Papkuilsfontein the perfect Northern Cape guest farm MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Welcome to Papkuilsfontein: A Hidden Gem in the Northern Cape

Being a travel journalist has its perks, but there’s also a downside. Sometimes I wish I could keep the incredible places I discover all to myself. When I come across a hidden gem like Papkuilsfontein in the Northern Cape, it’s hard not to feel torn. On one hand, I want to keep it a secret so that I can visit whenever I please. On the other hand, I can’t help but share the beauty with others.

Papkuilsfontein the perfect Northern Cape guest farm MzansiBride

Papkuilsfontein instantly became one of my favorite places to travel when I entered its gates after a long two-hour drive from Clanwilliam through the hot and desolate landscapes of the Northern Cape. The farm boasts several charming cottages, which have been beautifully restored and given a touch of modern luxury, like hot outdoor showers. The property itself stretches out with vast fields of sheep, rooibos, fynbos, and olive trees. One standout feature is the 180-meter canyon, along with ancient rock art, a waterfall, rock pools, and a minimalist pool that offers a breathtaking view of a windmill. For miles around, there is nothing but serene solitude.

When night falls, the absence of electricity creates a magical atmosphere, with cottages being illuminated by candles and paraffin lamps. The sheer tranquility of the place is refreshing, rejuvenating, and incredibly romantic.

Papkuilsfontein the perfect Northern Cape guest farm MzansiBride

When I went on the farm tour, I loved driving off-road through thickets of fynbos and past interestingly-shaped boulders in an old Landy. At night, I sat on the stoep, sipping red wine under the dazzling Milky Way, and during the hot afternoons, I relaxed in the pool. But the best part of my experience was the food.

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As soon as we arrived, I could smell the roosterkoek braaiing over the fire in the dining room of the main house. We were given a basket filled with piping hot bread, along with bowls of farm butter and homemade apricot jam. It reminded me of the idyllic farm childhood I never had. Instead of self catering, we decided to have a cooked dinner in the evening. And let me tell you, it was far from your average communal dining experience. We were treated to a two- or three-course meal that was absolutely fabulous. The food was prepared for us, brought to our cottage, and set up on our own table with candles. We indulged in a mouthwatering vegetarian feast, starting with a mushroom pot pie and a side of green beans cooked in the farm’s own olive oil. We also enjoyed honey-glazed carrots, perfect roast potatoes, and a refreshing cucumber salad. The meal ended on a sweet note with a pavlova filled with decadent cream and fresh peaches. The breakfast, which was served in the main house, was equally impressive. It passed the gourmet test with flying colors. We savored a refreshing fruit salad and yogurt, followed by the best porridge oats I’ve ever tasted (topped with butter and brown sugar). And to top it off, we were treated to a delightful three-cheese-asparagus souffle.

Papkuilsfontein the perfect Northern Cape guest farm MzansiBride

I’m so excited to go back to Papkuilsfontein in early spring (July to September). The farm is transformed into a colorful wonderland with carpets of wild flowers. Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait until 2014 because Papkuilsfontein is already fully booked for this year. Whether you visit during the hot summer months, like I did, or in the cooler season where you can cozy up by the cottage fireplace and snuggle with hot water bottles, you’ll undoubtedly fall head over heels for this idyllic country getaway.

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Papkuilsfontein the perfect Northern Cape guest farm MzansiBride

Papkuilsfontein: A Hidden Gem in the Northern Cape

Have you ever heard of Papkuilsfontein? If not, you’re in for a treat. This hidden gem is nestled near Nieuwoudtville in the enchanting Northern Cape. While it may be a bit far for a weekend getaway, trust me when I say it’s worth it. Picture yourself embarking on a road trip up the N7 through the picturesque Cederberg and stopping to rest on a charming farm outside Clanwilliam. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? Well, that’s just the beginning.

Now, let’s talk about the accommodation. Papkuilsfontein offers three cozy cottages on their farm, each one capable of comfortably accommodating two to four people. During my visit, I had the pleasure of staying in the delightful De Hoop cottage. However, if you prefer a different option, the family who owns Papkuilsfontein also runs a guest house and two additional cottages nearby, closer to Niewoudtville.

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