Departamento o casa entera
The rustic wooden Cottages are idyllically situated overlooking the dam with flourishing bird life and serene paddocked horses. The Cottages can sleep between 2 and 4 people (bunk-beds) and are comprehensively equipped. Linen can be supplied at a
In the heart of the seasonal wetlands, but close to all Cape Town and its famous attractions.
Nature exposure with city life at hand!
All cottages fully equipped.
Horses & Horse Facilities -dressage and jumping arenas.
Dam with row-boat.
Extensive Bird Life.
Situated in the heart of the Seasonal Wetlands one is continually exposed to the ebb & flow of the different bird species which occupy different time-slots of the day & night. Being surrounded by Nature (+ farmland) with all its special sounds and natural harmony, generates feelings of timelessness.
Then when you want to get back to the buzz , its just around the corner!
Shuttle services are available.
Bus and taxi services are close by.
Parking is on the property.
Night security guards on duty.
Perimeter electric fencing.
Owners also live on property together with 2 other families.
In a civilized manner.
We do allow pets.
Preferable to smoke outside and not drop/ leave cigarette butts around.
The Ensemles Enterprise has been established for the purposes of:
Job Creation (for the indigent & unskilled unemployed)
-Nature Conservation (of the natural biodiversity of the area)
-Eco and Other Tourism
*Cheval Vapeur operates as a Tourist Facility with self-catering cottages on the active Horse Farm i seasonal wetlands(Cape Flats).
*Coote’s Cottage is a Multi-Functional Self-Catering Venue in Kenilworth.
*25 Gibson Road is a Self-Catering Accommodation Venue in Kenilworth
About 10 years ago following our retirement from the Actuarial Profession, my husband and I started 1) the Coote’s Cottage and 2) the Cheval Vapeur projects, whose objectives are Job Creation (essentially for the indigent), Wetland Restoration, Horse Rehabilitation and Rescue and Getaway Accommodation. Also 3) 25 Gibson Road was converted into a Self-Catering Accommodation Venue
1) Coote’s Cottage
With unemployment being such a mammoth problem in South Africa, we felt we could make something of a contribution by taking one person at a time and making an investment into their skills development. With this in mind, we tried identifying what opportunities exist using unskilled labour. We saw a gap in the market, via woodwork, restoration and tourism.
Woodwork, a skill enabling someone to use their hands, to restore and create, can then generate an income stream.
And so, Coote’s ...
Coote’s lies at the corner of Goldbourne and Wargrave Road. This was where we started. This serene corner has had many an identity from corner shop to butchery and a few things in between. Having set eyes on the property the vision of what it could be, developed.
Given its age & character, it could with effort, careful attention to detail and love enable a trip back in time to a lost and bygone Cape era, for those who chose to linger.
After purchasing the property, Joe Mgungu, an illiterate gardener, was selected for skills development, by being part of the restoration project: To restore the property back to the period in which it was built.
Together we attended Woodwork Joinery Classes at Thornton Technical College and after completing the course, we started the project. Unemployed labourers were hired daily(from the streets) and guided in the slow task of restoring and rebuilding. Today, nearly every piece in the cottage from the window frames to the tables and chairs, crockery & cutlery is of the period.
Built in the 1800’s, this historic home has been elegantly restored to its former glory. Exquisitely furnished with Victorian period pieces (many restored by us), it offers guests a luxurious experience of Classic Cape in a well situated position.
2) Cheval Vapeur
Cheval Vapeur is situated in the seasonal wetlands of Agricultural Philippi, off Varken’s Vlei Road, Portion 27 of Farm 705. Edith Stephen’s, the Wetland Park Nature Reserve, is approximately 2.5 kms. north-east of the farm.
The Cheval project objectives are Job Creation again(essentially for the indigent), Wetland Restoration and Horse Rehabilitation and Rescue and Getaway Accommodation . We purchased the above small-holding, size 7.2 hectares, which had essentially been used as a rubbish dump and proceeded along the following lines:
Unemployment is of major concern in the Province (of the Cape of Good Hope).
The area is one of very low employment and mostly illiterate shack dwellers. There is an on-going desperate need for jobs but the lack of skills perpetuates the problems.
We (and the now trained staff) take on workers and train them as grooms or groundsmen as the demands on the property grow. Each employee in his/her own right, supports an extended family of several, who themselves are unemployed, elderly or disabled.
Employment currently averages at around 31 staff members (not all full-time).Temporary staff are regularly taken on (we are limited by funds not work) often the becoming permanent.
Our staff are loyal and committed and we have seen significant advancement/development in most of them.
The continuity of the farm is essential to ensure their job security
The seasonal wetlands, of which Cheval forms a part (as does the Edith Stephens Nature Conservation Park-see note*1), is an increasingly diminishing area due to on-going pressure and encroachment of industrial development and housing, in the immediate vicinity-see notes*2,*3. This creates increasing & continuing threats to the precious Biodiversity and Bird life of these seasonal wetlands.
Cape Town is located within a CI Biodiversity hotspot and is home to a total of 19 different and distinct vegetation types. (This enormous variety is mainly because the city is uniquely located at the convergence point of a great many different soil types and micro-climates.) These 19 vegetation types are mostly restricted to unusually small areas, and several are completely endemic to the city – occurring nowhere else in the world.
Having cleared the site of all products of dumping – plastic, barbed wire, glass, tins, string ( to name but a few of the items ), we developed the grounds by installing borehole and well-point pumps and water tanks; planting grass, trees, flowers and shrubs (with reference to advisors at Edith Stephens); establishing a nursery for on-going propagation and re-establishing the dam, clearing much of the invasive reeds therein. We have managed to attract the return and successful nesting of many of the wetland birds in the last 5 years.
Birds now residing or identified on the property-
Moorhens, Comorants, Egyptian Geese, Krakes, Sacred Ibis, Hadedas, Cootes, Malakite Kingfisher, Dabchicks, Darters, Hammerkop, White Faced Ducks, Yellow Billed Ducks, Grey Herons, Night Herons, African Spoonbill, African Wagtail, Masked Weavers, Little Egrets, Double Breasted Sunbirds, Three Banded Plover, Cape Robin, Cape Sparrow, House Sparrow, Turtle, Laughing and Red-Eyed Doves, Cape Bulbul, Blacksmith Plover, Thick Knee (Dikkop), Cape Canary, Masked Weaver, Pied Crows, Black Shouldered Kite, Quail Finch, Fiscal Flycatcher, Red and Yellow Bishop Birds, Jackal Buzzard, Spotted Eagle Owl, Verrraux’s Eagle(?), Fiscal Shrike, Karoo Prinias, Cisticolas, Cape Franklins, Guinea Fowls, Common Waxbill
There is also a substantial community of Western Leopard Toads
HORSE RESCUE & REHABILITATION, SOCIAL LIVERY AND SPELLING
We have embarked on something of a role of improving the lives of horses, where we can.
To enable this we
•Restored the run-down and dilapidated stables.
•Erected horse paddocks and shelters.
•Laid sub-bases & built a dressage arena, a jumping arena and something of a cross-country course.
•Erected storage facilities for feed & bedding & equipment
•Built a wooden barn for 10 more stables
•Acquired the necessary equipment for jumping and dressage arenas
•Secured Western Cape Equine Trust’s stabling at Cheval
•Provided vehicles and other necessary working equipment
•Erected staff living quarters
•Set up joinery/woodwork workshop and sewing workroom (both fully equipped)
•Moved into converted stables ourselves in order to be on hand 24/7 as this proved essential having had bad experiences with farm managers. Converted our Kenilworth residence, 25 Gibson Road into a self-catering facility which assists in the funding of Cheval development.
To date we ourselves have taken on several ex-race horses, rehabilitated (physically & emotionally – they often leave the track with many problems), retrained (on-going by means of the method of Natural Horsemanship) into the disciplines of Dressage and Jumping. These horses have come on beautifully and are now a pleasure to work with. We have used these horses in therapy for patients in addiction recovery, and have had phenomenal results. They are also leased out (to anyone willing to follow natural horsemanship methods).
Selected staff are being trained in these refined methods of horsemanship and are making good progress.
Western Cape Equine Trust (Public Benefit Organisation) now resides at our stables. They too take on ex-race horses, retrain (using similar methodology) and find them suitable homes. Currently 9 stabled.
We have a Spelling License which enables us to take in working race horses from trainers and give them a temporary rest break and change from the stressful racing environment, to improve their condition and attitude. Currently 4 stabled.
In addition to the above, the stables are open to other horse owners who wishes to stable their horse at Cheval and use the facilities. We currently stable 20 of these Livery Horses (including those taken on by ourselves).
ACCOMODATION AND RESORT FACILITIES
Being in the heart of Cape Town’s seasonal wetlands, Cheval is a wonderfully tranquil oasis and a nature haven for those who still need to be close to all Cape Town’s attractions; such as Table Mountain, Groot Constantia, the Wine-Lands and Oceans, Newlands Cricket and Rugby as well as various great restaurants and the southern suburbs. We aim to enable guests to experience the beauty of the wetlands, nature, bird and horse life at minimal cost. Eco and Avi-Tourism is significantly attractive in the tourist industry and Cheval has the added advantage of being very central and economical.
To date we have
•Erected Tourist Cabins, ablution blocks and facilities
•Built service roads, toilets (with septic tanks)
•Developed the grounds by installing boreholes and well-point pumps and water tanks; planting grass, trees, flowers and shrubs (with reference to advisors at Edith Stephens); established a nursery for on-going propagation
The rustic wooden Cottages are idyllically situated overlooking the dam with flourishing bird life and serene paddocked horses. The Cottages can sleep between two and five people and are comprehensively & cosily equipped. Currently available at the very low charge of R100 per person per night, they have been enormously popular Linen can be supplied at an additional cost of R15 per person. There are separate ablution facilities containing a toilet, shower, bidet and a hand-basin. A barbecue area, children’s playground as well as a row boat for access to the small bird island is also available.
There is also a more luxurious Mews Apartment for those needing more. DSTV, Antique Brass Beds, private bath & shower etc and also fully equipped. l
Cheval is fully secured with private 24 hour armed response, electric fencing, night security guards & dogs
Located within a short drive is the Ottery Hypermarket, Macro and located within a 10 minute drive is the Royal Cape Golf Club and the Zeekoeivlei International Bird Sanctuary. Wynberg, Kenilworth, Plumstead and Muizenberg Beach are within a 15 to 20 minute drive. A bit further away is the Stellenbosch wine routes and Atlantic Ocean and approximately 60 km away is the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
These cottages are meeting a definite gap/need in the market. We are getting favourable and rewarding feedback from the guests. Several have made repeat bookings and posted most positive reviews on the Booking Agent sites, which is most pleasing
We are members of Cape Town Tourism and are listed on several internet accommodation sites. Our own site is