An Escape to Magaliesberg
The need to get out of town was strong. So we searched and found a quick getaway spot; in a stone cottage on a hill in the Magaliesberg countryside. Doggie-friendly too of course. It was just right.
The city was getting to us, so to bring balance and tranquillity back into our world we escaped it. I’m a believer in getting out into nature as much as possible to get perspective and just breathe. It’s real life. My soul craves it and the call to get out there must be answered. Since we were looking for a getaway close enough to Joburg to manage a Saturday morning check in, still with enough time to relax and take it all in over the mini weekend, Magaliesberg was the ideal choice.
Just an hour out of Jozi, in the farming area of Hekpoort we found our Magaliesberg retreat. Saamrus is a farm with a few cottages on the property and the best part is that it is made with dog-lovers in mind. With our basic existence and life decisions revolving around our adoration for a certain staffie fur-baby of ours, this was the perfect spot for a family weekend away for three.
As we neared the farm on Saturday morning, I read out the directions given by the owners, and the scene was set by these, even before the setting made an impression on us.
“Once you have passed through the tall Blue gum trees, there is a sharp turn to the right along the game fence. Just after the sharp turn, look out for the turn to the left to cross the river”
“Just go slow and keep the wheels on the high areas, and you should be fine.”
With descriptions and instructions like these we were surged into mini-holiday mode and were intrigued.
The appeal of a stay at Saamrus was the promise of privacy and relaxation is an environment that offered some of our favourite DIY outdoor activity options including walks in nature and a river trail for exploring. And we could enjoy the time away with our dog, which is just as it should be.
The cottages have endearing Afrikaans bird names like HoepHoep, Piet-My-Vrou and others are named after beloved South African trees like Akasie and Suikerbos.
Ours was called Kiepersol and was one of the cottages up a steep hill which can only be conquered by a 4×4. It is a rock-built, thatched rondavel with an artistic character. Little elements like the mosaic bath, beautiful fireplace and subtle artwork on the concrete floor gave this away. We loved the views over the Magaliesberg from the stoep and being surrounded by indigenous trees and birds was our highlight. It, like all the other cottages, has its own fenced in garden so all four-legged guests can roam free, happily, even when their humans are napping and off guard.
We heard and saw plenty of birdlife from our comfy reading chairs in our little sanctuary. African Grey Hornbills, Crested Barbets and pretty little Bee Eaters came to visit, just to name a few. We also greeted an inquisitive pair of Slender Mongooses who kept to the other side of the fence but checked out Moose (our doggie) as he checked them out in return.
During the evening, as we busied ourselves with braaing and toasting the sunset after a rain shower which had crisped the air and view beautifully, we heard the unmistakable and wonderful call of jackals nearby too. Our only complaint is that Kiepersol cottage’s high perched location puts it in the sound path of the noisy traffic coming from the road nearby. It can’t be helped, but is unfortunate as the car noises carry in that lovely, otherwise quiet setting and did disturb the peace for us. I am certain the other cottages don’t hear the road much at all due to their specific locations but Kiepersol does so just consider that if you’re planning a visit.
The days were spent doing exactly what our hearts and walking feet demanded of us… we explored. Soon after settling in on Saturday morning, we donned our walking shoes and Moose his harness, and headed for the hills. We followed the markings on a map found in our cottage and opted for the “Long Walks” trails.
These paths amble over the farmland bush and surrounding lands and even guide walkers beside the “lion fence” which borders the neighbouring game reserve. We took in the views after steep climbs and had staring contests with some local cows. We caught our breath under the sparse trees before finding what we think was the kloof path which guided us along the natural base line of a gorge through some welcome tree cover in the midday heat.
We made our own pathless way back towards the cottage; cutting out bits passed the local village. Once home we filled our tummies with deliciousness and relaxed properly for the afternoon with books and snacks and beverages and birds around us. It was necessary and lovely.
We went down to the farm area near reception and the other cottages in the evening and on Sunday morning too. There we took the path passed the active birds in the marshes, along the swimming pool fence and down to the river. A calm little trickle flowed next to us as we strolled along it, and dammed occasionally in little pools. Moose cooled off in it from time to time and we reveled in the cool but humid feel of being in the moist shade of a forest trail.
It was good to getaway and throw ourselves into the countryside’s rhythm of life.
Saamrus Guest Farm Contact Details:
You can also check availability and book online. Bring your dogs along.