Our little piece of Overberg paradise, Fynbos Retreat, is fondly referred to as “Nature’s Breakaway” in our marketing material. That is truly what this place is about. A place to get away from it all to enjoy peace and tranquillity in the fynbos clad mountains. Experience what it is like to be off the grid, without cell phones or traffic or noise. Go for walks or ride your mountain bike.
Witvoetskloof is the name of the farm situated halfway between Gansbaai and Stanford. Some say there used to be elephants here and they left dusty footprints due to the abundant limestone . I suppose it is not impossible. There are still beautiful patches of ancient, indigenous forests. How knows?
There is a wonderful character called July who works at our neighbour ,Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. A gentle giant with a huge radiant smile who renders a number of services in this area. Amongst many other things, he fetches the refuse, brings wood, helps maintain the trails on our property and also on the larger 3000 hectare Grootbos reserve. Wherever disciplined, hardworking muscle is required , July and his men are called upon. The first time he met us , he referred to Witvoetskloof as “Witvoetjieskloof”- which endeared him to us, forever.
We are the first overnight stop on the very popular “Fynbos Trail”. Hikers walk to us from the empowerment project run by the Grootbos Foundation called : “Growing the Future”. It is on the farm, Steynsbos, named after one of those patches of forest I mentioned earlier. The project teaches young people sustainable farming practices and life skills and produces amazing honey, eggs and other fresh produce. Most of the produce is used to supply the five star kitchens at Grootbos. We buy honey and other produce from them to cater for the hikers.
Arum Lily House – our main hikers’ accommodation has a pizza oven, so that’s what we mostly prepare for the groups. Along with a few other surprises and a sturdy breakfast before they leave us the next morning to walk over the mountain to Flower Valley and Witkrans. They go via the amazing waterfall which is also a favourite walk for self-caterers who visit us.
Big groups like to stay in Arum Lily (which sleeps between 12-16 people). It boasts a pool table , dart board and huge dining room table, great outdoor braai facilities and wonderful views of the big dam. Fountain Bush, our smaller wooden house, also has a dam! It is more suited to family groups and sleeps six. It has a number of stoeps so one can move your braai to suit the prevailing mood and weather.
Last , but not least, there is a newcomer in our accommodation stable – a little romantic couple’s unit called Sewejaartjie. With an outside bath on the covered stoep.
In case you think I am biased, which I undoubtedly am, we often get messages like this one from a recent guest.
Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois