Back at De Ark Guesthouse, Lydenburg.

Time to stop and smell the rose? The cherub seems insistent, even offering to strum a tune should you take a moment to inhale the fragrance.



And something wonderful usually does happen when you visit De Ark Guest House in Lydenburg.

The name of the town, the Dutch word Lijdenburg, or “Town of Suffering”, is named for the experiences of the white settlers when they arrived in the area.

In Northern Sotho, Mashishing means “long green grass.” Lydenburg has become the centre of the South African fly-fishing industry and is an agricultural, tourism and mining hub.

Staying at this owner-run guest house will most certainly put a smile on your face and depending on which room you stay in, you will have wonderful tales to tell…

The building that is now the guest house was the first parsonage of the Dutch Reformed Church built by the Voortrekkers 150 years ago.




This is the 5th time I have walked past this water feature on my way to the reception area. And on each visit, I have been placed in different accommodations. Never in the same room twice, which made it exciting for me when I open a room door.




This annexe of 3 rooms is off to the side of the main building and offers safe, off-street parking for guests. I have stayed in one of the rooms in this trio previously, but this time I was in Room 2, which is the room at the end of the verandah.




I stepped through the doorway and straight into a scene from a Renaissance painting. A mixture of over-the-top decor and utilitarian creature comforts, like a comfy bed and excellent linen.

Synonyms for the word renaissance are rejuvenation. renewal. resurgence. revitalization. Guests will feel a mixture of these after spending time in this room.

During the Renaissance, extending fromĀ 1450 to 1650, every continent was visited and mostly mapped by Europeans, except the south polar continent now known as Antarctica.

Did you know? Perhaps one of the most important inventions of the Renaissance period was the printing press, which marked a shift in both education and literature.




The weather was chilly and for those who like a tipple before dinner…or bedtime…or both, then this decanter of sherry was there to warm you up.




This particular room offers self-catering for those who do not wish to eat dinner in the guest house dining room. But I always choose to eat what is on the menu as it is way better value for money than fast food from the local franchise outlets. You have to trust me on this.




This painting was on the wall opposite the foot of my bed and as I lay watching TV, I wondered what she was looking at.

The Renaissance arrived in different countries at varying times- Italy was the first to experience this movement beginning in the 14th century while it did not reach England until the sixteenth century. A consensus among historians is that by the early 17th century, the Renaissance had come to an end.




Could it have been this pair of cherubs that formed part of my headboard? They certainly looked after me during the night.





I bet those who lived in the Renaissance era did not have access to modern ablutions. Although this room only had a shower, some rooms had baths. Enquire when you book.

Hygiene during the Renaissance…
People didn’t bathe often. Mostly, they just washed their hands and face and combed their hair/beards. They relied on their underclothes to soak up dirt and smell and changed these when they could afford to have them washed. They also used perfumes and sweet waters to cover up bad smells.





Fresh towels and a chocolate…what more can a guest want?




A great venue for a wedding or a braai.




I had suggested The Pickled Trout as a name, but it lost out to The Fickle Fox…




Every good small-town pub needs a suit of armour helmet.




Is this a duck or a goose? Does it matter as long as it keeps the door open?




Meet Ben. A highly trained guard dog who vets every visitor! NOT.

He has the most wonderful nature and will come to greet new arrivals without becoming intrusive.




To find out more about what this iconic and quirky guesthouse has to offer, click on the logo above.

My suggestion is that if you are heading to Kruger National Park, then make a stay at this iconic guest house part of your trip.





Check out the archived and current interviews… click on the image above.






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