They say that the road less travelled often leads to beautiful destinations, and in this case, a long dirt road led to what I can only describe as a stolen moment captured in time, in the heart of the Upper Karoo.
Upon arriving at BloemhofKaroo, a sense of calmness starts surrounding you. You’ll quite literally experience a breath of fresh air. Gone is the stress induced by everyday work life.
“Unique, Picturesque, Luxurious and Homely” are just a few words that come to mind when you drive up to BloemhofKaroo; a homestead style farmhouse that tells a thousand stories from the moment you step onto the large wrap around red porch, to the moment you leave, looking back at the rolling hills.
Situated in the Upper Karoo, BloemhofKaroo is unique in that guests are taken back in time, and are able to experience how it would have been living in your own gracious old family Karoo home, all whilst taking in the sights and sounds of true farm life, and the true essence of Karoo living.
Through the décor, the wooden accessories, the antiques, the artwork and the furniture, they truly paint the perfect picture and ignite one’s imagination as to what it was like all those years ago, sitting on the “stoep” (patio), with a hot cup of tea, watching the sun set with some classical music on in the background.
They have so cleverly taken their guests on a journey that enlightens all senses and leaves you wanting more – an escape from reality that is tastefully encapsulating. The past era has been comfortably and tastefully resurrected in this beautiful original homestead that people embrace for its beauty and simple truth, completely matching the era it portrays.
They don’t stop at just the living spaces – they’ve taken the concept of an “olden day” and embraced it to the farm and beyond. Farming methods of days gone by have been brought back to good use, like the Lei-Vore (channel) method of manually flooding crops. One can only sit back and be mesmerized to see how the whole acre of tilled ground is watered manually in 40 minutes.
Authenticity and a natural flare for Karoo hospitality is what you will find so heartwarming and engaging at BloemhofKaroo. The success of any business lends itself to the team behind the team, and the successful running of a ship – in this case a farm. The staff, retired and newly hired, have over 30 years’ experience and have wonderful stories to tell of past happenings, previous owners, neighbours, sadnesses, droughts, and how life has changed in this part of the Upper Karoo.
Their enthusiasm for their own craft, be it herding the sheep, or kneading bread, is done with pride and enthusiasm, which city life dwellers lack to some degree.
When you walk through the halls of the farmhouse, you’re captivated by the history and the pieces of fine china that have been passed down from generation to generation. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure but when looking back at the quality and the detailed and skilled craft that went into making such pieces all those years ago, one can only appreciate the craft and skill that existed in a world now consumed by technology.
The rooms boast an old school luxurious charm with modern finishes. The gracious Oxwagon Suite has a reading area, open fireplace, opens onto the wrap-around stoep and has a private en-suite bathroom.
For larger families, the Blue Room is situated in the quaint farm outbuildings, and has an interleading small bedroom and private bathroom. This is sold as a Suite (two children can sleep in the room alongside).
Guests are always keen to know about all the bits and pieces that make BloemhofKaroo unique and interesting – there are indeed some fascinating tales about where and how theye’ve sourced some of the memorabilia scattered around the guest house, so Jenny, Owner of BloemhofKaroo took it upon herself to create their very own ‘Antique Alley’!
But, what would a true “farm life” experience be without witnessing the vast landscape and farm animals that BloemhofKaroo has to offer? For those wanting to truly step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and into a state of relaxation and serenity, then BloemhofKaroo is the destination for you. They boast exquisite terrain and farming facilities that serve as home to a variety of farm animals from geese, cattle, to their prized sheep, to wild horses that roam the land.
The Upper Karoo is famous for its wide-open spaces and healthy climate. The seemingly arid soil of the Karoo bursts into life after rains, which totally transform the landscape.
In the Upper Karoo region hardy succulents are complemented by grasses on which the region’s cattle graze. Seemingly countless windpumps are indicative of the countless streams that flow between cracks and fissures that lie beneath the dry but fertile soil.
BloemhofKaroo is located at the foot of a striking rock formation, called Kudu Rock, a canvas painted with a palette of various shades of brown and orange. The colours become even more vibrant with the sunrise and sunset.
Explore even further by indulging in the 15 000-hectare farm on which you can hike, or simply enjoy an afternoon stroll with your partner or friends. For sundowners, why not walk out to the infamous Kudu Rock and watch the spectacular sunset as the sky catches fire in pinks, oranges and purples, before the stars peak out and illuminate the Karoo skies. For those less adventurous holiday goers, simply enjoy an afternoon by the pool, soaking up the golden rays, whilst enjoying the sounds of nature and its inhabitants.
BloemhofKaroo sincerely holds a sense of magic for anyone that is lucky enough to call it “home” for a few days – you are bound to leave with a new appreciation for different ways of living and sustainable farm life, which not only takes your imagination on an adventure, but allows you to fully understand a world once lived.
BloemhofKaroo is a holistic haven, a place where you can truly leave behind the confines of the city and find peace for your mind.
All that’s left for you to do, is make sure that the road once less travelled, becomes the road frequently visited!
Source: Nomad Africa Magazine