The Insider SA was invited to catch a breather on the du Toit’s family farm, Buff and Fellow. We experience one of the magnificent Big Five up close, while also enjoying the downtime of farm living.

On a working buffalo farm along the Garden Route, we find the story of a family who have become even closer by overcoming challenges together. The name of the farm is Ultreya, a Spanish word meaning “onward with courage” – and it’s an apt name for their life’s philosophy.

Frikkie du Toit manages Buff and Fellow for his parents Pieter and Sukie du Toit.

Husband and wife, Pieter and Sukie du Toit, and their son, Frikkie du Toit, bought the farm five years ago. However, a pivotal change arose after both father and son’s health took a turn for the worse.

Frikkie explains, “It was supposed to be just a retirement farm for my parents, but about two years ago, I got really sick with a lung virus and at the same time, my dad got a heart attack. So, when we came back to the farm, we decided to do something together”.

This is when the Buff and Fellow idea began: a self-catering, Eco Game Farm with all the wildlife and farm activities you could dream of to escape city living.

Pieter and Sukie du Toit were planning on retiring, but following a medical emergency they decided to join their son on a brand new venture.

Buff and Fellow’s picturesque location and vast landscape gives you an abundance of choice. With the beach a stone throw away, the Outeniqua Mountains ahead of you, and a beautiful dam right on the farm, this little piece of paradise will have you entertained the whole trip long.

Everyone in the family has their role to play with Pieter tending to the buffalo farming, creative mom, Sukie looking after the décor and hospitality, and Frikkie, who established the eco-pods and eco-cabins.

The Cape or African Buffalo is the largest and most formidable of Africa’s wild bovids, and a major drawcard for visitors at South Africa’s parks and reserves.

Pieter remarks, “Our biggest priority on the farm is the buffalos. It’s a fantastic animal to farm with. The buffalo is one of the Big 5 which is what made Buff and Fellow so special. If you go to any game farm, you want to see some of the Big 5. At Buff and Fellow, it’s so easy – the buffalos are right next to you. It’s a small paradise where we stay”.

When the farm got so much attention and interest, it was inevitable that visitors wouldn’t want to leave. Frikkie then launched the self-catering, sustainable containers. “We used 12m containers and combined them to come up with this space”, Frikkie describes. “You don’t even realise you’re in a container. With these eco-pods, we tried to create this space for people to just get away from the city and experience farm life”.

The modern and industrial-styled containers are balanced with the softness of nature as they seem to flow right onto the farm’s peaceful dam. The farm has six uniquely designed cabins in three different styles, all built with sustainability in mind. They’re kitted with a wood-fire hot tub, braai, a cosy fireplace, and a fully-equipped kitchen.

During your stay at Buff and Fellow, you can experience the joys of the simple life. You can pick the farm’s home-grown veggies to prepare your meals, collect free-range eggs from the chicken coop in the morning, and you’ll be treated to a DIY Meal in a Box that comprises of local ingredients, fruits, vegetables, snacks, and breads from local farmers and businesses in the area – some even straight from the farm’s kitchen.

“Everyday life here on the farm is wonderful”, says Frikkie. Surrounded by wildlife, we’re reminded that happiness is most tangible when it’s shared. “The aim is for people to come together and be in fellowship with each another here. The atmosphere is all relaxed and you can really be present with your family and friends. What could be better?”.