go! - - Regulars - – Erns Grundling

Savour the peace and quiet at Wel­tevrede Fig & Guest Farm near Prince Al­bert.

The land­scape draws you in as you wind your way along a gravel road to this farm in the foothills of the Swart­berg – one of the first fig farms in South Africa. You’re in a very scenic val­ley in the Great Karoo, where six gen­er­a­tions have farmed since 1853. Cur­rent own­ers Jaco de Klerk and his wife Liezl will make you feel at home the mo­ment you ar­rive. You’re here to re­lax. It’s quiet and peace­ful. Sit­ting on the stoep is con­sid­ered work. The farm has more than a thou­sand fig trees. Liezl’s grand­mother, Sie­nie Koorts, first started dry­ing figs more than 50 years ago. Fa­cil­i­ties: There are four lux­ury

units. There’s no elec­tric­ity, but each unit has paraf­fin lamps, a gas stove, a gas fridge and a gas geyser. There are also braai fa­cil­i­ties. Klein De Hoek is a two-bed­room cot­tage that sleeps four. It’s a good pick for a writer or a painter seek­ing a quiet space to work. Rate: R300 per per­son for the first two guests, plus R100 per ex­tra per­son. De Hoek (pic­tured) is a lux­ury farm­house with a spa­cious stoep, a swim­ming pool, an out­door pizza oven and three en suite be­d­rooms (sleeps six). Rate: R400 per per­son; min­i­mum R1 600 per night. Vre­den­hof has two be­d­rooms and three bath­rooms, one with a Vic­to­rian bath­tub. It sleeps four in to­tal and there’s also a swim­ming pool. Rate: R1 600 per night. Fon­tein­skop is a pri­vate unit for two, on a hill. Rate: R1 600 per night. Things to do: Bring your binoc­u­lars and look for birds like brown­hooded king­fisher and a breed­ing pair of Ver­reaux’s ea­gles. Hike or run in the gorge or cy­cle to Prince Al­bert. You can also do a day out­ing to Gamkaskloof or drive a cir­cu­lar route to Oudt­shoorn via Meir­ingspoort, re­turn­ing via the Swart­berg Pass. ( The pass is closed un­til fur­ther no­tice. Check with the tourism of­fice in Prince Al­bert be­fore you set off: 023 541 1366 – Ed.) What else? Fig sea­son is from the end of Jan­uary to the end of April. Day vis­i­tors can pop in Mon­day to Fri­day from 10 am to noon, and from 2.30 pm to 4 pm; Satur­days from 10 am to noon (closed on Sun­days). You can see the fig trees and the farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties up close and learn more about dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties like Adam figs and Cape brown figs, plus how they’re dried and pre­served. Wel­tevrede prod­ucts are avail­able across the coun­try in delis and at se­lect Wool­worths stores. Buy a jar of green fig pre­serve (from R50) and dried and fresh figs (from R100/kg) at the farm shop. Pet-friendly? Yes. Con­tact: 023 541 1229; fig­

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