A welcome respite for travellers between Middelburg and Graaf-Reinet on the N9.

Jagtpoort padstal


On the N9 highway near Middelburg

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Jagtpoort padstal op die N9

Niel and Alet Schoombee had been farming for quite some time on the family farm in Middelburg in the Eastern Cape when his father-in-law asked if he and Alet would take over his farm at Jagtpoort in the Lootsberg Pass. To sweeten the deal, the patriarch promised that he would convert the old cowstall on the N9 into a farmstall. The cows would be put to pasture, and Niel’s wife Alet would quit her teaching job and head up the stall. The offer was accepted.

That was 25 years ago (1997). Today the Jagtpoort Farmstall is a welcome respite for travellers between Middelburg and Graaf-Reinet.

Tourists will be tempted by top-notch farm products such as biltong, dry wors, rusks, homemade jams as well as local curios.

Jagtpoort padstal

We invite people to take a break on our stoep and simply enjoy the view of the mountains,” says Niel. “Or stretch their legs by taking a leisurely walkabout on the farm property”.

These days Alet leaves the day-to-day running of the farmstall in the capable hands of Chrissie Afrika so that she can co-manage the farm with Niel.

“We have Dohne Merinos (wool), and Bonsmara-Sussex cross cattle. (beef). We also offer hunting expeditions in the winter” says, Niel who holds a Professional Hunter qualification

This is apt as Jagtpoort is Dutch for Hunting Pass. Niel and Alet’s clients comprise international hunters, mainly from the USA, and local corporate clients. The hunters are accommodated in a hunting lodge up in the Lootsberg Pass area and have access to 12 species of plains game. Niel did not want an unreliable power supply to spoil his hunters’ premium experience and he took the lodge completely off the grid.

Ultra fast charging stations for electric vehicles at Jagtpoort farm stall

“So, when Joubert proposed that we partner in establishing an EV charging station at the Padstal, I was ready”.

Niel believes South Africans will need to change their mindset.

“In Europe EVs are commonplace. But we’ll catch up, I have no doubt. Once people see that there are charging stations at regular intervals they’ll relax, and they’ll switch. I can’t wait for us to turn the first sod and erect the station at Jagtpoort.”

Alet is already planning to expand their offering to EV drivers stopping to recharge: light meals, coffee, and tea are top of her list.

Another thing Niel can’t wait for is the first Electric Bakkie to come onto the market. “I mean,” he laughs “I’ll look foolish if I don’t use my own charging station”.

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