We’re officially at the halfway mark of 2017, which is usually when I start to think back to January and to all the hopes and plans I had in mind for the new year. One of my biggest resolutions for this year was to travel more, and to explore our beautiful country as much as possible.
Given that we’ve been on a super-tight budget so far this year, I’m surprised that we managed to go away at all… but so far, we’ve been away twice within the last six months and we’ve discovered a couple of gems along the way. One of these incredible spots, Enjo Nature Farm, has fast become my favourite home-away-from-home for a relaxed weekend getaway (and Beanie refers to Enjo as ‘our other house‘, so it gets his seal of approval too).
I first stumbled upon Enjo while browsing AccommoDirect, looking for a self-catering spot that’s a relatively short drive from Somerset West and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Since discovering AccommoDirect earlier this year, I’ve spent hours browsing the site, looking for reasonably-priced accommodation options and planning our next weekend adventure (I’m currently dreaming of a little winter getaway to Hogsback in the Eastern Cape – how gorgeous does Maple Grove look?)
Enjo was one of the first 10 spots that popped up onto my screen when I typed ‘Clanwilliam‘ into the search bar on AccommoDirect’s website, and I was thrilled to find that they had availability for our chosen dates. Better yet? They were well within our budget (we booked the Enjo Chalet – which sleeps four people – for R590 per night, but they have cheaper options available too), and they’re both child and pet-friendly. And if the photographs on AccommoDirect are anything to go by, I knew that we were in for one of the best, most relaxed weekends we’ve had in a long, long time.
Both The Husband and I decided to take a couple of days off to make the most of our time at Enjo – somehow I just knew that two nights wouldn’t be enough, so we booked for four. We packed the car, filled up with petrol, stocked up on some padkos, and set off to the Biedouw Valley (about 40kms past Clanwilliam) early one Thursday morning, and we arrived at Enjo at around lunchtime after about five and a half hours of driving (although we did take our time – we stopped to take photographs several times along the way, and we made numerous bathroom stops).
The minute we arrived on the farm I could feel the stresses of daily living start to slip away, and I couldn’t wait to start exploring the farm. There’s no cell reception on the farm, which was absolute bliss. I was forced to unplug for a solid five days, and it did my frazzled brain the world of good.
I packed lots of magazines and a couple of good books, and we made sure that Beanie had plenty of colouring books and his Lego to keep him busy, though we needn’t have worried. There’s so much exploring to be done on the farm that we barely had time to read, and Beanie didn’t complain of boredom once.
After we settled into our chalet and changed into our swimming gear, we went in search of Enjo’s spring-fed dam and that’s where we stayed for the rest of the day. We went during the hot summer months, so we spent a lot of time cooling down in the dam – I also love that they have a smaller, slightly warmer pool that’s ideal for kids, so Beanie could have a little dip in his own pool. The view from the deck at the dam is incredible, and it’s the perfect spot for sundowners. I could easily spend all day chilling beside the dam if left to my own devices!
After enjoying the sunset from the deck, we headed back to our chalet and Beanie warmed up in the outdoor bathtub while The Husband lit a fire for a braai. Despite the fact that we’d only arrived mere hours before, I already felt as though I’d been on holiday for a good couple of days – it’s been a long, long time since I’ve felt that relaxed.
Beanie fell asleep soon after dinner, so we popped him in a makeshift bed next to ours (the Enjo Chalet has one double bed, plus two single beds up in a loft area. Beanie wasn’t keen on sleeping in the loft all on his own, so we brought one of the mattresses down and made a little bed for him on the floor next to our bed). The Husband and I spent the rest of the night drinking wine, looking at the stars, and catching up for the first time in a long time.
The next morning, we were woken by the gentle klip-klopping of hooves on the patio outside the front door – as it turns out, Enjo has a couple of friendly horses, Thunder and Paloma, that roam freely and often invite themselves into the chalets. Yep, you read that right – they literally walked right up to our front door and tried their best to come inside (no doubt to have a little squiz at the selection of fresh veggies we brought along!)
Their visits were a (very welcome) daily occurrence; every morning, Beanie would wake up and excitedly check outside to see whether Paloma and Thunder were around. Once, we spotted them grazing near the river a few metres from our chalet, so we started walking towards them – but not before they spotted us and came galloping towards us. Gorgeous Paloma and Thunder were a definite highlight for me – I loved getting so up, close, and personal with these beautiful beings (and our pooch, Savannah, loved them just as much – if not more! We spent half our time on the farm calling for Savannah, as she kept trotting away to find the horses).
There is just so much I could write about Enjo, but no words could pay this beautiful piece of paradise justice. It’s one of those rare places that you need to experience for yourself at least once in your lifetime, and I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll fall head over heels for it and continue to go there over and over again for years to come. I know that I’m already dreaming of my next stay… in fact, I’ve been plotting our return since the minute we left!
A very big thank you to AccommoDirect for sponsoring this blog post. I have absolutely loved working with AccommoDirect – the site has made life so much easier when it comes to finding and booking accommodation that ticks all the boxes, and suits our budget to boot. I literally typed in our destination of choice, along with the dates we wanted to go away, then specified my budget and any other extras (for this getaway, we were looking for something that was both pet-friendly and suitable for kids), and voila! We found Enjo Nature Farm… and for that, I will be eternally grateful!
(Please note that although this post was paid for, our stay at Enjo Nature Farm was not. We paid for our getaway in full, and I would do so over and over again. As always, the views shared in this blog post are entirely my own).