About Walkerbouts Inn
Walkerbouts Inn is located in the historic village of Rhodes that was established in 1891. The village is situated at the southernmost tip of the Drakensberg mountain range, 16km due south of the border with the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. The village is +-1821m above sea level and is surrounded by the towns of Maclear, Ugie and Elliot that lie below the nearby escarpment.
Barkly East lies west of Rhodes above the escarpment. It is 60km or 60 minutes drive from Barkly East on a narrow and winding gravel road that must be driven with care. It is a remote village almost frozen in time, a relic from the past and indeed, a living record of the trials and tribulations of the surrounding farming community.
The unique nature of the architecture finds it’s origins in the Victorian era and is a compromise between fashion, availability of materials and practicality. For example, the length of corrugated iron was determined by the means of transport i.e. the length of an ox-wagon! Houses range from grand trader’s residences to flat-roofed “kerk-huisies” used as town houses in days gone by when travelling to the village from surrounding farms was a major and time consuming outing. These buildings are sprinkled amongst tree-lined streets and all contribute to the quaint charm of the village that was promulgated as a Conservation Area in the Government Gazette on the 25th July 1997 thereby rendering the entire village a National Monument. Rhodes is on the banks of the Bell River and is surrounded by great mountain scenery.
Walkerbouts Inn is a spacious haven with comfortable en-suite accommodation, fine country cuisine and hospitality in the best traditions of the “Platteland”. The relaxed and hospitable atmosphere makes it a home-from-home where well-behaved pets are welcome by prior arrangement.
The sunny lounge is a great spot in winter from where the soaring mountains can be admired in warmth. The dining area adjoins the lounge and the cosy pub next door boasts a wood-fired pizza oven. The en-suite bedrooms all have a double and a single bed and two of the “family rooms” have an extra single bed. Our beds are all fitted with electric blankets and wall-mounted heaters in the bedrooms to help ward off the winter chill. Should winter temperatures really plummet, the inn is also heated by four anthracite heaters and an open “Jetmaster” fire-place adds to the ambience of the restaurant.
We grow as much of our own vegetables and herbs as weather permits organically in our vegetable garden and heated tunnel. Green asparagus in spring and early summer is an added bonus. The produce ensures that the freshest and tastiest veggies and herbs add an extra dimension to our country cuisine. To add a bit of extra “colour”, one of our specialities are the best pizzas in Rhodes. Thin, home-made bases allow one to savour the ingredients that guests select from the pizza menu. As far as possible, we use as much locally grown beef, lamb and chicken as can be provided by our suppliers.
Last but by no means least, Walkerbouts Inn is a 3 star TGCSA and “Recommended” AA Travel graded establishment.
Walkerbouts Inn can also accommodate small (up to 20) conferences in the 2nd dining room adjacent to the pub. This area is separate from the main areas, has a separate outside entrance and is ideally suited for the purpose.
Activities and attractions
Activities & attractions in the area include snow skiing in winter at the nearby Tiffindell Ski Resort, horse riding in the Wartrail area, mountain-biking, birding, walks on the village common, rock art by arrangement, 4x4 routes, guided Alpine flower tours in summer by arrangement. Fly fishing on more than 200km of running water and two great still waters can be arranged at Walkerbouts, headquarters of the Wild Trout Association. Guided outings can also be arranged and at least one day’s guided fishing is recommended to allow enthusiasts to acquaint themselves with local conditions and tactics.