From R250 per person to R300 per person
Budget Getaways Review
Now, here's a nice example of funky and understated Platteland revival - an ex-ostrich farm turned chilled guest farm on the open vlakte below the Touwsberg, 30km east of Ladismith.
Global trotters Ashley Brownlee and Andre Hagan saw through the net curtains and cracked linoleum and took on the unforgiving land and its three rambling buildings as a restoration project. Together with their merry band of ridgebacks, they’ve transformed this century-old farm into a place offering a hypodermic dose of sedating Karoo silence, eccentric décor and tasteful old world country charm.
Lets get onto the lovingly-restored accommodation options. Zara Cottage and D’Waenhuis are both privately located about 100m from the main farmhouse.
Starting with Zara Cottage, there’s oodles of space in this one, not to mention charm. Built in the 1930’s, Zara sleeps up to six in three bedrooms (double, twin and queen). The main bedroom comes with ensuite bathroom and a bath big enough for two Jerry Springer audience members. A shared bathroom services the remaining two bedrooms.
The kitchen and dining area is open-plan, with a Dover stove gracing the kitchen in true Karoo fashion. The living room is self-contained and opens to a covered stoep and built-in braai.
Moving along, D’Waenhuis is a restored farm building dating to the late 1800’s. Today it's a cosy retreat for romantic couples, with the added of option of two sleeper couches should you need them for the kids.
D'Waenhuis has high Oregon ceilings and is packed with plenty of character and retro delights. The lounge area with indoor fireplace is most spacious, with the double bedroom leading straight off it.
There’s an open-plan kitchen, outside braai area and covered stoep.
The farm borders a 400-hectare property that you're welcome to explore to your heart's content. The farm is also the closest privately owned accommodation to the Touwsberg Private Game Reserve, and entrance for Wolverfontein guests is free. That said, Wolverfontein is the type of place where you will probably be content sitting on the stoep doing sweet nothing, other than absorbing the silence, tranquility and night skies.
A recent guest sums it up: “Our whole stay was a magnificent experience.”
"We really enjoyed our stay here! The old world décor was beautiful and are hosts very friendly. We would return, maybe in Summer this time. Karoo nights can be cold."
(Renee Venter, visited July 2015)
"The energy of this place, the wild birds on your door step, the plant life are extraordinary but what adds to leaving one feeling this was one of those special experiences is their sincere hospitality."
(Ken Taytasac, visited June 2015)
"Great place to get away from it all. friendly arty hosts of Ashleigh and Andre make you feel at home. great art-deco design in the Zara lodge which we stayed. Majestic skies in the evening, and best to avoid the heart of the summer heat. only downside was the noisy fridge, but otherwise great value for a 2-3 night stay. Also some nice 4x4 trails in the area."
(Gregory Simpson, visited March 2014)
Many thanks for your kind words, much appreciated.
Will give some thought to the fridge, as even though it is keeping in style with the decor of the cottage, I understand your concerns. Just wish I could find a suitable replacement.
Hope to hear from you again in the near future.
"We stayed in D'Waenhuys for three absolute fantastic days. Ashley looked after us so well with juicy veggies out of their garden to go with the braaivleis. The cottage was well equipped, comfortable, clean with décor that took your breathe away! We loved the dogs, had nice swims in the river pool. No TV, no cellphone, the only sounds you'll hear is that of nature itself. We can highly recommend a visit and will surely be back. Thanks guys, we really enjoyed our stay!"
(Deon Schaap, visited December 2012)
"I used to go to the farm many years ago when A&A purchased a piece of heaven in the middle of nowhere. Those were the days of candle light, windmill for water. They have come a long way... and I was so excited when they decided to officially share this piece of paradise with others by acquiring the nearby cottages and turning them into guest houses. This meant that I could now bring all my dearest to experience the quietness and calm of the Klein Karoo. This is a place for the ones who want to find some solace in silence and share some close moments with their friends and family. There is not much to do beside spending time together, resting, maybe walking if you have the energy (very beautiful views from the top of the koppie) but mostly it is about restoring a sense of peace, the one we seem to often lose in the fast paced world of everyday life. And at night, you have NEVER seen such a beautiful sky."
(Camille Quine, visited November 2012)
"We do our best to visit Wolverfontein at least once a year. It is an experience of note - nested in the Karoo and surrounded with absolute beauty and plenty to do like visiting the nature reserve, mountain bike or simply sucking in the beauty with a scenic hike around the property. Andre and Ashley go the extra mile - great hosts, delicious home-grown organic food from their veggie garden, just awesome awesome awesome! If you don't go, you are missing something!"
(Alexandra Norvall, visited December 2011)
"What a truly incredible getaway! We thoroughly enjoyed this spot of magic and loved the Klein Karoo experience. Tranquil beauty, charming hosts and relaxation at its best. We will definitely be back, couldn't ask for better value for money!"
(NICKIE CROOKES, visited November 2012)
"Since our first visit in 2010 we have returned many times to these wonderful cottages.. wow! what an amazing setting... Ashlee and Andre are delightful hosts who know exactly when to entertain you or leave you alone to enjoy the peace and quiet in which this area abounds. The stars here are quite spectacular (such a treat for a city dweller) and we have enjoyed lovely evening walks to the Touws River (with sundowners in our backpack!) The cottages are well equipped and I can highly recommend a stay here, whether overnight (it's only a few km's off the R62) or to get away from everything and just "chill". Great for 'birders' too.
(micki Evans, visited July 2010)
"Absolutely fantastic. Would definitely recommend as a great family or even single getaway."
(Magda Steyn, visited July 2011)
"I have stayed at Wolverfontein numerous times since they opened their doors to the public, as it offers the perfect escape from city life. d’ Waenhuis is a superb self catering cottage for a couple who wish to get away from it all; spacious and private. The setting of the farm is superb, and the quirky vibe created by the irreverent owners of this farm provides the perfect antidote to life’s daily grind! I’ll be back!"
(Jennifer Yuill, visited July 2011)
"Fabulous, special place."
(maria crossland, visited October 2012)
"We stayed at Wolverfontain in 2008. At the time the facilities were already great (though simple as has to be expected in a cottage) - but I know that much has changed and improved since then. For example there was no pool yet in 2008. We enjoyed a swim in the nearby river, instead. Ashley and Andre have been fabulous hosts. Just to give you an indicator: We are living in Germany, it's five years later and we still have contact. If you love the outdoors and just need to take a break, this is the right place to do so. Enjoy the sparkling night-sky, the rising or setting sun, and just relax for the rest of the day."
(Thamar Klein, visited January 2010)
"I love this magic place. We have been a few times, and will keep coming back. Accommodation rustic and homely, and the landscape is stunning. I was lucky enough to see the snowy mountains in winter but have also enjoyed some warmer stays. Make sure you climb the koppie in front of the main house for spectacular views!"
(Elinore de Lisle, visited July 2012)
"Ashley and Andre have become very good friends of ours since our first stay with them in August 2008. Wolverfontein is the type of place you will want to return to again and again. It feels like a home away from home."
(Marie Middleton, visited October 2011)
"A perfect peaceful place to unwind. Fabulous hosts. I love the eclectic décor. I will be going back!"
(Carolyn Lewis, visited July 2012)
"For a special kind of Magic! This farm will leave you with a calm and joyful body, mind and soul."
(Christine Collins, visited August 2012)
One hundred hectares of wide open Karoo vlakte, huge skies, the gentle flow of the Touw River, two finely-tuned accommodation options, gregarious hosts Kevin and Lizelle....
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