Hi Bronwyn and Colin, Hope you are both well in your bit of paradise. I informed Trevor Hardaker of the two interesting bird sightings I had on your farm. He was most excited and has posted the info on his news letter as you can see. It will be interesting to see if this results in an influx of mad birders to River View Cottages. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay on your farm and would love to make a return trip some time in the future. All the very best.

white fronted bee-eater

white fronted bee-eater

This is the Southern African Rare Bird News Report issued at 20h00 on Thursday, 01 August 2013.
….Then, on to some news and, starting in the Western Cape, some interesting sightings have been received from the Calitzdorp region where a group of between 12 and 20 WHITE-FRONTED BEE-EATERS have been found to be breeding there! Although this species is known from previous records in the province, I cannot find any reference to breeding in the province before. They were seen on a farm along the Gamka River near the town (details of the farm at wwwriverviewcottages.co.za) during the course of last week and, according to the farmer, have been present there for quite some time already! Also of interest, over the course of 2 days, the same farm produced 2 sightings of COMMON SCIMITARBILL. The bird(s) was calling actively during both sightings. The sightings may well refer to the same individual as they were only about 600m apart, but this is an incredibly rare bird in the province, so a great record indeed.Kind regards, TREVOR HARDAKER, Cape Town, South Africa

Hallo Bronwyn, Thank you for a place we really enjoyed and had time to recuperate, we really love your place. I was able to reconnect with my childhood and as this year is my year to find inner joy and to become whole again the stay at your place was truly a place of sanctuary for me. I am already planning to bring my two sons 5 and 8 to come experience the farm, there are very few places where one can stay to really experience “farm”.Thank you,

Ordinary on his way to become somebody finds sanctuary in the Desert. Putting back some Joy and Wholeness. Awakening the small joys of the young inner child. Remembering imagination. Jacques and Sam

Hi Bronwyn, In case you are interested in keeping/adding to the Bird list for the farm, here are my observations from the weekend. Warm regards, Mike

Sparrow Cape, Apalis Bar-throated, Bokmakierie, Masked-Weaver Southern,Chat Familiar,Bunting Cape,Scrub-Robin Karoo,Tit-Babbler,Cormorant White-breasted,Crombec Long-billed,Mousebird White-backed,Seedeater Streaky-headed,Bulbul Cape,Barbet Acacia Pied,Greenbul Sombre,Flycatcher Fiscal,Flycatcher Fairy,Canary White-throated,Tit-Babbler Chestnut-vented,Honeyguide Lesser,Starling Common,Neddicky Neddicky,Rock-Thrush Cape,Robin-Chat Cape,Sunbird Malachite,Prinia Karoo,Rush-Warbler Little,Batis Pririt,Mousebird Red-faced,White-eye Cape,Mousebird Speckled,Sparrow Southern Grey-headed,Bee-eater White-fronted,Drongo Fork-tailed,Wagtail Cape,Fiscal Common,Weaver Cape,Sunbird Greater Double-collared,Goose Egyptian,Hoopoe African,Starling Pied,Martin Rock,Heron Black-headed,Nightjar Fiery-necked,Dove Laughing,Waxbill Common,Kingfisher Brown-hooded,Martin Brown-throated

As said by Oslo: “And when you see this whole existence as a tremendous dance, a celebration, you are liberated by it. It is a celebration that liberates, it is love that liberates, it is beauty that liberates – it is not metaphysics or philosophy” – Here it comes Naturally! Thank you. Alwyn.

Found ‘Heaven and Earth’ and even a feather! Merci beaucoup. Natalie and Alwyn

Unbelievable! Did not have much time to go on walks. I decided to put my Landy on it’s side Sunday evening. Could not see what situations was in the dark, so sate tight until morning. Farmer took me to River View Cottages. Colin spent most of his day helping to tow Landy back onto road. Took me into town for supplies. Colin, Bronwyn and youngsters were amazing. You have restored my faith in humanity. I will definitely be back to finish hat I did not have time to do this trip. Dave.

Back again. Landy in Oudtshoorn. Waiting for quote. Will see what happens. Tx Bronwyn for keeping my ‘spot’ open. Dave.

When you can’t walk on water, take the boat. Easy come, easy go. Thanks for this wonderful place, where we have time for feelings and when needed, put them in order. I know this is a kind place and I hope to one day return my kindness. Hope to meet your dogs in the morning. Love, Me.

Dit was die eerste van nog baie kere! Julle het ‘n wonderlike plek, dankie vir die lafenis! Dis net wat die siel nodig gehad het. van, Sandra

Thank you for the most delightful stay, we were just absolutely comfortable, entranced with our surroundings, thoroughly enjoyed our walk and spending time capturing and enjoying the birds (or trying to get good photos!). Meeting you and your family (including the dogs!) was also a delight. We will be back, thank you, thank you! Fritz and Margie – not ready to leave!

Thank you for a lovely stay – we had everything we needed, surrounded by beauty, peace and tranquility. Pity I was not well and spent yesterday in bed – but what a lovely place to recuperate. I will be back to enjoy the walks. Cheryl and Mike.

All our lives we’ve searched for ‘Walden’ – a place of simplicity and soul. You have recognized and created it. A perfect harmony of nature and ‘isithunzi’ – Xhosa for Spirit, Presence and Respect. Martin and Marguerite. –
‘May the silence never be broken’ OMD

Dear Bronwyn, It was our 40th wedding anniversary treat to come here. We are enchanted. And I was moved to find my own novel in your bookshelf – And in such august company! It makes me feel as if a part of me will stay contentedly behind. Marguerite Poland

Ancient landscapes, silence,peace. We have never stayed in a place which enchanted us more. The simplicity of the cottage gave it grace – and yet it had every comfort: unobtrusve, sophisticated, thoughtful and charming. The fireplace in the bedroom is a winner. Martin and Marguerite

Martin and Bishop

Martin and Bishop

Baie dankie vir ‘n heerlike, pragtige blyplek en natuur wat ons baie geniet het: Ons sal verseker weer kom. Dankie ook vir die liewe Jock wat die “cherry op die kook” was! Vriendelike Wynland groete, Hannelie en Rolf.

Thank you for sharing your mountain paradise with us. Will be back soon. Matt and Eva.

We came to see the white-fronted bee-eaters but found so much more! We found a gem nestling in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountain. We found birds, and aloes, a river, stars and sunrise pink mountain tops – We found paradise! Gill and Buller.

Hi Bronwyn, Just a quick hello to say how much we enjoyed staying at your River View Cottages…needed a few more days for sure. We will definately come back, soon…..Take care
Alwyn and Nathalie Steyl

Hi Bronwyn, We really enjoyed our stay at the OSH! It was very relaxing for all of us and we also enjoyed a lot hiking on the farm. Thank you, Emmanuel

Clean, quite, lots to do, friendly and beautiful. We could really relax and recuperate.

Excellent place with lovely hospitality by Colin and Bronwyn. Thanks so much! Francois.

An unspoilt gem, magnificence surrounds you! – a place to really unwind and let your hair down. Relaxation and peace, at its best!! Thank you colin and bronwyn Elsabe

The Old School House rocks! Great place. Great energy. Great vibe. Great amenities.

What a wonderfull place! We loved every second of our stay! See you again soon! Johan

We had a great time! Gerhard.

Without doubt the best stay of our three-week trip. Superb, wild location, lovely cottage, tranquility, birds, the lot. Joe

Friendliness-Thumbs Up! Cleanliness-Thumbs Up! Attention to detail- We stayed at the cottages for only one evening and Bronwyn was so kind as to inform us that we could leave the next day whenever we wanted to as the cottage was not booked. We had a lovely stroll along the river, sat on the raft under the willow trees, and had a lazy last day of our weekend. The accommodation was stunning! Attention to every little detail is evident everywhere. From the stunning huge wooden chopping block in the kitchen to the fireplace already packed with wood, just waiting for a match to be drawn. Value for money is an absolute understatement. I would love to go back there. In the perfect world I would have liked the cottages be further apart. But that doesn’t mean that the neighbours were within earshot. Having said that, I would not want anyone to get the impression that it is not private enough, I just love wide open spaces around me. Corlie

Peaceful, quiet, secure and relaxing. Perfect getaway from city life, and Bronwyn was very accomodating and friendly. Krishni

White, crisp, fresh linen. Cottages 5 Star. Be back soon. Gerhard

THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE – We had an amazing time! So much bird-life in an incredibly tranquil, scenic setting. The house is lovely and the book collection is great – a fantastic selection. We enjoyed hiking around the area, seeing the snow and happily returning to a fully-catered, clean abode! Thank you for a wonderful stay, we’ll definitely recommend this place! Jess and Dave.

We loved so much this place which is so quiet and peaceful. We enjoyed that you kept the story of this house through several things of the past. Your country has a very rich history: a strong and difficult, but interesting past. The nature around is very wonderful and we liked these open spaces around mountains. We walked all this afternoon with your dog, Jock – he was very careful with us, always seeing if we were on the good way and safe! We liked it! We don’t have enough time to stay here but really, it’s a nice place. What do we need more? Nature, quietness, love of our family – all is perfect here! So, thanks a lot for oping the door of your house to a French family who appreciates and enjoys your country. Annie and Charles, Maud and Emmanuel.

To choose a valley of peace and challenge, birdsong, ice sun and soil, where the metronome of sunrise greets the hillside, aloes, spec boom and the winding road, has proven a wonderful choice. We came in Summer and watched into space past Orion till the early morning. Last night we watched the Winter guide, Scorpio overhead and some stinging meteors. Maud and Emmanuel.