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Thorn & Feather

310km from Cape Town
A cluster of exclusive stone cottages and communal living area overlooking the Duiwenhoks River - on the outskirts of Vermaaklikheid (& 35km from Riversdale)
  • After a long day on the river
  • Private access
  • Water sport gear
  • View from river
  • Stoep & day bed
  • Day bed
  • separate bedrooms (cottages)
  • Bedroom
  • Duiwenhoks river
  • Kayaks, Canoes and SUPs

Rate Guide

R1900 - R2800 nightly for the homestead, depending on time of year.

Quick Facts

on the outskirts of Vermaaklikheid (& 35km from Riversdale)
S 34°19'44''
E 21°01'23''
6 adults and 3 children
By request
birdwatching, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, stargazing, swimming, walking, watersports, windsurfing
Overall Rating
Standard of facilities
Appeal of setting
Value for money

Budget Getaways Review

You know you're onto something good when you pry open the tap and the glowing reviews come flowing fast and furious. “Thorn & Feather is the perfect escape...” “The perfect place to get away from it all...” “What a magical place. Unique!...” “I wish I could stay there forever...” And so on, and so forth. 

Rustic-luxury comfort personified, there’s little doubt Thorn and Feather will have you hankering for a second and third helping. Comprising a cluster of lovely white stone cottages perched on a slope overlooking the sluggish Duiwenshok waters, all beautifully connected with paths and boardwalks, this is riverside living at its uber best. 

Offered on an exclusive basis as “The Homestead’, your weekend compound consists of the following three units: Annabelle (one Queen bed and a single), Astrid (Queen bed and two singles, plus loo and outside shower), and Sam (Queen bed and outside shower). 

The aptly-named Bath House offers an extra loo, bath and shower.

For your tribal gatherings, there's a separate stone building with fully equipped kitchen and dining room spilling onto a large deck and braai area overlooking the river. From your braai, via the milkwood forest, a walkway flows down to the river where you’ll find the boathouse and its assortment of canoes and kayaks.

Besides chill-out deluxe, you've plenty to do. The beach and the river mouth is about six kays downstream, there are miles of lonely gravel roads for mountain biking, farm walks and strolls galore, fishing, swimming and canoeing. And then there's the utter peace and quiet. Tim Ferris' Four-Hour Work Week (still too much, if you ask us), the chops sizzling nearby, a sprig of rosemary, a fine Pinot Noir... You get the picture. 

The best way to explore the Duiwenhoks river is definitely on the water. Travel down with the tide and picnic on the wild, unspoilt San Sebastian Bay beach or experience the quiet waters and scenery further upriver. You're welcome to bring your own boat and watrsport gear, but as a guest you do have exclusive access (at no cost) to a well stocked “Kayak House” featuring 3 x SUP (stand up paddle boards), 1 x single fishing kayak (kaskazi), 1 x double kayak (paddleyak), 1 x 3 person canoe, 1 x double canoe oars, paddles and children’s life-vests, anchors and foam cushions (a refundable deposit is required).

Better start dialling, 'cause we anticipate stiff competition for this little number!

Additional Info

  • Advance orders for Firewood (Rooikrans)
  • Watersport Store Free of Charge for Budget Getaway Guests: includes Kayaks, Canoes and Paddle Boards
Guest Reviews
Overall Rating (based on 4 reviews)
Standard of facilities
Appeal of setting
Value for money

"What a gem of a place! Beautiful bedroom cottages, main living area and stunning bath house all built in local stone. The River is gorgeous and accessed from the huge viewing deck via cool walkway through shady trees. Service is professional and discreet, kayaks and swimming pool all add to the attractiveness of this truly beautiful lodge."

"We absolutely loved the Thorn and Feather, it is a beautiful place to get away from everything and spend time with family and friends. Jonathan was extremely helpful, provided loads of information as well as things to do in the area. We spent our days paddling on the river, braaing and relaxing. The bathhouse is amazing, loads of hot water, a lovely big bath as well as a shower and a view over the river. We will definitely be back."

"What an amazing, beautiful, relaxing, stunning quiet retreat. We will be back and the next visit will be longer. We spent 3 nights there but would have been happy to stay for 2 weeks or more."

"We really enjoyed our few days at this tranquil spot off the beaten track!"

"One of the best getaways closer to home - only 3.5 hours away, but we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Peaceful, restful, superbly kitted out for self-catering (right down to 3 fridges, paella pan and Bialettis!). The best part might just be the Bathhouse and taking long afternoon baths surrounded by nature. We will definitely be back!"

"We had the absolute pleasure of spending my daughter's birthday weekend at Thorn and Feather. It is truly a little piece of blissful heaven and comes highly recommended. It's great for a family get away - the separate bedroom 'houses' are great for privacy and the bath house is something to experience. The kids had loads of fun messing around in kayaks on the river and the long braai on the stoep is a perfect end to the day. Jonathan and Nella made us feel so welcome. Walking into that incense filled main house with the magnificent views on Friday afternoon was truly what the spirit needed. And at night it's like a fairy garden with the lights. Truly a wonderful relaxing experience, close to nature with all the comforts of a 5 star stay."

"Wonderful place but it needs more boats especially motorized because its difficult to go anywhere as the walks are limited."

"I'm a huge fan of Thorn and Feather - it's a very special place in an amazing location. The accommodation is great, the views stunning, and the river and nearby coast are incredible. I especially love sitting around the fire-pit on the deck at night under the stars."

"Thorn & Feather is the perfect escape… quiet and secluded, a place to relax and unwind. The quaint stone cottages set above the river have spectacular views. Whether you prefer to sit listening to the fish eagles with a good book, take to the river to fish or canoe, enjoy a walk to Vermaaklikheid village; drive to nearby Stilbaai for a surf, braai your favourite food on the outside deck, soak in a hot bath with a view, cuddle up next to the indoor fire on chilly evenings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The accommodation has a rustic style, but with enough creature comforts to make it a luxury stay. It’s definitely a place you will want to visit again."

"The perfect place to get away from it all, without missing the comforts of home. The location is unbelievable - not another soul in sight and with a peaceful river meandering below. I wish I could stay there forever......"


"Magical and enchanting! What a gem! We loved every moment spent at this unique hideaway. A perfect blend of rustic charm and creature comforts. An added benefit was that it was child friendly so our toddler was in heaven exploring. We can't wait to return!"

"Thorn and Feather is a very special place. A perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy nature at its best. The setting couldn't be better. Will be back soon!"

"A great location overlooking the Vermaaklikheid River - very relaxing with comfortable outhouses for a small group or large family."

"What a magical place. Unique! Will definitely be back. Beautiful buildings, comfortable, huge viewing deck gives just the right ambience to tranquil river and leafy forest walk."

"What an idyllic getaway. For those aficionados of nature, it is difficult to think of a better way to spend a long weekend or short break, than riverside under African skies. The topography here is magic and the kayaks and paddleboard provided, allowed for an epic trip to the river mouth and open ocean. By night we simply braaied Karoo lamb or fish from the local village and then sat around the embers (no shortage of wood) of the fire pit, under the stars taking in the simple tranquility of it all. Part of it's charms are its rustic nature and how it blends into the environment. Essentially off grid, it is still a marvel that you can enjoy a hot bath (donkey water heating system), fresh water (rain water tanks) and electricity (solar panels and batteries). For those looking to enjoy the intimate company of their close friends and family, in near isolation in a beautiful part of the world (my brief for sure), I cannot more highly recommend Thorn and Feather. We came back rejuvenated and look forward to our next return. Be sure to"

"I had a spectacular stay at Thorn & Feather with my family and friends - a true getaway with a unique flavor that sets it apart. The compound is perfectly perched above the river. The rooms are that perfect combination of rustic and complete comfort. The bath house with its hot water setup is dynamite and the plunge pool is a fabulous additional luxury. I'll always remember those wraparound views of the stars from the huge braai area. Amazing. Jonathan's directions, tips, and overall hospitality was hugely appreciated. He really wants you to have the best time, and that's exactly what we you'll get at Thorn & Feather."

"Thorn & Feather is so amazing I don't want to let the secret out. It's simple enough to be real, and so beautiful you can't compare it to any conventional luxury."

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Getaway Map
Thorn & Feather, Vermaaklikheid, Western Cape
GPS: S -34.3289   E 21.0231
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Thorn & Feather, Vermaaklikheid

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Thorn & Feather (up to 6 adults & 3 kids)
(sleeps seven)
  • 2021-09-01
  • 2021-10-01
  • 2021-11-01
  • 2021-12-01
  • 2022-01-01
  • 2022-02-01
  • 2022-03-01
  • 2022-04-01
  • 2022-05-01
  • 2022-06-01
  • 2022-07-01
  • 2022-08-01
  • 2022-09-01
  • 2022-10-01
  • 2022-11-01
  • 2022-12-01
  • 2023-01-01
  • 2023-02-01
  Booked        Public Holiday

The above is a rate GUIDE. Exact rates should be confirmed on enquiry.


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