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PENHILL GUEST FARM, NUY VALLEY

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Penhill Toontjiesrivier is a very special guest farm in the Nuy Valley midway between Worcester and Robertson in the foothills of the Langeberg mountains. It is a self-catering establishment that features five cottages sleeping a total of 24 people. The Manor House has four bedrooms that sleep eight people, and each of the other cottages sleep four people. The units allow magnificent views of the Riviersonderend mountains and the Nuy Valley in the distance and can be rented independently or as a group booking.

Penhill Guest Farm represents an ideal stop-over for bird-watchers not wanting to travel between Cape Town and the Garden Route along the N2 highway. The farm offers a dam for swimming, fishing or paddling on the dam, swimming pools or jacuzzis at allocated cottages, as well as a tennis court, croquet lawn and boule court. Hiking and running trails and mountain bike trails are also available. The Nuy Valley further feature five wine estates, two olive farms and a brewery. Private wine tasting on Penhill Farm is done by award winning winery Conradie Penhill Vineyards at extra charge (groups only) or at no extra cost at Conradie Family Cellars a mere 4km down the road.

The Nuy Valley has a diversity of habitats where many exciting bird species occur. Penhill has borehole water from way up in the mountain, so fortunately they are still able to water the gardens, and keep the birds happy! The gardens feature a variety of special birds such as the Bokmakierie, Cape Spurfowl, Malachite and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds. Other endemic species found regularly include the Cape Bulbul, Fiscal Flycatcher, Karoo Prinia, Cape Weaver and Cape White-eye and exciting species found less often are the Fairy Flycatcher, Protea Seedeater and Cape Siskin. Waterbirds on show could include the Little Grebe, Hamerkop, Pied and Malachite Kingfishers, Black-crowned Night-Heron and Cape and Red-billed Teals. The cry of the African Fish-Eagle is a common feature at Penhill!The gravel roads of the area further feature the Blue Crane, together with often difficult to identify species such as the Cape Clapper Lark, Large-billed Lark, Karoo Scrub-Robin and Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler. Be on the lookout for the Southern Black Korhaan and the hugely sought-after Black Harrier in remnant patches of renosterveld in the area. Expect to find species such as the Cape Bunting, Jackal Buzzard, Booted and Verreaux’s Eagles and Rock Kestrels in the more mountainous areas. Summer migrants present are the Common Buzzard and Yellow-billed Kite, together with a fine selection of swallows and swifts. To crown it all the Penhill Guest Farm could be used as an ideal base from which to explore the birding delights of the Langeberg and Breede River regions. The ever popular Karoo Desert Botanical Gardens at Worcester, the Vrolijkheid and Dassieshoek Nature Reserves, Kogmanskloof and Montagu are within relative close proximity, making the farm one of the top birding destinations in the region.