A nature-lover's paradise: Explore the Gamtoos at Nikalandershoek Guest Cottage

BY TAMLYN MCMULLAN - DECEMBER 15, 2014

Located a mere 86km out of Port Elizabeth is a charming citrus-farm-cum-hideout in a region that is well-known for its scenery, authentic countryside experiences and hospitality. As 2014 draws to a close, together with a friend, I recently decided to escape the city to this haven to before those hordes of inland tourists arrive.

Nikalandershoek Guest Cottage, is snuggled restfully in the heart of the lush Gamtoos Valley, at the foot of the Hanekam (Cockscomb) Mountain and on the banks of the Gamtoos River. The little town of Patensie is about 3.5km away.

The farm, which is a perfect gateway into the Baviaanskloof Wilderness area, is also the perfect base for exploring the area’s bird- and wildlife offerings. It is within reach of the Kouga Dam; Bergvenster (the window in the mountain) natural arch; 4x4 trails; local game reserves; historical sites as well as the famed Tolbos Country Shop and Restaurant;

On arrival at Nikalandershoek, we were overwhelmed with the sheer beauty of the area – strikingly captured in rows of citrus orchards. Nichola, the owner, warmly received us and kindly made sure that all our needs had been met before she left us to settle into our cottage. 

While Nikalandershoek is a working citrus farm, we were happy to find that our two-bedroom cottage was fully-equipped, had a living area, kitchen, wooden-deck and an outside braai facility. Our unit was self-catering and rested only a few metres from the banks of the Gamtoos River.

We soon began to feel the combined effects of the fresh country air and the scenic beauty surrounding us. After briefly exploring the farm’s remarkable natural diversity and wandering through the citrus orchards, we ended up on the wooden-deck, where we topped the day off with a few sundowners.

The following day, we awoke to the cry of the Hadedas. I felt more refreshed than I have ever been in quiet a long time – I guess living in the city takes its toll on the body and spirit. Nikalandershoek is an experience that you hope never ends; unfortunately, we had to say our goodbyes that same morning.

There is no doubt; I will be escaping back to this haven very soon. To make the most of this getaway, it is highly recommend that you bring along binoculars, a torch for night-time strolls, hiking shoes, a good book and swimwear in summer.

To experience true country hospitality or to find out more about Nikalandershoek Guest Cottage, call 083 556 3206 or visit www.nikalandershoek.co.za  today!

 

IMAGE: www.openafrica.org