Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Heads up on the petrol front

Just to let you know that there has been a few issues with petrol supply in Fouriesburg, so on the safe side, it is best to fill up in Bethlehem or Clarens or Ficksburg, depending on your route to Wyndford. Travel safe

Christmas letter

December seems to have snuck up quickly this year. As I write this I am aware that there are only 3 weeks to Christmas and before we blink it will be 2012.
Last night we had our first good rain, 30mm of welcome relief - the grass and gardens were beginning to gasp. We are having a harvest thanksgiving service in our church this weekend – and are excited about our fruit crop! 130 bottles of apricot jam – from one tree! and still going…..
I read recently that Goose used to be the bird of choice at Christmas before Turkey became popular, not surprising consider the way ours multiply. Anyone who would like a goose, please just let us know, they make excellent watch ‘dogs’ (gooses doesn’t sound quite right). We are also pleased to announce that we have four ducklings this year - all doing well. We have two new angora rabbits – no names (officially) but each child that visits ‘names’ them, so they have more names than the king of England, we just don’t know what they are! They are well settled and obviously happy in their new bunny bungalows as we have had a dozen healthy babies in the last two months. (Anyone thinking ahead to Easter….)
Talking about thinking ahead, we have an exciting calendar for next year. Starting with a (limited edition) art weekend on the 20 – 22nd January 2012. Local artist Nadja Steil will be running a ‘ten guests only’ art class. Many good artists abound in this area but, her equestrian pictures are some of the most beautiful. So dust off your paint brush or just come along and learn something new. If there is no artist in you – surprise someone who would like this experience!
We also have exciting Stargazing weekends with Joyce and Robert Faltermeier planned and a not to be missed ‘Walking with Wild flowers’ weekend with Dr Ashley Nicholas in November. Many trips are planned for those who do not want to negotiate the roads themselves. We will have the full programme on our ‘soon to be uploaded’ new website so keep looking…
Father Christmas has been notified that there are children at Wyndford and the chimney has been cleaned….wonder if he will use it or come by tractor this year? Decorations are organized, menus are planned and everyone is ready to give you a warm Wyndford welcome this festive season. (Feeling frazzled and not yet made plans – give the girls in the office a call to see if we can fit you in sometime!)
George and I have just completed a 3000km road trip round South Africa and encountered some of our best and worst roads! We share with you a sign seen in the Karoo - when I once again yelled ‘stop, picture…’ - and wish you safe travels and happy holidays.
From us all at Wyndford

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fun Bowling Week 23 November - 2 December 2011

Road to the farm from Natal

Just a quick update for those of you driving up from Durban and surrounds. There is a detour at Phuthaditjhaba. This is due to a wash away a while back. The detour signs are small and we recently had someone get a little lost. Once you have turned left at the detour sign, stay on this road (it is brick paving for a large part of the way). The first robot you come to turn right and stay on this road until you are out of town and come to the 712 to Clarens where you will turn left onto a loop and then right at the stop sign. Hope this helps - travel safe.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October news

Anybody else out there, who turns the magnifying mirror over to get the bigger picture, only to discover that you are already on the bigger picture? Who writes down September only to discover that we are in October and that there are only 8 weeks to Christmas and in nine weeks we will be in 2012…gasp!

As I write this we are experiencing 32° temperatures and no sign of any rain on the horizon. After a beautiful Spring, things are looking a little crispy round the edges. The roses have been spectacular, probably the best we have seen in four years. The Wisteria was magnificent with - stopped counting at 24 - bumble bees flitting all over, great for all doing close up photography!

We had a group of energetic senior cyclists recently who did a tour on all the back roads from Ficksburg to Clarens, Golden Gate and return back to ficksburg, 350 km in 5 days. They have previously done the ‘follow’ the Tour de France route and reckoned that this trip was just as spectacular! Yay for the Eastern Free State! And well done to all of the cyclists…

We have once again heard, and seen, the Piet-my-vrou. Shane was hard pressed to select four of his pictures (out of the hundreds taken!) of the many other birds that live and sing – such a calming cacophony of sound, ok well, maybe exclude the Hadeda in the calming bit! - at Wyndford.

Hamilton, Schummie and Button, our pot-bellied pigs are a little lonely since we moved all the chickens and rabbits to a new home, where the layers used to be. Not sure if you remember the picture of Peter Rabbit by Beetrix Potter, squeeeeeezing under the fence, to get to the veggie garden…we discovered a 3cm gap in the fence allowed the bunnies access to heaven….rows upon rows of lettuce and strawberries, fortunately full bunnies are slow bunnies and the lettuce (mostly) survived.

We have put together some exciting weekends for next year, Stargazing, Art, Glass and Mozaic and have a Bowls week coming up from 28 November to 2 December 2011. Call Angelique or Pat on 058-2230274 or drop us an email to to find out more. Also on the cards for next year are two pick up tours for seniors (that sounds a bit like dating for the oldies- not what I meant) If being collected by bus, two day trips and a week at Wyndford and safely returned home sounds good, we can give you all the information.
Our winner this month is Jamie Phillips. Congratulations!
Warm regards from us all at Wyndford.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All back up on the telephone front

All telephone connections have been restored, thanks to a very helpful and energetic Telkom man, who got stuck in with a spade and sorted the problem out...only to get locked in the field by the local farmer.... duly rescued by George. Had 14mm of great soaking rain yesterday which settled all the smoke and dust, fortunately no hail on the farm. Our pumpkins are growing with spectacular speed..more in the newsletter.
Have a great day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Spent the day fighting fires at the Slipery Slide, Bungy Butress and up the S Bends. All fine on the farm - Celvin a slightly singed hand, George had to change a puncture in the middle of a burnt field and Angelique took the walk! Phone lines burnt out so only way of contacting us is on email (satelite still working unless there was a big bang in space we did not hear about!) All fine on the farm. Remember our special for this week coming......

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Amazing October Specials!!

Amazing offer:
All bookings between the 9 – 14 October & 16 – 20 October 2011 will receive a 30% discount. Call us now on 058-2230274 or email us at to take advantage of this great special!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How about study time for exams......

Between 18th - 23rd Septemer 2011 all kids under 18 (yes really! under 18yrs)receive a 50% discount! Round up Mom and Dad! Call now....0582230274

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spring Specials - Call now!

Last minute September specials:
Between 11th - 16th September 2011 all Seniors (over 60!)to get a 50% discount!!
Between 18th - 23rd Septemer 2011 all kids under 18 (yes really! under 18yrs)receive a 50% discount!

All the blossoms are out and the days are wonderfully warm - come and celebrate Spring!

Call now!! 058 223 2074 or email

August news

August has arrived and along with it pruning time. Unfortunately, while we were away the cows all went walkabout, all night… and merrily munched their way through the garden. Everything from the Lodges to the Ark was well and truly chewed. They even nibbled their way along outside Belsteen before they were discovered. If it wasn’t bad enough that everything was winter brown it is all now only a few inches high. And here I was worried about the buck!
I have always had trouble remembering the name Helibores so in my head called them Hallelujah plants, they must be sour as they did not get recycled into cream, and hallelujah they are still intact!

Roll on Spring and new growth…. While we are on this subject, a note that The Fouriesburg Spring Fair takes place on the 3rd September 2011. Take a look at website to keep up to date with what is on offer and start planning a weekend break at Wyndford! Our August winner will be decided by the OFM promotion of the fair, so be sure to listen in if you are in the area.

Maybe it is a touch early to think of spring as this photo shows! I switched to garden hose on and forgot to switch it off, and we had a minus 6 morning. I am currently sitting with a broken ankle due to a slide off the running board of the Toyota bakkie (no, I did not have high heels on at the time!)…but the rest of the team is wondering if the head got bumped when the heel got broke!

We enjoyed having the St Martin’s school maths camp here for 5 days, a highlight of which was the challenge to a game of Bowls. Our laundry ladies made a good cheer leading section but the end result was a draw. Roll on next year! Our bowling Green is now closed until the end of September for it’s annual makeover.

Best wishes to all our students who are facing exams of one kind or another in the next little while – there are advantages to getting older!

We wish you all a spectacular Spring - it is certainly beautiful here!Greetings from us all at Wyndford.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Very Slow....

Photos will be uploaded when I make it down to the office..... Working from home as after a short break away in the Kruger Park, where we had THE most wonderful sightings,(although one has to keep reminding oneself that these are Wild animals and not farmyard ones) - especially not a good idea to stroke the lion as it bumps against the car door! I digress, working from home as the day after our return, heading out to see the snow I slipped off the Toyota running board and broke my ankle in three places. I seems to take forever to do things with only one good foot and hands occupied on crutches.

August newsletter will be going out soon so keep watching this space...

Happy day!

July Holidays

July 2011We had a great bunch of guests in over the July holidays. Lots of walking was done, abseiling, horse riding, bunny feeding, and of course eating. We discovered that some of you are not up to minus temperatures - must be all those from the warm Natal areas! The cold does mean that everyone who ventured into Lesotho to the ski slopes had wonderful fun playing in the snow and we have some impressive ice waterfall pictures. Some good skiing was also enjoyed and congratulations to 10 year old John who managed the whole run.
It would appear that Spring has sprung early in our farmyard. We have seven new pink (yes, real proper pink – Celvin’s photo to prove it…) pigs. They arrived on the coldest morning of winter yet, and are doing splendidly, in fact so well that three of them came walkabout past the dining room one lunch time. Oops.

We also had a new calf arrive so it has already been a bumper baby season.The rest of the farm seems to have settled into winter brownness. That in itself comes with a whole different spectacle as far as the garden is concerned. The pines have shed their cones which leaves the driveway full of winter ‘roses’ and colorful seedpods abound.Our resident buck has been very visible lately – ambling down the driveway mid-morning and still unfortunately with a preference for spring bulbs, sweet peas and roses. We had to remove the big tree (the one lilting dangerously) at the end of the bowling green and have decided to plant a new Oak in its place. It has been surprisingly difficult to find a decent Oak in the Free State….?!

We have encountered the same slowdown in economy as has been felt around South Africa and indeed the world - the quiet Eastern Free State has definitely been just that. Talking of good oaks, Celvin along with Angelique and the now one-year-old, Cassidy are off on leave shortly. Shane and Patricia after three years eventually sorted out their passports and were able to take their miniature 4x4 into Lesotho! Our monthly draw winner this month is Marc Paravano.

E, M and U as well as Schumie, Button and Hamilton send greetings!....Oh ok, Ponty too..(that horse always did have attitude). Until next time, take care and plan a spring break soon! The Wyndford Team.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chilly but Happy Guests

The white stuff always adds to the wonderment of winter! Yes, it is really cold but log fires and brisk walks chase the chills away. The Maluti mountains are well covered today after a day of rain yesterday.
Guests clambered up to the Chin of the Tortoise to watch our guys burning fire breaks on a perfect and still day, then went zip lining this afternoon. Puzzle competition is quite fierce around the fire place.
I leave with a comment from happy guests : 'Being our first visit in nine years (due to distance) we found, again, Wyndford to be excellent. Their consistency is truly remarkable' Van Wijk family from Durbanville - we trust you have a safe trip home.
Until next time, stay well and warm!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Durban road

We drove down to 'Maritzburg - and back yesterday, a spectacular and clear day with wonderful views of the mountain summits frosted with snow. The road past Sterkfontein Dam is, well awful actually, but only for about 20 minutes and as van Reenen's pass was closed with broken down trucks in both directions it was still the best route. The slow ride through the stop/go areas on most roads at least gives the passengers a chance to take a look around and enjoy the scenery. Shake off the frustration - I challenge all travelers to take a photo of something you hadn't noticed before at each stop....

Anyone coming to the Eastern Free State from Natal, please bring WARM clothes! The East Coast Radio DJ mentioned that he was cold when he got up as it was only 9° - we had a chuckle as we had left home at -5° that morning.

Travel safe and we look forward to giving you a warm welcome.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Welcome to the holidays....mighty cold holiday! Minus 5 this morning and not looking any warmer for the next few days. Slight sleeting and snow on the mountains but the wind quickly blew it all away. Remember your passports if you are planning to go into Lesotho to play in the snow - and lots of warm clothes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June Updates from the farm

June 2011
Nature is so wonderful…winter has most definitely arrived along with frosty patterns on the ground, minus temperatures and leggings for emu’s. Yes really, over the past weeks they have grown furry white feathers down to their knees that look like cosy long johns. Sorted!

Not so fortunate, are our three new pot belly pigs, but they have worked out a running track round the farm yard that rivals Formula 1. Three times round one way and then abrupt turnabout and three times the other way would keep anyone warm. There are the odd sqwarks when a chicken gets in the way and the bunnies dive down the nearest hole. Maybe we should call them Button, Schumie and Hamilton (hammy?!)…

This Autumn was spectacular for photography – the colours have been amazing and stayed for a long time. I think that the Liquid Ambers at the Church were the best I have ever seen them. In part due to the high rainfall over the last few months and especially this week, very late for us, which has some wonderful spinoffs. We have had interesting displays of mushrooms over the last few months, some very poisonous but beautiful red with white spots that look like they should have fairies perched on top. (Watching the antics of some guests photograph them one could be sure they had seen a fairy!)

Walking is an unusually slippery pastime at the moment due the fact that we have streams where there were never streams before. Cycling down to the river road the trickle that comes down from the Big Drip (which was completely frozen last week) is still running so strongly that it can be heard before it is seen.
The log pile is full as we anticipate some snow in the next little while. We have already seen a dusting on the Maluti Mountains but never fear, the rooms are heated and cosy and the food hearty and warming!
I have been trying to convince the boys that if we dig a large square area and fill it will water, top it up every night (we’ll delegate this responsibility to Shane I think) …we could have… a skating rink! Good idea? I need some support here guys! I thought this would be a great use of our natural resources (minus 5 Degree temperatures).
George will probably be doing a trip to the chain ladder at Mount aux Source during the week of the 4 – 10 July which is a full day walk. Very special, and something to think of if you are planning to join us in the July holidays. Remember that over these holidays our usual out-of-season special of 20% discount for four nights or longer applies.
Our monthly draw winner this month is Debbie Buck. Consolation prize for consistent trying goes to Dave….watch the post!
Stay well and warm, from the Wyndford Team!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Snow on the Maluti Mountains

Good morning...we woke up to the most beautiful sight of the Maluti Mountains dusted with snow! Now we know that winter has arrived. Will try and get a picture attached... have a great day and stay well and warm!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Accommodation Awards 2011

Once again a bridesmaid....Still Second in SA in category Family Resort! Thanks to all our guests who take the time to fill in the questionnaires.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

June Specials...

Kids Special...
3 - 5 June
all kids under 18 get a 50% discount..round up the folks and come for a fun filled weekend!

Marriage Special...
Celebrate marriage
... between 29 May - 3 June 2011 or between 5 - 10 June 2011 we will give you a discount equal to the number of years you have been married!!

Call us now on 058-2230274 or email
Looking forward to welcoming you soon

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seniors Autumn 40% Special

We are offering a special 40% discount to seniors between the 2 -6 May and the 9 – 13 May 2011. Book any week nights and the discount applies.

Please quote this “Autumn Special” when booking.

We look forward to hearing from you soon

Stay well

Friday, April 8, 2011

I am the excited owner of a laptop (things happen slowly in the country), and it is with glee that I tell you I am writing this newsletter sitting outside on the grass, surrounded by mountains and the sound of birdsong….ok, also with a dog breathing over each shoulder… I spent the last two days being in reception but not on the computer. We have had our main computer upgraded, with all the usual hiccups… and remote control corrections (a very weird feeling to watch the mouse move of its own accord on your screen). I used the down time to redo all the old photo albums in the lounge. It was an interesting exercise and just inspires looking for more information on the history of Wyndford. We recently received a brochure from 1967 from a guest who now resides in Holland. The rate per person per night was R2.75 with an en suite bathroom 50 cents extra. A deposit of 50 cents was required. (Sorry we can’t beat that but see our last minute special below!) Donkeys and lambs were also around in those days apparently, and although not presently seen at Wyndford, I can report that Eee, Em and You (our resident Emu’s for those who have not met them yet) are well settled in their new paddock and have learnt very quickly to identify the sound of Lucas walking down the road with their bucket of food. It would appear that Autumn is whistling in on the wind. The leaves are starting to turn and fall (messy but fun!) and there is a distinct cooling of an evening. Although we had 16mm rain last night there is still not sufficient in the Caledon to go tubing at present, but the slightly cooler temperatures makes walking and cycling pleasant (is cycling ever pleasant… please tell me it gets easier!) The cosmos is also spectacular this year with whole fields rippling in pink and white. One good reason to let Dozer, Shane, George or Celvin lead the walk from the front is the large number of Golden Orb Spiders with their amazing webbing skills! For all those who have missed the turnoff to Caledonspoort and Wyndford in the past, you will be pleased to know that after 7 years of waiting, as of this week we now have new signage at and around the crossroads. Unfortunately, one or two were put directly behind the old ones. As for other traveling information, we can confirm that there are potholes and road works on all approaches to Wyndford at present!

I leave you with this delightful picture taken recently of two little chaps on the dining room steps putting the world right, with the ever present and patient Dozer lending an ear. Our monthly draw winner this month is Eleanor Smith. We look forward to hearing from you soon and hopefully making use of our last minute special. Greetings from us all at Wyndford.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quick note about the coming long weekend

We had wonderful thunder storms last night and some good rains this morning. George and I went for an early morning cycle and watched the morning wake up.

Just a reminder that it is a long weekend coming March 19 to 21, and we have a three night minumum stay from Friday to Monday morning, so get organised and enjoy a break from hectic lifestyles! Email us on or call the girls on 058-2230274...Don't delay.... see you soon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February news

Fabulous February already… hello once again from Wyndford.

Well it would seem that this year is speeding by on legs like Emu’s! They now have been called Eee, Em and You and have a habit of disappearing, last week into the forest, with alarming speed. (‘and’ has vanished altogether, and so unfortunately, there are now only three birds) We have a new sport called Emu round up which is a great cardio vascular workout definitely not for the faint of heart!

Sticking with the feathered news – a new species has been sighted at Wyndford, now called the ‘Bearded Sparrow”. This little bird can be seen working furiously fetching and carrying, impersonating Santa, whenever Dodge, our Husky has been brushed! Needless to say, all newborns at Wyndford have very warm cosy nests…..

For all those little boys (and girls and Moms) that have been ‘snake hunting’ with Shane, this picture above is for you! A 60cm Puff Adder found in our garden…this time I was quicker on the uptake and went to fetch Shane and left George to watch the snake!

We have started work on repairing the swing bridges on the Little Caledon. It has been amazing to see the force of the water which pulled and bent chemical bolts out of the rock, but we have managed to salvage the cable and wooden slats so progress is being made (albeit a little slow due to the precarious nature of the bridge…and with only one dunking so far - fortunately not George – I have it on good authority that he doesn’t float so well…….!).

After two years of disappointing fruit crops due to late frosts, we have now had the most wonderful season. We are still waiting for the grapes, quinces and pears to ripen, but have had great jam making sessions already. You can be assured, that all jams served at Wyndford are home grown and made and the pantry is full. Wow! Having said that, there are only so many things you can do with apples, apples and apples. They are fairly dripping off the trees, so we (thanks to Josh, our son, who has just spent three weeks at home) are now into cider making. We have a special press– plus a fair amount of male energy - for extracting the juice …. And now have 150litres of gurgling ‘frog’ noises in the garage! We await to see (or maybe that should be taste) the results…

We have had at least three new guests recently who commented that the driving down the driveway is like finding a little oasis. The gardens are indeed lush after all the rain and a wonderful quiet place to sit and read a good book…. or even just to pretend to read! Snoozing allowed.

It is our intention this year to work towards upgrading all the linen in the rooms. We have traditionally had each room with different patterned duvet covers, but the current trend is for white percale - but then most guest houses don’t have creepy crawly walks with mud, bunny yards for the kids, or Milo served in bed early in the morning. The jury is still out, but be assured we are continually trying to make Wyndford a greater place to be.

A reminder for the energetic among you that the Surrender Hill Marathon takes place on the weekend of the 4th – 6th March in the Fouriesburg Clarens area. (Maybe we should enter Eee, Em and You!)

On behalf of the Wyndford Family
Have a great Month ahead.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I am having difficulty uploading pictures but will keep trying and let you see some up to the minute pics of Wyndford!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And into 2011...

Welcome to 2011… not a soccer ball in sight…plenty of water though!! For all of those who spent the festive season swimming with us, today is the first day of sunshine we have had in 2011. As you can see by the picture below, we, like the rest of the country have had huge amounts of rain. In the first four days of January we had over 100mm…. One does begin to envy the ducks their webbed feet!

This didn’t dampen the spirits however! We still managed to play tennis, swim and play on the jumping castle at the pool, go for long walks in the very lush mountains. We have never had quite so many trips tubing on the river as it has been flowing strongly… a couple of nervous moments when Shane disappeared from sight to emerge through the bushes 300m downriver!!
Sadly to say the water is lapping at our swing bridges on the Little Caledon. The power of the high water has pulled the chemical bolts out of the rocks and bent all the iron stays, so the wood slats and cables are still there but hanging at a superman angle. Hopefully once the waters recede we will be able to rebuild.

We must have known the weather was going to be just so….. all the staff received red rain jackets for Christmas and we became proud parents to four young Emu’s – birds with necks that will keep their heads above water! They are very nervous at present but have made firm friends with the ducks and geese.

Duck (not ours!) and Cherry Pies were on the menu for Christmas and New years eve and a wonderful evening of everyone learning how to Dance with the Wyndford Stars! was had by all.

Father Christmas had no trouble finding our Chimney; maybe this had to do with the fact that we had to send last minute urgent letters (via email) to Santa to let him know which little people were on holiday with us. Cassidy encountered Father Christmas for the first time ever and gave him a run for his money on the fashion stakes!

A reminder for the energetic among you that the Surrender Hill Marathon takes place on the weekend of the 4th – 6th March in the Fouriesburg Clarens area.

On behalf of the Wyndford Family
We would wish you and yours a 2011 filled to overflowing with…..
Real joy and uninhibited laughter; Perfect peace and contentment,
Excitement and Special surprises; Hope for Great tomorrows, And God’s Richest blessings!