The Old School House
is situated on The River Farm in the heart of 3 World Biodiversity Hotspots near Calitzdorp.
The building has been converted into a self-contained self-catering guesthouse that sleeps 6.
The school was the centre of activity in the valley until the early 1960’s when, due to a lack of funds and reduced population in the valley, it was sold. It remained unoccupied until August 2001 when the building was transformed into a guesthouse.
The Old School House is situated in the heart of a World Biodiversity Hotspot. There are 35 such areas in the world and three of them – Succulent Karoo, Fynbos and Subtropical Thicket – intersect in this area.
Accommodation at The Old School House:
The Old School House is a free-standing Victorian building which accommodates up to 6 people.
It has three bedrooms (two of which have a double bed and the third has two single beds), one bathroom (with both a shower and a bath) and a large open-plan lounge/kitchen/dinning room.
The kitchen is fully equipped. We only take one booking at a time, so you occupy the entire building.
Walk or Hike:
You can take leisurely walks on the farm roads, along the river’s edge and to explore the Karoo Koppies. If you feel inclined towards more exertion, there are a variety of challenging hikes which take you into the pristine wilderness of the area.
You can swim in the farm dam fed by fresh mountain water. You can also swim or canoe in the Gamka River.
The Yellowfish in the Gamka River provide many passionate fisherman with their favourite fly-fishing. There are also Black Bass, Mogga and Eel for those who prefer stationary fishing.
The area is a bird watchers paradise with over 118 different species spotted. The region also boasts the highest concentration of Pale Chanting Goshawk in the Southern Hemisphere. High over the Swartberg the Black Eagle can be spotted gliding in search of prey.
Fish Eagle, Grey Heron, Hamerkop, Cormorant and various Kingfishers as well as smaller birds like Weavers, Bee-Eaters and Swallows can be spotted.
The local Leopard are monitored by the Leopard Trust, which amongst other objectives is working to have the Cape Leopard declared a separate species.
For those who examine wildlife from a more micro viewpoint, the area boasts a particularly high concentration of butterflies and some rare ant-lions and dragonflies.
Also for those who appreciate the micro level, a wide variety of Succulents abound in the area. Succulent enthusiasts come from far and wide to observe the tiny, the small and also the larger succulents of the area.
The veld, even when dry, is perpetually green, because of the abundance of Spekbos, and Guarrie. During autumn the Aloe Ferrox flowers dominate. Spring is ushered in by a diverse array of flowering veld bulbs.
The area offers a 4x4 route which takes you to one of the highest koppies , Bojaanskop, which provides a 360º panoramic view including the Swartberg and Rooiberg mountain ranges.
The farm and veld roads provide both leisurely and challenging mountain biking.
You can sit and braai in the boma or at your own braai area.
You can dip into the little library.