Some Farm History
During the 19th century Irishman Michael O’Grady settled on the farm. It is currently owned by a 5th generation O’Grady with the 6th generation also living on the farm. During the Second Boer War Michael O’Grady assisted the Boers by providing fresh, healthy horses and proviant to them. When the Brits found out about that, the family home and outside buildings were burnt down. Impressive, thick-walled ruins still stand to this day and you will pass it on your way to the rock pools. Not far, and within eye-sight from the ruins is a small family graveyard where Michael O’Grady and family members are buried.
Fauna and Flora
Yellow arum is a rare plant found in the area. Adjacent to Houtenrus is Verloren Valei Nature Reserve where the critically endangered White Winged Flufftail was spotted. Verloren Valei also serves as breeding grounds to Blue Crane, Crowned Crane and Wattled Crane. These cranes are often spotted on the farm. So if you are into birding you just might get lucky with ticking these, and others, off your list.
Hiking, Jogging and MTB Cycling
Kilometres of track allows for ample opportunity for guests to run, hike or cycle. A high altitude makes this the perfect training base.
A river on the farm feeds clear water into some natural rock pools where one can safely swim in. Natural cooling at its best. Pack your backpack and hike, jock or cycle the approximately six kilometres to the pools. Just remember to take Fluffy with for a run and swim.
Not all our guests are into fitness. Houtenrus is also the ideal spot to simply rest, recharge, or even work on creative projects like writing or painting. Sit on the porch and listen to the farm sounds, watch the cattle and sheep graze in front of your yard. Have a braai or explore some of the hidden gems in and around Tonteldoos and Dullstroom.