Mount Melsetter provides a superb venue to break away from the pressures of day to day living.
The Karoo House lies under the gaze of Mount Melsetter itself, which rises to just over 5000 feet, a landmark looming large over the surrounding Karoo. It sprawls in rolling lawns on the banks of the Great Brak River, surrounded by trees, gardens, a pool and gazebo, clay tennis court, grass volleyball court, and horse paddocks. In the midst of the dry, almost lifeless Karoo – this is an oasis of greenery which greets the weary traveller like a mirage, a dream of a gracious gone by era.
Typically colonial, the large gracious Karoo House is elegantly furnished, with five double bedrooms, five bathrooms – some en-suite – a fireside lounge, a DSTV equipped television lounge, the Saddlebum Pub, 14-seater dining room and comfortable porches.
The Karoo has a rich heritage – palaeontological, historical, technical, architectural, floral and faunal. Much of this heritage can be explored on and from Mount Melsetter. The eclectic library at Mount Melsetter is a rich resource for information on this heritage, and your hosts, Mike and Candy Ferrar are knowledgeable too.
Candy masterminds an excellent table, served from the Karoo House’s large well equipped kitchen, specializing in Game, Karoo lamb, local beef, organically grown fruit, vegetables and other local produce. Be prepared for recipes that leave you breathless, sumptuous roasts, crisp vegetables and inviting desserts.
During the spring and summer months, migrant White Throated and Greater Striped Swallows arrive to nest and launch their fledglings into the world from under the eaves of Mt Melsetter’s Karoo House. Up in the crags of Mt Melsetter itself, a pair of Verreauxs’ (Black) Eagle nest. The nest has been there for more than thirty years. A strenuous clamber in July rewards one with a view of a pure white eaglet in the nest, its sibling having been kicked out in the first few weeks, the ‘Cain and Abel’ process ensuring that only the strongest survive.
Melsetter MTB Tours offers one, two and three day tours, all starting and finishing at Mount Melsetter. Daily distances vary between 50-75km, on quiet public dirt roads and 16km of tar through the unique Karoo Countryside. Fully catered, and with vehicular back-up for the duration of the ride, overnight stops on the two and three day routes take in the magnificent Brulberg, high in the mountains, in the midst of extraordinary rock formations, with breathtaking views across an ancient landscape, as well as elegant Thorn Springs, a handsome, dressed sandstone Farmstead under the gaze of the Witkransnek, and Tafelberg. The cycling route passes through the evocatively named Oorlogspoort, Moordenaarspoort, Skelmkoppies, and Buffelspoort, passing en route farms named Grapevale, Elim, Knoffelsvlei, Askania Nova, Buffelsvlei, Springfield, Zuiferkuil, Lansdowne and Culmstock, all indicative of the rich and diverse cultural history of the region.
Mike and Candy Ferrar are relaxed and gracious hosts, who will go out of their way to ensure that your stay at Mount Melsetter is a memorable one.