From summer days spent exploring the surrounding Rooiberg mountains or swimming in the pool to chilly winter evenings in front of the fireplace and stargazing, Danielskraal Farm Homestead is the perfect country escape for family and friends looking to reconnect with nature in peace and quiet
‘I have always been mad about the Karoo,’ says Danielskraal Farm owner Rosheen O’Meara, who has headed up the Calitzdorp landmark over the past four years. ‘When I was a child, we had a home in Joburg and Cape Town and every year at Christmas, we would get into the Chrysler Valiant and make the journey down from the Highveld – I will always remember my mother declaring to my stepfather on the drive (she had a flair for the dramatic), “Stop the car, stop the car, look at those mountains, they are pure Pierneef!” She really instilled in me a deep regard and understanding for the land of desolation that is the Karoo.’
Cradled by the Rooiberg mountains, the 2 600-hectare farm is a biodiversity hotspot, with an incredible variety and abundance of succulents and fynbos, as well as being home to the Cape leopard, eagle owl and the highly endangered riverine rabbit – all within an hour of George Airport.
The 1836 farmhouse, which sleeps eight, required extensive updating, with Rosheen restoring many elements of the build, such as rethatching the roof, while the homestead’s interiors take a heady, more-is-more maximalist style. ‘I do not believe in decorating so much as I love beautiful things and collecting things, and all of these parts of my life from my travels have come together here, and it just works,’ says Rosheen. ‘I never wanted it to become precious, I wanted it to have an essence and did not want to make it pristine, it had to be a little lopsided. I gave it my soul.’
Unpretentious and untamed, Danielskraal Farm provides a rustic-luxe escape for the outdoorsy and those looking to tap out while Rosheen and Sandra take a decidedly laissez-faire approach, allowing guests to explore the impossibly beautiful landscape but never being far off to assist. ‘I love the big, open skies, the closeness of the stars,’ says Rosheen. ‘There is excitement and mystery here.’
There are a number of activities to do on and around the farm, from swimming and mountain climbing to bushveld walks and cycle routes. The verdant lawn in front of the house is also and ideal pitch to play badminton, cricket or boules.
For the more adventurous, uncover ancient fossils in the mountains or explore the myriad succulents and wildflowers indigenous to the Klein Karoo (don’t forget your binoculars, there are over 100 bird species to spot).
In winter, light a roaring fire in the lounge, while nestling into the comfy couches reading a book or playing board games.
The town of Calitzdorp is only a 10 minute drive from the farm and offers many delights, from port and wine tastings at Boplaas or de Krans cellars to shopping for beautiful, artisan ceramics, freshly roasted coffees and homemade pies at the scattering of quaint and pretty restaurants. The town is often adorned in bright pops of bougainvillea and blooming roses that surround the neighboring vineyards.