Unplug from the world and gaze upon this all day long.

Upon arrival in Swellendam, Google Maps delivered me more or less to De Companjie in the centre of town where I met owner Mari-Louise van der Merwe. De Companjie Heritage House is her restaurant and guesthouse, and high up in the hills, at the upper reaches of her family farm, are the Fazenda cottages - my final destination that day.

The two tiny stone houses sit side by side on the edge of a dam at the foot of towering mountain kloofs, and offer complete seclusion and isolation. With blow-up canoes at my disposal, I felt I should be picking at a banjo while a mean-eyed yellow dog lay at my feet. 

Wake up to breathtaking natural beauty.

The cottages have been lovingly decorated by Van der Merwe’s hand, and the care which has been applied is immediately apparent in the chic décor details. Just because you’re almost in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style.

Besides the conveniences like a fan and a coffee machine, a variety of gorgeous and distinctive complementary ceramic items from Railheim in Robertson bring an artistic touch to practical items like mugs and serving dishes.

The bathroom is modern and spacious.

The open plan space includes the kingsize bed where you can lie to survey the view through the sliding glass doors which comprise the whole front of the cottage, the lounge and dining areas, and the small kitchenette. Despite its size, it has everything you need for a short - say two days - stay. Swellendam is a short drive away should you need supplies, or would rather eat out than braai.

I don’t need to be told twice that I can make a fire as I consider any stockpile of wood as a personal challenge to burn it all. The deck runs the length of the cottage and  provides the same stunning view of the dam, surrounding forest and mountains.

The open-plan cottage, with a well-equipped kitchenette, is light, bright and comfortable.

As dusk lengthened into darkness, the songs of the night rose up in an invisible symphony of frogs, crickets and birds. 

The peace, the quiet (by country standards), the tranquility - and the time to enjoy it while clearing the head and breathing crisp clean air - are all further ticks in favour of the solitary getaway. 

For further information, call 083 446 1123 or email [email protected]