One of the bonuses of visiting Eagle Falls Country Lodge was the road we took to get there. The scenic and engaging dirt track from Dysseldorp (off the N12 between Oudtshoorn and De Rust) is one I’ve done many times on my adventure motorbike, but I wanted to show my better half, Annette, this cross-section of pristine mountainous countryside.
Yet, if long rambles on dirt tracks are not your thing, or suitable for your rig, don’t despair, there is a much shorter and less bumpy way to get there off the N9, about 45km west of Uniondale. But however you get there, I urge you to give this well-cared for and well thought out resort a try. It’s that special.
Of course, we were fortunate enough to have the whole place to ourselves. It was a relaxing way to ease into our 10-day camping and 4×4 foray into the southern and central parts of the Eastern Cape. And, stopping over here allowed us to cover more than half the distance we needed to make up the next day to get to Patensie.
After Annette disentangled herself from a pair of gorgeous terrier puppies tying knots in her legs, we met the affable resort manager, Wayne, who was conjuring up a delicious smelling potjie over an open fire outside the restaurant. Having booked us in and given us a quick run through the resort’s many facilities and attractions, Wayne suggested we take a walk down to the falls after which the establishment is named.
It’s only a 100 metres or so to the top of the falls from reception, a natural spectacle so splendid one would expect to have to hike half a day to see it. Sitting on a rock right next to the torrent of sparkling clean water rushing over the top, we became mesmerised by the falling shards of water, which shattered into large drops and mist on the rocks far below; and then hurriedly joined the placid see-through pool, their brief torment seemingly forgotten.
We had the braai fire going just as the sun started to dip behind the gnarly mountains on the far side of the narrow valley. The reed patches in front of us were alive with birdsong, the birds playing like exuberant kids who knew they’d have to go to sleep before long; desperately trying to fight back the darkness with their antics. For our part, we were content to toast the start of our 10-day sojourn with some remarkable bubbly we’d bought at Bo-Plaas (Pinot Noir Brut) in Calitzdorp and feast on boerewors and baked beans out the can.
Having a shower the next morning in the rustic-styled, yet sparkling clean, ablution block, I assumed that the tiled benches in one of two shower stalls were for the infirm or disabled, but reposing on it myself I realised what a relaxing way it was to draw out the shower experience and exorcise Bacchus’s cobwebs from my head. Refreshed, I took a stroll around the campsite, taking in the five tiers of sites to the south and then decided to see what was on top of the big embankment that loomed behind the campsite. I’d envisaged a large dam, but discovered instead a huge field upon which grass had recently been sown.
I didn’t have long to solve the mystery of what the resort intended to do with this large piece of ground, as waiting back at the bakkie was resort owner, Mechael Le Roux; the man who over many years has lovingly crafted this nature-based facility into the top-notch resort it is today.
“We’re creating a sports field there for the many youngsters who attend our leadership and adventure camps every year,” he replied to my query.
Accredited by the Adventure Recreation Association, holiday camps are among the many activities and facilities available here. Some others are: horse riding, hiking, 4×4 routes (among which is apparently a Grade 5, which very few folks have completed), an air rifle shooting range, mountain bike routes and a foefie slide from the rock ledge into the pool.
Unfortunately, we had little more time to dally there and needed to be content with enjoying breakfast while looking longingly up the kloof we wished we’d had time to hike. Rubbing this hankering in were a family of exuberant hikers who hove into view on the other side of the valley, just as we were lamenting this fact.
But further up the valley, circling the mountaintops, were what we thought was a pair of Black Eagles; a serendipitous sighting which my binoculars quickly confirmed.
What more can you ask for from a 16-hour overnight stay?
Number of stands: 30
Electrified stands: Yes
Tap at each stand (safe to drink?): Shared and safe to drink
Number of toilets/showers: Men’s – 5 showers, 3 loos, 1 urinal, and 3 hand basins; Women’s – 5 showers; 3 loos and 3 hand basins
Washing-up and/or laundry facilities: Outside wash trough and communal kitchen
Lapa: Large communal facility with indoor braais for use in inclement weather
Pets allowed: Yes
Credit Card Facility: Yes
Swimming Pool: No, but there are natural rock pools to swim in
Games Room: Not currently
Shop: Yes, but limited goods; only basics like firewood, ice, cool drinks, snacks and sweets
Braai Facilities: Yes
Wood supplied: No
Communal Ablutions: Yes
Chemical Toilet Disposal: No
Comprehensive First Aid: Yes
Gas Refills: No, but emergency gas bottles available for hire
Caravan/Tent Hire: Tent hire, yes
Wheelchair Access: No
Security: No organised patrol, but we felt very safe
To make a reservation, fill out the contact form below.