stay. • Free and generous amounts of firewood left us thankful and made our languid fire-side conversations lavish. • The owner’s willingness to entertain a special request to acknowledge my partner’s birthday made our first morning there extra special. These were the not so good things: • Brian, the owner’s seemingly aside telephonic comment that he’d already addressed Peter (his son) on making that offer as he “didn’t know what he was thinking ” left us uneasy and somewhat doubting the intention behind it. We’d prefer to pay the suitable rate or just not hearing such comments. • One of our criteria for a wintery-time getaway (we go away often) is an indoor fireplace which in our minds is an open hearth. We read the ‘indoor fireplace’ description and specifically requested Nguni because we thought it meant exactly that and didn’t expect a small stove instead. In addition, when we lit the fire inside the stove, a nauseating smell soon pervaded the cottage – we had to extinguish the little fire and didn’t use the stove again. We believe the description on the website should be altered to more accurately reflect the real situation and the smell investigated and addressed. • Whilst we appreciated Brian’s check-in later on the Friday, understandably to inform us of my partner’s birthday basket on the Saturday, we thought the additional 2 visits on the Saturday were unnecessary and detracted from the privacy we value when we go away. Perhaps an idea is to check in on guests once settled in and then to leave the option to contact the owner/ manager, should the need arise? • The less than 3 hours’ notice to vacate the cottage on the Monday, despite confirmation around 7pm the night before of the acceptability of us vacating the cottage around 3-4pm, impacted our planning for the rest of the Sunday evening and the entire Monday. First the labourer on the stoep early on Monday, then Brian’s getting us out of bed and the ensuing jarring rush to pack, clean up and vacate the cottage, left us not remembering our getaway sweetly. We left feeling that our needs as guests were sorely overlooked. What we had remarked on just the night before as warm and hospitable, instantly turned the mood impersonal and cold. We’d really prefer clearer communication around expectations of timing in terms of vacating the cottage or simply, for the owner to honour their arrangement with us of the night before. While we’ve detailed the lowlights in an attempt to provide constructive feedback, it is important to know that the highlights were genuinely enjoyable and appreciated. It is unfortunate that the last impressions were distasteful and left us leaving the weekend with a lingering negative feeling." (Corne MacKenzie, visited August 2011)
Getaway reply: "Hello Corne and Brent, We are so disappointed and surprised that you left Frog Mountain feeling so negative, especially as we felt we had gone out of our way for you catering for a special Birthday Breakfast at no extra profit to ourselves. We only charged you for the ingredients which we were very happy to do. Perhaps we can answer some of your "not so good comments": Brian's comments about Peter's special offer to you was just his sense of humour and we ar sorry that you couldn't see it in that light. We take note of your comments about the "fireplace". Some of our guests enjoy baking bread in the small oven. It is a pity you didn't enquire about an open hearth when booking but we are glad that you enjoyed the outside fire place and free wood. We always make a point of popping down to see our guests once a day to see if they need anything, wood, toilet rolls etc and in 6yrs have not had anyone complain before, in fact they have always been very complimentary about our hospitality for that very reason. So sorry about the departure times, it seems to have really angered and upset you. When we spoke at 7pm on the Sunday night we were not expecting any guests on the Monday but at 9pm we had a telephonic request for Nguni cottage from one of our regular guests wanting accommodation for his brother and wife out from Israel. We debated whether to inform you then but felt it was a bit late so decided to leave it until the morning.We purposefully left it until 9.30am thinking you might want to sleep in. Our official check out time is 10am but we are always happy for our guests to stay on if we are not expecting new guests, but in this instance the circumstances had changed and we hoped that you might have understood, but clearly this was not to be. We feel that to describe us as impersonal, cold and distasteful for requesting a 12 midday departure was most unreasonable and very harsh ! One of our staff's duties is to clean the braai grids and outside fireplaces in the mornings that they are here. Regards, Brian, Janet and Peter" (Peter Kilpin - owner)
"This IS the BEST getaway spot close to Cape Town. There is something for every age to enjoy. From the moment you arrive you are treated as family and nothing is too difficult. Brian and family make every aspect special with lots of little extras, like fresh flowers in the room, firelighters, milk and rusks, eggs all provided for you, and then the Saturday paper that magically appears. All you have to do is drive there and park and then forget about everything else in life, and just relax! Highly recommended fro all over stressed city slickers!" (James Levengood, visited April 2011)
"This was our second visit within 6 months as we so enjoyed the tranquility and relaxing environment. It's just such a wonderful place to unwind. The kids just thoroughly enjoyed just being kids, going for rides on their bikes, canoeing on the river, the foefie-slide, walks on the mountain, flying kites and playing board games. We will definitely be back once again." (Mike Begg, visited April 2011)
"Perfect in every way." (Nicky Stubbs, visited June 2011)
"The only thing we have about Frog Mountain is... packing up to go home. I have five children ranging in ages from 2 to 11 and they all love "Froggies", and we go back every couple of months for a break." (Melissa Stewart, visited April 2011)
"We have been to Frog Mountain three times in the last two years and absolutely love it. It is paradise for kids, with lots for them to do, and the adults can relax in a beautiful setting." (Wendy Brien, visited April 2007)
"We went with two other families and we all had two kids, one child under the age of two. In the morning we would open our front doors and all the kids would go outside and we did not have to worry about the under two's at all, they were so safe. The pool is an absolute winner. especially if you have kids that still need to sleep during the day. We would put our monitors on and head up to the pool. Frog Mountain is beautiful and it honestly felt like we had been there for longer than just two nights. We didn't see the older children at all as they were off doing their own thing. We will definitely be back!" (Paula Scott, visited January 2007)
"An idyllic haven of peace and tranquility, where the most hectic thing to happen all day are the noisy hadeda's calls as they settle in the trees at the river bank at dusk. Best enjoyed over a sundowner, followed by a lazy evening braai. Bliss!" " (Clare Suller, visited December 2005)
"We have been twice and are going back as a family for Easter next year. Absolutely fantastic place and wonderful for the kids." (Jill Ingram, visited April 2007)
"A real relaxing getaway for parents and a fun-packed getaway for children - it sounds impossible, but it's true." (Jane) " (Jane Hartog, visited March 2007)
"We rented the whole place for my husband's 50th birthday weekend and it was ideal. Both adults and kids had a divine time with plenty of things to do and lovely spots to relax. It is a great getaway. In fact, straight after the weekend we made another booking." (Greet Jordaan, visited October 2006)
"Booked two rondawels and had a ball. The stars at night were spectacular and the walk to the dam wonderful. Lost my sandals in the river and swam in the dam, which I later discovered doesn't belong to the farm - such fun. Men fished all day while we sipped champagne on stoep. We want to go back but it is always FULL, and next time I will definitely take the little one as it is a child's paradise!" (Colleen Gast, visited November 2006)