October 9, 2012

Weekend Getaway: Montagu, a local gem

After one very hectic week, I decided I needed a break. I closed my eyes and my finger landed on Montagu on the map.  I had not been there in years so it sounded like an excellent idea. But where? I didn’t want to be surrounded by 100 people jumping into the hot pools… when I found this place, Montagu Guano Cave Resort.

It was perfect – we got so much more than what I expected.  We arrived at Guano Caves and were greeted by the Day Manager who handed us our keys and map to the only Stone cottage on the farm (I had been dying to experience the Tented camp sites as I thought my 3.5yr old would think that was just the best thing ever, but they were fully booked).

Our cottage was settled just below the Montagu mountain range and had amazing views. It was a fully self catering cottage with microwave, oven, fridge and one huge, and I mean huge, outdoor fireplace. There was also a small fireplace in the living area for the wintery nights but to top it all off, the cottage even had air con.  This was a nice surprise and I am sure most useful during the summer season. On our first night, we lit the fire and enjoyed a great supper under the starry skies.  

The next morning we had a wonderful walk all over the farm.  My daughter was beside herself when we discovered a pot belly pig roaming around the grounds with her little piglets. There was also an Ilama and Ostrich grazing in the one fenced off field and goats and horses in another. For my little one, this was a complete ‘Dora the Explorer’ day! We then found out that we could feed the ducks, Emu and fish the leftovers from the night before so nothing goes to waste here.

They really have the Animal Petting Zoo setup perfectly laid out and my daughter loved it.  The Emu frightened her a bit (which it would if an ostrich sized bird walked up to you and you were only knee height!)  but he was gentle and waited until she had her hand out so he could help himself to the treat.  20+ ducks in the pond and chickens then all came hungrily running towards us for food.  Oops, we quickly hopped back to the other side of the fence and soon all the animals were settled with our snacks.

The absolute best though was the Alpaca.  Have you ever seen an Alpaca? My hubby had to touch the one and it got a fright and hissed a sticky, smelly grass spit at his shirt… did we all have a good giggle!

We then headed off for a 2 hour tractor ride to the bat caves - another excursion enjoyed by all.  And then it was time for a swim in the middle of winter! My ‘Dora’ was so excited – swimsuit on and off we hiked to the rock pool area. There was not a soul in sight - fantastic. We had 4 pools to choose from, well not really the one since the water was freezing, the other slightly warmish but the third one was just right… ahhh!

There was a park area next to the pools so off the little one went again swinging and climbing. She truly thought she was in heaven.  There was also a big outdoor circular braai area right next to an outdoor lapa area for guests. I wished we had our friends there so we could all sit around the fire place for a fun lunch or dinner.  What was really nice about the setup here was that all the lodging was away from the pools, so you had to walk to them (a few minute’s walk depending where you stayed) which was perfect as you then don’t get people living in the pool areas.

We walked around and discovered the tented camp site all neatly situated next to one another with one’s own braai spot, but also a huge communal area should you all want to be together.  I am definitely coming back to experience this section.  It’s something different and not costly at all – often these luxury outdoor tents can be expensive.  Yes it was not 5* luxury but it had all one needed.  The last day was a fun pony ride for my little ‘Dora’ who was well equipped with a little helmet and off she trotted for about 15 minutes. Then it was time to pack up and go amid cries of “Mummy, can we not stay here? “ Unfortunately it was time to go but, yes Guano Caves, we will be back.

Having cruised the Antarctic, seen the Orangutans and Proboscis monkeys in the jungles of Sarawak, Borneo, and experienced the Trans-Siberian railway, Odete is a true world traveller. She has visited all the continents, except Australasia, and would love to visit the Fiji Islands on her next holiday.


Sounds like a great place, thanks for sharing!

great article! i would love to visit next time I am in the Cape. I will tell my parents...they love Montague and have been looking for somewhere new.

nicely written!Would love to take my family to this little gem as well :)

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