Karoo Ridge Conservancy is a working farm which restores and protects it’s natural environment and also offers an exclusive holiday retreat in the form of traditional Karoo-style eco-lodges. Karoo Ridge River Lodge is nestled in a tranquil valley and Karoo Ridge Mountain Lodge is set in the foothills of the mountains. Ideal hideaways for those who are keen to learn more about what we do, or who simply love escaping to the wilderness.
We employ a team of local staff whose contribution and deep commitment to the development of the conservancy is invaluable. Their knowledge of Karoo farming practices, stockmanship, craftsmanship and tracking skills are a true asset. Most of the staff live on the conservancy with their families who help us manage the lodge and guest experience.
Karoo Ridge Conservancy is full of wonderful rocky outcrops, ridges and cliffs and the landscape is characterised by low rainfall, arid air and cloudless skies with a rich ecosystem. The Karoo is a land of extremes. Winter days are crisp and cold with blue skies and bright sunshine while nights are clear with wonderful starlit skies. In summer, temperatures can reach over 35℃ with hot sunny days, occasionally interrupted by spectacular thunderstorms which bring the majority of area’s annual rainfall.
The lands that make up Karoo Ridge Conservancy were once several smaller farms. The original area was called Laughing Waters, perhaps because of the numerous springs and fertile veld that typified the land at that time. During the Anglo-Boer war, an English soldier who was stationed nearby fell in love with the beauty and majesty of the area and in the early 1900’s after the war had ended, he came back to the Karoo and purchased the farm. At that time the land supported ostriches, sheep and cattle. Since then windmills, homesteads, barns and cottages have been built and the veld fenced to contain stock.
The rocks of the Karoo superveldt were formed 300 million years ago in a vast warm inland sea, surrounded by swampy deltas and forests. Fossil remains of ancient reptiles and amphibians found in the region have made the Karoo famous amongst palaeontologists. The onset of major volcanic activity ended the evolution of reptile species when erupting lava was forced between layers of horizontal sedimentary rock, creating the jaw-dropping hard dolerite ridges and sills still seen today. Ever since then, continuous weather erosion has exposed and shaped, and reshaped the flat-topped mountains that are so characteristic of the Karoo.
Karoo Ridge Eco-lodges
Inspired by the Karoo, we have used brick and cut stone to build two eco-lodges that sit in harmony with their surroundings. Both lodges have their own unique position and charm. Perfect for family and friend getaways, romantic escapes, or for anyone looking for a few days of peace and tranquillity where you can choose how relaxed or active you would like your day to be.
All our accommodation is serviced daily and you have the choice of doing your own catering or having a fully catered experience. Our lodge kitchens are fully equipped. Should you wish to be catered for, meals need to be prearranged in advance. Please inquire for further information and different rates.
The River Lodge is perfect for large families, families with small children or groups of friends travelling together. It is tucked away in a scenic valley overlooking the Groot-Brak River.
Two bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms; the other two bedrooms share a family bathroom. All bedrooms have twin beds which can be arranged together or apart, sleeping a total of eight guests. It is possible to accommodate slightly larger groups on request, maximum 10. The cottage has an open plan kitchen, dining and living area with a fireplace for cold winter nights. There is a large veranda allowing for plenty of outside living with a braai/barbeque area and a firepit, ideal to sit around in the evenings and enjoy the star studded skies. The lights are solar-powered while the fridge, stove/cooker and geysers run on gas. Our guests are always happy to find that this is a wifi- and mobile- free area.
A children’s toybox, sandpit and trampoline are available and well behaved pets are welcome. High chair, travel cot and children’s cutlery and crockery are all available.
There are self-guided trails from the lodge and seasonal deep pools along the river to swim in, or take the opportunity to go on a guided excursion out into the Karoo veld. Bird life is abundant in the riverine vegetation and the valley is frequented by Kudu and Mountain reedbuck. Enjoy the exclusivity of a home away from home.
The Mountain Lodge is in the foothills of the Suurberg Mountain and has karoo landscapes and big sky views all round. Perfect for couples and small families with older children.
Both luxurious and homely it sleeps 4 guests and has 2 en-suite bedrooms, each with twin beds which can be arranged together or set apart. Light energy is from solar and kitchen fridges/ovens run on gas. Kitchen and living areas open onto a large veranda which gives a real feeling of Karoo space.
Lounge on the veranda or read a book on one of the floating chairs. Sit in the plunge pool and enjoy a drink while watching the sun go down. Enjoy the indoor fireplace on cold nights.
WiFi and mobile free you really can get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Gemsbuck and Springbuck frequent the area and will happily come and drink from the water hole out front. Take a walk to the remarkable dolerite rock stacks or wander further into the foothills.
Enjoy the exclusivity of this mountain home.