Mountain Pastures is an operating game farm located in the Klein Karoo, approximately 18 kilometers from Uniondale, and nearly 90 minutes from George Airport through the Outeniqua Pass. The farm features seven chalets that can be rented out, as well as a conference center that can accommodate as many as 70 delegates.
Plains game and sheep are the primary focus of the farm’s owners, Eugene and Riana Edwards, as a result of the prolonged drought that has plagued the region in past years. Over the years, the Edwards have also brought up sheep and buffalo for selling to other game lodges.
One of the cottages stands alone and is located closest to the main building, which features a kitchen and dining room that are shared with other guests. There are six cottages located next to one another.
It is important to keep in mind that although each cabin has three beds (a king and two singles), the restroom, which includes a toilet, a bathtub, and a hand shower, can only be entered from the main bedroom. This means that whoever is staying in the single bedroom will need to pass through the main bedroom to use the bathroom. However, with rates beginning as low as R350 per person, this is a relatively minor inconvenience.
Self-catering guests have access to Mountain Pastures’ fully-equipped kitchen as well as the exterior braai amenities, but groups of 8 or more people can take advantage of Mountain Pastures’ catering services. Each room displays a trophy head with great pride; the head of an eland hangs prominently above the bed in chalet number three. There are seven separate cottages, six of which are situated near the main house, which provides guests with access to a shared kitchen and dining area.
The warm rooms provide you with everything you might require to remain at ease during the chilly winter season as well as the scorching summers. The beds are dressed in crisp, white linens that have been meticulously pressed, and there are a lot of extra poofy blankets stored in the old wooden wardrobe.
There is a much greater focus on quality, and the rooms are fully equipped, embellished, and cleaned in advance of a guest’s arrival with the same level of care that is given at the world’s finest luxury hotels. Although there is a sign indicating that the game lodge has three stars showcased near the reception office, the experience far exceeds what one would anticipate from such a rating.
Excursions & Activities
It is abundantly clear that the owners place a high level of importance on ensuring that their guests have an enjoyable and educational stay. Springbok were among the animals that were observed during a previous trip that Farmer’s Weekly took, during which they paid an additional fee to participate in an early-morning game drive. As time went on, while we were climbing the mountain, we came across more wildlife.
Mountain Pastures is the starting point for five different hiking trails, all of which have been awarded the Green Flag status. These trails range in difficulty and offer something for hikers of all fitness levels, including a strenuous trail whose length limits it to overnight guests only.
Additionally, Bass Fishing is available, and for a Small Fee, Fishing Tackle Can Be Provided to Anglers
The sheer immensity of the area within the theater created by the Kouga and Honniball mountains can be appreciated by sitting on a lounge stool outside your cottage at dawn or dusk and looking out at the surrounding landscape. The marvelous vastness of the vista is punctuated by bats at dusk and by a large number of birds starting at dawn and continuing.
A short distance away is the Baviaanskloof, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is among the world’s 34 biodiversity centers. The internet access at the lodge is, at best, spotty, however, there is free Wi-Fi available in the conference center and main house, and it can sometimes be reached in the chalets as well.
Going The Extra Mile
The atmosphere and activities in this place have a certain archaic quality. It is difficult to describe open-heartedness as a service characteristic, but you will feel it here. The matriarch, Elize, who is based in Pretoria, is frequently onsite to ensure a ship-shape offering even though Eugene and Riana are almost always at the site.
Mountain Pastures will put you in touch with local professional guides who will take you on walks that are expertly led and are in the area. As stated by the authors Jan Vlok and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok in their book Plants of the Klein Karoo, the succulent known as Euphorbia willowmorensis can only be found in a total of four various locations between Willowmore and Misgund.
One of the oldest apple trees in South Africa, known as “The Kroon,” can be found on the farm Misgund, which is located approximately 40 minutes in the direction of Joubertina. The Langkloof is a well-known region for the cultivation of apples and pears (Crown).
The Pilgrimage of Hope is a 263-kilometer hike from Uniondale to Mossel Bay that takes place over 14 days and is modeled after the Camino de Santiago in Europe. Several of the early roads are now located on farms that are privately owned. The Apple Crate farm stall, situated at the junction of routes N9 and R62, provides all of the delectable treats that are to be expected from a stop at a farm, in addition to the additional benefit of offering a history of the farming families in the area through the apple crates that are displayed and carry the names of those families.
Jimmy Zondagh, who farms apples and pears and serves as an unofficial archivist for the Langkloof, claims that the Zondagh family has been farming at Avontuur continuously since their ancestors first settled there in 1765. In the year 1902, the owner of the farm Misgund, Alexander Baldie, was the first person in the region to plant apple trees. The Karoo2Coast is a 100 km bicycle race that takes place between Uniondale and Knysna and raises money for the Uniondale and Knysna Lions clubs. The race has been going on for over 20 years and is substantiated by the Zondagh family as well as many other farmers in the area.
It is a yearly event that is completely booked, so finding a place to stay can be challenging. If you wish to reserve a room at Mountain Pastures during this time period, you will be required to make full payment in advance and submit your reservation.