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TANAGRA WINE AND GUEST FARM, McGREGOR

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Tanagra is an idyllic working wine and guest farm, bordering the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve in close proximity to McGregor. It is surrounded by indigenous fynbos, vineyards and a mystical range of mountains. We offer six self-catering cottages, including one eco-cottage. Some are close to the old homestead, canopied by a giant wild fig tree and close the farm dam, while others are tucked away in pristine Karoo veld. All are tastefully decorated far beyond the usual rustic farmstyle accommodation and comfortable in both winter and summer. Cottages feature open fireplaces and heaters and a pool in the garden, with the remote cottages featuring private plunge pools. The entire farm (78 ha) is made accessible by three hiking trails, with direct walking accessability into the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve. One of the trails includes the Tanagra Plant Trail with close to 40 species of indigenous Succulent Karoo flora identified with full-colour signage explaining their role in the local ecosystem.

The Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve, managed by CapeNature and ably supported by the Friends of Vrolijkheid association, is for the birding connoisseur, giving access to many unique and endemic birds of the Cape Floral Kingdom and Succulent Karoo. It further features a diversity of waterbirds and raptors. Several trails are available, but the Heron Trail stands out as it takes visitors to no less than three bird hides. An added bonus is that Braille information placards have been erected, interpreting many interesting natural features. For the more casual birder and those bound to wheelchairs there is an entrance gate that allows great birding at two of the hides. Special birds seen during a recent visit to the area include Denham’s Bustard, African Fish-Eagle, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Black Harrier, Southern Black Korhaan, Karoo Lark, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Southern Tchagra and Ground Woodpecker.

For the serious birding visitor this area deserves more than just a single day's visit. Tanagra can be used as an ideal base to explore the quaint village of McGregor, the sewage works at Robertson, the 'Leiwater Dam' at Montagu and any of the other outstanding wine estates in the region. The Steenbokvlakte gravel road to Bonnievale also regularly produces a remarkable diversity of bird species. More active bird-watchers may explore trails of varying length in and around McGregor. Information on these trails can be obtained from the local tourism office. Tanagra serves as an ideal base to explore the birding delights on the Langeberg region.