Country houses and farms
Did you know?
Early South African farmhouses had sod walls, thatched roofs and cow dung floors.
Country house and farm accommodation in South Africa covers a wide range of hospitality venues, each with its own pastoral charm. Many feature rooms and suites in original buildings on family farms, with fascinating histories to tell.
It’s not uncommon to find country and farm stays in cottages or bungalows that are 100 years old or older, particularly in the Western Cape where farms have remained in the same families since the 1800s.
Die Kloofhuis in Ceres is a prime example of this. It's a self-catering farmstead on a working fruit farm run by a seventh generation farmer. The building was erected as a honeymoon cottage shortly after the farm was established in 1832. Today it has been restored to offer luxury farm accommodation.
Similar venues for country and farm holidays can be found in the gorgeous Cape Winelands region. Renovated Cape-Dutch homes are situated among historic vineyards, providing restful rooms complemented by exquisite food and wine.
Granted, not all country house and farm accommodation establishments come with such distinct histories, but their settings often do. The Irene Country Lodge in Irene, Gauteng, was built in the 1990s. However the working dairy farm it overlooks has been in the same family for five generations, since 1889. This sense of history is reflected in the accommodation and nearby facilities.
Quaint country hotels are available across South Africa but particularly in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Here traditional country scenes of rolling hills and vast stretches of ploughed farmlands lend themselves to such establishments.
For authentic Midlands country experiences, Visit Lythwood Lodge; Granny Mouse Country House Hotel and Spa; Rawdons Estate; and Hartford House with its fascinating history.
The Free State is home to a multitude of working cattle and grain farms. Here you can enjoy real hospitality complete with traditional farmstyle food made according to age-old family recipes.
Many of the working farms with accommodation offer educational tours. Some will even allow visitors to assist with daily tasks.