SKOORSTEENBERG FARM & COTTAGES
We were longing for a hike in the mountains … to catch our breaths from this craziness in the world and what better place than in nature!
The closest mountains to our town, is the well-known Cederberg mountains … but we were thinking of taking a few back roads to get there … which brought to mind the vast Tankwa Karoo.
But before we got to the Tankwa Karoo, we drove through areas that thrive on our winter rain. And going towards the end of our winter, the fields were green and luscious. The canola fields with their bright yellow flowers were really spectacular.
Before getting to the Tankwa Karoo, we had to made a stop in the quaint little town of Ceres. Here we’ve bought food and drinks for the next couple of days (and filled up our petrol tank and extra jerry can), because we are going off the grid … which mean there will be no shops, no mobile phone coverage and only the odd car here and there (and few people).
What (and where) is the Tankwa Karoo?
The Tankwa Karoo is about four hours from Cape Town – a vast and arid area. The closest towns are Ceres, Calvinia, Middelpos and Sutherland. Here you will also find the Tankwa Karoo National Park which is home to almost 30 mammals and more than 100 species of birds.
But before we’ve arrived at our accommodation for the next few days, we’ve stopped at the popular farm stall, Tankwa Padstal. This is an oasis in the dry Karoo and very popular under 4×4 enthusiasts and bikers.
We’ve last visited this unique place in 2019 when we’ve walked the South African Tankwa Camino. It was great to be back here again.
Since it was now less than an hour’s drive to our accommodation, we’ve ordered a light meal to enjoy while relaxing in this amazing place.
We love the décor inside the bar – so many things reminding us of bygone days.
As the sun was setting, we’ve decided it’s better to get back on the road again. And then, as we’ve left the Tankwa Padstal, we saw … well, it can only be described as a UFO 😳.
We’ve found out that the art installation is a community initiative launched by Hein Lange, the owner of the Tankwa Padstal. According to him the farming industry has been hit hard by the lack of rain in recent years in the region and that he thought the “sight of an UFO” might be more appealing to tourists, as a way of earning money.
Back on the road, we’ve followed the instruction closely which was sent by Nana, owner of Skoorsteenberg Farm & Cottages. Just a few kilometers from the Tankwa Padstal we’ve turned right, drove for another 18km before turning right again.
Skoorsteenberg Farm & Cottages:
We’ve booked accommodation at Skoorsteenberg Farm & Cottages (“skoorsteenberg” meaning chimney mountain) – like their brochure states: “This is Africa with a difference”.
I’ve found the signs next to the road quite funny – Nana reminding her guests that this road will eventually take them to a place where they can stay.
After opening (and closing) a few farm gates, we’ve arrived at Skoorsteenberg Farm & Cottages.
I’m not sure what we’ve expected to find after driving a long and hard gravel road … but oh boy, we were truly surprised with our amazing cottage at Skoorsteenberg.
There are only 2 cottages for guests on the farm (with a little hill between the two cottages). It is a working farm with some animals and we’ve also spotted a couple of olive and date groves.
We were very happy with the front porch – an amazing place to relax while looking over the plains of the Tankwa Karoo.
The sun was just setting when we’ve arrived and we were looking forward to enjoy the spectacular sunset tomorrow.
It was an amazing day of driving through luscious green fields and then to enter the dry Tankwa Karoo. I’ve got myself a gin and tonic and a brandy and coke for Berto … it was time to sit next to the fire and enjoy the silence while watching bright shining stars.
In our next post, we will show more of the beauty of Skoorsteenberg Farm, its animals and breathtaking views. See you then …