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Be in the moment

Sit by the fire

Watch the stars

Drink the water

Play a board game

Take a nap on the swing

Walk up onto the mountain

Take pictures

Swim in the dam

Have something cold or hot

Eat what you have braaied

Breathe fresh and clean air

Listen to bird song

Ride your bicycle

Take an invigorating open air and hot shower




Every farm in the kloof has its own unique gifts. Ask about it so that you can discover, explore and wander….

You can hike to the top of the mountain called Orrelpype, a conglomerate rock formation, which gives a breathtaking view over all the mountains, literally as far as the eye can see. To climb ontop of the mountain see as far as they eye can see down the kloof, is breathtaking and very special gift for those who do the climb. A must when you visit our farm


But for the best views and relatively easy walk, the beginning of the Crocodile’s back, is the gift of gifts. Here you will be able to see one of the old Willowmore cedar trees (Widdringtonia Schwarzii) and stil get to scamble the Crocdile’s back if yo have the nerve


Ou Beeste-Paadjie is an energetic assault on an old trail, used many years ago to herd cattle to the top of the mountain for grazing. Tough and steep, for those willing to endure more to reach the top of the farm’s majestic mountain. If you follow the trial across the top of the mountain it connect you to the Orrelpype


Birds in their natural habitat

Take time to see, watch and listen – day and night

Water birds and terrapins are found at the crystal clear natural spring dam called Fontein-Dam, which we have just enlarged so as to hand-irrigate the newly worked fields beneath it

The second dam called Jeremiah, will also become a natural habitat. In time the dried tree stumps we have gathered will be burned to form a sealing ash layer to keep its water -

water we trust will come from the newly drilled boreholes and God’s mercy-rain when the drought is broken

A pair of black eagles (witkruis arende) are resident in these majestic mountains

Territorial birds also frequent the Cement dam, the same one people can cool off in in summer


Wild life
Several pairs of klipspringer are resident on different mountain cliffs surrounding the basin

Dark speci-Kudus roam freely through the entire kloof

For the first time in 20 years they can be seen late afternoon and walking freely at night on the fields and salt lick next to our spring dam

Wild horses still reside on top of the mountain

Leopard tortoises naturally occur here and hibernate during the colder months

Reedbuck can be seen from time to time 

Soon enough we would like to introduce wild buck to roam on the farm

Cooling off in summer
A real cement dam filled with cool clear water… it is just like the magazine pictures!  

Koi San Paintings
A rare find to be appreciated as part of our ancient heritage – a guided tour can be arranged

Seasonal waterfalls and rivers
When it rains a lot, the cascading waterfalls and rivers are an awe-striking sight to behold

Sometimes during serious flooding one can be rained in for a couple of days…

We are praying for the 8 day rain to break the increasing drought right now

Info center on Rietrivier

Meet the real kloof legends – Oom Boeite and Tannie Henriette! Here you can buy home made pastries, boerewors, jams, preserves, kudu steaks…

All can be bought at the Info center at the Makkedaat Caves, 7km from us

Mountain Biking and Motor bikes
What can we say, the entire kloof is a biker’s dream


Mark’s life in the city groomed his gift of a green heart. He simply loves to propagate indigenous flora wherever he is on this planet. He collects seeds and every pocket has some life capsule in it. Everywhere he goes, seeds draw him, no, they call out to him! And so it is on Speekhout Farm.

As we walk the land, Mark scouts for seeds in season. He has a special affinity for propagating indigenous cedar trees, the giants that once graced the entire kloof. The Baviaanskloof saw its last large tree cut down and hauled out of here recorded in 1890…. the forests disappeared by man’s hand and regretfully has not returned. We, of course, will never see the cedars grow to that size again, but that’s what Mark does. And in spite of the ongoing drought we attempt to plant trees and establish small new islands of forests around our homes and guest accommodation getaways. Whatever indigenous trees grows here, when it bears seed, Mark takes those precious life-capsules, keeps them safe until they can be buried in the soil. Then he waits and watches for that tiny little green spike to break through the soil – it has made it!! On a good day the tender shoot gets transplanted to a bigger bag, and on yet another good day, is the day that one or two of them finds a spot in the ground somewhere on this precious piece of earth.

Mark gifts people with saplings. He gives of his own heart when he gives away a little green thing in a black bag.

He receives and shares of our own with other like-minded-like-hearted-people. The first trees he planted on this ravaged left-behind farm, were samplings we brought with us from our humble 500 square meter property in Orange Grove Jhb. As always Mark bagged the seedlings on the property, not knowing that on a day we would load the little black soil filled bags with their precious little leaves barely peeping over, among the boxes and furniture. As we arrived on the farm, Mark started planting and really hasn’t stopped since. Mark loves trees. He is happy when he plants trees. On the farm planting trees around the house for shade and heat-protection, provides coolness during the extremely hot summer months. The trees also provide for the bird life, forming a sheltered hedge for the bush garden. Just like an oasis, water is life to plants and we are green for a desert!

As of October 2021 we will be inviting guests to partake in a tree-planting drive in exchange for discounted accommodation rates! There are certain trees that grow in our soil and climate, thus guiding us in what to plant and what to steer clear of. We produce as much as we can here, and with a little help from outside, we can plant more trees and share in our positive climate change efforts in a small way. We do what we can while we can.

Plants to sustain life
We are really small farmers, and that is on the side, even though the sides are huge! It takes more than what you think, to produce anything to an edible state. This kloof has an abundance of stones, rocks, gravel, and weeds not a place where a gum pole grows in the ground. Mark has planted a variety of edibles for humans and animals, discovering where the soil is poor in patches, and where we can irrigate with glee. Compost is one of the keys, mulching is another, netting is also one, o yes and water is a big one of course. Sourcing seed has become a roller coaster in our part of the world’s new normal, we buy a couple of kg’s at a time, no more garden packets.

Sustainably thus far, the best crops we have managed to grow under our harsh circumstances, are pomegranates, the capsicum family, and the ground rooting vegetables like onions, carrots, beetroot, garlic, radishes and variety of grasses. Also loved by mouse-birds, rocket, sweet basil and spinach, pumpkins, tomatoes and granadilla, zucchini and brinjal. Endeavoring to just grow feed for our pigs, has helped to enriched the soil in the various camps that used to be farmed about 25 years ago. Building up soil, nourishing it and preparing it to bear, is done under the good hands of a couple of local brown people. Moving to the farm has taught us really how to use the produce of the land seasonally. It takes an entire mind-shift to try and live sustainably, saying that, we will always have to buy mushrooms!

We love to offer our guests fresh, GMO-free of whatever is available at the time:-) Every now and again, we manage to harvest and bottle the abundance of one crop, learning as we go and receiving most valuable insets from other open-hand-and-hearted farmers along the way. It is really amazing to gift someone with a homemade bottle of something special!

Make something with your hands
In a town or city, to be inside an art studio or a creative space, is a huge privilege where one can spend time and focus within the comforts of a controlled environment.

Out here things are quite different. Life is very much outside, that’s just how it is on a farm. Here, the gift of freedom is to be out in nature….. You can see the mountains, the depths of the landscape, you can hear the wind in the trees and bushes. You can be on top of a mountain or walking between cultivated lands, sit by the fountain dam, and also enjoy the comforts of our simplistic farm stays …. Listen to the precious water in the sprayers, the animal and bird calls, then the costly silence ….and take deep breaths of every single thing you can smell!

So out we go….. What is out here? All the elements you need to make something with your hands. It comes in different shapes, sizes, textures, colors, lines, contrast and forms.

Make something small or large, use what nature has provided for you. Or what was left here in the ground by others that lived here before us. Once you feel the gift of nature with your heart, you are able to make something with your soul. A gift to Creator God to say thank you for being here. Take a few photo’s and if you can, let it go ….

We belong to a special tribe of people across language, culture and nationalities. We are of a kind of people who give others our time, attention, help and care. We like to share our gifts and privileges, our blessings and our hard work. Before Mark and I moved to the farm, we worked just enough so that we could travel to go and help others hands-on. We took on a value that says “go with your money”, in other words, go and see for yourself where you are sowing. In that we had the huge privilege of serving missionaries on the front lines, while living a small and simplistic life. We stayed in a very comfortable lock-up-and-go-property in the heart of Jhb, where we received many travelers. We had fantastic black staff with uncomplicated relationships, who were honest, hardworking and trustworthy. We had the privilege to join friends and groups along the way, helping with initiatives, got stuck into projects, transported people, joined the for-ever cooking teams, used long drops in townships, and stayed in unfriendly places in tents. Rain, hail, heat and dust. What we did, took us just about everywhere locally and internationally and introduced us to the most marvelous people on the planet. We met people like you and me, warts and all, needing a helping hand, and willing to offer a helping hand. We were received with much appreciation and our life energy was willingly spent, for a good cause, without payment.

To be part of a volunteering endeavor, is a special honor for a human. Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are for free, but because they are priceless. In turn, the hosts who receive the volunteers, were hopeful to find like-minded hearts and minds, doing good and sowing into good soil. To have hope for the people of the Maker Creator, is to endeavor, it is to think bigger than self. It is to reach for a Kingdom action that is far deeper and further reaching than our own ideas. So, on Speekhout Farm we continue to receive the people He sends us! Here we are able to receive more that what we could in Jhb. The possibilities have also changed since groups are now able to stay well and get involved in a diverse amount of activities. The best still is to join hearts and raise hands to declare:

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.




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