Houses: R275pp-R440pp depending on unit; kids under 12, R140pp; Mongoose Manor R140pp, kids R90pp; children under 2 years, free.
Budget Getaways Review
It started off with an idea for a romantic weekend for just the two of you. But then the troops and your buddies got wind of it, who in turn informed gran and gramps… And now your sister’s just called to say that her three hooligans are strapped into their car seats and ready to go…
Don’t fret, Drie Kuilen Private Nature Reserve (30km from Montagu on the road to Touwsrivier) is here to save the day.
With jaw-dropping mountain and Koo Valley views and ample activities on hand - from canoeing to swimming, from game drives to mountain biking - this isn’t the type of place where any of the clan will be sitting around twiddling their thumbs.
Nestled into 4300ha (yip, you read right!) of Waboom mountainscape, Drie Kuilen is home to a variety of antelope, black wildebeest and a few Cape mountain zebra, all of which can be seen on your own rambles around the reserve.
The accommodation is basic and relaxed, yet perfectly adequate, with a spacious farmhouse, three cottages and the Mongoose Manor - a basic dorm with 54 bunk beds. Darn, you might as well hire a bus and invite the entire neighbourhood while you're at it.
Kicking off with the the largest of the fleet, Eland House, this sprawling farmhouse is nicely suited to a large family or two families seeking all-in-one quarters. The house sleeps six and has three bedrooms, each ensuite. Decked with modern finishes, it includes an equipped kitchen, comfy living area and glass-enclosed patio to soak in the views, no matter what the weather.
Moving along to the smaller units, Springbok House (sleeps six) and Gemsbok House (sleeps four) sit alongside each other near the main farmhouse. The two units have a large lawn out front and portable braai's.
Tucked away in its own private setting away from the above two units is Zebra Cottage (sleeps 4-5), a simply furnished solar and gas-powered cottage with two bedrooms (double and twin) and a sleeper couch in the lounge. The views from here are lovely, with a good chance of spotting game from the comfort of your deck chair from the covered stoep and built-in-braai.
The activities list is a long one. There are miles of open space to hunt down the sanity you lost some time back. Game drives, a picnic on the mountain, fireside tales around the boma firepit, stargazing (bring own 'scope), a dip in the farm dam, general chilling back at base camp, Drie Kuilen appears to be a win among families and laid-back groups.
“One of the most picturesque places in our country. It's a place to find your soul again…” "Relaxed and private, with lovely view." "It is a wonderful getaway near to Cape Town."
Good enough for us.
"Really good stay, lovely setting, could do with better directions on Website, however overall enjoyable and will visit again."
(Kate Neethling, visited May 2015)
"We had a really wonderful time! It was remote, beautiful and really relaxing. The Zebra Cottage was simply decorated and very clean with all the necessities for self catering. We didn't see much game (just 10 wildebeest) as the weather was rainy."
(Tayana Raper, visited September 2014)
"A very clean neat and well looked after place. The sightseeing is great. If peace and quiet is what you're after then this is the place. Affordable and enjoyable. We saw lots of game, so we were satisfied on all fronts."
(Basil Spencer-Hicken, visited June 2014)
"We were disappointed in this venue. Firstly, they don't have signage from the road so there is no indication where you must turn off the first time, therefore you are guaranteed to get lost. Take note there is no cellular connection so in our case a major disaster. When you get to the venue the attitude is that of 'its your own problem' and 'take it or leave it'. Bad advertising for a Nature Reserve in South Africa. They insist on a R300 deposit. When you book out there is no immediate inspection but a week later we were notified that there was a glass missing and a R30 was deducted from the deposit. On response that nothing was missing when we left, this venue just ignored us. I will not recommend this venue at all."
(Rene Esterhuysen, visited September 2013)
"It is with regret that that your stay with us did not live up to your expectations. We would like to ensure you that we give only the best to our clients. By no means do we accept a nonchalant attitude from our staff and they are trained to handle each guest with understanding. As indicated on our quotes and our website, there is indeed no cellphone reception available on the reserve. We have guests who regularly return due to this specific fact. Our establishment is also listed on Google Maps and we send marked maps to guests to clearly see where we are situated. We would like to draw attention to the fact that we accommodated your stay with a discounted rate, since you could not qualify for the special we had running at the time. We also ensure proper stock taking of each unit before and after bookings and we offer our sincerest apologies if you believe that we made a mistake with this recording."
(Drie Kuilen Private Nature Reserve)
"We had a wonderful time at Drie Kuilen. We took my husbands parents from Yorkshire with us and we all enjoyed every moment. Our son loved the watering hole near the house, especially watching the tadpoles and frogs."
(Elsje Smith, visited November 2013)
"Personeel baie vriendelik. Voel tuis daar."
(Chris van den Berg, visited September 2013)
"Even if you happened to never see one animal - which we did see - the scenery itself makes this place worthwhile. It's beautiful, rugged, peaceful and the rocks on the 4x4 trails are perfect for energetic children to climb. We definitely plan on coming again, hopefully with others who'll also enjoy the serene atmosphere. We brought electric blankets that helped keep us warm this wintry weekend."
(Thandi Nkomo, visited June 2013)
"It's a rustic and homely atmosphere on the farm, and with the airstrip close it's a quick get away for weekends. People working on the farm are always very friendly and professional."
(Vossie Vosloo, visited August 2012)
"We are a family of 4 and love to visit Drie Kuilen Nature Reserve when we need to unwind and to be alone, away from the city. We enjoy the quietness and the fact that we are alone in the peaceful environment and enjoy the wildlife on the farm. It is a wonderful getaway near to Cape Town."
(Louis & Junette Hattingh, visited March 2012)
"Relaxed and private with lovely view."
(Marietha Cornelius, visited August 2011)
"One of the most picturesque places in our country. A place to find your soul again."
(Pieter van der Poel, visited January 2012)
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