STAY HERE: Klein Pella, Northern Cape
This corner of the country isn’t exactly known for its wealth of accommodation options, but fortunately Klein Pella is a modern oasis: Date palms cover 18 000 ha of this farm on the Orange River, and the guesthouse has a swimming pool and 24/7 air conditioning. It’s just what you need after a long day on the road.
Things to do? Visitors can explore the date plantations on foot. During harvest season (March to October), workers use a cherry picker to reach the dates. Ask them to raise you up into the branches, or even higher for a view all the way into southern Namibia.
There are also lots of dirt roads to ride on your mountain bike. See if you can spot the remnants of film sets: Klein Pella has doubled as desert landscapes around the world many times. The most recent film shot here was The Last Face, starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem.
Facilities and rates: The campsite has braai spots, 10 power points and two ablution blocks – R100 per adult; free for children under 18. There is also a river camp (no facilities) on the banks of the Orange – R50 per vehicle. The guesthouse has seven en suite rooms (R450 per person sharing; R650 single supplement). Breakfast is included; dinner costs R125 per person.
How to get there? Drive 23 km west of Pofadder along the N14 and turn onto the tar road to Pella. About 500 m further, turn left at the Klein Pella sign. Follow this dirt road for 21 km and turn right at the next sign. From there it’s another 7 km through a quiver tree forest to the farm gate.
What else? In season, you can buy fresh dates on the farm in 1 – 5kg packs. You can also attend Sunday Mass at the Pella mission station at 8 am. Pella is about 43 km away. Drive back to the Pella tar road and turn left.
Contact: 054 972 9712; 082 554 5995 (Glenda Goosen); karsten.co.za