Not every traveller has the luxury of a “stopover”
on what is a relatively short drive.
If possible, I like to break my drives at around 3 hours
and then find somewhere interesting to stay for the night.
Kaapsehoop is one such place.
For those who don’t know where it is,
let me state up front that it is NOT in the Cape.
Neither is it near Barberton…that is Kaapmuiden.
I know because I have confused the two on a previous trip
and ended up staying at a very nice guest house just off a main road.
This image is of the N4 that leads towards the turn off to the small town.
The road has two of the more expensive toll plazas in the area.
The most expensive being as you leave Machadodorp
and that will cost R88.00 for a regular sedan.
But, cost aside, the scenery is worth the price…
This is why visitors come to Kaapsehoop.
There are many wild horses that roam freely through the town
as well as the surrounding forest plantations.
How did they get here?
There are as many stories as there are story-tellers in the village.
The most common tale is that they escaped during the Boer War
and have lived free in the area ever since.
This was to be my overnight destination on both legs of my journey.
Silver Mist Country Inn at the top of Kantoor Street,
where the old Post Office used to be.
321 km from Johannesburg and less from Pretoria,
this is the ideal place to break a journey
to any one of the game reserves further north.
My destination was Sabi Sabi, a mere 2 hour drive from here.
Thanks to the stopover, I arrived feeling refreshed
and ready for my bush adventures.
Although I was travelling alone, I was given the honeymoon suite.
A very comfortable Queen size bed, and pillows that met my very strict
comfort standards…I did not even have to take mine out of my suitcase.
A bright, airy room with a wonderful view of both sunrise and sunset.
If you like to shower, you might want to ask for another room,
as this room only had a bath.
The room has a large balcony with a breathtaking view out over the valley to the north.
Sunrise and sunset with a cup of coffee were the perfect way
to begin and end my day here.
A quiet reading nook on the upstairs floor above the reception area.
You can still hear the other guests,
but you don’t have to interact with them.
The dining room is large, bright and welcoming.
The menu is very comprehensive given that this is an Inn
in a small town with no supermarket.
I had one of the best plates of scrambled eggs
that I have tasted in a long while for breakfast here.
And, be aware, that if you order soup,
their portion is more than enough for a complete meal.
Good hearty food, made and served with care.
This seating area is between the dining room and
what could be described as a formal lounge.
On the evening of my arrival there was a fire blazing away,
helping to keep the winter chill at bay.
To the right of the main reception area.
This area is often used by guests either waiting for their room
or just before going into dinner.
What would a small town hotel be without a pub?
Silver Mist is no exception…and the bar was being well utilised
by the other guests on the evenings that I was there.
This is the old jail…
It has fallen into disrepair and no developers have come to rescue it yet.
Aside from the main hotel,
they have more accommodation across the road.
And it is here that I spent the night on my return visit.
It looks like it could be a building on an old mining settlement.
The room was spacious, with a comfortable double bed and
a bathroom that, in my case (Room 10),
had both a shower and a bath.
A seating area together with a desk and a coffee station.
It seems that many of the guests are contract workers at the local paper mill
and I should imagine that like me,
they would find the desk useful for paperwork.
There is also a non-denominational chapel on the premises.
The hotel can help arrange the event should you require that.
It seats 120 and is a great space to either tie the knot,
or perhaps renew your vows.
There is a modern organ in the chapel,
but this one caught my attention.
I have seen a similar model in a museum in Upington.
A travel posting without a sunset/sunrise would not be complete.
So this sunset from the balcony of Room 6 fulfills that requirement.
Would I recommend staying here?
I certainly would!
Old fashioned hospitality in a modern world is not easy to find.
Next time you are heading to one of the game parks further north,