There is an age-old saying that “dynamite comes in small packages” and that rings true…
Old Mill Drift Guest Farm is situated three and a half hours away from Johannesburg – between the towns of Clarens and Fouriesberg. With five chalets, four family lodges and large grounds suitable for camping and caravanning, not only is the self-catering, pet-friendly lodge perfect for a family get away (including the four-legged fur children), but it is also adequately equipped for hosting functions – from weddings and retreats to mountain bike races and 4X4 excursions.
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In our launch issue we profiled dog friendly accommodation options – and when we found out that Old Mill Drift Guest Farm was also a little-known Warmblood stud farm, we did the only thing that any dog-loving equestrian would do – we jumped in the car (dogs in tow) and headed to Clarens for the weekend. The 666-hectare farm is on the border of Lesotho, with a mere sand road separating the farm from the rolling Maluti mountains and the Basotho community who ride past and cheerfully greet you, their ponies and donkeys laden with maize and wood.
Owner, Yvonne McCarthy, bought the farm (previously the largest trading post and working mill during the Boer War) three and a half years ago with plans to restore the farm to it’s former glory. Not only is she restoring the existing farm buildings to ensure the lodge is equipped for events of all sizes, Yvonne also breeds Warmbloods and almost all the equine athletes on the farm descend from well-known bloodlines including Jazz, Gribaldi and Lissabon, to mention but a few.
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The only equines without much to offer in terms of breeding caliber, are the 13 wild, feral ponies who have made themselves at home on the farm and who make their way up to the accommodation from time to time in search of treats – perfect company for an afternoon sundowner from your chalet patio.
For many of us city slickers who are looking for a few simple requirements from a weekend away – a sky full of stars, miles of open land (a change from the urban jungle we reside in), minimal signal and a taste of working farm life but with the comforts of home – then Old Mill Drift Guest Farm ticks the boxes. There are a vast range of activities available including hiking (for all ages and fitness levels), extensive 4×4 tracks (including an advance Level 5 course) as well as fishing and ample locations for picnics and bird watching.
For those who are spiritually-inclined, the farm has also been declared the home of an Energy Vortex by three independent energy specialists. Amid the Poplar trees, the vortex is said to be an intersection of powerful and transformative natural electromagnetic earth energy. It also marks the start of a steep mountain hike to a waterfall (depending on the time of year) – but not steep enough to deter our two small rescue dogs (who are used to their creature comforts and strolls around a manicured golf course) who scampered up to the highest viewing point and the crossed narrow bridges and walkways with ease.
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Old Mill Drift Guest Farm makes you appreciate the freedom of open space, fresh air and genuine quality time with your canines who are free to participate in all activities along with you. You wont find a more hospitable hostess than Yvonne, who’s only requirement is that you depart your stay as in love with the farm as she is!
Old Mill Drift Guest Farm
+27 83 310 9909
Old Mill Drift Guest Farm (@oldmilldrift)