From R200 - R300 per person. Children under 13 half price. Midweek specials available.
Budget Getaways Review
The charm of this organically-styled ex-barn lies not only in the fact that many moons back it housed farming implements and livestock, but that its quirky charm has been lovingly carried over into the present. A generous dollop of modern day comfort has also since been added, resulting in one helluva rustic-luxury escape.
Suitably named after the frequently visiting owls, Barn Owl Farm offers 1600 hectares of gorgeous Karoo landscape fanning out from the foothills of Towerkop, just 16km from Ladismith.
With ample activities, open nature and small wildlife - including porcupines, duiker and red hartebeest - there's plenty here to fill a weekend. The lengthy bird list will keep the twitchers happy for days, and there are hiking trails and a farm dam (that's a short walk from the cottage) for swimming, fishing, canoeing and general cooling off during the summer blaze.
Taking a look at the barn itself, we're looking at a creative earthy mix of rough plaster, exposed timber beams, antique doors, screed counter tops and plenty of stone and rietdak.
Set well away from the main farmhouse, the barn sleeps a total of six. The main 'honeymoon room' has a double bed, while a second double forms part of the open-plan lounge, along with an extra set of bunk beds in the dining area for the kids.
There’s a spacious living area with a massive fireplace to keep the winter chill at bay, and fully equipped kitchen with everything you need to whip up that hearty Karoo feast.??
The shared bathroom sports a stone walled shower with two small fireplaces and Victorian bath - not a bad spot to take a soak under the warm glow of a paraffin lamp and crackling fire nearby. ??
Stepping outside, we have a covered braai area and walled stoep, where you'll dig in under a balmy Karoo evening and the lilting sounds of hooting owls. ??
With attention to detail, quality linen and other comforts, old-time character, a value price tag, and an appealing Karoo setting, Barn Own Farm appears set to become a BG winner.
"What an awesome place!"
(Meghan Zwick, visited Mar 2017)
"We had an amazing time at the Barn Owl Farm. The Barn is beautifully restored and we loved the outside shower. Our hosts Tori and Carl are great and made us feel very welcome. It was really hot while we were there but there is a wonderful dam to swim in fairly close to the cottage. We also enjoyed the treasure hunt up the koppie which gives a nice touch of excitement and adventure."
(Adrienne Shall, visited Dec 2016)
"Staying at the Barn Owl Farm was a lovely experience, we loved how they revamped an old barn into a charming cottage. It was very interesting seeing the original clay brick and structure of the old barn still intact. The arty little details that the owners added to the barn created a lovely whimsical experience, with pulley's for lights, a bath on tree stumps, and a fireplace in the SHOWER, are just some of Barn Owl's inspired touches. There are nice hiking routes, a dam for swimming, and you can even try to solve the Barn's scavenger hunt. The cottage was very well equipped and the people were very nice and accommodating."
(Alinda De Wet, visited Oct 2016)
"Wonderful relaxing weekend away. Very peaceful and quite, lovely walks. Only wished we had stayed longer to be able to go on all of the routes."
(Jolin Bass, visited Mar 2016)
"We loved our three nights at the Barn Owl. The old barn has been lovingly renovated to keep its charm whilst catering for the modern visitor. The cottage has great space for everyone to spread out in and we loved the bed by the fire in the evenings. Days were spent chasing the treasure hunt that our hosts had set up in the form of hikes, more challenging than we thought and the kids loved it. Afternoons and evenings were spent on the stoep doing puzzles with the kids after a shower under the stars. Surprisingly warm for a Karoo winter."
(Meg Veldhuis, visited June 2015)
"Every so often you arrive at a place and you know you will be back. Barn Owl Farm is one of those places for us. Sitting on the porch, sipping our coffee, after a long drive on the day we arrived, we already knew we would return. Three days later when we departed with our souls deeply rested we were convinced. We loved the many and varied walks, spotting zebra, baboons, and many varieties of unidentified birds and insects. The fun treasure hunt for the kids (and the not so little kids) was an added bonus to our walks. We spent hours sitting on the porch just staring at the koppie and watching the birds building their nests, while we read, dozed or braaied. When it got warm we took a walk to the nearby swimming hole, beautiful and refreshing. The facilities are the perfect balance between a bit rustic and those conveniences that make getting away from it all just that much more comfortable. We will definitely be back and quite frankly so should you."
(John Scheepers, visited November 2014)
"We took our time getting there, stopped at all the interesting little places and enjoyed the journey as part of the holiday. It is an amazingly scenic drive along Route 62. We were welcomed with warm fresh home-baked bread and a friendly face. The kitchen was well equipped and even some basics for our use. The couple had gone out of their way to see that all our needs were met, told us where to find them but gave us our privacy. Beautiful bird life, interesting walks, free range eggs you may use and even complimentary alarm clocks in the form of roosters prancing around! Even a duck with an identity crisis from spending time with the delightful chickens. We spent quality time as a family and left enriched after being at Barn Owl Farm. The best part was that Tori and Carl had donated the income generated from this weekend to Ikhaya le Themba in Hout Bay. A little gem in the Karoo."
(Michelle Robinson, visited September 2014)
"The hosts Tori and Carl are very friendly and very welcoming. Also very generous with things such as sugar, tea, coffee and wood. But the house itself is freezing cold and there are no views of the surrounding landscapes. It is also dark so we really needed to sit outdoors most of the time just to be able to do any activities such as reading, drawing, playing games. The cottage is also on a fairly busy and dusty farm road, which was not shown in the Budget Getaways photos. We should not have booked for 5-nights but rather for three as there are limited walks to do in the area and when we were at the cottage, we struggled to relax as the cottage was cold and dark. All in all, we did enjoy our stay there though and made the best of it."
(Ilse Menck, visited July 2014)
"We were sad to read that you had been a disappointment. Our wish is that people will be able to relax in The Barn and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. The Barn has been converted in keeping with the style of typical Klein Karoo cottages. It has thick walls and small windows designed to keep it cool in the hot summers and hopefully retain the heat in the winters. This does mean the cottage can be darker than the usual typical house. In an effort to compensate for this the lounge has large north facing windows so that during the day this room can be used as a relaxing living area. There is also a large fireplace in the lounge to aid in heating the room as the Klein Karoo can be very cold in winter. The cottage is situated on a dirt road and so has the usual farm type traffic including a truck that goes to the dairy daily. Previous guests have commented that the road is quiet so I suspect it is either a difference in expectation or possibly that it was a busier time during this particular visit. We were surprised at the comment on limited walks and things to do. We do give the guests descriptions of some of the walks that we enjoy and would have been happy to supply more or even guide them if we had realised that they were at a loose end. In an effort to ensure the experience for future guests is improved we intend to provide a gas heater that can be moved from room to room as needed and provide more detailed descriptions of all the possible activities that are available."
"We had a lovely,relaxing stay at the Barn Owl. The Klein Karroo surroundings are really beautiful. Tori and Mertyl (the dog) gave us a warm welcome,and they were very friendly throughout the weekend. The lovely big fire place in the living-room provided nice and cosy evenings.There are also plenty of walks to do in the area. I will definitely recommend the Barn Owl Farm to anyone who needs a peaceful getaway from city life."
(Christine Dykman, visited June 2014)
"A weekend at Barn Owl Farm is just too short. We wished we could stay longer, but as we headed home we felt like we had been away for weeks. We had 3 boys with us, a 9 year old and two 12 year olds, and they were in their element. Time was spent cycling, fishing, canoeing and even swimming in the dam. We spotted the magnificent Fish Eagle and numerous other birds too. Tori and Carl are superb hosts and were quite relaxed that at every spare moment the boys went collecting the chicken eggs that are laid all over their grounds. On Sunday morning Carl took us to look for the Hartebeest. This involved mountain biking and walking and what a privilege to be able to be able to be in such "untouched" nature. This is a highly recommended getaway. We will most certainly be back."
(Janet van Wyk, visited April 2014)
"WOW! What a wonderful place. We had a ball and I can highly recommend Barn Owl Farm. Keith has created a work of art in the Klein Karoo and his place is an oasis of charm in this beautiful rugged landscape. He even gave us some eggs to take back to the big city.
(Andrea and Roger Leverton, visited July 2013)
"We have just spent a couple of days at Barn Owl Farm and would love to visit again. We loved the quirky but very comfortable accommodation, the plant and bird life were wonderful but probably the highlight was seeing a caracal in broad daylight! Thank you from all of us."
(Gaynor Russell, visited May 2013)
"Beautifully situated. Bird lovers, hikers, and casual walkers would all enjoy this cottage. A really lovely getaway. A unique experience of the heart of the Karoo. A stunning fireplace in a big homely living room, for if the weather is miserable. We had a special time, and will return many times.
(Sally Todd, visited April 2013)
"Returning to work in the city after staying at Barn Owl farm crash landed me back in the real world with only memories and photographs left to remind me of my great escape to this special corner of the Karoo. My soul feels restored after spending time walking, bird watching, swimming in the river and just relaxing. The antique barn has been artistically converted into a comfortable and cool cottage."
(Julie Collett, visited January 2013)
"A beautiful few days spent in the Little Karoo. The Barn is very comfortable with the right combination of eclectic charm but modern amenities. Bed linen is a good quality, kitchen well equipped and the bathroom a pleasure - bronze fittings and Victorian bath and piping hot shower. We really got away from city life, we canoed on the river and saw the fish eagles and klipspringer from the dam. We went for lovely walks, tracked some of the wild cats in the area, watched the owls and porcupines feed at night - right there in the front yard. Keith, the owner, went to great lengths to ensure the braai was lit, the hammock set up in the shade and the trip memorable. I can highly recommend this as a great place to visit for young and old."
(Anne Goddard, visited February 2013)
Now, here's a nice example of funky and understated Platteland revival - an ex-ostrich farm turned chilled guest farm on the open vlakte below the Touwsberg, 30km east of...
One hundred hectares of wide open Karoo vlakte, huge skies, the gentle flow of the Touw River, two finely-tuned accommodation options, gregarious hosts Kevin and Lizelle....
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