My partner and I often type in an area on Airbnb and look for the most affordable yet decent-looking place to stay for a weekend getaway. We ended up staying in a little farm cottage on the outskirts of someplace I had never heard of before, Kaapschehoop in Mpumalanga.
The quirky and quaint village of Kaapschehoop feels like an old storybook coming to life. The houses are all different colours, there’s a blue passion wagon that you pass as you drive in, and wild horses that practically own the place.
48 hours is not enough time to explore this village, but you’ll enjoy every minute you spend there.
- The Escarpment Hike is probably the most popular hike in the area, and people often drive through for a walk to the lookout point. Start your day by following the trail along the escarpment for as long as you want before turning back. You will probably get your first glimpse of the wild horses walking between the rock formations. If you’re feeling up to it you can walk all the way to Adam’s Calendar, a 6.8 km moderately challenging loop that takes you to ‘Africa’s Stonehenge.’
- Pack a picnic basket and take a short drive to the Pear Orchard Picnic Site where you can while away the afternoon beneath the pear trees. The picnic spot has benches and tables and braai facilities that you can make use of, or just spread your picnic blanket alongside the river and enjoy the fresh air and an equine visitor or two.
- End the day with a glass of wine and Kaapschehoop’s finest pizzas at Salvadors, a lively spot where the locals hang out and the evenings are long. On those cold days, it’s nice and toasty inside, and a great way to end a good day.
You will need to purchase permits for the Escarpment Walk and Pear Orchard from Platanna Gift and Decor or from Bohemian Groove Cafe for R30 per person.
- There’s nothing better than an adrenaline rush in the morning, especially on a Scootour through the forest. ‘The route follows the Battery Creek gorge along grasslands, through plantations and indigenous forest and past beautiful rock formations and streams.’ It’s a guided 6 km tour that ends at Battery Creek where you have a dip in the fresh rock pool.
- Bohemian Groove Cafe fits right into the village, where the staff sport bohemian outfits to match the restaurant decor. The food is delicious and there is often a live band performance on Sundays to put you in a good and festive mood for the start of the week.
- End your two-day trip in this beautiful village with a walk through the little stores and shops. Hunt for hidden treasures amongst gift and thrift stores, and even take a walk around the village to admire all the different houses and buildings and catch one last glimpse of the wild horses before heading home or to your next destination.
Pictures: Jordyn Johnson
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