Old Joe's Kaia
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.
A highlight for most visitors is the scrumptious meals enjoyed on the balcony of the main building. A beautiful mountain view and birdsong add to the pleasure of the experience. The kitchen produces creative and nutritious meals, using organically homegrown vegetables and herbs and as much free-range produce as possible. Passersby are welcome to drop in for a meal en route to The Kruger National Park, Mozambique, Swaziland, The Panorama or the Lowveld.
We cater for vegans and vegetarians.
Comfortable accommodation is provided in 13 units, each uniquely decorated.
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 which are available for rent.
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!