I had the absolute pleasure of staying at Bartholomeus Klip over my birthday last month. It’s my favourite lodge in South Africa and I couldn’t have hoped for a better place to spend the weekend. Located in the 4000-hectare Elandsberg Nature Reserve in Bo Hermon, you get a unique insight into the ebb and flow of a working African farm. On this visit, we stayed in their newish and very large self-catering Heron House which is close to but completely separate from the lodge. With 5 en suite bedrooms, it’s the perfect place to go with your family or friends for a breakaway into nature and escape people.
Children of all ages are welcome here. Due to a variety of circumstances, the lodge was empty on our weekend, so we had the whole property to ourselves. A unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience, I will never forget. Heron House has its own private pool, but we were able to have a few swims in the lodge pool too. A renovated farm dam, this circular pool was an exquisite respite from a hot summer’s day. As my family are big swimmers, we also loved our sunset and sunrise swim on the farm dam. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore at Bartholomeus Klip.
We all loved our morning game drive into the reserve and visiting the Geometric tortoise nursery, one of the world’s rarest reptiles. The Elandsberg Nature Reserve is the tortoise’s largest remaining habitat and a successful project to increase their population has been going on for a decade. The Elandsberg have also been involved in the rebreeding of the extinct quagga, producing over time, a quagga-like animal called the Rau quagga. It was wonderful to see all these animals, the extensive birdlife and the rich flora of the area.
Bartholomeus Klip has started producing premium Wagyu beef from cattle that roam on the farm’s pastures. They have been breeding since 2016 and trace the full bloodline of the animal throughout the supply chain. We cooked up the burgers on my stay and they were the best I have ever tasted. I have subsequently eaten one of their Wagyu rib-eye steaks and once again this was the best steak I’ve ever eaten. Louise Gillett, who is the highly talented chef on the property handles the processing of the meat which you can buy from them directly. Check out their website to find out more and will be dependent on supply. We were taken on a tour to visit the cattle and this was particularly fascinating for the three vegetarian family members with me. We also took a drive past the newly planted almond orchard which will start bearing fruit in a few years. It seems the capabilities of this farm are limitless.
If you stay in one of the 2 self-catering houses at Bartholomeus Klip you can either do it all yourself or order in from the Kitchen. You can arrange to eat in the restaurant for their legendary dining experience and their high tea is not to be missed. Louise arranged most of our catering and it was such a pleasure to have this aspect of our stay taken care of. The BK boxes with our meals were carefully stashed in the fridge on our arrival with a list of preparation instructions. The menu will revolve with the seasons and our selection was utterly delicious. I can highly recommend this option.
We enjoyed handmade spinach & goat’s cheese tortellini with spinach pesto and parmesan crisps on our first night. Caprese salad with rosemary focaccia & dukkah butter came on the side, and the dessert was minty pineapple carpaccio with vanilla ice cream. Breakfasts were farm eggs, farm bacon (sublime), sourdough or brioche, fresh fruit, banana bread, fresh OJ, quiche, farm granola and honey with Jersey yoghurt. A total dreamy feast. Louise made me a sublime lemon mering pie for my birthday too.
I’ve stayed at Bartholomeus Klip four times and with each stay, I have fallen deeper in love with this unique and totally authentic property. It’s the kind of place that settles in your soul and will always have you yearning to go back.
* I was invited as a guest of Bartholomeus Klip to experience Heron House.
My sister Liz took 2 of the photos here. The last one and the one before the picture of the sheep.
Past visits to BK and staying at the lodge
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