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ACTIVITIES ON PAARDEPLAATS NATURE RETREAT:

Activities on Paardeplaats are essentially nature and family oriented. Situated at 2000 m above sea-level, Brian’s 25km of walking routes are ideal for high altitude training, hiking or mountain biking. The dark nights make for good star gazing and photographers have a ball with the variety of landscape, fauna and flora options!
Our ‘Full Moon’ hikes are a very special experience for young and old alike.

ACTIVITIES ON PAARDEPLAATS NATURE RETREAT:

Whether you are looking for peace and quiet, solitude or “family therapy”, in nature, or whether you want to indulge in your hobby, albeit photography, birding, bugging, cooking up a good ‘pot’ or settling into a good book with a glass or two of your favourite red wine, this is the place to be!

HIKING & MOUNTAIN BIKING:

The Jafrie Walking and Cycling Ramble is ideal ‘family therapy’ for those who love nature. The not-so-lazy could pack a picnic basket or a rucksack and embark on one of seven different marked out walking or mountain biking trails, totalling 25km, or they could just amble down to the nearby waterfall, or take a ten minute stroll to the old gold mine shaft. Attempt the spectacular Nooitgedacht trail past gold mining ruins, with views of the Bokoni Iron Age circles, dating back to 600 AD, in the Finsbury valley, 600m below. Try the family fun waterfall trail in the river – or a dramatic full moon hike.
Unfortunately we do not allow scramblers or motor bikes, due to the sensitivity of nature.

HIKING & MOUNTAIN BIKING:

The Jafrie Walking and Cycling Ramble is ideal family therapy for those who love nature. The not-so-lazy could pack a picnic basket or a rucksack and embark on one of seven different marked out walking or mountain biking trails, totalling 25km, or just amble down to the nearby waterfall, or take a ten minute stroll to the old gold mine shaft. Attempt the spectacular Nooitgedacht trail past gold mining ruins, with views of the Bokoni Iron Age circles, dating back to 600 AD, in the Finsbury valley, 600m below. Try the family fun waterfall trail in the river – or a dramatic full moon hike. Unfortunately we do not allow scramblers or motor bikes, due to the sensitivity of nature.

FULL MOON HIKE:

A very special experience and a popular group and family activity, particularly in autumn when the weather plays along, is a ’full moon hike’. This is the prime ingredient for fellowship in nature, whether it be with like minded friends, strangers or your family!

Departing at 18h30, just before the moon rises (Gerda would lead the hike to show you the way), walking in silence on any of our scenic hiking routes, watching the spectacular full moon rise over Mt Anderson with the Finsbury valley 600m below, and with a strong possibility of seeing some of the nocturnal animals that occur on the farm (leopards, jackals, brown hyenas, aardwolwe, porcupines, servals, civets).
Of course, a pair of good infra red binoculars, would enhance the experience no end, and warm clothing, would be a prerequisite.

Returning at about 20h30 to the ‘Miners Canteen’ for your well earned braai accompanied by your favourite red wine, around a roaring log fire, prepared by Brian in your absence. Imagine the effects on any impressionable young or even older minds – This is what memories are made of!

All you need are good walking/hiking shoes, warm clothing, a beanie, a good torch at times, your camera and binocs and a small rucksack.
We can work out a special package for families or for a group of friends. If you are staying on the farm, the hike is part of what you are paying for. All you need to do is select a full moon weekend!  Discuss this with Brian.

FULL MOON HIKE:

A popular group and family activity, particularly in autumn when the weather plays along, is a ‘full moon hike’. Departing at 18h30 from the 'Miners Canteen',  just before the moon rises, walking in silence on any of our scenic hiking routes, watching the spectacular moon rising over Mt Anderson, with a strong possibility of seeing some of the nocturnal animals that occur on the farm (leopards, jackals, brown hyenas, aardwolwe, porcupines, servals, civets). Of course, a pair of good infra red binoculars, will enhance the experience no end.

Returning at about 20h30 to the ‘Miners Canteen’ for your well earned braai accompanied by your favourite red wine, around a roaring log fire, prepared by Brian in your absence. Imagine the effects on any impressionable young or even older minds – This is what memories are made of!

All you need are good walking/hiking shoes, warm clothing, a beanie, a good torch at times, your camera and binocs and a small rucksack.
We can work out a special package for families or a group of friends. If you are staying on the farm, the hike is part of what you are paying for. All you need to do is select a full moon weekend!  Discuss this with Brian.

BIRDING:

Paardeplaats is home to the endangered Gurney sugarbird and is a popular venue for birders, bird ringers and researchers. Ornithologist Dawie de Swardt, has studied the Gurney since 1986, on Paardeplaats and has compiled a comprehensive list of more than 200 birds from the area. A vulture restaurant is visited by Cape Vultures and a pair of Verreaux’s eagles often roost in the kranses. We erected an owl house for the Spotted Eagle Owl on the River Ramble close to the house – often heard in the dead of night, but yet to be spotted…

BIRDING:

Paardeplaats is home to the endangered Gurney sugarbird and a popular venue for birders, bird ringers and researchers. Ornithologist Dawie de Swardt, studied the Gurney since 1986, on Paardeplaats and has compiled a handy tick list of more than 200 birds from the area. A vulture restaurant is visited by Cape Vultures and a pair of Verreaux’s eagles roost in the kranses. We erected an owl house for the Spotted Eagle Owl on the River Ramble close to the house – often heard in the dead of night, but yet to be spotted…

FAUNA ON PAARDEPLAATS:

There are a host of different types of small game to be found on the farm – grey rhebok, mountain reed buck, klipspringer, oribi, duiker, rooikatte, jackals, porcupines, bush pigs, honey badgers, not to mention the darn baboons and vervet monkeys – We recently discovered two warthogs, whom we have named “Pumba” & “Mufasa” – all these are part of our daily encounters. There is a migrating herd of eland, totaling about 30 and often more, that regularly visit the farm, as well as rare encounters with brown hyena (they are mainly nocturnal) and even leopards. In 2004 there was a mother with two cubs resident in “Masjienkloof”. In July 2013 we caught a young female who had been preying on our neighbors goats. She was sent to Maholoholo for rehab, as she had damaged her claws. She was recently released again. Our farm dog “Umjoji” had a tetatet with a young female on Christmas day 2013, fortunately no one was injured!  In August 2019 we recorded a male leopard, on our motion camera, not far from our house. For obvious reasons this will be a close kept secret, for now. All these are complimented by our beloved wild horses, who, legend has it, date back to the Anglo Boer War and before (remember the name of the farm, which is dated September 1874!).

FAUNA ON PAARDEPLAATS:

There are a host of different types of small game to be found on the farm – grey rhebok, mountain reed buck, klipspringer, oribi, duiker, rooikatte, jackals, porcupines, bush pigs, honey badgers, not to mention the darn baboons and vervet monkeys – We recently discovered two warthogs, whom we have named “Pumba” & “Mufasa” – all these are part of our daily encounters. There is a migrating herd of eland, totaling about 30 and often more, that regularly visit the farm, as well as rare encounters with brown hyena (they are mainly nocturnal) and even leopards. In 2004 there was a mother with two cubs resident in “Masjienkloof”. In July 2013 we caught a young female who had been preying on our neighbors goats. She was sent to Maholoholo for rehab, as she had damaged her claws. She was recently released again. Our farm dog “Umjoji” had a tetatet with a young female on Christmas day 2013, fortunately no one was injured!  In August 2019 we recorded a male leopard, on our motion camera, not far from our house. For obvious reasons this will be a close kept secret, for now.All these are complimented by our beloved wild horses, who, legend has it, date back to the Anglo Boer War and before (remember the name of the farm, which is dated September 1874!).

FLORA – WILD FLOWERS:

Plant lovers will appreciate the wealth of “fynbos” and sub-alpine indigenous species. The farm is covered by patches of a few different types of protea, mainly the Silver Protea and Common Sugarbush (protea roupellia and protea caffra). In early January the Protea Parveula, blooms in certain areas of the farm. This protea is a ‘ground cover’ species with beautiful full flowers. In May and June we experience a magnificent display of Aloe arborescence and wild dagga. In the summer months, Rothmania Capensis,  Transvaal bottlebrush, buddleias, and Erica, Agapanthus inapertus, scyzzostyllis, Nerina filifolia, arum lilies, red hot pokers, Brunsvigia natalensis, and several different species of watsonia and gladioli. There are many different orchids to be found in the wetter areas, in summer, and are well worthy of interest and research. An orchid, Brownleea Graminicola, is found exclusively on Paardeplaats, under the boulders, on one of the south east facing hills on the farm – very special! If we are present, you would be welcome to borrow our copy of “A Field Guide to the Orchids of South Africa”

FLORA – WILD FLOWERS:

Plant lovers will appreciate the wealth of “fynbos” and sub-alpine indigenous species. The farm is covered by patches of a few different types of protea, mainly the Silver Protea and Common Sugarbush (protea roupellia and protea caffra). In early January the Protea Parveula, blooms in certain areas of the farm. This protea is a ‘ground cover’ species with beautiful full flowers. In May and June we experience a magnificent display of Aloe arborescence and wild dagga. In the summer months, Rothmania Capensis,  Transvaal bottlebrush, buddleias, and Erica, Agapanthus inapertus, scyzzostyllis, Nerina filifolia, arum lilies, red hot pokers, Brunsvigia natalensis, and several different species of watsonia and gladioli. There are many different orchids to be found in the wetter areas, in summer, and are well worthy of interest and research. An orchid, Brownleea Graminicola, is found exclusively on Paardeplaats, under the boulders, on one of the south east facing hills on the farm – very special! If we are present, you would be welcome to borrow our copy of “A Field Guide to the Orchids of South Africa”

AFRISCAPES PHOTOGRAPHY:

Paardeplaats offers beautiful scenery, interesting rock formations and an array of wild flowers and small game. Awarded photographer Des Jacobs offers Afriscapes photography courses – landscaping and star photography are popular themes.

AFRISCAPES PHOTOGRAPHY:

Paardeplaats offers beautiful scenery, interesting geology and rock formations with an array of wild flowers and small game. Awarded photographer Des Jacobs offers Afriscapes photography courses – landscaping and star photography are popular themes.

SAUCY CHEF COOKERY COURSES:

Brian offers 'Saucy Chef'' cookery courses on the farm, as a corporate team building exercise, or for small groups of friends or family, in both the one day or weekend format. See our Saucy Chef page for more details.

ALTITUDE TRAINING AT 2000m:

Paardeplaats, at 2000m above sea level, falls within the high altitude training requirements, in perfectly safe and secure surroundings.  At 12 km from Lydenburg and 43 km from Sabie, this is the ideal destination for Altitude Training.

STAR GAZING:

Enthusiasts will find the clear night skies, on Paardeplaats, especially in the crisp cooler nights of winter, very special and rewarding indeed. One has to take the moon into consideration! Situated in the “mist belt”, we don’t always have clear skies, however when you strike the “jack pot”, it is always well worth the effort, and for those who are well equipped with telescopes etc. the smog free skies are very special and rather spectacular!

ALTITUDE TRAINING ON THE LONG TOM MOUNTAIN PASS:

Paardeplaats, at 2000m above sea level, falls within the high altitude training requirements, in perfectly safe and secure surroundings. The annual Longtom Marathon, held in March, runs past our gate on the main road to Sabie. At 12 km from Lydenburg and 43 km from Sabie, this is the ideal destination for Altitude Training.

SPIRITUAL RETREAT:

We love to offer our facility as a spiritual retreat, with all it has to offer. The tranquility, peace and solitude, lends itself to a perfect venue for up to 8-12 people, or even a church service up at the cross, on the 'Jesus Hill'

SPIRITUAL RETREAT

We love to offer our facility as a spiritual retreat, with all it has to offer. The tranquility, peace and solitude, lends itself to a perfect venue for up to 8-12 people, or even a church service up at the cross

FAMILY FUN

Paardeplaats is geared for family therapy. Children can safely go exploring, hiking, cycling, swimming in the nymph pool in the river or mining for gold at the nearby 1860 quarry. Croquet and board games are also popular family pass-times. Tractor picnics are offered on request.

FAMILY FUN

Paardeplaats is geared for family therapy. Children can safely go exploring, hiking, cycling, swimming in the nymph pool in the river or mining for gold at the nearby 1860 quarry. Croquet and board games are also popular family pass-times. Tractor picnics are offered on request.

ACTIVITIES SITUATED CLOSE TO PAARDEPLAATS:

Craft Beer Tasting:
Only 8 km from the farm. Good food and beer!

Toboggan Rides:
Great family fun, in the mountains, only 15km from the farm.

Day Flyfishing:
Of the very best river fishing in South Africa. For the purist this is a must. This would need to be arranged before hand, and could be a a special experience for the whole family – packing a picnic basket, leaving at sunrise, experiencing true river fishing, and returning in the late afternoon. Situated 30km from the farm.

Kruger Park Day Trips:
Paardeplaats is situated just one hour from the Pabeni Gate and one and a half hours from the Kruger Gate, driving through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery to get there.

ACTIVITIES SITUATED CLOSE TO PAARDEPLAATS:

Craft Beer Tasting:
Only 8 km from the farm. Good food and beer!

Toboggan Rides:
Great family fun, in the mountains, only 15km from the farm.

Day Flyfishing:
Of the very best river fishing in South Africa. For the purist this is a must. This would need to be arranged before hand, and could be a a special experience for the whole family – packing a picnic basket, leaving at sunrise, experiencing true river fishing, and returning in the late afternoon. Situated 30km from the farm.

Kruger Park Day Trips:
Paardeplaats is situated just one hour from the Pabeni Gate and one and a half hours from the Kruger Gate, driving through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery to get there.

OUR HAVEN ‘ON TOP OF THE WORLD':

We speak English. Ons praat Afrikaans. Nous parlons français.

Get to us: Post Net Suite 158, Private Bag X20097, Lydenburg 1120
Call Us: Main Farm Tel: 079 694 9462 / 013 110 0320
Our Cell: Brian 082 416 1379   Gerda 079 515 7799

Coordinates to Gate on R37 - South 025.099173 - East 030.552929/span>

Photo Credit: Des Jacobs