10 Blissfully Secluded Karoo Farm Stays

10 Blissfully Secluded Karoo Farm Stays

Head to the heartland.

Big skies, big landscapes, big hospitality… A city dweller’s desire to escape to the Karoo is a yearning for a specific kind of journey, both for the scenery and the soul. It’s a place filled with stories, wide-open spaces, mysterious valleys and people with a deep connection to the land… the perfect place to get away from it all.

Dotted with sheep and those iconic windpumps, this is quintessential farming country and also about travelling to where the wild things are… And though it can sometimes appear desolate, dry and uninviting, getting up close to see the detail is where the magic lies. We’ve rounded up the best secluded farm escapes, where nature and nurture await.

If you’re drawn to this neck of the woods, you might also be interested in Prince Albert accommodation and foodie destinations in the Karoo.

Suidster

Suidster entrance
Suidster Interior
Suidster Exterior

Where Between Montagu and Barrydale
Distance from CT 2.5 hours
Two identical barn-like cottages, Dwarriega and Poortjies, perched amid pristine fynbos on a 110-hectare farm, look out over the distant horizon under big skies. It’s stark but also exquisite – and the same goes for the interior of these modern Karoo cottages. Designed to be a single, elegant, light-filled space, there is no division between the sleeping, bathing and living areas; no walls except the outer dark-metal-clad shell. It’s a Zen-like space, powered by solar energy, that provides an intimate refuge in nature.
The lodgings 

  • king-size bed with fine linen
  • freestanding bath and shower, plus outdoor shower
  • fully equipped kitchen with Smeg stove and French press coffee maker
  • open-plan lounge and dining area
  • fireplace
  • wraparound deck with braai

Things to do Each cottage has a wood-fired hot tub for stargazing, and there’s a 5km hiking trail on the farm should you want to spread your wings. Suidster is on the famous Route 62, which has plenty of attractions, including wine farms and restaurants in Montagu (30km) and Barrydale (40km).
Child friendly? No
Pet friendly? Yes (with prior notification)
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 per cottage
Cost From R3 600 per night (minimum two-night stay)
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Tula Retreat

Karoo Farm Stays Tula Retreat
Tula Retreat Outside View
Tula Retreat Bedroom

Where Near Calitzdorp
Distance from CT 4.5 hours
Your adventure begins when you’re ferried across the Calitzdorp Dam to your own private encampment on the water’s edge – it’s the only way to access this retreat, and nothing but rolling hills behind it, which means you will have utter privacy. The glamping set-up (and this truly is “glamorous camping”) consists of an open-plan sleeping and living area, and a separate fully equipped outdoor kitchen about 100 metres away – all of it drenched in views. It’s off-grid, with LED and lantern lighting, solar power and “fire” power – think braais, cosy fireplaces indoors and out, and a hot tub. It has everything you need, from luxury bed linen, towels and bathroom amenities to books, board games and yoga mats; all you need to do is bring your food and drinks… and a favourite companion.
The lodgings

  • 1 bedroom with extra-length king-size bed
  • ensuite bathroom with slipper bath, plus outdoor shower
  • additional bathroom with shower
  • open-plan lounge with fireplace and tea/coffee/drinks cabinet
  • deck with dining table and hammock
  • separate outdoor/bush kitchen with gas stove and fridge
  • firepit/braai area

Things to do Enjoy the views from the wood-burning hot tub. Swim in the dam or explore the waters in a two-seater canoe or on a SUP board (supplied for guests); or book a boat cruise. There’s also fishing from the dock, birdwatching and hiking in the surrounding valley.
Good to know You can bring your own jetski or motorboat for waterskiing, which is permitted on the dam. Staff are on call from 8am to 6pm each day.
Child friendly? Teens only
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2
Cost From R3 500 per night (minimum two-night stay)
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Vrisch Gewagt

Vrisch Gewagt view
Vrisch Gewagt kitchen
Vrisch Gewagt bedroom

Where Between Prince Albert and Klaarstroom
Distance from CT 4 – 5 hours
Surrounded by towering, ancient mountains, this Karoo olive farm offers rugged landscapes and absolute peace. Once torn in two by feuding brothers, the historic farm has been restored to a glorious 1 600-hectare property. There are seven accommodation options, filled with heritage and character but with modern bathrooms and kitchens. The 1914 farmhouse lives up to its new name, Paradys Huis (it has the best views on the farm from its verandah), plus there’s the original grand Manor House up on a hill for larger groups, and five cottages, each with their own attractions – Hannes Cottage has a romantic sunken bath for two; Library Cottage houses a collection of over 100 books; Cook’s Cottage has a wonderful living area and kitchen with a red Smeg fridge; the rustic Birdwatcher River Cottage has a farm-style oven and shares a wall with the quirky Artist River Cottage.
The lodgings

  • 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms per unit with double, queen or king beds
  • ensuites with baths and showers (plus outdoor showers in River Cottages)
  • open-plan kitchen with Nespresso machine
  • dining table and lounge (2 lounges in each house)
  • indoor fireplace
  • verandah with braai
  • private swimming pool (Paradys Huis + Manor House)
  • shared swimming pool (Cooks + Hannes + Library)
  • firewood and basic kitchen supplies included
  • seasonal farm veggies, free-range eggs and lamb available

Things to do The farm is yours to explore on walks and picnics, plus there are three swimming  pools overlooking the orchards, a bird hide and a floating deck on the dam. You can join in farm activities such as collecting eggs, feeding lambs or milking the cow. If you can drag yourself away, Prince Albert’s foodie and creative offerings are 35km away.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? Yes
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 – 8 per unit
Cost Paradys Huis: R7 475 per night (6 people)
Manor House: R8 625 per night (8 people)
Cook’s Cottage + Library Cottage: R4 650 per night (4 people)
Hannes Cottage: R3 555 per night (2 people)
Birdwatcher + Artist River Cottages: R2 550 per night (2 people)
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Leopard’s Vantage at Wolwehoek

Karoo Farm Stays: Leopard’s Vantage
Leopard’s Vantage at Wolwehoek Living Area
Leopard’s Vantage at Wolwehoek View

Where Near Montagu
Distance from CT 2.5 hours
Already known for its Leopard’s Kloof glamping tent, this 520-hectare private nature reserve in the secluded Keisie Valley is now also home to a stunning, ultra-modern house built on the edge of a cliff – a Karoo-Asian designer fantasy inspired by this ancient fynbos-and-fossil-covered land, Japanese wabi-sabi and Balinese elements. The views are enormous and breathtaking (especially from the pool and adjacent hot tub); the spaces architectural and created with an artist’s eye, where the landscape is perfectly framed. This is carried through to the private quarters, where you can take your pick from the bedroom with an indoor bath and outdoor shower, or the one with an indoor shower and outdoor bath. You might have to flip a coin.
The lodgings

  • 2 bedrooms with extra-length king-size beds
  • ensuite bathrooms with bath and shower
  • fully equipped kitchen
  • inner courtyard with braai, pizza oven and dining table
  • open-plan living room with fireplace
  • verandah with cargo hammock and firepit

Things to do Live the life aquatic in the infinity pool and wood-fired hot tub. Brush up on your birdwatching (books and binoculars provided). There are hiking trails heading up four of the surrounding mountains (which also offer rock-climbing opportunities), or ride the road through the reserve on a mountain-bike.
Good to know The cabin is accessible by normal cars. It is fully solar-powered (220V) and all wood is supplied.
Child friendly? No
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 4
Cost From R4 500 per night
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Die Aap Farm Lodge

Karoo Farm Stays: Die Aap Farm Lodge
Die Aap Farm Lodge Bathroom
Die Aap Farm Lodge Swimming Pool

Where Between Klaarstroom and De Rust
Distance from CT 5.5 hours
Hidden at the far end of the scenic Meiringspoort Pass, surrounded by the Swartberg mountains, this 2 200-hectare farm and private nature reserve is a wonderfully peaceful Karoo hideaway. The beautifully restored lodge dates back to 1825, its historic charm blending seamlessly with the stylish, modern interior design (think copper basins, designer seating and light fittings, contemporary art). However, it’s the magnificent Klein Karoo landscape that takes centre stage through the floor-to-ceiling windows, home to antelope, birds, reptiles and, this being the Karoo, flocks of merino sheep.
The lodgings

  • double bedroom: queen bed, ensuite bath and shower, private verandah
  • family room: queen and three-quarter bed, ensuite shower
  • family unit: 2 bedrooms (queen beds), ensuite shower and/or bath, private lounge
  • all have tea/coffee stations and a minibar
  • modern kitchen with dining counter
  • open-plan lounge and dining area with log and gas fireplace
  • flatscreen TV with full DStv
  • library
  • furnished patio
  • firepit/braai area

Things to do The dreamy 16-metre lap pool is the perfect spot to soak up the beauty all around. If you’re looking to get out and explore, there are guided eco-drives and bush walks, as well as mountain-biking trails. The hamlets of Klaarstroom (13.5km) and De Rust (33km) are closest, with attractions such as ostrich farms and the Meiringspoort waterfall nearby.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 9
Cost From R7 920 per night (exclusive use)
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Danielskraal

Karoo Farm Stays Danielskraal
Danielskraal Patio
Danielskraal Bedroom

Where Near Calitzdorp
Distance from CT 4.5 hours
In a peaceful valley in the Rooiberg mountains, Danielskraal offers the quintessential Karoo escape: an 1836 thatched farmhouse with metre-thick walls and a deep stoep, surrounded by gardens and a bucolic view of angora goats in a never-ending landscape of green pastures and mountains beyond. At this self-catering getaway, you can settle back into a gentler, simpler way of living. The water in the taps comes from a mountain spring; the gorgeously furnished house is filled with collectables and books, comfy seating spots and a cosy fireplace; and it’s perfectly equipped for ​cooking up a feast – indoors or under the stars. Whatever you do, the time will pass in a splendid reverie.
The lodgings

  • 3 bedrooms with double beds; 1 family suite (2 rooms, with double bed + 2 singles)
  • 3 bathrooms (two ensuite) with bath and/or shower, plus outdoor shower
  • kitchen with Smeg stove/oven, Nespresso machine and dishwasher
  • dining area and lounge with fireplace
  • furnished verandah with drinks fridge and ice-maker
  • braai area and firepit
  • smart TV with Netflix and DStv
  • ceiling fans

Things to do Lounge by the pool, play boules or croquet, enjoy picnics and hike through fynbos and succulents to see the San rock art. Youngsters can run wild, exploring the labyrinthine olive grove, swimming in the dam, riding bikes, hunting for “dinosaurs” (fossils), climbing trees or the windmill, or camping out in the garden. There’s also the option of day trips to explore Calitzdorp’s wine route or foodie mecca Prince Albert via the spectacular Swartberg Pass.
Good to know There is also a separate, private cottage for two called Goose House.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? Yes, by arrangement
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 8 – 10
Cost From R7 500 per night
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Aardvark Bioreserve

Aardvark Bioreserve Cottages View
Aardvark Bioreserve Cottages Bedroom
Aardvark Bioreserve Cottages Bathroom

Where Between Ladismith and Riversdale
Distance from CT 4 hours
In an off-the-beaten track corner of the Klein Karoo, between the parallel peaks of the Langeberg and Swartberg mountains, this once-desolate property has been nurtured back to life and is today a spectacular game reserve with a unique “farm to table” operation, off the grid and organic. There’s plenty of space in which to reconnect with nature, including an exclusive network of mountain-biking trails that follow animal tracks (the animals include zebras, giraffes, antelope, ostriches, caracals and elusive aardvarks). There are four luxurious cottages dotted around the wilder section of the property (dressed in a sophisticated white and neutral palette), plus a farmhouse for those seeking a more “country-style” getaway – surrounded by fields, fruit trees, sheep, chickens and ducks.
The lodgings

  • Berghuisie (on a hilltop): 1 bedroom, ensuite with bath
  • Springbok Cottage (overlooking the dam): 1 bedroom, ensuite with shower, private boma
  • Gemsbok Cottage (overlooking a waterhole): 2 bedrooms (3 beds), ensuite, bike shed
  • Zebra Cottage (nearest the trails): 2 bedrooms (3 beds), ensuite, TV room with extra bed, large patio
  • Die Opstal: 4 bedrooms (8 beds), 3 bathrooms, bike shed, boma, TV room
  • all have fully equipped kitchens
  • living area with fireplace
  • furnished verandah/deck with braai (plus pizza oven at Die Opstal)
  • wood-fired hot tub
  • air-conditioning
  • complimentary basket of seasonal fruit, eggs and vegetables

Things to do Explore on foot (there are three hiking trails through the reserve) or on your mountain bike (four routes, from beginner to advanced). Enjoy sundowner drives, visit the succulent nursery, go for picnics or paddle at the dam, and admire the extraordinary sky from your own hot tub every evening.
Good to know Farm-to-table food to order includes lamb, chicken, ostrich, game, eggs, vegetables, figs and pomegranate juice. The Karoo succulent flora blooms from June to October.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 2 – 8
Cost Cottages: from R4 000 per night
Berghuisie: from R7 000 per night
Farmhouse: from R8 000 per night
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Landrani Farmstay

Karoo Farm Stays: Landrani Farmstay
Landrani Farmstay Bedroom
Landrani Farmstay Bathroom

Where Between Oudtshoorn and De Rust
Distance from CT 5 hours
Set on a Klein Karoo sheep farm, but far from traditional… This is very much a modern, hi-tech concern, offering agri-tourism experiences and luxury guest accommodation kitted out with all the contemporary comforts. There are just six “glass cube” cabins on stilts, spaced far apart around a central lodge with a sundeck, boma and swimming pool. With floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors all around, no matter where you are in your cabin or what you’re doing – cooking, eating, drinking, bathing, waking up – the magnificent Swartberg mountain scenery is front and centre.
The lodgings

  • 1 bedroom with queen-size bed, plus sleeper couch
  • ensuite with large bath and shower, plus outdoor shower
  • tea/coffee station, pellet stove fireplace
  • lounge with fireplace/indoor braai
  • flatscreen satellite TV
  • fully equipped kitchenette

Things to do Transportation to your cabin is via a specially designed 4×4 miniature vehicle, which allows you to explore more of the wilderness while en route to your accommodation. The agritourism experiences include lamb bottle-feeding and cuddling (like puppies, just fluffier!) and sable antelope feeding. There are nature walks on the property, plus swimming and chilling by the main lodge pool. Oudtshoorn’s attractions, such as the Cango Caves and ostrich farms, are 27km away.
Child friendly? Yes, from 8 years old
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? Yes
Sleeps 4 (2 adults max)
Cost From R2 875 per couple per night
R950 per night (teens), R750 per night (child)
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Higher Karoo

Karoo Farm Stays Higher Karoo
Higher Karoo Interior
Higher Karoo Bedroom

Where North of Beaufort West
Distance from CT 6.5 hours
The deeper you head into the Karoo, the more you get a true feeling for this fabled region. At the end of a long gravel road, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, is a farm with a pair of off-grid, rustic-luxe cottages harking back to a simpler time. Furnished with an artist’s eye, echoing the muted natural shades of the landscape, the heirloom-filled rooms look like you’ve stepped into a still-life painting. Your hot water comes from a wood-fired ‘donkey’ boiler, you’ll make meals on a 1950s gas stove (using Le Creuset pots), spend hours on the stoep gazing into the distance, and nestle into cosy feather duvets at bedtime. Your hosts, Quarta and Nicholas, will generously ply you with farm-style treats like rusks, soup and rolls.
The lodgings

  • Klein Riviertjie: 1 double bed + 2 single beds, bathroom with shower
  • Blaaw Hoek: 1 double bed + 2 single beds, bathroom with Victorian bath
  • outdoor shower (both cottages)
  • kitchen with gas stove/oven and fridge
  • lounge and dining area with fireplace
  • furnished verandah
  • garden braai area (wood supplied)
  • plunge pool with loungers

Things to do Long rambles on the farm and hilltop hikes, bike rides, lounging by the pool, braaiing and stargazing.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? No
Wifi? No, and no phone signal
Sleeps 4 per cottage
Cost From R1 750 per night (minimum two-night stay)
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Aardts Cabin

Karoo Farm Stays Aardts Cabin
Aardts Cabin Bedroom
Aardts Cabin Outside View

Where Between De Rust and Oudtshoorn
Distance from CT 5 hours
Aardts means “earthly”, and the name will make perfect sense when you encounter this extraordinary “modern caveman” dwelling. Built from local stone, wood, steel and glass, it’s set into a mound of earth and entered via a door in the ground. Descend the stairs into the abode, where it’s as cosy as can be – and decorated with a designer’s touch. The furniture and fittings are hand-crafted and curvaceous. Outside is the space you’ll spend most of your time, in the hot tub or around the fire, marvelling at the beautiful views of the mountains, valleys and the stunning skies. Of course, it’s totally unplugged, off-grid and elemental… the ideal bolthole to reconnect with a loved one.
The lodgings

  • 1 double bed, plus a bunker bed
  • outdoor bathroom with double shower, basin and toilet
  • kitchenette with basic pantry supplies
  • lounge area with a fireplace
  • outdoor seating, including a giant recliner
  • boma/braai area with firepit
  • wood-burning hot tub

Things to do A gentle routine of relaxing in the hot tub, braaiing, stargazing and farm walks. If you want to head out, the quirky hamlet of De Rust is 15km away, Doornkraal farmstall and winery is nearby, as are the Meiringspoort and Vrede en Lust waterfalls. Day drives on stunning mountain passes lead to Oudtshoorn, George or Prince Albert.
Child friendly? Yes
Pet friendly? Yes, by arrangement
Wifi? No, and phone signal 50 metres away
Sleeps 4 (2 adults + 2 children)
Cost From R1 600 per night weekdays (minimum two-night stay)
From R2 200 per night weekends (minimum two-night stay)
CHECK AVAILABILITY + BOOK DIRECT

Which are your favourites? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 10 April 2024

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One Response to “10 Blissfully Secluded Karoo Farm Stays”

  1. Hennie

    Perhaps I’m not your target market but accommodation that the average South African could afford would be very welcome.

    Reply