Matjiesvlei Guest Farm

Welcome to Matjiesvlei!

about us

bennie and selma nel

Your hosts, Selma & Bennie Nel, farmers here, offer you a glimpse into their family history, from his great-grandparents and his parents who lived here to his own family now calling this place their home. The history of the people who have lived here during the last 150 years is carefully preserved in the Matjiesvlei  “The Old Post Office and Museum”. You can see anything from old phones, cash registers, medical devices, books, bric-a-brac, as well as traditional clothing worn by the inhabitants of this area.

Matjiesvlei is not just a piece of land; it’s a testament to the resilience and enduring spirit of a family that has woven its history into the fabric of this remarkable place for nearly two centuries.


A Legacy of Matjiesvlei: Five Generations of History

  • The story of Matjiesvlei is a tapestry woven with the threads of family, resilience, and a deep connection to the land. 
  • Here’s a glimpse into the rich history of Matjiesvlei and its enduring legacy:

1821: The Beginning

  • In 1821, Matjiesvlei found its first owner when Gert Johannes Cloete purchased the farm, spanning 2742 morgen, for 39 dollars. This marked the start of a remarkable journey.

1830: A New Chapter

  • In 1830, Gert’s daughter Isabella married Casper Francois le Grange when she was 17, and he was 21. They joined forces with Gert in farming on Matjiesvlei. Tragically, Gert Johannes Cloete passed away that same year.

1832: Casper inherits Matjiesvlei

  • After the passing of Gert Johannes Cloete, the farm was inherited by Casper. Together with his new wife, Johanna Jonker, Casper continued the legacy.

1835: The birth of Gert Johannes Le Grange

  • Gert and Johanna welcomed their son, Gert Johannes le Grange, on January 22, 1835. He would become a pivotal figure in the history of Matjiesvlei.

The Late 1800's: The Father and Son team

  • Gert Johannes and his son, also named Gert Johannes, formed a powerful partnership. Their collaboration led to remarkable growth, and Matjiesvlei expanded rapidly, becoming a significant property in the area.

1899: The Anglo-Boer War

  • In 1899, during the tumultuous Anglo-Boer War, Matjiesvlei played a role in history. Commandant Scheepers and his 600 troops sought refuge on the farm, hoping to find a way to the Great Karoo on horseback.

Asssistance in times of need

  • Gert Johannes le Grange and his son provided the troops with food and sustenance during their stay. However, the enemy soon discovered their presence, forcing the troops to make a swift escape along the river’s edge, through Seweweekspoort, to safety.

A price paid for assistance

  • The act of aiding the troops came at a cost. Gert Johannes, three of his sons, and a man named Flip Nel were arrested for their involvement. The sons were sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison.

The enduring legacy

  • Despite the challenges and sacrifices, the legacy of Matjiesvlei lived on. Gert Johannes continued to farm, and today, Bennie stands as the fifth-generation owner of Matjiesvlei, the last descendant to hold land in this historic area.


Please contact us for bookings:

Selma: +27 (0) 73 174 1028
Bennie: +27 (0) 83 453 2209
Tel: +27 (0) 44 050 3346 |

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