Marthinusberg is owned by Gavin and Jackie Scholz, who purchased the land (then totally undeveloped) several years ago. Systematically improvements were made, including boundary fences, roads and the homestead with its panoramic views.
As time passed, Burchell’s zebra, blesbok, springbok and black wildebeest were introduced to supplement endemic antelope species such as grey rhebok, klipspringer, grey duiker and Cape grysbok.
In 2014 Gavin and Jackie decided to start a captive breeding project for high end game species, starting with sable antelope and bontebok for re-sale, thereby contributing to the long-term survival of both species.
Two rustic chalets, constructed mainly from local rock, provide comfortable accommodation and are fully equipped with all the comforts of home. Solar powered lights and refrigerator, gas heating for water and warmth and barbecue facilities add to the tastefully finished open-plan (en suite) bedroom and adjoining kitchen. Both units provide sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Free WI-Fi and battery-powered cell phone/tablet charging facilities are also available. Each chalet is equipped with its own barbecue facilities. Firewood and charcoal briquettes may be purchased from Reception.
Walks into the surrounding fynbos and Rhenosterveld are a must, and two mountain bike routes provide the visitor with views of distant horizons –scenic windows into this relatively unspoilt corner of the Western Cape. One route is easily negotiable for casual bikers who may just wish to explore without too much effort. The second route is mare technical and is recommended for experienced riders only. An added bonus is the possibility of viewing some of the local wildlife species.
Marthinusberg Mountain Escape, Uniondale, offers two rustic self-catering cottages, each cottage consists of the following:
|open-plan (en suite) bedroom||1 bathroom (gas heating)||sleeps 2|
|solar powered lights||solar powered refrigerator||battery-powered cell phone/tablet charging facilities|
|free wi-fi||barbecue facilities||firewood and charcoal available for purchase|
Most bird species which are commonly associated with Fynbos and Rhenosterbos have been recorded for Marthinusberg – local favourites are the Orange-breasted sun-bird and Black Eagle.
Marthinusberg is strategically situated for daily excursions to George, The Wilderness, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, with the nearby Prince Alfred’s Pass, arguably one of the most spectacular mountain passes constructed by Thomas Bain, is the gateway to the holiday meccas of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, and the world-renowned Garden Route. Nearby Avontuur, once the terminus of the historic Apple Express steam train, is also regarded as the western entrance to the Langkloof and its endless fruit orchards. Heading eastward, this scenic route passes through quaint villages such as Haarlem, Louterwater, Joubertina and Assegaibos before joining the N2 highway en route to Port Elizabeth.
A mere 14 km from Marthinusberg, Uniondale is the small, but important social and economic hub of the area. Established in 1856 the town owes its origin to the amalgamation of Hopedale and Lyons, two adjoining villages. Uniondale hit the headlines in 1976 with the first sighting of the “Uniondale ghost” on the N9 highway near Barandas. Since that time, there have been numerous reports of a female hitch-hiker, who is given a lift, and then disappears. The route from Marthinusberg to the town passes through Uniondale Poort, a short, but very pretty drive through a sandstone gorge with lichen-covered walls.
Other local attractions are Fort Uniondale, a uniquely designed circular rock structure erected by the Town Guard and British military authorities to defend the town during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902.
Two superettes and two filling stations are located in the main street of Uniondale.
Uniondale has numerous coffee shops and restaurants, each with its own character and charm, as well as a number of guest houses. For accommodation during major cycle tours for which the town is well-known, it is advisable to book well in advance.