Overnight near the Gariep Dam or re­lax next to the Klein River in Stan­ford.

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MORN­ING GLORY COT­TAGES, GARIEP DAM hrow a dart at the mid­dle of South Africa and you’ll prob­a­bly hit the Gariep Dam – a pop­u­lar and sen­si­ble overnight spot if you’re trav­el­ling from Gaut­eng to the beaches of the East­ern or West­ern Cape this sum­mer. These cot­tages are just south of the dam, next to the R58 about 9 km west of Ven­ter­stad. You might have driven past be­fore and no­ticed the small statue of a horse at the farm en­trance: It’s a horse stud, but they also breed Nguni cat­tle, merino sheep and indige­nous veld goats. The farm is owned by Schalk and Christa van der Walt and their daugh­ter Marené man­ages the cot­tages. She’s also a great cook: Book be­fore­hand for a three-course din­ner (R220 per per­son) and you’ll eat like a king. When I last vis­ited, I had a lamb shank that I still dream about some­times. Many of Marené’s dishes are made us­ing fam­ily recipes and al­most ev­ery­thing comes from the veld or from the veg­etable gar­den and fruit or­chards. You can also or­der a pic­nic bas­ket, a braai pack (R120 per per­son) or break­fast (R100 per per­son). Meals for kids younger than 12 are cheaper. You can walk on the farm or bring your moun­tain bike and ex­plore. No pets al­lowed. Fa­cil­i­ties: Two fully equipped self-cater­ing cot­tages: Laven­der (four adults, one child) and The Farm Cot­tage (four adults, two chil­dren). Four big en suite dou­ble rooms: An­gel­ica, Bor­age, Cot­ton­wood and Chamomile (there’s a sleeper couch for a child in An­gel­ica and Cot­ton­wood). There’s a restau­rant, a bar area, braai fa­cil­i­ties over­look­ing the Ka­roo plains, and a small pool when the sun gets too hot. Rates: Laven­der R1 400 per unit; Farm Cot­tage R1 450. An­gel­ica, Bor­age, Cot­ton­wood and Chamomile: R450 per per­son shar­ing. Dis­counts for chil­dren aged 3 – 11. Con­tact: 051 654 0302; 082 494 3895 (send a What­sApp mes­sage be­cause cell­phone re­cep­tion is poor); morn­ing­glo­rycottages.co.za


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