5 Appealing Breaks from Cape Town
Having recently had the rather gruelling last minute task of unearthing somewhere to stay over the Easter weekend, it became obvious to me that for some reason this time of year for Capetonians is synonymous with the Cederberg (myself included) – it’s a case of have holiday will go to the Cederberg.
Let me first clarify that I am a huge Cederberg fan (it was my first port of call). That part of the country is beautiful, and easily accessible from the Mother City yet allows a complete escape into wilderness, up mountains and passes and through little towns that allow one to play, albeit briefly, at country living for a few days.
But this propensity for one destination above others means that towns like Ceres end up with the monolopy. Hence rates for long weekends rise to almost double – there is little supply and a huge demand.
Thankfully, there are other places that hold as much peace and inspiration for travellers. Here follow a few rather appealing breaks from Cape Town, to make it easy for you!
Situated right on the Verlorenvlei, a stretch of natural wetland that is also a Ramsar site, it doesn’t come much better than this for getting away from it all. Ventersklip promises four restored hostoric cottages that date back to the early 1800s, but they also do six luxury private campsites with ensuite bathrooms, two individually screened campsites (shared facilities) and another nine normal size campsites that share facilities.
All camping overlooks the vlei. The on site Tin Kitchen serves local, organic meat and fish dishes with vegetables and salad grown in their own garden, from a 300 year old barn with shaded seating and pretty lawns on which to relax.
Contact: Lana Robertson +27 (0)22 972-1340
See Ventersklip Rates and Specials
Off in the middle of nowhere, on a gravel road part way between Gansbaai and Baardskeerdersbos is a 800 hectare nature reserve filled with fynbos and the odd mountain peak. In the midst of this already attractive sounding destination are three modern and private freestanding fynbos suites – bedroom, bathroom, lounge with fireplace.
Along each suite’s length is a covered deck and a sun-deck. A boardwalk will link you to the original residence where meals are served made from local ingredients in a dining room with sweeping views. There’s a lap pool, but don’t mistake this for a resort for nature rules supreme here. A little piece of heaven.
Contact: Allen Salo on +27 (0)28 388-0920
See Farm 215 Nature Reserves Rates and Specials
Ever dreamed of feeling as though you’ve woken up to star in Story of an African Farm? But without the dust. Fynbos Estate lies on a grape and olive farm, only just over an hour from Cape Town, with its own little winery. For hire is a gorgeous, Victorian manor that can sleep up to sixteen people, but ten or twelve is as comfortable. It’s the perfect go-away-with-a-group-of-friends-for-the-weekend type home.
But if that doesn’t grab you, or you simply want something smaller, then there is a charming little cottage just next to it that accommodates between two and four of you. And you can choose whether you’d like to self cater, part cater or even be fully catered for. Walk around the beautiful farm, or taste the wine made under the Dragonridge label for a truly unpretentious weekend away from it all.
Contact: Reservations on +27 (0)22 487-1153
See Fynbos Estate Rates and Specials
This 2000 hectare property right in the heart of the Bainskloof Road is a wealth of fynbos, trees, shrubs and nature as it is intended. Bastiaanskloof has some incredible mountain hikes and trails and two rivers, hence a myriad natural pools and waterfalls.
A selection of five self-catering cottages are at your disposal, set within an indigenous landscaped garden where a short walk will bring you to the Witte River and a series of natural pools. Cottages are private, fully equipped and sleep between two and eight people. India House, in particular, gets rave reviews from previous guests.
Contact: Caroline Swanson on +27 (0)21 424-4001
See Bastiannskloof Rates and Specials
Just ten minutes outside of the village of Franschhoek lies this historic Huguenot wine farm, settled as early as 1672. Newly planted vines have returned its to its original intent. Four beautiful cottages, each in its own idyllic setting either in amongst the vines or overlooking the dams, provide anything from a one bedroom restored stable block to two bedroom cottages that easily accommodate four adults or a family.
Stroll into town from here, or simply laze the weekend away with a book whilst drinking in the views. Decadence was never like this.
Contact: Jennie Troth on +27 (0)21 876-3067
See Bo La Motte Farm Rates and Specials