Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa

Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa

By Renate Engelbrecht

Monday, Feb 19

During our time in Oudtshoorn, Wikus and I stayed at the Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa – a 4-star farm stay and family farm adjacent to Highgate Ostrich Show Farm. Highgate happens to be the world’s first and most original ostrich show farm, established in 1938, which makes it even more special to visit.

Our farm stay at Mooiplaas had me reminiscing of those innocent days growing up in the Free State. It reminded me to slow down and appreciate the little things again – one of the main reasons why we enjoy farm stays so much.

Ice plant Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa

While Mooiplaas’ rooms aren’t modern, they are spacious and comfortable, with pretty much everything you need. The farm offers a tranquil Karoo escape where you can sit by the pool and watch the working farms of the region’s comings and goings.

Swimming pool Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa

Imagine eyeing a tractor pulling in to feed the ostrich family down below as you sip on a glass of locally produced wine. Or, watching ostriches – young and old – run from one corner of the opposite farm’s bird camp to another, knowing that they’ll soon be fed. It’s quite entertaining, to say the least, watching ostriches and their unique and sometimes rather hilarious mannerisms. In fact, apart from rhinos, these birds are said to be the closest thing to dinosaurs we’ve got left on this planet, which is one of the reasons we found them so fascinating.

Ostrich legs

Did you know? Ostriches’ wings’ bone structure are similar to hands. Also, an ostrich’s foot goes up to the middle of its leg. That what we perceive as its knee, is actually its ankle!

The Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa is located just off the road with an infinity pool overlooking one of the farm’s many ostrich camps. Evidently, we spent hours by the pool, hopping in and out, lounging, reading and every now and then, we’d look up and see what these interesting birds were up to.

A great addition to staying at Mooiplaas, is that you can go on a guided morning or afternoon ostrich tour. The very knowledgeable guide, Ben escorted us on our tour and showed us around, teaching us many things about ostriches that we never knew. He also guided us to Highgate, where we got to feed an ostrich from a bucket, and we were allowed to touch six-week-old ostriches. He also showed us where and how the ostrich eggs are kept and we were introduced to a Kenyan ostrich – a much bigger bird than its South African cousins. If you ever decide to stay at Mooiplaas, this tour is something I can highly recommend.


Kenyan ostrich Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa

Other activities to engage in at Mooiplaas include hiking trails, stargazing with a registered guide, shopping at the curio shop with ostrich leather and feather products, the on-site spa and more.

The beauty of the Klein Karoo

In addition to Ben’s hospitality and informative tours, Mooiplaas’ staff are just as friendly and incredibly welcoming. At times, we would sit on the terrace outside our room and they would surprise us with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or delightful, refreshing slices of watermelon.

Natural beauty Oudtshoorn

Oudtshoorn and its surrounds as a way of grounding you. It’s a humble stay without fancy twists and trinkets. It allows you to submerge yourself in wherever you find yourself and truly experience what is right in front of you. We loved staying at Mooiplaas Guesthouse and Spa. Next time, we’ll be sure to make time for a back, neck and shoulder massage.


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