Equestrian, Lifestyle, News, Travel


January 14, 2020, Author: Contributor

They say that he only sad thing about finding paradise is the fact that you have to leave – and the same can be said about Akasha Mountain Retreat. With spectacular panoramic views over the Langeberg and Duiwenhoks Dam, Askasha Mountain retreat is located just 12km North of Heidelberg in the Western Cape. The solar-powered Cape-Maroc style villa is off the grid and accommodates only one group at a time, ensuring a private, peaceful, digital distraction-free break. 


Akasha Mountain Retreat is perched on the edge of a secluded mountain, with sweeping panoramic views that are truly breathtaking. Apart from the views, its location also means that it is off the grid – which we love – giving guests the opportunity to truly disconnect and be present in nature. It has everything your heart could desire for a self-imposed adult time-out – large, comfortable beds in which to curl up and read, fireplaces and an old-school Dover wood-burning stove for baking.  


The villa at Akasha Mountain retreat is a threebedroom, two bathroom house with a standalone suite as an optional fourth bedroom. It only accommodates one group at a time, providing families and friends with exclusivity to the entire property throughout their stay – making it ideal for family reunions and celebrating special occasions. Its Moroccan inspired design and décor was lovingly created and chosen by owners Elana and Chris, who travelled to Marrakech for the doors and other decorative items. They live within 500m of the villa and whilst it is equipped for self-catering (and has braai facilities)delicious breakfasts and meals can be delivered by prior arrangement. 


From the moment you arrive at Akasha, there is a true sense of serenity and tranquility – the proverbial ‘escape’ from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. Use the quiet time to paint, write that novel, indulge in yoga, meditation and self-care. Take leisurely walks to look for the sugarbirds who nest in nearby proteas or keep a look out for the horses who roam freely on the farm.  



Soon after buying the farm 19 years ago, Chris and Elana acquired two mares.  Sarah was a chestnut Arab, found near Riversdale who had been covered by a white Arab stallion, and a palamino mare they named Angel, found alone and neglected on a nearby farm. Both Sarah and Angel foaled within months of our two youngest daughters being born. 


Sarah’s foal was named Amber, after her striking colour at birth but she gradually turned white due to her dad’s genes, so she was renamed Savanna.  She is the daintiest and most curious by far. Angel’s foal was named Peaches, a bulky boerperd who inherited her mom’s blond mane and tail along with a stand-offish nature.  These two ‘cousins’ are inseparable. 


A friend of the family was having trouble finding enough grazing for her horses and arranged for them to join the mountain herd for a winter.  On fetching them, she couldn’t bear to tear their Shetland pony away from what she referred to as “horsie heaven” so they welcomed Pegasus to the herd. He had grown up with her daughter and is ever so tolerant and gentle around children. 

Next to join the herd was the feisty Orion (a large grey gelding).  Pegasus ‘tested’ him so hard that he went hurtling right through a fence – luckily, no serious injuries.  Now they are best pals, who often engage in mutual grooming and tend to sneak into the family home when a door is left open.   


The next arrival was Amethyst, received in lieu of a debt.  She was raised in a posh stable in Knysna, groomed to the hilt and doted over by a young girl. Then came Lotus, another palamino mare gifted by near-neighbours who sold their farm.  She took the longest to integrate with the herd but this eventually paid off. 


Next came the palamino stallion, Sativa – the only stallion and reaching the age to do his ‘honours‘ in expanding the herd.  He only has eyes for Lotus though, thus rewarding her persistence in joining the herd. 


Angel and Sarah since passed of old age.  Their last resting place is between two giant trees in the middle of Akasha Farm, where their offspring form the core of the mountain troop roaming free across 120 hectares. Sometimes the horses visit the villa, often at night, usually to the delight of guests (who are forewarned).  Mostly it’s just Pegasus by himself, in which case guests can treat him to fruit – but not if the others are around, in case their ‘food politics’ creates pushing and shoving amongst themselves. 


 For those looking for something more adventurous, there is a multitude of outdoor activities on offer, including hikes, horse encounters, birdwatching, stargazing, swimming in the nearby river and mountain biking. There are a number of local attractions within driving distance, but with heaven on earth on your doorstep you may find little desire to leave! 


Akasha Mountain Retreat 

+27 (0)82 090 1741