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The Old School House

Rated 5.0 in 4 Reviews

Calitzdorp, Western Cape
R 1,180
Avg per night for 2 guests

The Old School House is a spacious free-standing three-bedroomed house that stands alone on a hill overlooking the valley and surrounding mountains. It can accommodate eight guests across three bedrooms, two of which are double rooms and the third room has two adult bunk beds. There is one central bathroom with both a shower and a bath.

The Old School House features a large open-plan lounge, kitchen, and dining room area with a central wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen is fully equipped for self-catering, with a four-plate electric stove top, an electric oven, a microwave, and a full-standing refrigerator and freezer. Only one booking is taken at a time, allowing guests to occupy the entire house.

Outside, there is a barbecue area as well as a boma equipped with all the necessary items for braaiing. Guests can take leisurely walks on the farm roads, along the river's edge, and explore the Karoo Koppies. For more strenuous activities, there are challenging hikes that lead into the pristine wilderness of the area. Guests can swim or canoe in the Gamka River, which is also a popular spot for fly-fishing yellowfish. Other fish species in the river include black bass, mogga, and eel, catering to those who prefer stationary fishing.

The area is a birdwatcher's paradise with over 118 different species spotted, including a resident pair of fish eagles, grey herons, hamerkops, cormorants, various kingfishers, weavers, bee-eaters, and swallows. The region also features the highest concentration of Pale Chanting Goshawks in the southern hemisphere, and black eagles can be seen gliding over the Swartberg in search of prey. For succulent enthusiasts, a wide variety of succulents can be observed, including tiny, small, and larger species. The veld, even when dry, is perpetually green due to the abundance of Spekbos and Guarrie, while Aloe Ferrox flowers dominate during autumn, and spring brings a diverse array of flowering veld bulbs.

The Old School House is situated in the heart of a World Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the most biologically rich and most endangered areas on earth. There are 35 such areas in the world, and three of them u2013 Succulent Karoo, Fynbos, and Subtropical Thicket u2013 intersect in this area. For an area to be declared a Biodiversity Hotspot, it must contain at least 1500 species of endemic plants or animals and have lost at least 70% of its original habitat. This special conservation status makes it particularly interesting, and eco-tourism, along with the interested involvement of concerned visitors, is an essential part of Biodiversity Hotspot conservation.

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