Klipkraal Karoo Cottage R950.00 nightly (minimum two-night stay), R50 per hound daily; Barn Studio R950.00 nightly (minimum one night), R50 per hound daily.
Budget Getaways Review
After a long hiatus, this Klein Karoo gem is back in the Budget fold!
Cradled by rugged aloe-cladded hills on three sides, Klipkraal is a 15ha hobby farm in the verdant Groenfontein valley. On offer are two romantic rustic-luxury cottages with oodles of character.
The site for Klipkraal Karoo Cottage was once an old kraal, which later grew into a barn with walls thicker than your arm is long and riet ceilings insulated with clay - meaning warm in winter and cool in the blistering Karoo summer. The strong traditional roots and atmosphere has been faithfully retained - right down to the raw clay wonky walls. The result is an intimate spot tailored for a couple.
The furnishings and decor befit a romantic Karoo escape: Queen bed with pure cotton linen and a mozzie net draped above; a Victorian bath with a view of the snow-capped Swartberg in winter; a kitchen area fitted with a stainless steel Eurogas stove/oven and a gas fridge; a Deco lounge suite in front of the open fireplace... And lots of other nice touches sprinkled here and there.
The cottage doesn't have electricity (and so it shouldn't!), but there are plenty candles, paraffin lamps and braai wood (at nominal charge) to get you through the starry nights.
Through the French doors, there's a long shaded stoep with a braai and views of the mountain and aloe garden, which is circled by the original stone kraal wall. An outdoor hotwater shower and bath (splash pool in summer!) can be found to the side of the cottage.
Strolling across the dirt road (watch out for donkey carts!) brings you to Klipkraal's newer offering, Barn Studio.
This cottage-cum-chic country apartment occupies the better half of the farm's newly-built glam barn. While the eclectic furnishing are quite similar to it's bigger sibling over the road, the overall feel is quite different - with sky-high reed ceilings, beams lopped and dragged from the nearby poplar forest, and plenty of light streaming through the restored sash windows.
The floor is earthy cement screed and the decor a creative soup. The unit is open-plan, with a freestanding cast-iron fireplace, Victorian bath, stainless steel Eurogas stove, and so on. What's more there is solar electricity, which you can choose to ignore and opt instead for candlelight.
The contained stoep features it's own built-in braai area, which doubles up as shelter from the cool Karoo evening breezes that roll down the valley.
A short stroll from both cottages brings you to the small river, where you can wallow in summer or picnic at leisure under the willow trees. The farm offers pleasant walks, while further afield, the Groenfontein valley is built for mountain bikes and long walks, with plenty birdlife on route.
There is also a large dam nearby (entrance fee payable), which offers fishing (for yellow fish), swimming and braai spots, and a convivial coffee shop/gallery called Die Poskantoor less than 1km up the road - open weekends only. And, of course, there's Calitzdorp, 13km away.
"Still one of our favorite getaways."
(Victoria Vink, visited Dec 2016)
"It doesn't get much better than this. Beautiful green valley in the dry Karoo, breathtaking views and a wonderful old cottage. We stayed for three days and loved every moment. Paul was the perfect host. We went for walks, lazed along the little river, took a stroll down the road to the Oude Postkantoor (a little coffee shop and art gallery), and sat on the stoep drinking wine as the sun sank behind the hills. If what you want is to get away from the city, this is the one - dead silence and pitch dark at night, and teeming with birdlife by day."
(Martin Mossmer, visited Sep 2016)
"We set out to Klipkraal Karoo Escape seeking solitude and a true break from the bustle of Cape Town city life. To our surprise, the trip from Cape Town was almost as enjoyable as the cottage itself. The journey to Klipkraal takes you along the gorgeous Route 62 drive where you will witness some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery the Western Cape has to offer. The cottage is luxurious in its simplicity with stunning antique furnishings and walls as thick as your arm is long. We loved the sitting area around the couch, next to the rustic open plan kitchen, and found that this is where we spent most of our time, when we were not luxuriously soaking in the Victorian bath. The surrounding area is incredibly peaceful and quiet, and the aloe-decked hills are an absolutely breathtaking view to wake up to. We loved our visit and our only regret is that we could not stay for longer. Next time for sure!"
(Jeanne Fourie, visited Jul 2016)
"We stayed in the Klipkraal Cottage for two nights and had such a great time! The cottage is very cozy, nicely decorated and equipped with everything you need. The views are stunning and there is a lot to explore in the area. Thanks for a great stay, we will be back!"
(Benthe Derks, visited Jul 2016)
"Kilpkraal is a slice of heaven on earth. The outside bath is an absolute must, and life from the stoep couldn't get more perfect."
(Pearl Thompson, visited Jul 2016)
"What a magical spot! Highly recommend for a quiet romantic break. The surroundings are spectacular with lots of areas to visit and explore. Thanks for a wonderful time Klipkraal!"
(Lianne Godfrey, visited Jul 2016)
"We absolutely loved it! This is a hidden gem in the middle of the mountains."
(Nico Ungerer, visited Jun 2016)
"We loved Klipkraal and will be back!"
(Marise Lerm, visited Apr 2016)
"We spent a wonderful two nights in the Klipkraal cottage during our honeymoon in March. Rudston and Adele, our hosts, were very friendly, welcoming, and helpful. The cottage is situated in a spectacularly beautiful location, and if you are after peace, tranquility and romance, this is definitely the place for you. We drove over the Swartberg pass to Prince Albert for breakfast early one morning while we stayed here, and then back via Meiringspoort/De Rust, which was a really fun day trip. The decor inside the cottage is tasteful and exceeds that of most self-catering cottages that I have been too - it really feels like a home. The only thing that I would recommend is that guests should bring a torch/lamp or two as it tends to get quite dark inside from the early evening as the house is designed to keep the Karoo heat at bay... we'll be back! PS: The outside bath was also great and appropriately private. Karoo stars with a glass of red wine...bliss!"
(Matt Dennis, visited Mar 2016)
"My hubby booked a weekend away for me for my 40th birthday spoil, and spoilt we where. This spot is perfect! Just like we like our getaways to be. Rustic, peaceful and typically South African. Thank you very much for a wonderful rest - we will be back very, very soon! P.s. we loved the outdoor shower."
(melanie grobler, visited December 2012)
"My husband and I stayed at the Klipkraal Karoo Cottage in June this year and it was a truly remarkable experience. The cottage is located in a beautiful valley and we were greeted upon arrival by Richard who was really friendly and gave us all the necessary information to enjoy our stay. My husband and I both agreed that the cottage was furnished and equipped as you would if you are expecting good friends and family to stay over. We enjoyed all the attention paid to detail such as the tableware, the bed linen and the really good port. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, very reasonably priced, this is it! We left Klipkraal feeling refreshed and rested and we are most definitely returning as soon as we can!"
(Annika Rudman, visited June 2012)
"We stayed for two nights in this graciously decorated little cottage with it's cotton sheets, porcelain crockery, and inspiring scenery. I have pleasant memories of relaxing on the generous porch and marvelling at the conical hills of the impressive Swartberg mountains that cluster around Klipkraal Karoo Cottage - listening for the call of the baboons that roam in the rugged wilderness surrounding the fertile Groenfontein river. Our stay was too short!"
(Colette Kemp, visited April 2012)
"A perfect place. We've stayed at Klipkraal twice, and both times wished we'd booked for longer. It's both rustic and romantic, in a beautifully rugged spot on the Groenfontein loop."
(Jonah Sack, visited April 2012)
"Truly magical. Such a special hidden part of the country in a cottage that has had every detail considered to make you really feel a part of the Karoo. All the luxuries of home with all the rustic charm included."
(Debi Shabason, visited March 2012)
"It is such a special place. I cannot do justice to this amazing place on paper. The decor of the cottage is rustic, yet luxurious right down to the detail of decor items to decent white linen. Everything you need for a relaxed self-catering experience. The view, the outdoor shower/bath, the romantic candlelit evenings, the silence and peace will restore your soul. A place to return to. We had a very pleasant stay. Thanks Paul and Renee."
(Ronell Engelbrecht, visited November 2011)
"This is a diamond. It is the sensual earthy getaway. If you seek peace, a romantic hideout, or time away to write that great novel, you can do no better on the R62. We spent a week here, and it was inspiring, refreshing and grounding all in one. The attention to detail is a daily pleasure. I cannot recommend this enough."
(Mark Vella, visited May 2011)
"Lovely hosts, beautiful setting, absolutely tranquil. We loved every second of it. Thank you so much!"
(Dany Schoon, visited December 2010)
"What a great place - it was the highlight of our trip! A very beautiful and peaceful environment. The cottage has got a luxurious and romantic feel, and is kitted out far better than my own home - very stylish furniture. Love the thick walls! Also, great hosts! The clear river and its shady banks was a treat to swim in in the heat of the Karoo. Klipkraal is like staying in a boutique hotel for the price of a budget getaway. The only downside was that the standard got set so high, that the other places we visited on our trip were disappointing in comparison. We'll be back!"
(Christopher Higgo, visited October 2010)
"Hello Paul and Renee - well what more can one say after reading the other comments? Your house is beautiful and we enjoyed looking/reading all the quirky bits in the house, loved that little man in the bathroom! Thank you for the yummy ciabatta."
(June Linde, visited May 2010)
"Our stay at Klipkraal was bliss! This is a real gem - you are urged to make your stay as lengthy as possible so as to soak up the many moods of the landscape, the beautiful walks and drives in the region and the utter peace of being away from it all. We loved the cottage - it has so much charm, many stylish decor pieces and thoughtful touches. It is really quite luxurious. A hot shower outdoors on a cold autumn night was a highlight as was the ambience of the lounge as we sat in silence and enjoyed the fire. Breathe in, breathe out...this place is perfect!"
(Sascha Polkey, visited May 2010)
"What a special, quiet, tranquil, fully equipped place. We love it! We did not want to leave. We will be back and for at least four days. Thank you Paul and Renee."
(Victoria Hanratty, visited January 2010)
"A real gem. We've trundled through the Karoo quite a bit by now, and this is one of our favourites. Authentic and simple, but luxurious in ways that matter - a good kitchen, an outdoor shower, a lovely bed, a big verandah, a swimming hole. Highly recommended for tranquility and getting away for it all, although be prepared for the heat in summer. I found regular dips and the outdoor shower worked a treat."
(Theo Erasmus, visited December 2009)
"This was it! Luxurious comfort in a pristine setting. We really appreciated the little extras! Thank you Budget Getaways! Alta, Kris and Daniel."
(Alta Vogel, visited April 2009)
"Really worth a visit. The cottage is stunning, the hosts excellent and the scenery interesting."
(Anne Perusset, visited February 2009)
"Only slight problem was erratic water on the last (Monday) morning. Brilliant otherwise."
(Gary Perusset, visited February 2009)
The setting? Gorgeous Klein Karoo, minus the harsh edges: early morning cows on their way to be milked, the sounds of phlegmatic tractors and the occasional farm bakkie; ...
Now, here's a farm spilling rich history and Karoo character. Matjiesvlei goes right back to 1821 and has been in the same bloodline ever since - today it's farmed by 5th...
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