60kms from Grahamstown, nestled in the bushveld on the way to Fort Beaufort, sits Bushkloof Nguni Farm Cottage. A true hidden gem. The owners Vernon and Julie have converted their old family home into accommodation for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle and breath in some fresh farm air.

The stoep.

Having grown up on a farm myself, driving onto this farm almost felt like coming home. The smells and sounds instantly brought back happy childhood memories. I think when you live in a town or city you are so used to the noise of traffic and alarms and people that you don’t really notice it anymore. When I arrived at Bushkloof Nguni Farm Cottage the first thing I noticed was just how perfectly quiet it was. It is quite strange to have to get used to the gentle silence of nature but a task I would welcome everyday. 

Our hosts Vernon and Julie met us as we arrived and gave us a tour of the cottage and their farmstead. They were so warm and inviting and meeting them reconfirmed for me the unrivalled hospitality that you can find here in the Eastern Cape. 

The sun lounge.

Like its hosts, the cottage is also warm and inviting, and as I walked through the rooms I thought to myself; this is not just a house, this is a home. The wooden floors have carried generations of feet upon them. The walls have held years upon years of love and laughter and you can instantly feel this as you walk through. A rustic farm cottage with sprinkles of elegance. 

HR and her Grandpa checking out some Nguni cows

Aside from just escaping for the weekend, the thing I was most excited for was being able to introduce my daughter to some animals. She loves the animals in her storybooks and I could not wait for her to see them up close. As soon as we arrived she was whisked off to feed the chickens. The look on her face was absolutely priceless! I love watching the world through her eyes because things we would take for granted, like seeing some chickens, literally was the most amazing experience for her. 

Dusk.

We arrived in the late afternoon on Friday so there was just enough time to look around and unpack before the sun set. We closed off the day by sitting on the stoep looking out over the bushveld and watching the colour slowly fade from the sky and then being replaced by millions of twinkling stars. 

The start of sunrise.

The next morning we were up extremely early and when I say extremely early I mean that my daughter woke us all up at 3am. She was up even before the roosters! I think the excitement of being in a new place and all the anticipation of visiting a farm encouraged a rather light sleep. The sound of the roosters in the early hours was yet another truly phenomenal experience for her. All she wanted to do was run out into the darkness to go and feed the chickens. It took a lot of convincing to get her to stay put until a more decent hour. The one upside of waking up so early was that we were able to watch the sunrise. The colours took my breath away and I felt as if I could sit there forever watching the colours and landscape change with the rising sun. 

Me taking in the sunrise.

The day was very relaxing for us. Due to our early start, after some breakfast, we all tried to have a nap. I chose to use the quiet time to read my book. What a pleasure to have a brief moment of peace to sit and get into a novel. 

Nguni cows.

At midmorning when everyone was rested Vernon and Julie took us on the bakkie on a drive around the property. They needed to check the reservoir so we tagged along. There was a herd of Nguni cattle at the reservoir when we arrived. My daughter loves cows. We sometimes get them outside our gate at home and she gets so excited when she sees them. Seeing these majestic animals out in the bushveld also caused much excitement for her and she was fascinated with their massive horns. As it was the heat of the day, we cooled our feet in the water trough and my daughter was able to get in and have a dip. I so loved seeing her have a true farm experience – clothes off and into the cow’s trough! 

HR feeding some chickens.

The rest of the day was spent playing, exploring and later feeding the goats. My daughter and I got to feed the goats from our hands. I think my daughter was extremely surprised by this interaction.

HR and her Grandpa watching the goats.

Our hosts invited us to join them for a braai that evening and we closed the day with good food, some wine and a whole heap of laughter. It was a very good day.

The problem with weekends away is that Sunday always comes too quickly. Luckily we didn’t have to rush off straight after breakfast and we spent another wonderfully lazy morning at the farmstead reading, walking, playing and visiting the animals.  

A mesmerising sunrise.

This is most definitely a place that I would like to visit again. After only a short stay I honestly feel revived and I highly recommend Bushkloof Nguni Farm Cottage to anybody looking to breath in some fresh farm air and enjoy nature’s tranquillity for a few days. 

Find them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Bushkloof-Nguni-Farm-Cottage-967096576828073/