Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Tuesday 26 December, 2017.

On My Top 10 Best Places for Stress Relief

Venterstad! If you love bright lights, fast city sidewalks, bustling crowds, tramping the malls, or coffee shops on every corner then DO NOT come to Venterstad!

For those of you who LOVE big skies, carpets of stars, herds of antelope almost on your doorstep, the whirr of windmills, nguni cattle, sunsets that dazzle, and SPACE! Venterstad has all of it…

“…you spend your time being aware of things and meditating on them. On sights and sounds, the mood of the weather and things remembered…”


See what I mean about ‘big skies’

..about 5 minutes drive from my house in Venterstad in the late afternoon. Stress relief and relaxation at its very best! 

Oviston Nature Reserve, Karoo

This is Margo looking down a road towards the Gariep Dam in the Oviston Nature Reserve…

The sense of clean space sure does relieve my stress!

What does it for you?

Click here and scroll down to send me your best stress relief place story!

A Bit About Venterstad

The town was declared a municipality in about 1864… The surrounding sheep and mielie (corn) farmers needed a trading center and a place to attend church. Apparently it was a busy and bustling community with banks, shopping and the all-important co-op (co-operative store). During the build-up to the construction of the HUGE Gariep Dam on the Orange River, the government of the day bought up many of the surrounding farms in the belief that they would be flooded and form part of the dam. This did not happen exactly as planned and some of the unflooded farms – now state owned – form part of the Oviston Nature Reserve. Lucky for us!

For a while, Venterstad was a popular holiday resort for up-country folk who came to play on the dam. But this was seasonal.

With the reduction of farming in the area due to farms being sold and farmers moving on, and due to changed weather and rainfall patterns because of this huge new body of water in the area (you cannot mess with nature and expect things to carry on as normal), Venterstad lost it’s important place in the area and became just a town left with some of the folks who were living there…

Today, it is QUIET!

No bank! Only an ATM.

One gas station (who needs more?)

A doctor visits once a week. But there is a clinic.

A couple of friendly shops for only basic necessities

The municipality is well run and service is personal and quick.

The Wild Hotel, run by a charming couple who escaped the city buzz for a more gentle life, supplies the passing visitor and the thirsty local. The food is divine!

Cows walk along the street. Chickens peck the pavements and the occassional goat helps herself to my plants.

The locals are all kinds. But all so friendly and all with a story to tell.

What Do I Do In Venterstad

Whatever I feel like doing

A bit of redecorating on the big old house that was bought for a song!…

A bit of gardening on the double plot that runs between the big house and the smaller cottage…

Walks and talks around the town, discussing gardens, local politics and the 2010 soccer matches…

Here I am discussing gardens with Queen Klaas.
She can organize anything from garden clean-ups to wedding feasts!

Kudu in the Oviston Nature Reserve

Drives to the Oviston Nature Reserve – only seven minutes drive away (we could cycle but…) and always open despite the rusted box at the gate asking for a permit to be dropped into it…

Drives into the surrounding areas which are replete with Anglo-Boer War sites and concentration camp memorials…

Visits to wonderful historical towns that are all no more than a few hours away…

Lots of sitting and reading and eating…

Perfect stress relief and relaxation Come and visit some time!

Your best place for stress relief?

Be sure to send me your ‘best stress relief place’ story!

Click here, scroll down and get writing!

How To Find Venterstad


View Venterstad in a larger map

Interesting Links

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