Buster can happily come along for the ride on any of these pet-friendly country retreats…
1. Lavender Lake Farm, Magaliesberg
This farm is cloaked in history, apparently one of the only farms left standing following the scorched earth policy of the Anglo-Boer War. Today the farmhouse from that era is surrounded by orchards, a dam and fields, and there is a recently built, upmarket, self-catering cottage. It has chandeliers and arty colours, and is equipped with every creature comfort for you and your pet, as well as some luxury extras like Twinings tea, Jacobs coffee and Lavender Lake toiletries.
Throw open the French doors onto the wraparound stoep, settle down with a sundowner and gaze out through the game fence at the mountains. You might even see the farm’s friendly Ngunis nibbling on berries, to the utter amazement of your pooch. Evenings call for braaiing or lighting the fire pit. The large garden is fully enclosed and you have exclusive use of the dam for fishing and canoeing, while Fido is invited to cool off among the reeds. Lavender Lake allows dogs to run free on the farm and happily puts the Ngunis in their paddock if you’re worried your Jack Russell might stir up some trouble. – Linda Piegl. www.lavenderlakefarm.co.za
2. Saamrus Guest Farm, Magaliesberg
Situated in an unspoilt, forested valley at the foothills of the Magaliesberg, this self-catering guest farm welcomes dogs, cats and even birds. Humans have a choice of rustic cottages to choose from, each with their own character. The charming Hoephoep Cottage at the bottom of the hill is backed up against woodland, so trees, rocks and a carpet of leaves serve as your rear view – even from the sunken bath. Other cottages high on the hill are only accessible by 4×4, diff-lock bakkie or a short walk on foot, but the Saamrus staff is on hand to carry your luggage. All the cottages are fenced to keep pets safe and each has its own garden, braai, fireplace and breathtaking 180° view of bushveld and koppies from the stoep.
Saamrus offers you and Buster more than a kilometre of riverfront walks, 500ha of hiking in indigenous forest and veld, or a three-hour walk up the hill and along footpaths to a game fence, encountering Tswana kraals from the 1800s along the way. Socialised dogs are allowed off-lead on these walks and hikes. Nature lovers will be in their element at Saamrus, surrounded by abundant bird life while resident wildlife includes blesbok, rooibok, kudu, warthogs, porcupines and dassies. – Linda Piegl. www.saamrus.co.za
The SA Pet-friendly Directory is an invaluable guide to pet-friendly venues. Accommodation, as well as places such as cafés, pubs, markets, malls and hiking trails are included. The directory also supplies a wealth of info about services such as doggie daycare and training, kennels and catteries, vets and groomers, even pet-friendly car hire. R250
More pet-friendly country escapes…
- Pet-friendly Places in the Cape
- Pet-friendly Places in KwaZulu-Natal
- Pet-friendly Places in Limpopo
- Pet-friendly Places in the Free State
- Pet-friendly Places in Mpumalanga