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GYS SE HUIS on ROCKLANDS FARM, KOUE BOKKEVELD

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Situated in the Koue Bokkeveld, high above the Ceres Valley, Gys se Huis is approximately 2 hours’ drive from Cape Town. This historic building, situated in the heart of a working farm, surrounded by old oak trees and lush lawns, is both spacious and comfortable. As a beautifully decorated self-catering guesthouse, with a modern country feel, it comes fully furnished. Boasting ample sleeping capacity, there are 5 bedrooms (sleeps 10 - 2 king beds, 1 double bed, 4 single beds), 3 bathrooms (all with bath & shower), a spacious living room with fireplace, snooker room with a full size pooltable, library room, special kiddies relaxation area, outdoor braai area and a fully equipped kitchen. Luxurious accommodation and fantastic country hospitality will make your stay one to remember!

The garden is a birder's delight and most of the garden birds to be expected in the region were recorded here during a recent visit during summer – a total of 62 species were recorded in the garden as such.

The farm offers a dam high up in the mountain and the road leading there is dominated by mature mountain fynbos. Birding here is simply superb with species such as the CAPE GRASSBIRD, PROTEA SEEDEATER, CAPE SUGARBIRD and ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD being recorded regularly. The dense vegetation often support the CAPE SISKIN and VICTORIN'S WARBLER and rocky outcrops showcase specials such as CAPE ROCK-JUMPER, CAPE and SENTINEL ROCK-THRUSHES and GROUND WOODPECKER. Overhead it is not uncommon to find JACKAL BUZZARD, BOOTED EAGLE, VERREAUX'S EAGLE and ROCK KESTREL drifting through the skies.

A stream runs through the lower sections of the farm where AFRICAN BLACK and YELLOW-BILLED DUCKS, BLACK CRAKE, BROWN-THROATED MARTIN and COMMON MOORHEN were all breeding. Ensure however that the ROCKLANDS DAM is investigated as profuse numbers of the more common waterbirds are frequently present. (S33° 05'50.13” E19° 20'34.80”). GREATER FLAMINGOS occur seasonally. Special species to look out for at this location include the MACCOA, WHITE-BACKED and WHITE-FACED DUCKS and BLACK STORK. WHISKERED TERNS occasionally breed here in summer.

Gys se Huis serves as a convenient base from which to travel circular routes, which allow access to the gorgeous mountain passes where birds associated with fynbos and Karoo habitats may be found. Consider investigating the Droëhoek Road, the Bo-Swaarmoed farming area, Swaarmoed Pass and return via Ceres and the Gydo Pass. The second circle route is substantially longer and highlights the plentiful birding opportunities through the Swartruggens Plateau and the Ceres Karoo, as well as the Tankwa-Karoo National Park. Visit this link for detailed descriptions of birding opportunities in the Witzenberg region:

http://www.westerncapebirding.co.za/winelands/routes.php