From R550 - R4100 per unit
Budget Getaways Review
A question we often ask yourselves at the BG office: Why the heck do we share Budget gems like this with the general public? When deep down our conscience tells us to report the file lost, slip it into a dossier labelled "Urgent Work To Do" and hide it under our mouldy lunchbox.
Koensrust Sea Farm, as it's fully known, lies on the coast just outside Vermaaklikheid. With private access to both endless beach, the river and 1000ha (we repeat, 1000ha) of private fynbos farm, this is one unique Budget getaway.
Whether you fall into the ranks of fisherman, walker, runner, swimmer, mountain biker, canoeist, fynbos aficionado, twitcher, or, if you're like the rest of us lazy slobs who lie around doing nothing at all, Koensrust should be high on your 100 Places to Visit Before I Die in the Most Embarrassing Way Imaginable.
The farm is a magnificent example of Southern Cape and Limestone fynbos. An active program of alien removal over the past 15 years has ensured that it's virtually free of the rooikrantz that's taken Mugabe-style control over most farms in this area. What's more, indigenous game like bontebok, Cape mountain zebra and grey rhebuck have been reintroduced to the land.
Now to the important matter at hand: your bed for the weekend. You have a choice of three options.
Let's begin with a little rustic number called The Beach Shack, featuring an old fisherman's holiday cottage appointed in a sandy cove, above a private beach of pebbles and 101 rock pools. As the tide rolls in the rocks get covered and the fishing gets started. You'll even find evidence of fishermen before you (no, not old rusty pilchard tins), in the form of an ancient San stone fish trap and numerous shell middens.
The Beach Shack features a big wooden deck tailor-built for that trashy novel. All linen is provided (not towels), the lights and fridge freezer are solar-powered, while the oven is gas. The braai is equipped with the essentials and ready and waiting for that fish you're gonna catch.
Up the hill from the beach is Yard Cottage, a quaint little thatch cottage yielding stupendous views from Cape Infanta to Danger Point on the one side, milkwoods and stunning fynbos, birds and bokkies on the other (stoop) side. Apparently it's not uncommon to see a herd of Bontebok grazing outside your front door in the evenings.
In Yard Cottage's case you have the same access to the beach but a drive in the car is required to get there. Again, all linen is provided and your power comes via the sun, gas and hot coals. There's also the bonus of indoor fireplace.
About 200m away you've got Kapstyl Cottage, a thatched six-sleeper (double and 4 single beds) which has great views out over veld and sea. Built in the Kapstyl method of high pitched thatched roof, found only in this part of the Cape, Kapstyl Cottage has a completely private setting behind some milkwood trees. You've got a braai area and a separate lapa and braai as well.
Finally, in a most private and secluded site on the banks of the Duiwenhoks is River Camp. Sign the indemnity form, switch the Pajero into 4x4 (essential) and it's all yours.
The campsite comes with three pitched tents (with beds and linen!), a kitchen with fridge/freezer and stove, solar lights, a solar hot-water shower, a flush loo with a view. Talk about camping in style...
Spend your days exploring the river, fishing for cob and steenbras, long walks in the veld, swimming, reading… The possibilities are endless.
"We were a group of 7 staying at the River Camp in Koensrust. I can't wait to go back! The campsite is beautifully maintained, neat, clean, and the beds are very comfortable but I suppose the surrounding nature, sounds of the river, birds and frogs is what attracted me most. Our dogs enjoyed every moment and have never been so tired from having fun! The walk down to the campsite and back up again is a bit challenging, especially on hot summer days, but most enjoyable with lovely views. The human heart yearns for places untouched by the hands of man."
(Ilze van der Berg, visited Jan 2017)
"A restful break from the busy city life. This felt like a retreat into nature. The long stretch of beach was the best find of all."
(Kim Foster Yardley, visited Jan 2017)
"The Beach Shack is an awesome location, it is private and right on the beach. The rock pools contain a fabulous amount of fish life. We saw large octopus and brightly coloured really large puffer fish in many of the pools along with all your usual little fish and shoals of mullet. The rock formations around the cottage are beautiful and the cliff to the Western edge has a distinct chameleon shape to it. The men folk fished but didn't catch anything, they lost a couple of hooks though. The accommodation is very basic indeed, but the kitchen is really well stocked and the duvet's on the beds are thick and snuggly. It is well worth paying the R150 to have the staff transport your belongings from the car park to the cottage as the path going down is really steep. To get to the cottage you drive through Koensrust private game reserve; we saw Bontebok, Greysbok and Steenbok all on the first day, and the flowers were everywhere from tiny blooms on the ground to swathes of Proteas. I am so glad I took my sketchbook! We will definitely be visiting again."
(Deirdre Scott-Rogerson, visited Sep 2016)
"I spent 4 nights at the Yard Cottage with family and friends and enjoyed every moment. I loved the silences, the long deserted beach, the game grazing in the distance, the outside shower, and the various sunny stoepies all around the cottage where I could warm myself with a book. I loved the fact that my dogs were welcome and that I could freely walk around the farm and enjoy the aroma of Fynbos and the abundant bird life. I can't wait to go again!"
(Ilze van der Berg, visited Jul 2016)
(Daphne Von solms , visited Feb 2016)
"We really enjoyed the weekend in such a fantastic setting. The outside shower is a winner and exploring the rocky coastline at spring low tide was magical. Kids really enjoyed it and my son caught his first fish, which made his weekend even more special. Thanks for the hospitality and thanks to Abel and the two Jannies for getting our luggage down and up the steep path!"
(Cobus Olivier, visited January 2015)
"What a magic spot! Totally secluded, in the five days that we stayed, we only saw two other people! Although the facilities are rustic and basic they have everything you need, and the huge fridge was a wonderful surprise. Our only complaint is that the single bed mattresses sag a bit in the middle, not all that comfy for an adult. Will most definitely be back."
(John Lugg, visited January 2015)
"Thanks for the info John, we will attend to the sagging mattress. I apologise for your discomfort and thanks for letting us know. Hope to see you again soon."
(Koensrust Sea Farm )
"The facility as awesome and rustic, although it could do with a bit of a spruce up here and there."
(Philip Micklewood, visited November 2014)
"We have visited the Tented Camp and while the setting was superb, the place could have been better prepared for visitors. The slated tent floors allow all kinds of spiders and insects to enter which resulted in some panic with family members. A good surface spray of insecticide could have prevented this. Secondly, on warmer, sunny days we were harassed by gadflies. Once again, a pre-warning to come prepared would have helped."
(Jan Kruger, visited October 2014)
"I almost even don't want to rate this hidden gem, only because I want to keep it a secret. We stayed in the Kapstyl cottage and it was just the break we needed. Away from shops, away from city life and even away from technology. There is no cellphone reception. If you have a telescope I would recommend taking it with because on a clear night the stars are just amazing. I have never in my life seen the milky way so clear. The home is rustic and has a charm to it. Kitchen has a view so you almost don't mind doing dishes. If you looking for relaxation and breaking away from the hustle and bustle of life this is the place to be. Just make sure you bring enough food as there is nothing nearby for miles. The only issue I have is and want people to know if you planning to go anywhere near Vermaaklikheid go with a 4x4. My poor little Hyundai I20, I felt sorry for her. The dirt road is quiet tedious, it will get you to your destination however I would not want to put her through that again. Rosemary has been wonderful with my all my 1000's of questions and the staff on the farm made you feel very welcomed. Koensrust will be seeing us again. It has put a spell on us."
(Abby Bezuidenhout, visited April 2014)
"An absolutely amazing getaway, right on the river. We as a family love camping, so this glamour-camping (glamping!) was a treat. Beautiful setting, very comfortable accommodation and facilities - can't wait to go back. P.s they're not lying when they say you need a 4x4 to get down to the River Camp."
(Tanya Moffat, visited March 2014)
"God’s creation at its best, what a place unspoiled, private. You do really need a 4x4 otherwise a scenic walk down to heaven. Fishing at its best, caught plenty cob and released them all as they were under size, we will be back. A light at the jetty would be great otherwise not much to say other than this place should be kept a secret. Loved our stay."
(Franky Rodrigues, visited February 2013)
"Awesome spot if you like to be really close to nature, the sea and like fishing!"
(Andre de Jager, visited April 2011)
"Fantastic getaway for a weekend. Great not to see any other people and just relax with the family!"
(Vicky Steyn, visited July 2011)
"A special place. The Shack's become a yearly ritual for a birthday/boys fishing weekend. Getting back to our basic roots is what I really love about the Shack."
(Jero Revett, visited November 2010)
"Due to the absolute beauty and ruggedness of the place, it has become very popular... and the availability for old regulars is now at a premium. Unfortunate, but a reality. Would go there most weekends if given half a chance!"
(Gavin Koen, visited September 2010)
"One of our favourite holiday destinations. Quite pricey, but irresistible!"
(Sue Dennis, visited April 2011)
"Bit expensive if you are not at least four to six people, yet very cozy."
(Enid Crous, visited June 2011)
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