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Experience 1880 - where time stands still. Discover the magic of 1880 in this unique stone house situated in the midst of the Natal mountain ranges. The absence of electricity will take you back in time and create a wonderful and romantic ambience. Get away from the city and come relax at Experience 1880.
The large farmhouse sleeps 10 and has a beautiful wraparound veranda where you can enjoy your morning coffee while taking in the breathtaking views.
The Farmhouse was the old hotel. Every room has its own fireplace to keep you warm in the cold winter nights. The living room and kitchen have doors leading to the lovely large veranda. You will find benches placed under luscious trees all around the farm to allow you to sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The Farmhouse contains five bedrooms. Every room has its own toilet and sink bath as well as a wash basin. All the rooms can sleep two people and the family room also has an extra baby cot.
The lounge has comfortable couches placed in front of the large fireplace. This is the perfect place to relax in the heat of a long summer day or to warm up on a long wintery evening.
The kitchen and dining room are situated next to one another. There is a wood fired stove if you want the real 1880 experience. There is also a gas stove and gas fridge for your convenience. The hot water boiler known as the "donkie" is also situated in the kitchen.
The veranda has breathtaking views of the mountains. There is ample deck furniture and an built-in braai for an unforgettable outdoor experience.
The cottage is located next to the main house and has a nice sunny veranda. The three loft bedrooms can comfortably sleep 6.
The cottage was the old Post Office. There are three cosy loft bedrooms, each with its own bathroom located downstairs.
Activities available at Experience 1880 includes horse riding, hiking, birdwatching and stargazing. For the less adventurous there is a small library where you can pick from a vast range of books to read.
Take a 15km ride on horseback to see the highest wetland in Africa located in the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve bordering on the farm. Rides can be adapted to experience levels of riders and pony rides are also offered for the kids.
Enjoy the solitude of a private hike or join us for a guided hike to the caves to view bushman paintings.
Experience 1880 borders on the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve which is known for its diverse bird population. Some species often migrate to the solitude of the farm.Yellow Breasted Pipits, Cape and Bearded Vultures, Black and Montague's Harriers, African Marsh and even the rare Western Marsh Harriers and other large species like breeding Wattled Cranes, can be seen around the farm.
Rock art viewing
There are beautiful bushman paintings in a cave situated on the farm. Take a scenic hike to the caves and admire the ancient art of the indigenous people.
Far from any major cities, the stars are really spectacular and a must see. Enjoy stargazing from a telescope on the deck or just gaze up at the galaxy and admire the crystal clear milky way.
Activities are booked on request. Please contact us for further details and pricing.
There is a rich history behind Experience 1880 filled with storries of adventure and mischief. Read up on the interesting history at your leisure or join us for story telling around the campfire.
The farm which Experience 1880 is situated on was originally named Killrush. The name originates from the sentries that were placed nearby on the three peaks surrounding the area. The first owner of Killrush was Donald Strachen. He played a key role in the negotiations with the indigenous people. One of the great characters who arrived in the area was Frederick Johnson Hayward or "Bull" as he was known because of his size. He arrived in South Africa in 1889 and bought mischief as far as he went. Hayward regularly organised parties at farm Killrush and later on built a house on the farm. During the war in 1898 the Cape Mounted Rifles (consisting mostly of Scotsmen) were stationed on Killrush. They built four barracks. Today the farm seems to be quite remote, but a hundred years ago this area of Swartberg was well populated and people often passed through the farm to make the Natal Weekly deliveries by ox-wagon. Hayward made sure that Killrush was a place of activity and entertainment. He built a tennis court and swimming pool in the garden and started a public library known as the Killrush Public Library. In addition to that he ran an illicit still, keeping someone on guard to give warning in advance of the authorities arriving. Every historical hotel in South Africa has at least one really funny legend that is told around the fire after dinner - and Experience 1880 is no exception. Ask around about Hayward and the sneezewood!
Mooifontein Experience 1880, Swartberg, Franklin, South Africa