The property was once covered with pine trees, Tim and Angelique had a vision and have transformed the property, removing most of the pines and replanting indigenous vegetation. This is a long-term project, but having visited last year, we were amazed at the transformation and the growth that had taken place.
We stayed 4 days at the end of February. We could not have loved our stay more. From the moment we arrived we fell in love with our spacious cabin and its surroundings. We sat on the stoep from pre-dawn to nightfall and just absorbed the natural sounds of the wildlife around us.
If you want to just stop, this is the place to do it. Let nature take you over! Oh and then there is the night sky - stars a plenty and the steady hoot of nearby owls.
The cabin had two bedrooms, 1 x double and 1 twin room, a mezzanine level with a further 2 single beds. A separate toilet and a bathroom with toilet. Then an open plan living/dining/kitchen area. The large outside area - where we spent most of our time - included a large shaded wrap round stoep with large dining table and chairs and a comfy chair on one side of the stoep and another seating area with comfy seating on the other. There was also an outside shower. Power is solar/wind generated as is the water. The fridge and cooker are gas. You are off grid! The accommodation was spotless on arrival. The cabin is well equipped with plenty of crookery and cooking utensils.
There are 4 cabins in total, we were in No 1 - you are not aware of the other cabins from there - only passing them on your way in and out of the property.
Tim kindly took us up to the forest on our second morning (5.30 start) to do a guided walk in the forest. Even if you are not a bird watcher this is a fabulous opportunity to go out with someone, who is so knowledgable, not only on birds and wildlife, but fauna and history too.
From cottage No 1 you have access to a raised platform that overlooks the lake and reed beds. This is a wonderful place to watch the sun rise over the lake each morning or take your book, binoculars, camera and a drink and just lap up the activity on the lake. One afternoon we sat and watched a pair of African Fish Eagles hunting over the lake, catch a fish and then drop it! Oops!
Talking of Fish Eagles, there are a pair that sit on the property, what a wonderful way to see the day in listening to their haunting calls.
For birdwatchers there are plenty of places to go. On the unmade road from the main road, you cross a small cut between two lakes, I spent many happy hours here, getting close up views of Pied Kingfishers, Malachite Kingfishers, Little Bittern (one flew out from beneath me), various swallows and a skulking Warbler at the base of the reeds that I could not identify. Numerous birds fly overhead between the lakes, I have also seen Spoonbills at the same location in the past. On Rondevlei Lake there is an excellent hide (area in front has been cleared since our last visit) This offers great views over the lake - Glossy Ibis were feeding in front of use, together with Reed Cormorants sitting on perches. You can actually walk to this hide from the property down the railway line - again offering great birding opportunities. Talk to Tim and Angelique for more information.
We were fortunate to have a chance meeting with Tim last year when we were out birding, he stopped, invited us to view the Fish Eagles from his property and he also took us birding in the forest the following day. Tim, thank you for stopping that day, we would never have found you and your wonderful property otherwise. Your vision for the future of your land, the work you have already achieved and the incredible grow that we noticed in just one year is amazing. Talking with you inspires us so much and gives us such hope that this small part of the Western Cape is in very good hands.
Thank you Tim and Angelique for creating such a special environment. Your commitment, passion and hospitality are second to none. We both look forward to returning. 4 Days was not long enough in paradise.
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