The perfect stopover en route to The Kruger National Park, Swaziland and Mozambique
The perfect destination for reviving your soul
We speak English, Afrikaans and German
OLD JOE'S KAIA is a unique and small family owned and managed Country House situated in the magnificent malaria-free Schoemanskloof Valley. This is a little oasis full of surprises. Expect fresh and unpolluted mountain air, fabulous scenery, prolific birdsong, and a wonderful relaxing, homely atmosphere.
IMPORTANT AND EXCITING NEWS
We are becoming a full
From 1 February 2016
(not using or serving any animal products)
Old Joe’s Kaia is going in a brand new direction from 1 February 2016. The owner run Country House is catapulting itself into the new world, focussed on a lighter footprint. Marian and Paul have been at the helm for nearly eleven years now and are thrilled to be welcoming their son Dale, his partner Melissa and baby Byrne to the fold. They bring with them a new and young generation of ideas and energy.
What is brand new….
Dale contributes his business Antwiques to Old Joe’s Kaia and will pursue his passion of upcycling old pieces into works of art that will be sold and displayed on the property. He already spearheads our heirloom vegetable garden and permaculture initiatives.
Melissa contributes her business Make with Grace and will be heading up our Art and Craft Centre. We believe her artistic flair and passion for making beautiful things will contribute hugely to our existing small curio and memory shop. She will be training existing staff and newcomers who are hungry to learn, creating opportunities for skills development, upliftment and entrepreneurship in the area.
Paul will be contributing his glass cutting hobby and passion for photography to the memory shop, illustrating the many uses and ways of recycling glass bottles.
Our world-renowned kitchen is undergoing a major transformation, and yet the magic ingredient stays the same. As usual, the passionate and talented Marian will be heading up the kitchen.
We are going FULLY VEGAN after some time in “experimental” mode. For three years now, Old Joe's Kaia has had a well established "Meat Free Monday" tradition. Guests are surprised time and time again at the sumptuousness of the home cooked food they experience on these days. A vast number are glad to have a plant-based meal after a typical South African holiday, saturated with heavy meat dishes. Many thought they would go to bed hungry and unsatisfied and have been bowled over when quite the opposite is true, especially when they’ve ended a dinner with our deep, dark vegan chocolate ice cream that beats any Swiss equivalent. Our move to going completely vegan is simply the next step in the direction we wish to move to have a lighter footprint on the planet.
What stays the same…
Alongside our kitchen shift, we will still be offering bird walks and trails in our pristine valley, deeply relaxing massage and reflexology treatments, yoga in the garden and our very own studio, time out in the labyrinth, lazy moments by the pool, and at the end of the day out exploring the Lowveld, a crisp cotton lined bed to curl up in, warm and content, graced with healthy and delicious food.
We can’t wait for you to come and experience our fresh new approach to guesthousing and the growing vegan trend in our ever-changing world!
Please have a look at the following link that demonstrates the role we have set out to play in society: A LIFE CONNECTED
For the dreamers of a better world we are a haven of truly authentic vegan living
working in harmony with nature
surrounded by lavish beauty and creativity
guaranteed to provide our guests with fun, happiness and bliss.
Do let us know when we can book you in!
Lovely walks along the Crocodile River reward the keen birder with interesting sightings. A trained bird guide is available to assist in bird identification and to point out some elusive species. For those who prefer to admire the beauty of the valley on wheels can do so on mountain bicycles (please bring your own).
Old Joe’s Kaia also has a magnificent LABYRINTH. Guests in need of self-time, reflection and tranquility can stroll along its path in search of inner peace.
Please note: We are CAT LOVERS and have a few that will be around the main building. Note however, that they are not allowed in the bedrooms.
Situated between Machadodorp and Nelspruit
N4 Schoemanskloof Road
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--- GREAT NEWS for Schoemanskloof! ---
Plans for SA's 4th biggest game reserve
In the early days the original Schoemanskloof road was the only main road from the Rand to the Lowveld and Nelspruit. Johannes Boers acquired a small piece of land in the Schoemanskloof valley in the early 1950s, primarily as a warmer option to his Belfast farm during the cold wintertime. Many weary travellers stopped and requested overnight accommodation. This initiated the idea of a proper guesthouse. Johannes built the two original thatched rondavels (literally "round rooms" meaning “home”) in about 1954. His wife, Johanna Maria Boers (nee du Toit) was known as ‘Joe’, and she managed the facility until 1960 when her husband fell ill and they moved back to Belfast permanently. During those days the establishment was known as Schoemanskloof Rest Camp.
Since then Old Joe’s Kaia has changed hands a few times but has continuously operated as a stopover and guesthouse. The name was finally originated by the owners Willie and Spies in 1984 when they named the guesthouse after The Old Joe Statue. The current owners are Marian Cottle, a grand daughter of the founder couple, and partner Paul Drews. They live on the premises with three cats, Shady, Joey and Mackie who were born in the garden.
Look out for this famous painted rock as you come down Patatanek Pass on your trip from Johannesburg (± 35 km from the Machado toll gate). Old Joe is in reality resembling a person with a big belly. Road constructors working on the Schoemanskloof road found and erected this rock in 1927, naming it after their foreman Joe Barbas and "Old Joe" was born.
The statue still features prominently in tourist literature and is painted regularly by local schools and residents, changing its ‘outfit’ and image to the delight of passers-by!