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  • Writer's pictureClare Travis

Ranging in Rangers Reserve

Updated: Jan 6

Part 6: Summer Holiday '22/'23

Last stop for this trip, Rangers Reserve, outside of Touws Rivier and back in the Western Cape. What a lovely way to end our trip, other than the car's gearbox giving us some issues. The drive was about 6 hours, even though we had to take it slowly. The host, Hilarie, had let me know that there had been some damage to the roads during the recent storms, but they were making sure it was good enough to get in. She met us at the gate to show us the way, and even though our car struggled a bit with her funny gear changing, we made it up the steep hill to the cottage. Luckily we did not plan to go off the farm once there, why would you want to!

We stayed in the Jasmine Hideaway, which is the cottage with the least rooms, but I'm not sure if it is smaller than the 4 sleepers, it's so spacious. It's an open plan stone roundhouse, with a dividing wall for the bathroom. There is a lovely double bed, lounge area, dining area and kitchen. There is a large fridge, gas stove and lots of crockery. Everything looks super new and the atmosphere is very welcoming. The bathroom has a big shower and lots of fluffy towels. Everything is solar, except the water, which is gas. Outside the back is a weber braai and a firepit, with lots of space, so you can choose where you want to sit. The roof of the house is covered with succulent groundcover, which not only looks gorgeous, but keeps the house cool. They recently installed wifi, as they had some guests getting a bit desperate, so it's there if you need it. If you stay in this house you will gain an extra doggo, as their township rescue, Shandi, loves it when people stay there. She is very gentle and a bit nervous, but did play with the boys.

The farm is huge, being around 1 500 hectares. There are a few other cottages, around the lower levels of the farm, and a camping area. They do kids school camps, conferences and team buildings. There is even an obstacle course, which looked fun, but we didn't do it because of the blazing heat. There are jeep tracks running up the hills and all around the farm, which you can explore on foot or mountain bike. At the moment not 4X4 I think, as a lot of the roads have partially washed away.

Obviously we went running in the mornings. The first morning Shandi joined us, but the other mornings we had to chase her off, as we were worried about her going too far and in the heat. Dash and Pi have so many years of experience running long distance, with strong muscles and tough feet, but most dogs can't just go out and run, so we didn't want to take the chance of her getting sore. From the cottage there is a track that runs up the hill and you get amazing views of the mountains and farms towards the south. The track then runs down around the western side of the farm to the little dam. From here there is a flat loop to the entrance gate and around. You will end up back at the split where you can go up to Jasmine hideaway or to the camping. We did a little loop around to check out the camp area, which looks really great.

On one of our afternoon walks we explored down to a big dam behind the southern hill and discovered nearby a cave with stone wall in the one cliff. There was evidence that it had been used as camp site, maybe when a school group was there learning bush craft. We had a little picnic in it the one afternoon, which was great as it was lovely and cool in the shade of the cliff.

This was an amazing place to stay over New Year's Eve, which we don't take part in. It was so quiet and peaceful, though very hot. We could explore and read, do some yoga in the huge living area and just enjoy the views.

This cottage was slightly over our normal budget, at R1050pn, but definitely worth it. Dogs stay free and there are no fences, just free range doggos. This cottage would be amazing for an anniversary weekend or other romantic stay, or like us, for some time with just our little family.

The End

of the summer 22/23 roadtrip

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