Quietness amidst chaos

By Renate Engelbrecht

Thursday, Jul 23

These last few months have been hard on all of us. Emotionally, physically, mentally, financially – you name it. A visit to Cape Country RoutesDe Zeekoe Guest Farm was truly a welcome experience amidst all the chaos and if you’re travelling for business, it sure is the perfect spot to get that leisurely feeling we’re all longing for.

Just a few minutes from Oudtshoorn lies De Zeekoe Guest Farm where, centuries ago, hippos lazily frequented the riverbed running through the farm. De Zeekoe’s stone cottages and wooden cabins made me feel a surge of hope for the tourism industry; an industry I’ve come to know, love and trust.

READ MY LETTER TO THE HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM SECTOR HERE

We stayed in a stone cottage named Bat-eared Fox. It forms part of a stone cottage trio strategically placed to have the best view of the blue Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains finishing off the horizon with a lace-like hem. Just below the cottage is a private swimming pool with a vintage, Victorian feel complementing the clearly manicured vygies and fynbos surrounding it. I am a big fan of winter, but this Klein Karoo image made me wish for summer. Still, the cool nights allowed for some of my favourite things: Red wine (the little we had left amidst the second and unexpected alcohol ban), a braai beneath a starry, Klein Karoo sky and a romantic fireplace burning inside.

The cottages are all self-catering with most of the things you might need for a comfortable stay. The king-size bed with its mosquito net and earthy throws was décor enough for the main bedroom and the lounge area offered ample space for an extra bed and a cot. Ideally meant for a couple’s breakaway or a business stay with a leisurely feel, it also works as a self-isolating hideaway for a young family of four once things start normalising again.

Things to bring

The kitchen is equipped with a mobile, two-plate stove, a microwave, a bar fridge, pots and pans, braai equipment, a small sink, coffee and tea making facilities, filter coffee and tea. There is also more than enough cutlery and crockery and the room is serviced daily (or as per your request). You therefore really just have to ensure that you bring your own food and drinks. They even supply wood for the braai and the fireplace.

Things to do

With the current lockdown regulations, leisure travel is basically impossible. So are many experiences that come with it

Under normal circumstances, you would be able to attend a Meerkat Tour at De Zeekoe where you get to walk with wild meerkats and be part of the Shy Five experience. Yes, you may not be able to view the Big Five or the Small Five here, but the Shy Five is just as special, if not more! It includes: The Bat-eared Fox, the Aardvark, the Aardwolf, the Meerkat and the Porcupine.

Just around the corner from De Zeekoe Guest Farm, is Cape Country Routes’ Safari Ostrich Farm – something I have never experienced and something I would definitely return for.

We did, however, have time to explore a bit and we took to the streets of Oudtshoorn. Nowadays, many leisure experiences go hand in hand with take-away coffees, window shopping and in-province, permitted roadtrips with limited stops and no stay overs. We certainly had more than enough take-away coffees, some of the best brownies we’ve ever tasted and a good amount of hand sanitisers while visiting.

Some of our Oudtshoorn stops:

Best brownies in town and proper ostrich leather accessories: Cape Karoo Ostrich Emporium
Really good coffee in town: Café Brule at the Queens Hotel
Spot for fun Instagram photos: Smitswinkel

I’d like to encourage you to support your local restaurants and tourism establishments (whether it’s for take-aways, sit-down or day trips) as far as you can. They need our help. Recommended by CapeTownInsider.

XOXOXO

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