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  • Lisa Martus


Tucked into the warm embrace of the scenic gravel road, the moss-covered wrought iron gates are wide open… welcoming you to Cheerio Gardens. Little pathways are a living mosaic of gold, red and orange autumn leaves leading you through an archway of trees dancing in the warm afternoon light. Make your way over the stream to a host of secluded places hidden away for you to discover.

Jordan Stevens, the Manager of Cheerio Gardens describes his move to ‘The Mountain’ as a calling.  He was drawn to the tight knit community as well as the clean air, lush green mountain landscapes where his deep connection with nature found a home in this beautiful space famed for the hectares of gardens created by Sheila (Box) Thompson in 1946.  Although Cheerio Gardens is best known for the blaze of blossoms in Spring, Jordan says that Autumn is arguably the best time of the year and professional photographers love the rich but muted hues of the Japanese Maples and Chestnut trees, the meandering pathways and reflections in the trout dam.  

Cheerio Gardens is home to the AfriCamps Magoebaskloof Tented accommodation which is a popular option in South Africa for the high-quality tents kitted out with two bedrooms sharing an en-suite bathroom, a fully-equipped kitchen with a gas hob and microwave as well as a comfy lounge area with a fireplace, leading out to the large outdoor deck with great views from the braai or wood-fired hot tub.  Glamping is a fast-growing trend in Europe and international guests love the concept of luxurious camping in Safari tents set in glorious nature areas and tourist hotspots throughout the country.

Magoebaskloof has plenty to offer visitors especially on the mild and marvelous autumn days.  At Cheerio Gardens, the various walks are a must for all ages and the kids will love tubing in the small farm dam in front of the Cheerio Café as well as feeding the fish.  Fly-fishing enthusiasts with their own equipment can catch and release the large rainbow trout in the scenic, tranquil dam.  The E-bikes for hire are also a popular way for guests and day visitors to explore some of the highlights of the area up close and personal.  A cheese tour at Wegraakbosch Organic Dairy, the Otterholt walking meander, Thomac Essential Oils and Zwakala Craft Brewery are a short distance away and offer a great sense of the local lifestyle.  For those who want a longer, more technical ride and a bit of a workout, the Yellow Mountain Bike route gives skilled cyclists a varied and challenging experience in a scenic environment.

Jordan offers a variety of options to guests wanting to explore further afield.  A short drive takes visitors to the Long Tom sunset and picnic spot looking out over the Wolkberg mountains and further afield are Magoebaskloof Adventures and Canopy Tour; Kuhestan Organic Farm; Woodbush forest and the Tallest Planted Tree; fishing at the Ebenezer dam; horse riding, birding, hiking and pot-making lessons as well as a visit to the lovely Debengeni waterfalls. Apart from Cheerio Café with its gorgeous, peaceful setting next to the dam surrounded by gardens, their home-made pizzas and Cheerio’s renowned pecan-nut pie, there are many restaurants to choose from in the area to get a taste for the local flavours.  The magic of Magoebaskloof and Cheerio Gardens leaves a lasting impression on you even as it whispers its secrets to the autumn leaves.

WhatsApp Cheerio Gardens on 071 771 5152  or email

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