Graceland Eco Retreat

Graceland Eco Retreat

I love giraffes. That is why I am out on a hiking trail at 5.30 on a lovely sultry summer morning. My husband Fred carries the water bottle and I am armed with my camera. The trail gently winds its way down into the Kudu River Valley. The scenes unfolding around us as we walk is breath-taking and we marvel at the changes in the vegetation as we descend into the valley. It is pure and unspoiled bushveld. There is an orchestra of birdsong following us and in the distance a jackal is calling. It is easy to surrender to the calm and serenity of this place and we take our time. The valley reveals itself to us like a canvas. As the morning light changes the different greens of the trees become more prominent and we take joy in the fact that there are still places that are unexplored and untouched by human waste. True to our nature we stray from the marked trail and climb a koppie to “see what is on the other side”. What we found was indescribable. 360 degree views over the valley to Mooketsi and beyond. We stumbled across the lookout point. What a find! We found the giraffes, 100 meters from our chalet, on the way back, but the walk was worth every step. The breakfast waiting for us back at Serapana was delicious and hearty. We felt very spoilt by Anders.
The Kudu River Valley is pure bushveld. It is hard to believe that this area is just 30km north of the misty mountains of Magoebaskloof. Largely unspoilt and unexplored this pristine area is home to Graceland Eco Retreat. Just over three years ago Anders Ragnarsson and Douglas Walker were talking about finding a place to retire. Anders wanted the sea and views and Douglas wanted bushveld and giraffes. They both got what they wanted, although not the sea, Anders got the best views he could wish for. There were giraffe on the property and they are thriving. In keeping with the Graceland theme the giraffes are called Priscilla, Elvis, Lisa Marie, Memphis (born last year) and Tennessee (born this year). They are lovingly referred to as the “Presley family”.
It takes a special kind of person to create a place so unique and luxurious without taking anything away from the natural environment. You will not find Eskom power, or noisy generators (we do have a generator, but only to pump water from time to time) on their farm. They did it all themselves, always keeping in mind the needs and desires of their visitors. When you come to the bushveld, you want to experience it in all its splendour without giving up on your creature comforts. There are no TV's. You don't need it. There is however good Wi-Fi with limited cell phone reception.
Accommodation is elegant with understated country chic. The Graceland Main House is well placed with terraces affording you views in all directions with a swimming pool and can sleep 4 people. The main bedroom has wide windows on two sides giving you unspoiled vistas of the bushveld. Adjoining this is Kudu Chalet, luxurious and inviting, private yet close enough to enjoy the communal outdoor area.
The new addition is Serapana, closer to the main gate with commanding views of the valley and Schnellskop mountain. Built entirely off the grid by Anders, Douglas and their team the clean lines and rocky gardens blend in gracefully with the surrounding bush. A short walking trail takes you to the dam where you can spot birds and if you are lucky, the giraffes, impala and kudu. They can host 6 people in 2 self-catering units with a communal outdoor braai and kuier area. But, if you really want to spoil yourself, let Anders cater for you. He has no problem sharing his love and passion for good food, good company and good wine with you.
Graceland Eco Retreat offers self-catering and full board accommodation, for a much needed getaway whether with good friends, as a couple or with family. It is also ideal for that special occasion to celebrate or a small company get together.

www.gracelandeco.co.za | info@gracelandeco.co.za