Wish I lived closer, look at this place. The Lydenrust Guest Farm in Mpumalanga, is a self-catering retreat with horseback trails into the surrounding mountain that offers a chance to meet all the resident rescue and farm animals. I think if I visited that I’d never leave. Pigs, goats and happy cows. My kind of heaven and the perfect place to recharge your batteries and be gentle to your soul.
More about Lydenrust
Lydenrust Guest Farm at the foot of the magnificent Steenkamps mountains overlooks the Kwena Dam, is situated on 160 hectares of farmland in the Kwena Basin in Mpumalanga. The farm has five self-catering accommodation facilities; a ‘Teepee Tented Bush Camp’ in which visitors can experience authentic teepee camping life in the wild, and four cottages of various sizes, from budget ‘Brumby Cabin’ with a double bedroom to a six-sleeper two bedroom ‘Palomino’ stone cottage overlooking the fields where the horses contentedly graze.
“One can only appreciate the true beauty of this area when seen through one’s own eyes.“
Lydenrust Guest Farm is a safe haven for shelter animals of all kinds.
About the farm animals
Lydenrust Guest Farm is a safe haven for shelter animals of all kinds. In the mornings one can spot old Squirrel the one-eared donkey harassing staff for breakfast and Mr. Chris P. Bacon the pig excitedly waiting for a petting (given as a gift by a neighbouring farmer who fancied one of our volunteers) with his companion Gertrude. Gertrude was bought by a family at a fair as a miniature pot belly piglet, but she kept growing and growing and is, in fact, a full-size pig, and needed to be re-housed.
Lydenrust’s dogs include the three-legged rescue Pauly and the hyperactive and possibly the ugliest (but much loved) dog in the world, Peanut, the only survivor of the whole family which was found in a trash bag. In fact, all the dogs are rescues, some of them coming from a charity they support, Home 4 Paws. Lydenrust Guest Farm takes pride in working with the local community and helping where possible.
Doogle the cow is a male dairy calf – not a fortunate prospect as most male calves become what we usually call veal – who found a place to rest on the farm, along with many of the goats and sheep. As a result of being rescued and bottle-fed, many of these animals are tame and happy to be cuddled. Marula is a wild horse – one of the famed Kaapsehoop wild horses of South Africa – whose mother was killed by a truck on the road when she was about two weeks old.
Annie was ten days old when Lydenrust received a call that her mother died and nobody wanted to take care of the filly, so she was hand-raised on the farm too. Selati was a three day old filly when her mother died in the drought (her owners forgot to feed or water her) and she too was brought to Lydenrust. From the other seventeen horses, many arrived there because they were unwanted, planned for slaughter or too wild to be handled; although you couldn’t guess that now, after years of good treatment and plenty of love.
About the experience and area
Most of the guests visit to relax and unwind away from the city stresses. Besides endlessly cuddling the animals – therapy in itself, Lydenrust guests enjoy going for horse rides on the nature trails into the surrounding valley, hiking in the magnificent mountains behind the farm, as well as sightseeing. In a radius of 150km there are a number of attractions that range from the Kruger National Park to God’s Window, Sudwala Caves and more.
The Lydenrust people and their story
Alison Botha and her husband bought their dream farm in 2001, when it was dedicated to producing peaches. In 2007, after severe fires destroyed a lot of the trees, they decided to transform the farm into a retreat of sorts for both humans and animals, a place where one can just relax and unwind and where animals are treated with the love they deserve.
Needing all the support as they nurture the land and its residents,I’ve offered to spread the word about their little piece of heaven and encourage you, the readers, to visit.
The Essential Details
You can find out more about there here: https://www.lydenrust.co.za/. Just 30km from Lydenburg, a 2.5-hour drive from Pretoria and a 3-hour drive from Johannesburg. I can’t wait to be in the area so that I can treat myself to some time relaxing into the setting, cuddling the animals and going for a horse ride in the surrounding hills.