Like-minded nature loving, sustainable living souls are invited to share in an unspoiled area of nature and tranquility - a secluded river valley on the edge of the Karoo Desert, in the northern extent of the Cederberg mountains - build your dream cottage at Bulshoek Estate.
Wild South Africa at its finest with a range of natural habitats all on one location that reflect in a single landscape the diversity of this beautiful country....
Enjoy - owning your own eco-friendly straw bale or timber house, tucked away in one of many beauty spots hidden in the folds of the mountain side, or alongside the river. Living in an area of outstanding beauty, secluded from civilisation life here is intended to be as self sustaining as possible with the desire to manage with as little on going dependence on the outside world as much as reasonably possible - the ultimate “Back up plan”!.
Rediscover the comfort and style of living in a natural environment much as our grandparents did in a home free from harmful chemicals, carbon-greedy building materials and toxic air and water.
This 200ha estate of unspoiled valley is tucked away along a secluded section of the ancient Olifants River where it breaks out from the Cederberg range. The landscape consists of pristine veld, small side clefts and rocky outcrops, bordered above by ancient crags. Mature trees grow along the river banks providing welcome shade, poles and firewood.
Rugged cliffs crown the upper reaches of the estate softened by rich fynbos and semi-desert shrubs.
The Bulshoek Dam was constructed in 1922 as part of the Olifants River irrigation scheme. Extending 330km to the North an irrigation canal runs along the opposite bank of the river.
Late winter afternoon sun reflecting on mirror smooth Bulshoek dam.
The old Clanwilliam-Klawer road runs along the eastern bank of the river, through Bulshoek Estate; this winding gravel road usually sees 2-3 vehicles per day. The N7 (north-south Namibia route) runs four kilometres west, on the other side of the Rondekop private nature reserve. The town of Clanwilliam is situated 25km to the south, providing a provincial hospital, doctors, dentists, hardware, and other small town facilities and shopping. Cape Town is an easy 250km drive south, passing through Cederberg citrus farms, the Western Cape wheat belt, and Swartland vineyards.
We enjoy the wonders and peace of nature, while civilisation is available just down the road.
The Olifants River flows all year-round, providing shaded waterholes in summer, while larger pools contain bass that grow to hefty sizes, providing great fishing.
Natural wildlife includes Cape Leopard, Steenbok, Klipspringer, Baboons, dassies, hares, and many smaller animals. A pair of Sea Eagles nests in the northern extent, Francolins, geese and ducks abound, while smaller birds of prey and many other species of birds and animals also make their home at Bulshoek.
Rainfall [-] mainly April to August, can vary considerably given the semi-desert climate. The Olifants River is fed by drainage from the Ceres mountains, 250km to the south, where far higher annual rainfall and winter snows can bring the Olifants to flood (most recently in 2008). The veld is verdant during winter when most growth takes place, the early spring flowers are legendary. Local farming comprises mainly Rooibos tea, which is indigenous to the Cederberg, although grapes, olives and citrus are also grown.
The Karoo semi-desert extends to the east, so temperature can soar. Average summer days in the mid-30’s degrees Celsius, though really hot days can spike into the high 40’s. Summer nights are mainly from the high-teens to mid-20’s. Winter, daytime temperatures are in the 20’s, dropping to lows teens at night with the occasional lows of 3C or 4C. Sunshine and clear blue skies are the norm all year [-] round, while clear nights offer incredible starry skies.
Electricity - We choose to remain off the grid. Given the abundance of
sunshine, plentiful electric power is derived from solar panels.
Cooking - wood burning stoves in winter and very many braais/ barbeques in summer, both adequately fuelled by trees growing along the river (the trees and bush needs cutting back annually to allow access to the river). Occasionally gas is also used for cooking.
Domestic water - each cottage is permitted to pump water from the river and we utilise solar-powered pumps which keep holding tanks full during the daylight hours. In addition, two natural springs on the estate provide fresh, clean water year-round.
Solar water heating - with our abundant sunshine.
Sewerage - all toilets use composting systems, dry- or low-water types. Well designed systems are available, ours is from Canada.
Waste removal - each cottage collects and transports its bagged household waste to the nearby town, where adequate bins are available. There is also a recycling depot in the local town.
Telephone - Telkom is unable to supply a landline at this time. Mobile phone reception is intermittent at the riverside, but adequate on the higher slopes.
Internet - an excellent wireless internet service is available.
This is truly life at its best. With space and freedom you will feel that you are living on top of the world.
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