17 August 2022

Journalist Ismail Suder recently spent time at Lake Glencairn lifestyle farm near Underberg in Southern Drakensberg, and was enthralled by this gem set in a lush valley.

Just 12km from the magnificent Sani Pass – one of the highest and most challenging mountain roads of the world – you will find the stunning Muslim-owned Lake Glencairn lifestyle farm that is beckoning visitors to come and experience a holiday with a difference – to enjoy the sights and sounds of a working farm.

Tucked away in a green valley with the beautiful Maloti Mountain in the foreground, Lake Glencairn lifestyle farm offers newly-built luxury studio and 2 bedroom self-catering cottages that overlook the Pholela River that runs through the massive estate.

The lifestyle farm, about 10km from Underberg, has recently changed hands. The well-known Moosa Family from Port Shepstone (Luckys Discount Store chain) – who now own it – are doing an excellent job to spruce up facilities to international standards.

But the crème a la crème of this gem is the stunning lake of Lake Glencairn which covers 40 hectares, with little coves dotted around it, where fishermen can try their luck for monster-sized carp, bass and trout.

What’s unique about Lake Glencairn lifestyle farm-stay is that you and your family can experience the sights and sounds of a genuine working farm in a safe and pollution-free environment.

For children who haven’t experienced farm animals’ close-up, they are bound to be shrieking with delight at the variety of domestic animals to see, all a short walk from your cottage. There’s horses, ponies, goats, sheep, specially bred wagyu and Angus cows, ducks, geese, but more interestingly, South American Lamas, which in my opinion, look something in between a camel and a sheep. And yes, you would likely find them grazing quietly outside your cottage each morning.

But take the 4×4 route high up in the windswept hills (arrange with the manager to take you in their beautiful black top-down jeep), you are bound to see zebras, reedbuck, blesbok, duiker and eland amongst the grassland and trees. The lush vistas of the green carpeted landscape below, together with the stunning shimmering lake, will hold you spellbound. It would certainly leave you appreciating, even more, the magnanimity of Allah Ta’Alaa.

For those without a 4×4, Elliot can arrange to take visitors on a 4×4 route. Children can also experience maize farming – and maize being milled for flour on an ancient mill where the wheel has to be turned manually – and they can have a go at it themselves.

But what I found interesting was how mountain spring water was being harvested and bottled on the farm.

Elliot Banda, the friendly farm manager accompanied me in my Suzuki Jimny 4×4 to point out the source of sweet spring water that flows onto the 250 hectare farm from the nearby Maloti mountain range. Using the natural gradient of the hill, the water from the craggy fountain is directed over a kilometer to the sophisticated purification and bottling plant below.

Elliot tells me that the fountain was named “Zikr Fountain” by the owner, Younus Moosa, who visits the site often to make Zikr and contemplate amidst the peaceful environment surrounded by mountain ranges. You are welcome to visit too, Ahumdulilah!

The farm has mielie fields as far as the eye can see including a trout hatchery, and a greenhouse producing exotic Peony flowers – its roots imported from the Netherlands.

Excited

Farm manager, Elliot, regaled me with a light story. He said when an excited group of city kids and their family came to visit; he asked the children if they knew where potatoes came from. One bright spark retorted: “From trees off course!” The children were then taken to a site on the farm where potatoes were being grown, and were amazed when Elliot pulled the plant from the ground to reveal a clump of potatoes.

“It is this kind of basic education that will stay with them throughout their lives,” Elliot said.

As night sets in, the sky is ablaze with a million stars accompanied by a symphony of sounds from nocturnal animals and birds.

There is no TV in the rooms for just this reason. The owners’ want you to enjoy the beauty of nature’s sweet nightly songs until you are lulled to sleep. And when night draws its curtain across the valley, you can look forward to another day of activity that helps to bring calmness and serenity to the mind.

And one more thing, Elliot said with a smile. “There is no need to set your alarm for your Fajr morning prayer, you will understand what I mean in the morning…”

At Fajr, I understood what he meant. A variety of birds broke into a medley of song and excited chatter. SubahanAllah! And the best part, for me, was to take my breakfast with steaming coffee to a raised wooden deck overlooking the fields, paddock and river, to enjoy what I had come here for – simple serenity!

*Lake Glencairn lifestyle farm is situated on the Sani Pass Road in Himeville, about 20km from the magnificent Sani Pass.

You can also check out (and follow) journalist Ismail Suder’s Instagram page for more photos of Lake Glencairn and other adventures at @jimny-go-afrika.

Checkout the Lake Glencairn’s webpage at www.lakeglencairn.co.za

For further information or booking enquiries, contact Adnaan Moosa on email: adnaan@luckys.co.za

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