Surround yourself with the serenity and tranquillity of Watermill Farm. The farm is situated 3 kilometers from the Little Karoo village of Vanwyksdorp; enfolded within the foothills of the Rooiberg Mountain Range and enclosed by the Rooiberg Conservancy area. On the farm we are immersed in unspoilt nature; surrounded by pristine veldt, clean air, and pure water that comes from an ancient limestone aquifer in the mountains. We are very aware of how privileged we are, and so we take our commitment to the environment and sustainability seriously. From the initial restoration to our present day to day living, we do so with care and concern for the environment.

Ideally suited to nature lovers, plant and bird enthusiasts, and those simply needing to soothe their souls; our four self-catering cottages are fully equipped; with luxury bed linen and towels provided.  The hand-made mud brick walls are plastered with earth on the interior, and then whitewashed. The dung floors are warm and soft to the tread, and each one of the cottages is unique. We have tried to match the furnishings, gleaned in most part from local antique shops, to the nature of each cottage, thus creating their own character and individual ambiance. The single thread that draws them together is a gentle simplicity, reminiscent of how we once lived – and perhaps could again. Traditionally built earth structures, although able to stand for centuries, are fully bio-degradable, and in the restoration process, old ways, and the traditional methods were followed.

The farm is run organically. We do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and we are rewarded with an abundance of wildlife and different types of bees. We have planted specific trees, shrubs and herbs to attract a variety of birds, butterflies, bees and other insects to maintain bio-diversity, and to act as natural predators for garden pests. We have installed our own solar power systems so that we can live a modern lifestyle entirely off the national grid, although we presently still make use of a limited amount of gas to ensure our comfort.

During the restoration process, clues to the lives that shaped, and were shaped by the landscape emerged. Much of the history here is still shrouded in the unknown; but is hinted at in discoveries unearthed and stories shared. Some were poignant, like the remains of a child’s pair of shoes, much patched, with a small horseshoe nailed to the heel to repair it; or the knives found buried and embedded in the mud brick walls, bearing testimony to a perhaps less tranquil time. Only a few names on the farm’s graveyard remain, the oldest legible of which dates to the 1850’s. It is a humble place on the hillside, with simple stones marking the passing of a loved one, now long forgotten.

When the farm was first settled is unknown, as no records exist, but the earliest buildings still in use on the farm date to around the 1820’s and were made from raw clay packed in blocks. The later cottages, remodelled over the years as the size of the families that lived here expanded and grew, were made from sun dried clay bricks. The farm itself was later a small hamlet, housing several families. The hand-packed stone terraces still mark the areas of intensive food and fruit production in this fertile place, and the stone kraals speak of the times when there was a dairy herd here. The mill on Watermill Farm still shows a few traces of having had a wooden water wheel, which was later replaced to become the existing metal structure. The water for the mill, and indeed the whole village, from the perennial eye in the mountain behind the farm would flow through old sloots, through the mill, and then on to the village; and most of the old infrastructure still remains.

In our guest cottages, we invite you to step back into a timeless world; one of simplicity…. with the glow of candles, and a wood-burning Dover stove for comforting warmth; experiencing a bygone era lived closer to the elements and surrounded by nature.


Contact us

Please visit our website for detailed information about the individual cottages and our tariff.

Phone: 072 469 0495 Russell or Penny