Farm in deep and mountainous KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Country

South Africa

 

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  • last activity

    Last activity

    18/11/2019

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  2019 

 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

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  • Description

    Description

    Hi there

    Welcome to the Moody Work- away experience. So basically, myself and my brother have inherited a farm that has bene passed down the family...indeed, tt has been in our family for over 100 years with most of my family buried there.

    The farm is located in an exceptionally beautiful valley, the farm is fairly remote (1 hour from the nearest town (Kokstad or Underberg) and 30 minutes from the nearest shop(Swartberg)). The location of the work away is our family farm in the Swartberg Area of Southern KZN in South Africa.

    NB: I DO NOT LIVE ON THE LAND. In fact, I stay about 3 hours drive away near the town of Port Shepstone but I regularly go up to the farm (about once a month for the weekend). On the land, which is about 200 hectares, there are several families that live on the land and also work the land with grazing of cattle and small-scale farming. Manini and her family stay on the land and are amazing. I have known them all my life and spent many a childhood day with her children. She stays about 200 metres from my farm house and is an excellent cook and beautiful human-being. She has a head of cattle and is a dedicated farmers who could use some assistance by the work-away volunteer.

    Since my dad passed away in 2016, I have been trying to get the farm more developed and I do not have the time to dedicate myself up there full-time as I work full-time for an NGO near Port Shepstone. As such, I am currently in the stage of re-building the main cottage at the farm which burnt down in 2016. I have thus far built 2 rooms (bedroom and lounge/kitchen) - toilet, proper kitchen and extra bedroom are still to come. There is another cottage next to this one but I usually stay in this one.

    There are several small projects that need completing and some bigger ones that need completing for those with more skills. I am also happy for people to just come up and enjoy the beautiful valley in the mountains and they are welcome to stay. I am very flexible and you can stay up there for as long as you like (1 week minimum).

    Like I said, it is rather isolated but extremely beautiful in a valley not far from the Lesotho border. Some important information about the place:

    IMPORTANT: The farm is currently suffering from lack of rain and so the running water (that comes from the spring) has not been functional over a very dry winter and spring. This is the start of the rainy season so hopefully that may change. In the meantime, I/you would have had to go to 1) Manini's place for water or down to the river (Umzimvubu River) to collect water. This issue is indicative of the tough life that local community members live so please don't expect your experience to be easy ( a relative term I know). The area can have harsh conditions (wash in the river) and the climate can be extreme (heavy rains, massive storms, snow in winter, extreme heat and cold). While it is comfortable (and I am trying to make it more comfortable) please please please don't expect an easy or convenient experience. Cell phone reception is spotty (MTN network is by far the best) so don't be expecting fibre 20mbs per second wifi...in fact there is no wifi so your phone data will be your only source of internet (if vodacom then no reception at my farmhouse - have to walk up the hill to get signal). Lastly, I would think it would be fairly essential to have your own vehicle (go to shops/leave the valley etc.). This may pose a problem for some of you (especially internationals) so apologies...As I said, this work-away won't be for everyone so apologies but that is the way this particular cookie is crumbling.

    Overall, I am new to Workaway but am looking for hardworking people who want a unique and beautiful experience in the beauty that is South Africa.

    If you want some time in the mountains then send me a message. The stars at night will blow you away, and the silence of the valley will play with your mind:-), The river water is as clean as can be and the hiking is amazing Culturally and historically, the valley is very interesting with a total mix of cultures, languages and skins...very unique even to such a diverse country like South Africa. Most people will speak isiXhosa/isiZulu mix and some Afrikaans. Not that many people speak English well so basic knowledge in an indigenous South African languages is a plus.

    Safety, in my experience the farm has always been safe and although there may be, from time to time, petty crime I would deem the valley to be a safe place. I don't lock doors when sleep but i guess it is always wise to be vigilant and lock doors when not there i.e. be safety conscious.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay
    Other
    Help with Eco project

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    They will be located in a remote areas in a culturally unique community.
    Deep in the mountains so lots of hiking to be had and swimming in the two river. Very peaceful place to do Yoga, think and reflect on life.

  • Help

    Help

    There are many projects to do but the major ones at the moments are as follows:

    - Painting of house
    - Construction of long-drop/compost toilet
    - Outdoor shower (ideas would be great)
    - Clearing of invasive trees (black wattle on the umzimvubu)
    - Clearing of paths in the forest
    - Pruning of fruit trees
    - gardening and re-developing the nursery.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, French

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    There are 2 houses on the property with beds to sleep in. There is a toilet in only one of the houses.

    I am currently building up one of the houses which currently has a bedroom and lounge/kitchen/fire place. It is very rustic and although there is electricity, we often struggle with running water. This is especially as the rains have been low this year and so springs are drying up.

    The other house is full loaded and more comfortable then the original house aforementioned. There is a bedroom, kitchen, lounge and bathroom. The bathroom has a tap, toilet and bath but is also water dependent.

    IF guests are looking for an easy experience, they will not get it here and I want to make clear to whoever is interested that this is a deeply rural and isolated place. I am trying to make the living conditions more comfortable but at the moment it would someone/s with a harder outlook on life and comforts.

    I am happy to buy food for the workaway guest who are staying at the farm. They can buy some small things from around the community but need to go the Kokstad/Swartberg or Underberg for a larger shop.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Deep in the mountains so lots of hiking to be had and swimming in the two river. Very peaceful place to do Yoga, think and reflect on life.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 893631684411