De Ark, Lydenburg, a return visit.

"The nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you're doing, someone else does". Immanuel Kant





This quirky guest house can be found at 37 Kantoor St, a quiet leafy street that is off-limits to the convoys of heavy-duty trucks that are causing chaos on the road surfaces in the area. Secluded and surrounded by residential accommodation rather than shops or restaurants, it is only a short drive from the main part of town, should you need a meal, or wish to do some sightseeing.

And there are some interesting churches and other buildings to visit should you have the time. Being only 3.5 hours from Johannesburg, you can time your arrival for midday, giving you enough time to wander around the town and take in the sights or perhaps a meal.




This is my second visit to the wonderful property and when I headed for the reception, I found myself redirected to the dining room as the reception was undergoing extensive renovations. They will be completed shortly and then the large desk will return to its rightful place, leaving the dining room to be just that and not serve a dual function.

That being said, the current combination does not make guests feel cramped at all and it does not intrude into the main dining area.




Looking down on the rear garden as I head upstairs to my room. A great space to hold a celebration of any description, especially in the gazebo on the right.




“What is behind door number 2”?

On the previous visit, my wife and I stayed in Room 8 which was an unexpected delight.

This time I was alone and I stayed in Room 10, and I was keen to see what lay behind the stained glass door insert.




I was NOT disappointed!

The room looked like it could be in Europe, certainly, it was at odds with its actual surroundings as Lydenburg is the furthest thing from one’s mind when looking at this opulence.




It is small touches like a decanter of sherry, that seem to be missing from mainstream guest houses. And even though I do not drink, it was a tint decore decision that shows that the owner cares.




Load shedding and the fact that the geyser could not be used precluded me from running a bath. However, it did look rather comfortable so perhaps a return visit to try it out might be on the cards? Load shedding dependent, of course.

That being said, De Ark does have a generator but guests are requested not to use any item with a heating element during the time that mains power is off.




So, for me, a quick shower was on the cards…before the ‘dreaded’ load shedding kicked in.

Good pressure and plenty of hot water to soothe stiff muscles after my drive from Johannesburg.




Looking at the bedroom from the door of the bathroom.

A most comfortable bed, with linen that promotes sleep and an electric blanket that I was able to use once the power returned.

There is a tv and a coffee/tea station to the left of this image. A bonus so that, especially on a chilly winter evening I did not have to leave my room in search of a warm beverage.




Yet another ‘feature’… hanging off the edge of the curtains on the main window of my room.

If the devil is in the details, then my accommodation was positively satanic, but in the nicest way possible.




The front garden at night as I returned to the dining room for dinner.




When last were you served a meal that arrived at your table hidden under a cloche?

Yet another attention to detail that makes De Ark so special.




Dinner was a lasagne and I have to warn potential guests that the portion sizes are more than generous. This was more than enough for two servings.

However, for research purposes I did finish it all…just to make certain that one person can actually eat the portion as served!




And the following morning I tucked into breakfast before saying goodbye to those who were awake and headed off to the local computer shop to replace a forgotten power cable and then onto The Southern African Wildlife College to be a part of Safari Guide of the Year 2022.




Did you know?
The name Lydenburg means “Place of Suffering” and was named due to the deaths that the Voortrekkers had suffered from malaria in Origstad. (which is about 48km away)
In 1856 Lydenburg became the capital of De Republiek Lydenburg in Zuid Africa which then joined the ZAR in 1857.
It was an important town as it linked a wagon route to Delagoa Bay that was not controlled by the British. Construction of the road began in 1871 and the first wagons arrived in the port city in 1874.
Gold was discovered here in 1873 and when, in 1880, the First Boer War broke out, the garrison stationed in Lydenburg tried to try and take control of the goldfields.




To find out more about this wonderful establishment, visit their website, or click on the logo above.






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