– version 3 – version 3

1st of May, Workers Day 2020

Never had a public holiday such a strange ring to it. It will forever be remembered for a long weekend that had us all locked-up in our own four walls, instead of heading for a much-needed weekend in the hills, or home as John Muir calls it:

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”

Let’s hope it will not be for much longer, that the powers that be will realise, that socialising and quality time out in nature, supported by healthy diets and a lack of digital connectivity are indeed what the doctors should have ordered long time ago.

Now when the real Freedom Day finally arrives, we like to send you off into the right direction with our (re-)treat:

Simonskloof Mountain Retreat has been around since 1999. At 21 years it’s now a “legal adult”, what better time to grow up and have some changes made?

An 18-hole golf course, a 4×4 trail, jacuzzis at each cottage, complementary Wi-Fi and room service 24/7…?!

Nope! We stay true to our original aims of “Down to Earth” back to basic, nature rules and adventure is meant to be our life. Our brand new has it all, neatly listed with the latest photos and still the same cool rates!


Gerlinde of Virtual Web Assist was our friendly partner in crime, putting our ideas into digital action, while Ninon and I scrubbed away at Faraway cottage, tiled its shower floor, repainted the interior, filled the cracks of Eric’s Kitchen, turned it’s stoep from “Spanish” yellow into a hip lavender and gave the garage a fresh smooth look… all while being under forced hibernation. Some good things do come from captivity… 😉

In support of J. Muir’s notion (and my personal sanity) we’ve done some exploring hikes, dogs and all, within 5km from the cottages and our home all on Simonskloof’s land. These “hikes” are perfect pre-breakfast sunrise scrambles to unnamed peaks all in the 1000m range, with views and approaches that will get your heart rate up and remind you again of matters most in life.

We are excited to welcoming you back to our little heaven… very soon!





8th Year – Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony

8th Year – Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony



8th Year – Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony


Twice a year Simonskloof Mountain Retreat is host of the Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony lead by Native North American – Tim Sikyea. In March & September we gather for up to 2 weeks of Sweat Lodge Ceremony to give thanks to Mother Earth, give gratitude for what she provides so unconditionally. It is a purification ceremony to heal ourselves and remember how fortunate and blessed we are.

You are invited to join in this Sacred Ceremony. You may choose as many sweats you like to take part in. Sweats are by donation – let your heart guide you.

For more info and latest dates, contact: or see below for the upcoming Sweat Lodge Ceremony in September 2019 – our 8th year here at Simonskloof:

Mitakuye Oya’cin” – “We are all related”

Eric’s Place is Special

Eric’s Place is Special

We freshly bake an Organic* Wholewheat Walnut, Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed Bread

for your first evening @ Eric’s Place

during the whole of July & August 2019 – So, Book NOW 😉 

* We use organic heirloom wheat from Lowerland only – freshly milled!

30 years Kloofing in the Nuy River Gorge

30 years Kloofing in the Nuy River Gorge

The year 1988

We were just two 18 year old Swiss youngsters in the midst of our apprenticeships: Stephan a Lumberjack and myself an Architectural technician. But the opportunity of adventures way down in South Africa was too great to turn down! So we booked a 8 hour train journey to Luxembourg and the cheapest flight with Luxair to Cape Town. Stephan forged himself a 1.5kg Dundee-style knife, in case we were to encounter angry Lions – Needless to say the flight attendants had a good chuckle when we boarded “sword and all”.

Equipped with a Survey General map of the area, food for only two days and PEP store blankets for “sleeping bags” we explored the NUY RIVER GORGE on route to my Granddad’s farm, Simonskloof here in the Koo Valley. The adventure took three days, hiking old jeep tracks, then endless river crossings, bivouacking on the sandbanks cooking like cowboys on a open fire, the pot coffee and baked beans were missing though. The following day the bushwhacking and boulder hopping continued only to grind us to a halt at a rather magical rock dam half way up the gorge. We camped a second night, running very low on food but filled with an air of epic-ness.

A real adventure

In the morning of day three, after another cold African night wrapped in a thin blanket, we gathered drift wood to make a raft for our backpacks – not knowing that they actually do float, if you wrap them in a rain cover or wet-pack its content… After a 80m swim through icy mountain water, we scrambled several more hours to finally reach the towering wall of Keerom dam. Form there it was a quick 5km hike on Jeep track to my Granddad’s house.

And then some…

After a week on the farm helping with repairing fences we hit the road to the East for a more civilised hike along the well established Fanie Botha hiking trail.

However the Nuy River Gorge was deeply ingrained in my young soul and so a life changing adventure was born!

Now it’s your turn:

On Instagram

On Instagram

We’re becoming (almost) instant now…

There was a time of Newsletters, then came Facebook and “now” it’s Instagram… kind off. Words disappear more and more, #’s grab their places, instant global connectivity rises with images becoming the all powerful messenger…

and so Simonskloof has joint the picture crazy community – check us out on: Instagram  <–  Click there!


Sacred Sweat Lodge  Ceremony in 7th Year

Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony in 7th Year

2018 is our 7th year of having the honour to host Tim Sikyea, native from North America sharing his tradition of holding a Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony.

If you would like to take part on any of the below dates – or in future ceremonies, please e-mail: