Budget Getaways Review
A few choice guest snippets to get our wordy review of Desert Wind rolling…
"For me Desert Wind Private Game Farm really is the ultimate getaway. I love the vast open spaces of untouched raw natural beauty that surrounds the farm… The house is comfortable and has everything you need and the decor is typical gamefarm-style, giving a real authentic experience. I love it and can't wait to go back!"
"Excellent getaway so close to home (200km), campsite and ablution facilities have been spotless on the five occasions we have camped there…"
Your adventure starts with 40km's of gravel road cutting through open landscape north of Montagu.
Desert Wind is all about giant African skies, gorgeous mornings, midday summer heat of the sort where life barely breathes, obligatory siestas, and powerful G&Ts at sunset.
As a private game farm, there's plenty of wildlife to view - both bigger and obvious (a variety of buck, ostriches, etc), and more subtle, small and miraculous in the shaded nooks and crannies of this eternal landscape.
The setting may appear 'typical endless Karoo' but there's no lack of stuff to do: miles of mountain bike and hiking trails to discover, as well as viewing a good selection of karoo wildlife on foot... Seriously, you won't be bored.
Accommodation comes in four forms: At the top of the pile is the comfortable self-catering Guesthouse that sleeps 10, with a separate four-sleeper Small Guest Cottage alongside. Further along there’s The Stable Suites, two luxury units with a shared kitchen, and finally, Die Kliphuis - a quaint little stone cottage.
A generous abode, The Guesthouse features lovely timber floors, stone work and high ceilings. There are three comfortable bedrooms, all of them ensuite. Adding to its conviviality is a huge indoor braai in the lounge and a stoep that extends along the entire front. The kitchen is well equipped with fridge, freezer, gas oven and stove, plus all the pots and pans and crockery you'll need. Candles and lamps and solar power and fires are the order of the day, as the farm is way out of reach of Eskom.
For guest overflow, The Small Guest Cottage is connected to the main homestead via a passage, and consists of a large open-plan room with en-suite bathroom and separate lounge area with indoor fireplace. With a double bed and two single beds (that can form another double if required), this is a perfect spot to tuck the kids out of direct earshot.
Next up are the luxury Stable Suites with shared kitchenette. Suited to couples sharing, the suites are set away from the main guesthouse and offer stunning mountain and bush views.
The newly competed boma is open to all guests and sits alongside the Stable Suites.
Finally onto Die Kliphuis... With lovely views over the gorge and rockpool, this two-bedroom cottage is made entirely from local river rock. Comprising a single room with Queen bed and a sleeper couch in the living room, Die Kliphuis is well tailored to a small family or couple. Packed with character you’ve got a well equipped kitchen, inside and outdoor braai and an ambiance that’s second to none. As with The Guesthouse, solar and gas power are the order of the day.
Great spot. Great guest feedback. Can't wait to visit.
"Absolutely amazing stay and thank you very much to April for his kindness. We loved every minute! Highly recommendable."
(visited Jun 2019)
"Desert Wind is the ideal setting for a true breakaway. The cosy, beautifully decorated accommodation - complete with white linen bedding, solar powered electricity and gas appliances - is fully equipped for self-catering, even in large groups. The vast Karoo sky and exquisite landscape makes you feel rested and separate from reality. We had the most wonderful time welcoming 2018 in! Thank you for having us"
(visited Dec 2017)
"There is no denying Desert Wind is in a beautiful location. The views stretch for miles and the silence is broken only by the sound of animals and birds, however, our stay was less than rewarding. We booked the whole farm between a group of friends and stayed there for New Years Eve 2016/7. Over the whole length of our stay we never laid eyes on a single management representative and became aware that, aside from the farm labourers and two cleaning staff, we were entirely alone. There was no welcome, and no goodbye. This would have been ok had there not been fairly serious gaps in the overall hospitality package. Firstly, on the farms advice, we had ordered (and paid) for fresh bread to be delivered. This never arrived. We then found out that all but one of the showers were malfunctioning. They would either flow scalding hot, or ice cold. It was impossible to take a comfortable shower. On the first night that we arrived, we also discovered there was only one fridge and a combo fridge/freezer among the fifteen of us. This led to spoilage of our meat and perishables. Even after we packed one fridge, the gas in that fridge ran out and we were left with a pool of water the following morning. The 40+ degree heat did not help matters. Thank goodness for Jan whom I found to help us install a new gas canister, as there is no phone at Desert Wind to call management on. On the third day one of our toilets ceased to work and was not repaired. The furniture on the patio at the main house was old and in need of replacement and a chair collapsed under one of our party, causing some discomfort. We managed to enjoy the beautiful surroundings regardless, but Desert Wind gives the impression of a place that has been neglected by its ownership. I have no doubt with some commitment and TLC it could be an exceptional place to visit, but we will not be returning any time soon."
(visited Dec 2016)
"I preferred the outdoors rather than the indoors. We stayed at the small guest house. The bed looked shabby but was surprisingly comfortable. The fridge was really cool so our meat didn't go bad. The fireplace was the best thing in the room as it provided ample warmth to the room in the evening. The braai facilities were nice."
(visited Jul 2016)
"We had a lovely stay in the Kliphuis at Desert Wind. It was really a spot in the middle of nowhere, in nature, which is exactly what we were looking for. The dassies kept us entertained on the rocks that the house is built against, and the braai area has an amazing view and at night the stars are amazing. The farm manager was very friendly and helpful and we enjoyed the rock pool as well. It was a very dry time when we visited, I think it would be better to visit when the stream is flowing and a bigger rock pool would have been awesome. We were the only visitors there and enjoyed the rock pool, but it is really not made for a lot of people so I would expect it to get very crowded when the campsite is booked as well."
(visited Jan 2016)
"What an amazing place to chill and enjoy the Karoo at its best. The new owners have improved on what was already a fabulous getaway with the new stables suites, boma and shop, the sight of Prillie sitting patiently with the cash box while two of our younger guests agonised over the choice between pink or white ear muffs will stay with me for a long time! The accommodation is spotlessly clean and seriously well equipped with a level of comfort not often found at a budget level, think crisp white sheets, leather couches and big comfy cushions! Sundowners on the stoep whilst the eland wander by, we'll definitely be back!"
(visited February 2015)
"Planning on going again, great value for money, very relaxing."
(visited December 2014)
"We were very disappointed with the new owner who cancelled our booking, made two months in advance, at the last minute (three days before we were due to go) because they wanted to do renovations. I found this unacceptable and very unprofessional. We were a big group of families and finding last minute accommodation was very tricky. I found the attitude of the new owners dismissive."
(visited August 2014)
"It is with sincere regret that we received your feedback & once again offer our apologies. Please understand that certain elements of farm life are beyond our control. Three days before your arrival the gas geyser in the main guesthouse burst and the solar system was ineffective on its own without sun to heat it. Sadly suppliers are a distance away which makes repairs and maintenance a bit of a challenge. We immediately "blocked" off the house for much needed repairs and maintenance. In addition, we had your booking for the large guesthouse and it was only on reconciling the invoices that we noticed your outstanding amount due and your booking for the main house too. We did explain that the large guesthouse was still available for your visit and we did offer a refund of 25% off the rate. Our repairs will be completed by 30-September and we would like to offer you a complimentary weekend at the large guesthouse (sleeps 10) in lei of this disappointing experience."
"We had a wonderful time, especially recommend the quad biking, even our young kids enjoyed riding on the back as they easily fit two people. Only drawback was that we were only staying two nights en route to Oudtshoorn and hadn't realised that it was so far from Montagu. You need to be prepared for a 40km dirt road that took us about an hour from Montagu. There's no cell phone reception along the road, so make sure you don't break down."
(visited June 2014)
"It is beautifully appointed very rustic and comfortable. If I was to comment on anything it is that there were no topographical maps available of the farm, detailing walking and mountain bike trails. We will visit again."
(visited April 2014)
"We stayed in " Die Kliphuis " for three days.There is no electricity and no cellphone signal which made the holiday even more special. We saw Eland in the moonlight while sitting at the braai and there was millions of stars. I would recommend this getaway to anyone who needs a break from the world. Best place to rest your soul."
(visited April 2014)
"What a fabulous getaway. We spent the long Easter weekend at the Main House (8 sleeper) and definitely didn't want to come home. The house was really spacious and well equipped (most of the furniture looked brand new) with comfy beds and big couches to stretch out on. Prilly, Koos and the rest of the team were fantastic with the children, taking them to feed the animals each morning and then on a brilliant quad bike ride. The evenings spent around the fire pit under the endless Karoo starry skies will be remembered and talked about for a long time to come. We'll be back!"
(visited April 2014)
"A big thank you to Candice , Koos and Prillie. Initially a booking communication bug was dealt with in a superbly efficient and pleasant manner. We arrived in the pouring rain after taking the scenic route, highly recommended because I saw a goshawk take off with a snake! We arrived and were so grateful to be received by a warm friendly face who did everything he could to assist the weary, damp campers who arrived at the door! Your kindness is heart felt. The lodge, camping spot and surrounds definitely deserve a big thumbs up. We will certainly return with a group of friends to make special memories!"
(visited April 2013)
"Very quiet and tranquil. Absolutely no cell phone reception, which is great. The accommodation is very comfortable and clean. The onsite staff are extremely helpful. Activities such as swimming in a rock pool, and quad biking, make for some great outdoor time. Two braai areas, one at the accommodation, and the other in a lovely sheltered lapa, make for great evenings."
(visited May 2011)
"If you like to get away from it all, with no electricity (solar power), very limited cell phone reception, no city lights, etc, then this is the place... both self-catering lodge and camping. Self-catering is spacious, clean and has everything you need. Great for a large family or group of friends getaway. Tons to keep you busy as well. The camping is special as you are down by the river bed with a great rock pool for swimming, good clean bathroom facilities and hot water. The place is still undiscovered and so you have the whole farm to yourself."
(visited April 2011)
"Excellent getaway so close to home (200km). Campsite and ablution facilities have been spotless on the 5 occasions we have camped there and April the farm manager is always popping by to make sure you are having an enjoyable stay. We always make sure Desert Wind is a stopover for our trips."
(visited January 2011)
"For me Desert Wind Private Game Farm really is the ultimate getaway. I love the vast open spaces of untouched raw natural beauty that surrounds the farm. It was great to get into nature and far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. My highlight was the natural rock pool and the fun quad biking expeditions up and down rocky hills, with game just chilling in the veldt alongside the path. The house is comfortable and has everything you need and the decor is typical game farm style giving a real authentic experience. I love it and can't wait to go back!"
(visited January 2010)
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