Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Rockhaven Farm

ROCKHAVEN FARM is situated in the Groot Winterhoek Mountains above Porterville, in the Western Cape of South Africa. 

Rockhaven Farm is 120 hectares in extent and is owned by Grant Sieff and Andrew Brown. The farm lies at approximately 720 m above sea level in a dam  mistmountainous conservation area known as the Groot Winterhoek Conservancy : approximately 14 farms together with the Cape Nature Conservation Wilderness Area form this conservancy.  The purpose of the conservancy is both to assist everyone living and working on the mountain (for example, by co-ordinating fire fighting and road maintenance), and also to ensure that the beauty and natural biodiversity that the mountain offers is maintained

The geographical conservancy area forms a vital catchment area for the Oliphants River and it is essential that the purity of run-off and ground water is not detrimentally affected by the farming activities on the mountain.  We have strong underground water which is used to fill the dam and this water is then used for irrigation.  We are also blessed with an extraordinary array of fynbos species and with extensive wildlife (including leopard).  The conservancy ensures that this biodiversity is not threatened, and that the problem of alien invasive species (for example, Australian Wattle, and foreign fish species) is tackled in a coherent manner.  We are in the process of introducing the indigenous Clanwilliam Yellowfish into the dam, with the assistance of the conservancy.

The farm is home to a wide range of mammals (including leopard, rooikat, Cape Fox, honey badger and a variety of buck and hares), birds (including black eagles, cape eagle owls, kingfishers and nightjars) and reptiles (including chameleons, tortoises and a variety of snakes, including Horned Adder, Cape Cobra, Spitting Cobra and Boomslang). The fynbos is unspoilt and the remaining alien trees (mainly Australian Wattle and Pine) are being removed. There are beautiful walks across the farm andratel river the adjoining mountains, and there is excellent swimming in the Ratel River and the farm’s dam.  Please note that we don't allow 4 x 4ing, motorbikes or quadbikes.

The farm was originally a fruit farm, starting with apricots and pears, and then concentrating on apples (Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji). The fruit was farmed conventionally until the farm was purchased by the current owners in 2005. Since then the farm has only been farmed organically : apart from the apricots, the fruit trees on the farm have not been cultivated further.  The farm now concentrates on organic essential oils and olives.

Rockhaven Farm has self-catering accomodation in the form of two cottages, one sleeping 6 and the other sleeping 4.  Please visit Rockhaven Guest Farm for more information in this regard.

For those with GPS or Google Earth capability, the GPS co-ordinates of the guest cottages are:  32 55 38 73 S and 19 03 53 24 E.

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