Gecko Rock – A place to free your mind | Touws River


Life during this current pandemic creates a new norm with tasks requiring control and mental effort. Sometimes we are faced with multitasking whilst having different priorities all at the same time, trying to create a healthy work-life balance.

We might often feel run down. The things we enjoy and take for granted now comes with new regulations and protocols. You can no longer just step outside your house without wearing a mask. It all requires effort having to adhere to all the new norm of rules while trying to stay positive.

Looking for a place to re-energise your mind? The Karoo, with its diverse landscape and a road that stretches out endlessly, this is the place to be. There is a reason why the Karoo touches the soul. The Karoo is timeless, it’s diverse, so very unique and absolutely beautiful.

As part of a trip to the Hex River Valley, I was very fortunate to be able to visit and explore a place just outside of Touws River, called Gecko Rock Private Nature Reserve. To think that this place is in the middle of nowhere but has so much to offer and ticks all the right boxes.

✅Wide open spaces
✅Fresh air
✅No crowds
✅Covid Safe

Gecko Rock is a family run business that was acquired by the Deal family in 2002. It’s an outdoor destination and a private nature reserve. Jonathan Deal – who is also the author of Timeless Karoo and took 3 years to write, is a wonderful book capturing the beauty of the Karoo, the rich history and the people of today.

It is an introduction to everything that is the Karoo”.

Visit their website for more details on this book here


As Jonathan Deal would say: “It’s Covid-Unfriendly”. The Karoo with its clean crisp air is the perfect escape from the current pandemic. Back in the days of the Cape Colony when people suffered with TB, they were sent to the Karoo to recover as the air is clean and dry.


The varieties of activities cater for young and old – from fun, chilled experiences to the very exciting, challenging experiences. Gecko Rock is perfect for family and who wants to experience nature at its best.

🔹No Wi-Fi – Which means you are forced to explore and appreciate nature without any interruptions from phones or tablets. It gives the opportunity to connect with family and create special memories.

🔹Walking, Hiking, Running – What better way than to explore nature. There are a number of popular and easy-to-follow trails with a choice of easy, moderate and difficult. Many places on the property you can make a 360 degree turn and not see anything that is man-made such as a fence or a building.

You get to explore the veld searching for interesting insects and beautiful succulent flora. You might also find interesting rock formation, fossils, crystals, stone age tools and artifacts. Something that can keep you busy for hours!

🔹Star Gazing – Gecko Rock is about 40 square kilometre and is basically bigger than Durbanville. Watching the stars here at night is spectacular. It’s just far enough out of town to be away from all the twinkling of city lights. Drinking a glass of wine with a fire going and watching the stars – now that sounds soothing to the soul!

🔹Photography – It’s an opportunity to capture beautiful pictures. Anything from landscapes, stars to action photos and the smallest succulent plant. You will certainly not be bored.

🔹4×4 Trails – Voted by DRIVE OUT as a Superior Destination and one of the top ten trails in South Africa. It ranges from easy to some advanced drives for those who are up for a challenge.

🔹Mountain Biking / Cycling – This is a very popular activity for all ages. Whatever your level of skill on a bike, you are sure to treasure your memories. Cycling is also a great activity for family with kids to explore and experience the beautiful landscape.

🔹Shooting – This is also very popular and this brings a lot of people to Gecko Rock. They have various courses in practical handgun, long range, shotgun and various sport shooting disciplines. People who are lawful firearm owners that don’t get the opportunity to practice and enjoy their firearms can bring their firearms and learn how to safely shoot and handle their own firearms.

Worried about the noise? The shooting range is situated where it won’t disrupt guests at all with all the shooting noises.

🔹Team Building – They offer custom team building events and facilities to cater for corporate private needs. You can manage your own program or contract Gecko Rock to tailor-made an event for you. Sharon Deal, who not only is a Transformation Coach/EQ Practitioner but she is also the Owner of Who am I Foundation, assists with the journey of self-discovery and connects with individuals and organisations through educating, facilitating, coaching and training. For more information, visit the website here.

🔹Functions – They also offer the exclusivity of venues for functions. Whether it’s for a 21st birthday or any special celebration. It will be private without interrupting other guests.

🔹Rock Climbing / Abseiling – Different levels to suit all climbers. Experienced climbers can tackle the rock to learn that the grades at Gecko Rock are challenging and well designed. While at it you can also opt to improve your abseiling skills with professionals to show and explain in detail.

🔹Accommodation – Comfortable accommodation options vary from camping to fully equipped self-catering modern, eco-friendly cabins and cottages.

Image your own wood-heated jacuzzi, with a glass of bubbly on a stunning wooden deck with an outside braai. Your location between mountain ridges and your own view as far as you can see, completes a special experience.

This is the ultimate getaway place to unwind, to recharge the batteries and to escape from cellphones, technology and life stress. Gecko Rock is a place to breathe, to connect with your internal mind and a space to re-align.

Gecko Rock is a place where the mind can open up, a place for retrospection and reflection. It soothes your soul. Now this ticks all the boxes!

For more information, please visit their website for all the activities and accommodation on offer:

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