On the wide-open grassy plains just south of the Gariep Dam, opposite the Oviston Nature Reserve, lie the Morning Glory Cottages within an oasis of tall green trees and lush gardens on Gelykfontein Stud Farm.
In the sprawling paddocks around the farmstead and cottages are thoroughbred mares grazing alongside their long-legged fillies and colts. Gelykfontein is one of a handful of racehorse stud farms in this part of the Karoo.
This is a perfect place for overnight stays or as a comfortable base to explore this little known part of the country. Morning Glory Cottages are part of Great Karoo Cycling’s Gariep Dam route. This is a perfect place to head off with your mountain bike to ride along the farm roads, or just go for long walks in the open veld on the farm.
Head off to the Gariep Dam nearby and do a fascinating tour exploring the interior of the giant dam wall. The Oviston Nature Reserve on the southern banks of the dam has massive herds of zebras, eland, springbok and other plains game. Norvalspont is also close by, with its interesting old pub.
Or you could just find a quiet spot in the garden to read.
Apart from the rather glamorous racehorses, the other animals you may see on the farm include Nguni cattle, indigenous veld goats, Rubicon Merino sheep, Venda chickens and wild animals like springbok and oryx.
The accommodation options include four tastefully furnished Garden Ensuite rooms (Angelica, Borage, Cottonwood and Chamomile) which are furnished with bar fridges, microwaves and a tea and coffee station.
There are also two fully equipped self-cater cottages:
- Farm Cottage which sleeps four adults and two children;
- Lavender Cottage which accommodates four adults and a small child.
All have DStv (guesthouse package with sports and movies), air-conditioning, electric blankets and heaters. There are braai facilities and a plunge pool in the gardens. A bar (Schalkie’s Place) boasts some interesting craft beers, good wines and Christa’s potent ginger brew.
Marene van der Walt is the fourth generation on Gelykfontein. She runs the cottages with her mother Christa and is an accomplished chef , serving up delicious meals on request, including superb Karoo lamb and beef from the farm. She also bakes bread and makes goats cheese, jams, chutneys and pickles.
Marene often uses recipes that have been in the family for generations, including Ouma Klokkie’s malva pudding, Christa’s sweet potato crumble and Auntie Emily’s green beans.
Much of the fresh produce is harvested from Gelykfontein farm, including herbs, leafy vegetables, squashes, tomatoes, sweetcorn, potatoes and pecan nuts.
Choose from a farm table dinner, a three-course plated meal, or a braai pack with meat and sausages from the farm.
You could choose a hearty breakfast or just order a breakfast or picnic pack for the road.
- To book or enquire about rates, contact Marene on 051 654 0302 or 087 550 2550. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org.