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Waterberg Cottages

Province: 
Limpopo
Town: 
Vaalwater
Hosts: 
Philip Calcott
Telephone: 
0147554425
Cellphone: 
0782078570
Address: 
Boschdraai Farm
Description: 

Relax with the family in an historic thatched cottage set in beautiful, child-friendly gardens, alive with over 100 species of birds. Laze beside our large heated pool while the children play on the Adventure Village. Take a trip to see our family of lively hippo emerge as the afternoon light fades, and round off the day with a braai, as the sun sets over the Bushveld.

At Windsong Cottages we extend a warm welcome to families. Having three small children ourselves we understand the needs and concerns of families, and aim to provide a relaxing, fun, child-friendly environment. Our offspring always enjoy the chance to meet new playmates.

For the energetically minded guest there is a tennis court available, canoeing on one of our dams, and everything from a gentle walk to a serious hike through the Bushveld.

Nearby, on the same farm, is the world famous Horizon Horseback Adventures, with over 70 horses to choose from, and a wide variety of equine activities, ranging from a gentle hack through the game reserve to cattle cutting and cross country

Other nearby activities include ‘Big 5’ game drives, feeding the orphan white rhino at the Waterberg Rhino Museum, elephant backed game viewing, and spectacular helicopter flights over the Waterberg escarpment.

Our cluster of four cottages are set at the heart of Triple B ranch, an active cattle and crop farm, which has been cultivated continually by four generations of the Baber family. The farm is located in the malaria-free UNESCO designated Waterberg Biosphere, renowned for its game, unspoilt beauty, tranquility and hospitality. Bird life is abundant and varied, with over 250 species of bird on the farm.

WINDSONG COTTAGE – SLEEPS UP TO 11
Windsong cottage itself is an historical farm home now converted into self catering accommodation. Originally built in the 1920's it retains many original features and hosts a delightful range of antique furniture, and many original art works by Baber family and friends. The accommodation comprises kitchen, pantry, lounge/dining room, three triple bedrooms one of which is en-suite, and one double bedroom with en-suite. In addition there is a further bathroom, separate shower room and two toilets. Windsong has a lovely large stoep with sofas and large dining table, perfect for relaxing and entertaining. From the stoep steps lead down to a large sunken braai area, provided with well seasoned braai wood. Close enough to be watched from both the braai area and stoep is a large sandpit which small people can enjoy while grown ups put their feet up. For chillier nights guest can retire inside to the dining/living room, which has an open fireplace, again supplied with firewood.
Windsong lends itself perfectly to a large family or group of friends having a get-together, and is located close to Butterfly, if you need additional accommodation.
The cottages are situated in the midst of delightful gardens hosting a range of On-site Activities.

BUTTERFLY COTTAGE – SLEEPS 2-4
Butterfly Cottage was the first construction project of Anthony Baber. He made it for him and his bride, before he went on to build world famous lodges. It is a beautiful thatched cottage with a large open plan living/dining/kitchen area, one double bedroom and a bathroom. There are two sofa beds in the living area for use if required.
Butterfly is situated near the pool and has a lovely large braai area where you can sit and enjoy the stunning sun-sets.
Butterfly lends itself perfectly to a either a romantic break for two or a family with young children. Should you require additional accommodation Windsong is on hand.All our cottages are situated in the midst of delightful gardens hosting a range of On-site Activities.

BUSHWILLOW COTTAGE – SLEEPS UP TO 7
Bushwillow is a two storey cottage, with lovely views out over our new game area. It is our newest cottage, and has been designed to provide a rather special experience for our guests, and to enable them to enjoy the best of the bush experience.
Downstairs Bushwillow has a large stoep with plenty of room for a family to relax and spread out. It has lovely views towards the sunset, and a braai nearby. Inside Bushwillow has a large open plan living/dining/kitchen area with much of the fittings (including the whole kitchen), made from wood harvested on the farm. It also has one large bedroom with an Emperor bed and a single, en-suite to a shower room.
Upstairs is the master bedroom, designed to have views out over the veld, a sense of space, and an en-suite with a slipper bath. On the second storey there is also a mezzanine level, again with splendid views out over the veld. The mezzanine has two full size sofa beds with very comfortable bed mattresses. This can either be used as an upstairs livingroom, or as an extra bedroom.
Bushwillow is set in its own arboretum, composed of a mixture of Bushveld trees, such as the Bushwillow, from which its name derives, and some exotics, such as Jacarandas. It is a small distance away from the other cottages, providing privacy, and yet the pool and other facilities like On-site Activities are still easily accessible.

KUDU LODGE – SLEEPS 16
The slanting golden sunlight plays on the dam water, illuminating its vibrant bird life. The sounds of the African bush come gently to your ears. The smell of steak sizzling on the braai wafts across, as you relax on the stoep, a cold beer in your hand. Welcome to Kudu Lodge.
Kudu Lodge is great for outdoor living, with two stoeps including one directly overlooking the dam. Guests can expect to watch fish eagles perching on the drowned trees in the dam, along with a wide variety of other bird life. The dam also has a range of fish, including bass, tilapia and barbell. Night owls or early birds may see kudu and other game coming to drink at the dam. We have also provided 4 small canoes so our guests can take full advantage of the dam, and enjoy the prolific bird life up close.
Kudu is located on Goedgevonden farm. It is a large old farmhouse which has recently been refurbished and sleeps up to 16 people. It has a large open plan living/dining/kitchen area, with a modern fitted kitchen, open fire place, kitchen table, and three sofas, perfect for relaxing and entertaining. It has 2 double bedrooms with en-suite facilities and 2 further large bedrooms, one with two single beds and two bunk beds, the other with three bunk beds. The later has en-suite shower and toilet facilities and the other has a separate bathroom.
There are two braai areas, one located near the front stoep, the other at the rear of the lodge. Both come complete with well seasoned braai wood.
Kudu Lodge offers a wonderful opportunity to have a large get-together with family and friends, and to enjoy the peace and seclusion. It is located 8 km from Windsong Cottages but our guests are more than welcome to come and make use of the on site activities there.
Surrounding Kudu is 750 hectares of veld and pasture land. Behind Kudu is a lovely Koppie, with a marked trail leading along the edge and offering stunning views out over the Melk valley.

Facilities: 

Activities on site:

• Relaxing at Boschdraai. A chance to get that tan up lazing by the heated pool, enjoying Nina Baber's beautiful garden, or for the more energetic, playing tennis.

• Walking and birding. The farm has over 250 species of bird, some lovely scenery and numerous mammal species, including Kudu, Steenbuck, Impala, Blesbok, Warthog, Bushpig, Jackal, Baboon, Vervet monkey, Aardvark and Pangolin. I personally find the insect and reptile life at least as fascinating as the larger creatures, and can spend hours watching the antics of the humble Dung beetle, the Ant lion or the gecko. We have 2 marked bush walks for those who may be interested in enjoying the peace, tranquility and delightful views.

• Astronomy. The Waterberg is famous for its dark, cloudless skies. We are 100km from the nearest large town, and most nights are cloudless. This means that the full glory of the night sky is available to be seen. Using an advanced 200mm SCT telescope, and an astronomical video camera, I will be happy to give you a guided tour of its wonders. The tour will include: the planets, the constellations of the southern hemisphere, beautiful nebulae (the coloured mavels of the night sky), and will even extend out to our neighbouring galaxies. Expect to learn about how stars are formed and die, how big the universe is and all about the myths and realities of our own solar system.

• Riding - We can arrange a wide variety of riding activities for our guests at Horizon (world famous horse riding establishment see ridinginafrica.com), which is situated on the Triple B Ranch. These include outrides into the bush, riding with game (including giraffe, if you're lucky), cattle mustering, Polocross (a simpler and, some say, more enjoyable form of polo), Western games (all sorts of semi-competitive fun on horseback). Horizon cater for all types of riders, novices to experts. 7mins from Boschdraai.

• Charles Baber’s Farm Tour. Believe it or not, many guests who have enjoyed the luxury of Ant's nest, Welgevonden or Jembisa end up saying that Charles's tour was the highlight of their visit to South Africa. If you come to the Waterberg this is a must. Charles, himself a third generation Waterberger, is renown throughout the district for his humour, local knowledge and hospitality. His tour will show guests the harsh realities of Cattle and crop farming in the bushveld, along with his unique personal insights into the history and characters that make the Waterberg so special. The tour divides into three sections. The first is a peak back to the life of the early white settlers in the area with a visit to the nearby Herbert Baker church, and the unique house at 24 Rivers (the oldest house in the district maintained unaltered as it was, with all original decor). Next the guest is introduced to the award winning Boschdraai Bonsmara herd, and the beauty of the Waterberg Veld. Finally, guests enjoy tea and scones on the Boschdraai stoop, hosted by Charles and Nina Baber. Expect fascinating stories from the Boer war, a crash course in grass management and lots of Charles Baber's infectious humour.

• Visiting the Hippo. A family of hippos live in a series of dams on the farm. In the late afternoon the hippos emerge to feed, and guests can frequently get wonderful views of these wild creatures - from the safety of a specially constructed viewing platform. Lucky guests can even experience an unforgettable hippo serenade, and everyone usually gets to see the awesome set of ivories these ladies and gentlemen possess. Guests are accompanied by a guide. 10min drive.

• Beadle – the Waterberg’s Local Craft Shop. Tanya Baber, daughter-in-law of Charles and Nina, has set up a local craft shop, which is located on the farm, approximately 10 minutes drive from Windsong. Employing local crafts people, they produce a large variety of leather and beaded goods, ranging from custom made chaps for the riding enthusiast to sandals, belts, key rings and leather bound note books – ideal as gifts or souvenirs. The quality is superb, the variety amazing. I challenge you to visit Tanya and not be tempted to take advantage of the delightful goods for sale.

Activities In the Area:

• Elephant backed game safari. This is a must for anyone who loves pachyderms. You get to ride atop one of 4 adult African elephants, while the whole herd, including 4 beautiful baby elephants, marches through the bush, feeding and playing as they go. The opportunity to experience the natural elephant interactions close up is very special, and you get to see game from a whole new vantage point. R950 per person at the moment, but very popular, so expect increases. Guests booking in advance should note that the rides are unavailable if the elephants are in must. This is a rather unpredictable, but fortunately infrequent, event. 35 mins drive from Boschdraai.

• Guided walk at Lapalala. Lapalala is 36,000 hectares of unspoilt wilderness, with the spectacular Palala river running through the centre. Elias will take guests on an unforgettable guided tour of the natural beauty of Lapalala, where you will learn to tell the spour of a Kudu from a Wilderbeast, and an impala from a blesbok. The tour ends with an unforgettable panorama of the Palala gorge and the opportunity to view spectacular bushmen rock art.

• Ant's Nest Game drive. Ant's Nest was recently voted as one of the top 101 destinations worldwide by Tattler magazine and Abercrombie and Kent. That I strongly agree with this has nothing to do with the fact that Ant is my brother-in-law, well not much. Actually, we find that time and again our guests rate Ant's nest as their top game viewing experience. Even though it doesn't have lion and elephant, its stunning and varied scenery, plentiful game and knowledgeable and friendly guides make it a great outing. 40 mins drive from Boschdraai.

• Orphan rhino, Waterberg Museum, Clive Walker restaurant and Bush experience. Clive and Konita Walker are world famous for their work in conservation and environmental education. Their vision has led them to create this fascinating opportunity to get up close to some of the more impressive inhabitants of the Bush. Their 4 year old orphan black rhino is a top attraction (the brave get to feed him by hand), and Konita will answer all your rhino questions. The Waterberg Museum itself gives a fascinating, and well laid out, introduction to the environment and history of the Waterberg. Generally this visit is combined with a tasty lunch at the restaurant.  Not open on Mondays. 30mins drive

• Riding and Walking at the Waterberg Game Reserve. This is a wonderful combined experience for a mixed group of those who want to ride and those who, well, don’t. Great riding with a friendly and experienced guide, and some really lovely walks, both with lots of game to see and stunning views.

Directions: 

Directions to Waterberg Cottages
From Pretoria
:
Take the N1 north (signed Pietersburg or Polokwane) and follow this for about 110km until the Kranskop toll gate (the third tollgate you come to). At this toll gate turn off the N1 onto the R33. Take the R33 towards Nylstroom (Modimolle). This is a 10km stretch. Go straight through Modimolle and continue on for 64km until you get to Vaalwater. At Vaalwater you will come to a 4-way stop. Turn right (signed Melkrivier), this is a tar road. There are two ways to reach us, select which option you would prefer:

Option 1 - Less Gravel, Longer Distance - 33km

Continue on this road for about 24.5km, then turn right, signed to Sterkstroom. This is now a gravel road. Continue on this road for about 3km until you see a triangular “beware of cattle” sign on your left. On your right just after this is a yellow sign saying “Charles Baber”, with a picture of a bull on it. Turn right here onto the farm road. The road runs straight for about 3km. At this point you will see a game fence and gate in front of you. Don’t go through this game gate, instead follow the road you are on as is bends to the left. It splits
into two, keep to the right hand road. You basically now follow this road until you come to the cottages. It takes a 90 degree right hand turn after about 500m, then is straight for another 500m. The road then forks. Don't turn left here, instead veer right over a cattle grid and into the game fenced area. Follow the road and you cross another cattle grid and arrive at Waterberg Cottages, near the tennis court. Turn right around the tennis court and follow the signs to reception.

Option 2 - More Gravel, Shorter Distance - 29km
Turn right after 10km onto a gravel road signed to Vier-en-Twintig-Rivier. After 8.5km turn left signed to Naauwpoort. After 7.5km turn left at a large yellow sign saying 'Charles Baber' with a picture of a Bosmara bull on it. Travel a further 2km along a farm road, keeping left at a fork. You will arrive at the homestead, and we will direct you then to you accommodation.

Rates: 

Windsong (Kingfisher): Normal (R200); Peak (R250); Christmas (R320); L/Weekend (R350)
Butterfly: Normal (R250); Peak (R280); Christmas (R350); L/Weekend (R380)
Bushwillow: Normal (R320); Peak (R370); Christmas (R430); L/Weekend (R460)
Kudu: Normal (R200); Peak (R250); Christmas (R320); L/Weekend (R350)*

Dates:
Normal: 7thJanuary – 7thApril; 7thMay - 7thAugust; 7thSeptember - 7thDecember
Peak: 8thApril – 6thMay; 6thAugust – 8thSeptember
Christmas: 7thDecember – 7thJanuary
Long Weekend: Public Holidays (e.g. Good Friday Weekend)

All prices based on Rand per night per person
Persons under 12: ½ Price
Persons under 2: FREE
*When more than 6 guests staying at Kudu Lodge Guests 7 and thereafter ½ Price, other discounts above included.

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