About Da Laafing Lion
Vermaaklikheid, unknown to the outside world, used to be a Farmer’s Village, which
provided the surrounding areas with fresh produce and water. With its abundance of fresh
water and fertile soil, some of the best fresh vegetables, fruits, and Hanepoot grapes were
cultivated here. Some of the original pear, fig, pomegranate, apple, mulberry, quince fruit
trees and Hanepoot grapes are still around. Most of the farmers distilled their own
“Witblits” (80% alcohol), so given two guesses, where you think this Town’s name sprung
from. It’s close location to the sea, accessible by going from the slipway in the village down
the river, built-in double-ender wooden row boats, fish and other edible sea life like
alikreukel provided a staple diet of protein.
Another Heritage Site (one of it’s kind in the world), named Puntjie, is to be seen where the
Duivenhoks River meets the sea. Situated on an elevated escarp of limestone cliffs, there is
a settlement of “Kapstyl” Dwellings. These A-framed structures, resembling the tents of the
ox-wagons, with which the farmers drove there, are made solely out of thatch. These used
to be the holiday homes of the Vermaaklikheid and Brakfontein residents. It is a national
monument, but on private ground and therefore not open to the public. Up to this day, the
descendants of these ancestors still come there for their holidays.
Another precious Heritage Site is Klein Fontein Farm, on the banks of the Duivenhoks river,
facing the Puntjie, that used to be the holiday home of the Governer of the Cape, Lord
Charles Somerset, also now privately owned.
Da Laafing Lion is a historical Hartebees Farm House that was built in the 1800’s with
stone, mud, “spaansriet”, “garingsaad” poles and thatch gathered from its surrounds and is
one of the home built dwellings that lays scattered amongst the hills and valleys of the
historical Farmer’s Village of Vermaaklikheid, next to the Duivenhoks river in the unique
Limestone Fynbos Region of the Western Cape. It has been occupied by the Van Wyk and De Jager families ever since and up till today it is still in the Van Wyk family’s possession.
With its dirt roads, clusters of family grave yards (still in use today), “patat-gate”, long
drops, natural springs, and fountains, time has stood still.
The homestead nestles under many shady trees and overlooks the green hills of the veld. It
is situated in a quiet cul de sac, near the center of the village and still boasts with it’s original
structure, but has been altered to accommodate modern amenities. Bird song here is the
local language and really challenges birdwatchers with it’s paradise of species that have
Two spacious queen bedrooms, one an-suite with shower, a double bedroom and a double
damdawel outside , sleep eight in total. All linen is provided. Guests must bring own towels.
All bedrooms are equipped with bedside tables, reading lamps, ceiling fans and heaters.
A Sleeper couch for two extra guests can be arranged.
The family bathroom has a tub and shower.
There is a long-drop (outside toilet) for the brave.
The L-shaped Lounge is comfy and the dining room with sleeper table seats 8 with ease.
The spacious kitchen provides ample working space with a serving hatch to the dining
room, is fitted with a gas stove, microwave oven, fridge, chest freezer, kettle, toaster and
more than enough crockery, cutlery etc. and a double indoor braai and bar counter with
eight bar stools.
The kitchen door leads to a sheltered outside braai area with a daybed and enough stone
seating in the shade.
The entrance hall with its piano and small library leads out onto a wrap around stoep,
overlooking the hills, veld, front outside braai pit, tables, authentic jetty providing enough
seating and shelter. Braai grids, braai utensils and iron “potjiekos pots are provided.
Cleaning materials, kitchen towels, black bags, blitz, matches, candles, toilet rolls are
Spring water on tap is safe to drink and enough ice will be at hand.
Rooikrans braai wood is available. Please book in advance.
A small TV is provided (easy view only). Full DSTV can be arranged.
Hammocks are available to lounge in the plentiful shady areas.
We get full cell reception.
Canoes, row and sail boats are available. Please book in advance.
The Duivenhoks river drains the Langeberg mountains and mouths at San Sebastian Bay,
half way between the Breede River at Witsand and The Goukou River at Still Bay.
The river is great for swimming, canoeing, boating, sailing and fishing. Cob, Grunter,
Steenbras, Haarders and Leervis frequents the river while Red Roman, Yellow Tail, Galjoen,
Hotnotsvis, Belman Cob and more can be caught in the sea from the shore or from the
There are mud prawn banks towards the river mouth and live bait can also be caught in the
shallow waters on the sandbanks with throw nets. Pilchards, tjokka, “rooi-aas”, “bloedwurm”,
octopus, white mussel are all popular as bait.
The river provides an estimated 22km stretch of water for canoeing. From the public slipway
in Vermaaklikheid to the river mouth, is more or less a two-hour row, depending on the
tides, as it is a tidal river.
Boats can be launched at the public slip in Vermaaklikheid.
Boats can also be launched at the slipway at the river next to the Puntjie, a 10km drive from
Vermaaklikheid, follow the Puntjie signboard.
There are lots of country roads around Vermaaklikheid that offer excellent Mountain Bike
Riding. For the fit, there’s a wonderful back road to Still Bay, for the medium fit, try a trip down the Blombos road, or to Puntjie and for the not yet so fit, there’s a gentle country road on the “vlakte”.
There are two shops in the village. Elmarie’s farm shop provides the necessities and Joey’s
Kontrei Winkel has lots of home-made goodies. Follow the sign boards off the Main Road.
Here are some of the places in the surrounding areas you should visit:
- Café Paradiso in Still Bay is a great spot for a good breakfast or lunch.
- The Inverroche Fynbos Gin Distillery in Still Bay is totally unique. Booking is needed.
- The Ou Tronk in Riversdale has lots of local crafts and interesting Africana. It also has a
coffee shop/restaurant in the courtyard.
- The Emporium of Nostalgia in Heidelberg is an interesting place to pop into from time to
time. Sometimes there is a treasure to be found and it is always interesting to look about.
- For an interesting day trip and a real mountain walk, visit Grootvadersbosch just beyond
The full amount is due before arrival. Rooikrans firewood can be purchased at R 15.00 per bundle. Guests must provide their own towels. If you wish to make use of the dart-board, then you need to provide your own darts.
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Da Laafing Lion Map
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Things to do in and around Vermaaklikheid
(44.8 km from Vermaaklikheid)
Ancient rock pool fish traps, built by the Khoisan up to 3000 years ago, visible at low tide. These traps are still being regularly maintained, extended and utilized by a group of local enthusiasts. Five minutes from Stilbaai with parking close...
(44.9 km from Vermaaklikheid)
A unique, botanically correct fynbos park with over 200 species of fynbos, 11 of which are on the endangered list. The park has an annelematic sundial, where your own shadow tells the time, a labyrinth, a braille trail (for the unsighted), where...
(20.5 km from Vermaaklikheid)
Witsand Beach is one of the best-kept secrets of the Overberg. Lying at the mouth of the Breede River, it offers excellent prospects for boating and walking. During winter and spring, Witsand is one of the best places on the South African...
(21.8 km from Vermaaklikheid)
Starting at the Infanta slipway, the Infanta to Moddergat route offers an interesting hike along the beach and riverside. Walk past Kontiki and then along the riverbank until you reach the slipway at Moddergat.