The oldest farm in Ceres is bursting with new life


Crystalline ripples lay gentle kisses on the golden river banks. Though it’s the oldest farm in Ceres, Eselfontein hasn’t lost a drop of its lustre. Janene Malherbe gazes at the scene, an unbridled sense of pride reflected in her eyes. She’s constantly in awe of the natural beauty surrounding her home. “We’re blessed to have the source of the Breede River on this farm,” Malherbe says. The vast body of water sparkles under the midday sun. A multitude of waterfalls gush forth, a source of vitality for the wildlife of the Ceres Valley.

This area is renowned for its balmy climate, which makes it ideal for agriculture. “Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of fruitfulness,” Malherbe says. “When people come here, I’m sure they can see why.” The valley in the Western Cape is a major producer in our fruit industry. But at Eselfontein, it’s the atmosphere that takes centre stage. Green lawns offer the perfect grounds for cows to amble about. Beyond the fields, delicate flowers sway in the breeze. The buildings date back to 1822. “Living in Ceres has given me the opportunity to appreciate the history and pride that this place brings to our country,” Malherbe says.

The Skurwe and Matroosberg mountains cradle the valley and all its splendour. Under their protection, and with the river’s blessing, everything growing here bursts with sweetness. “This iconic farming region is filled with magic and beauty,” Malherbe says. Eselfontein rests in a timeless haze of resplendence, a living testament to South Africa’s wonder.