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FFarm stays in South Africa’s Northern Cape province offer a broad range of choices: you might find yourself on a sheep farm in Sutherland’s wonderland of stars and flowers, or on a raisin farm in an oasis on the Orange River. Alternatively, you might head into the veld on a private game farm, or view meerkats in the Kalahari.
Visitors to South Africa frequently comment on the warmth and friendliness of its people. Nowhere is this more evident than when you experience South Africa’s farming hospitality.
Make a point of experiencing the diverse range of farm stays that Northern Cape offers, and you won’t be disappointed.
Northern Cape is South Africa's largest province (it covers roughly a third of the country). It is mostly arid, sparsely populated – and perhaps even South Africa's most beautiful province, in a wild and desolate way.
Here you will get to experience the heart of South Africa first-hand, from the people who grow the food for the country. At the same time, you will experience the extraordinary diversity of landscapes and adventures that Northern Cape provides.
One morning you may awaken in a lush vineyard on Kanoneiland in the town of Upington, where the African Vineyard Guesthouse is situated on a working raisin farm; the next evening you may be walking among the cattle and sheep on the Kalahari guest farm Leeupan, where you can also experience meerkats up close.
If you’d like to experience the famous wild flowers of Northern Cape, you could book into the Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm near the bulb capital of Nieuwoudtville, about a four-hour drive from Cape Town. The best time to do this is in spring, in August and early September.
Or try the Orange River Lodge in the Karoo, situated on a game farm with gemsbok (oryx), wildebeest (gnu), springbok and plenty of other animals. There are also a number of hiking and cycling trails, and the fly-fishing is good. As for the stars, only the Karoo can deliver such magnificent night skies.
Some of the farm stays are modest, while others are utterly lavish. Either way, planning your journey from one farm stay to the next is an adventure in itself.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
African Vineyard Guesthouse
Cell: +27 (0)83 461 1724
Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm
Tel: +27 (0)27 218 1246
Leeupan Guest Farm
Tel: +27 (0)82 438 3960
Orange River Lodge Guest Farm
Cell: +27 (0)51 753 1758
How to get here
Northern Cape is a vast province, so it's best to examine a map, explore the requisite websites and plan your route from there. Most farm-stay options can provide GPS coordinates, and self-driving in a hired car is often the most convenient option.
Best time to visit
All year round, although the famous Namaqualand floral displays last only for a few weeks in spring (September and early October).
Things to do in the area
Host farmers will be able to advise you on all the sites and adventures in their areas.
Self-drive is the best option.
What will it cost?
The cost of a farm stay varies according to the standard of accommodation: from about R100 per night for camping facilities, to R350 or more per person per night for luxury accommodation.
Length of stay
Try to set aside at least a week to explore Northern Cape.
What to pack
Walking shoes, binoculars, clothing for warm and cold weather, camera, camping equipment if you intend to camp, cooler box for the long stretches of road.
What to eat
All farm stays offer meals (though some may require you to book meals in advance).