I spent this past weekend at Melkammer House at De Hoop Nature Reserve. What a treat. It takes about 4 hours to reach De Hoop from Cape Town, and the drive is beautiful. Over the Hottentots Holland mountains, through the green Elgin Valley, past Hemel en Arde and into the Overberg. It changes from rocky mountain peaks to lush green apple orchards and pine forests to rolling green and gold fields with mountains in the distance.
At Caledon you turn right onto the R316 towards Napier. Past the Napier farm stall on the far side of town, you head through the countryside towards through Bredasdrop, the last stop before dirt road. An hour and a half later, past windmills and endless fields of grazing sheep, is the gate for De Hoop.
Once inside the landscape changes. The fields are covered with fynbos in heather green, purple and gold. And then there's the animals. Baboons, eland, bontebok ostrich & Cape Mountain zebra stand at attention as I drive towards the Manor House. It's surreal, magical, to see the majestic eland only a few yards away from me. They are regal and stare straight at me, as if to ensure I come with good intentions.
Eventually I reach Melkammer House. It's elegant and stands alone beside the vlei. Kilometers from anything else, the property brings with it a sense of utter seclusion. Just the fifteen of us and Mother Nature on this tip of Africa. And what a joy that is.
The weekend was spent in good company, with lots of laughter, good food, delicious yoga and much needed relaxation. I know I will return. It's a place more than certainly worth going back to.
Fynbos at its best.
Melkammer Manor House
The front stoep.