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About Us

Carl Kritzinger welcomes you to WAYLANDS, your luxury Gourmet Retreat in the tranquil Eastern Cape Mountains.

The farm Hartebeestfontein was purchased by Carl’s ancestor John Joseph Smith and his French wife Marian Josephine de Fallaux in 1834 from trekboer Willem Adriaan Piek . The farm had been occupied by trekboers in the late 1700’s where they initially encountered the early San that had long occupied the mountains here . The farm has two impressive rock art sites . Early San populations were sadly decimated mercilessly by both Boers and Xhosa warriors who had started moving into the Winterberg simultaneously towards the end of the 18th Century.

The farm was especially chosen by Smith, a naval man who had served under Admiral Nelson, for its favourable location. The cliffs of the Katberg Mountain on the farm’s southern boundary provided the best natural barrier , the extensive wide plains below with their deep fertile soils formed by a prehistoric riverbed had endless potential for cultivation and the open vistas allowed the farmstead to be easily defended during troubled times . The farm originally known by its Dutch name Hartebeestfontein , occupied the northern slopes of the Katberg and provided long sun drenched days and more water than any of the other farms in the area . The large farm incorporates over 1100 hectares of grazing and includes the peak of the Katberg Mountain , full frontage of the Koonap River and thirteen crystal clear fountains . It was situated a few kilometres from the farm de Goede Hoop which at the time belonged to legendary Voortrekker leader Piet Retief who left from this Winterberg farm  joining the Great Trek in 1837. Our area owes much of its history to the early pioneers least of all to Piet Retief who was veldkornet of the area and represented the farmers in the remote Winterberg , then the furthest frontier of the Cape Colony. His efforts led to the Post Retief Barracks being built on his farm in 1836 , now a national monument . Clashes with the Xhosa expanding into the same territory as the European colonials led to nine wars fought over a century. Waylands has a war grave dating from the 4th Frontier War in 1811 and the Siege of Hartebeesfontein occurred on the farm during the 8th Frontier War 1851.
Carl returned to Waylands in 1997 after half a lifetime away having attended school in Johannesburg and then Veterinary College at Onderstepoort. After practicing in London and owning a busy practice in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg he was determined to find a more sustainable lifestyle, to return to his roots and to revive the neglected family farm and the rich history of the area .

Carl has restored many of the historic buildings on the farm, refurbished and redecorated the imposing Manor House opening it in 2005 as a luxury guest house. Extensive gardens were laid out and include a large organic vegetable garden along formal lines and a nursery specialising in succulents.

Waylands is a working farm and as part of our dedication to principles of holistic resource management and sustainable agriculture we have a registered herd of indigenous Nguni Cattle.
We are situated in the Amathole Mountains of the Eastern Cape Province. We are less than 3 hour drive from airports in Port Elizabeth and East London. We have access to a private airstrip less than 10km from Waylands. Summer temperatures may range from 20°C during the day, often with dramatic afternoon thunderstorms and some spectacular mists. Summer evenings in the mountains are generally considerably cooler and makes for comfortable sleeping. Our stars are legendary!

Winter daytime temperatures range from 10°C to 25°C and the night temperatures can drop to below 0°C in the deepest winter nights. Roaring log fires, heated blankets and fine linen see us comfortably through the cosy winter nights .

We get snow every year during our winter mostly on the surrounding mountains but occasionally deep round the house.

Our menu changes every evening according to the seasons in our gardens and the availability of our local produce. We have a good variety of hand selected South African wines which we love to drink and which pair well with our cuisine. Waylands is fully licensed and we appreciate if possible your drink preferences so that we are certain to have enough of what you prefer to drink.

Carl and the WAYLANDS team offer a professional yet discrete service.

Attention to detail, a deep sense of history , fine food and colonial luxury is what Waylands is all about.

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The farm named after the abundant herds of Hartebeest which favoured the sunny well watered slopes of the Katberg.


Elizabeth Salt the heroine of the Battle of Grahamstown 1819 connected to the family through the marriage of her only child, amassed a considerable fortune as a frontier trader lady ,reputed to have been hidden on the farm  just before the outbreak the 8thFrontier War , its location lost after Elizabeth’s sudden death a few months later.


Lieutenant-Colonel Fordyce was buried with other casualties of the 8th Frontier War in the small military Cemetery a short distance from the Post Retief Barracks


WAYLANDS has an incredibly rich history of it’s own being the site of the “Siege of Hartebeestfontein 1851.

The farm has various historic buildings and war graves from the 4th Frontier War 1811 and also the 8th Frontier War 1850-1853.

There are another 6 national monument sites within 10km of Waylands



Close to the fort in a small poplar forest a Monument & plaque marks the site of the last farmhouse to be occupied by the legendary Voortrekker leader before he left the Cape Colony in 1837 with two wagons & joined by 30 other wagons on the Great trek.

Piet Retief was famously massacred by Zulu King Dingaan a year later at Mgungundhlovu.



Chief Maqoma was very well known in the area , “the finest of Xhosa Generals”  and the father of Guerilla warfare.

Post Retief was situated within easy reach of Maqoma’s Great Place.

Maqoma’s resistance to Colonial Expansion during the 8th Frontier war is legendary

Thomas Baines - Artist


Thomas Baines –South Africa’s most famous 19th Century Artist – spent a few years in the area as official portrait painter during the 8th Frontier War. Five of his artworks relate to Post Retief and he widely refers to the area and the Edwards family in his valuable Journals.

Not to be confused with legendary road builder Andrew Geddes Bain who in 1838 famously built the Queen's Road to link military headquarters at Grahamstown with this remote military POST RETIEF in the Winterberg Mountains. During the construction of this road the first fossil found, the Blinkwater Monster (Aulacephalodon baini) was discovered by Geddes Bain.


The remains of the old military stronghold, Post Retief, are situated approximately 45 km north of Fort Beaufort and a short 8km drive from Waylands.

Due to the relentless petitioning by local veld cornet Piet Retief on behalf of the remote Winterberg farmers, Cape Governor Sir Benjamin D Urban agreed to build a military fort on Retief’s farm & named it in his honour – Post Retief.

It was to be the most northerly of the line of frontier fortifications. It is one of the only forts that remain almost intact , most other fortifications were demolished at the end of the Frontier Wars.

The post was designed by Major Charles Selwyn of the Royal Engineers, and building was commenced in 1836.

The loopholed walls of the fort surround a parade ground of an acre. The impressive Officers Quarters are currently being restored and the fort also has large stables , stores and additional quarters for the soldiers. The fort has an interesting history and it was here that sixty refugee farmers were besieged during the Eighth Frontier War (1850-1853) for two months - The Siege of Post Retief .

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