Cape Town  - Imhoffs Gift Farm

Imhoff's Gift Farm
Kommetjie, Cape Town

Contact Imhoff Gifts farm
Phone 021 7834545
Imhoff Restaurant
Phone 021 7832007


The farm house as it is today

Baron Gustav Wilhelm von Imhoff arrived in Cape Town in 1743 with the task of setting up a harbour facility in Simonstown and to provide food for the ships that called at the Cape. Christina Diemer a widow who farmed cattle and vegetables in the southern Peninsula approached Von Imhoff for a grant of land in the Simonstown area.

Von Imhoff responded to Christina's application by granting her a piece of land above Simon's Bay called the "Goede Gift". The "Kommetjie land" and a piece of land which is now known as "Noordhoek" were also granted to her. The Kommetjie land stretched all the way from Chapman's Peak (Noordhoek) in the north to Kommetjie in the south and was known as the farm “Slangkop”.

Part of the old Slangkop farm with some of the wetlands on it

In honour of Baron von Imhoff the farm's name was eventually changed to Imhoff's Gift. The terms of the grant were that vegetables grown on the farm had to be supplied to the Company at a fixed price as there was a need for supplying fresh market produce to the ships lying at anchor in Simon's Bay. The vegetable garden on Imhoff's gift farm became known as the Compagny's Tuin or Company Garden.

Over the years the farm had various owners but in 1912 was taken over by the Van der Horst family who still own it today, The van der Horsts lived on the farm and utilised it to farm cows and produce milk. In addition to the cows their farmyard boasted a number of horses, a couple of goats and fowls. Some of these animals had vicious streaks in them.

A dog named Baskey (which could have been a Rottweiler) first bit and asked questions later. One of the horses named Blackie was quite happy to be ridden while heading away from the farmhouse but the minute he decided that he had gone far enough turned and made a dash for home leaving the unsuspecting rider hanging in a bush somewhere. A pet goat whose name I cannot remember sneaked up behind me one day as I was entering the farm kitchen and butted me in the backside. That was life way back in the 1950's.

Then in 1958, the unthinkable happened, a runaway bushfire blown by galeforce south east winds swept down onto the farmhouse and burnt it to the ground. Two wooden busts which were mounted either side of the stairway to the homestead were still burning three days after the fire had been put out. On the stretch of land between the farmhouse and Noordhoek are a number of lakes which form a wetland area. One of few on the Atlantic coastline of the Peninsula.

These lakes were in the news a couple of years ago when algae in them turned toxic and threatened to poison all the birdlife in the area. Fortunately a disaster was averted by dropping chemicals into the lakes from the air.

Today the farmhouse and its surrounding buildings have been restored and the farm has been opened to the public to visit and enjoy. Attractions such as horse rides along trails which wind their way through the bush and around the lakes onto the pristine Noordhoek beach are to die for. Ostriches roam the farm and camel rides are available for kids of any age.

The view from the farmhouse with Chapmans Peak and Hout Bay in the background

The views from the homestead which is situated on a rise above the lakes are still as beautiful as ever. Chapman's Peak in the distance is a picture especially on a clear day.

Do yourself a favour and visit Imhoff's Gift farm the next time you come to Cape Town. Brushing up on history and nature is a good way to a spend a day relaxing in the southern part of our beautiful peninsula.

See you there soon!

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Cape Town - Imhoff's Gift Farm