The Cape Country Routes’ charming 3-star New Holme Nature Lodgeis a working sheep and game farm situated in the Karoo Gariep Nature Reserve, one of the two nature reserves of the newly branded Khoisan Karoo Conservancy – an 8 000 ha nature reserve situated 8km off the N1, just 25km from Hanover and 50km from Colesburg in the Northern Cape.
PC Ferreira and his wife Marisca are the third generation entrusted with preserving and managing this gem. They converted the original farm homesteads into warm and homely guest suites and over the years have expanded to accommodate 80 guests. Being halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town they are known as a favourite stop over destination for weary travelers many of whom stay more than a night to enjoy the vast array of experiences on offer. The family are passionate about sharing the Karoo and its original offerings with guests and numerous daily activities are on offer.
Activities at the New Holme Nature Lodge
Activities include a sunset drive to the hippo pool to see the only hippo population in the Northern Cape; bottle feeding lambs; a guided walk to see beautiful bushman etchings and the opportunity to fish or kayak in the Seekoei River. The Anglo-Boer war also left its mark in the Karoo and PC elaborates on the skirmishes and battles of a hundred years ago that took place in the area. The very popular night drives include some unforgettable star gazing as well as possible sightings of the “Shy 5” – the porcupine; the bat-eared fox; the aardvark; the aardwolf and the very illusive black footed cat. Eventhough the Karoo is an arid region, the diversity of nocturnal animals can be astounding. Being an avid twitcher PC has recorded an impressive 205 bird species on the farm and delights in sharing this with guests during early morning birding trips. Game on the farm include springbok, roan, eland, kudu, and buffalo amongst others. Perhaps the most exciting development planned for 2022 is the acquisition of rhino as a cornerstone of the conservation drive.
Far from being just another working sheep farm PC continues to expand and host a range of assorted events on the property. These include the Colesburg Endurance Ride, an annual horse riding event hosted in January; the Lazy Hippo MTB Family Festival, a three-day mountain bike stage race hosted in October each year; and a motorcycle endurance event, also hosted annually. The Karoo King of the Plains shooting range is situated on the farm boasting 5 world class shooting ranges (900m to 4 000m) with 7 shooting platforms. The first international competition was successfully hosted in 2021. Known for its sweeping secluded landscapes and breathtaking vistas, coupled with the warm hospitality of the hosts, the New Holme Karoo Guest Farm is also a dreamy choice for a destination wedding.
Marisca, winner of the National Queen of the Kitchen competition in 2017 starts shortly after breakfast each morning preparing from scratch a traditional 3-course Karoo dinner. With all the farm has to offer it is clear that many guests return for the unforgettable food. Marisca uses Karoo recipes passed down through the years and adapts them to deliver mouthwatering culinary experiences throughout the year. Her Karoo sushi; malva pudding and Greek marinated lamb are firm favorites, and if you need more homemade pies and Karoo lamb are available to purchase and take home. Whether you drive or fly in onto the 1200m airstrip this experience will leave you counting the days until your return.
By Dr Nicola Appelcryn
To read more about the New Holme Nature Lodge, Click HERE.