We are a Swedish couple who decided to leave the cold weather in Sweden during wintertime and run a guesthouse in gorgeous Somerset West outside of Cape Town in South Africa.

Interview with Lars and Caroline

Start getting to know the owners Lars and Caroline, your hosts at the 51 Oldenland Guesthouse, before your visit. We asked them a few questions about their love affair with South Africa and their guest house philosophy...

Who are you?

Lars: We don't get younger with the years, although sometimes it feels like it! I was 50 years old and worked 7 days a week, and at one point I asked myself why I was working so hard. Then I got an amazing opportunity and I took it, and today I'm running a small guest house among the mountains in South Africa together with my great love, Caroline. It's a lot of work here too, the difference is that we can wear more comfortable clothes, we have a beatiful view and we are blessed to meet our wonderful guests from all over the world. We wake up early, make ourselves a cup of coffee and watch the sun rise over the mountains in a clear blue sky - that is now the start of our workday that we never get tired of. Caroline: Once upon a time, I had a dream of having a small guest house where people from different parts of the world could meet and where I could also develop my artistry. As a young globetrotter, I enjoyed meeting people and getting to know other cultures than my own, and that interest has guided my life, my education and work in the area of human development as well as my training and career as an artist.

Why South Africa?

Like most Swedes, we really love living close to nature and it’s a privilege to live in such a beautiful spot, right beside a spectacular mountain range and nature reserve. No doubt, this is Africa at its best. We are guests in this country too, and we enjoy helping our guests discover the Africa we love.

Giving something back

We strive to contribute to the sustainable development of the region in lots of simple ways, for example by working with local suppliers and making sure we use their products and services wherever possible. We also take care of the environment by sorting our rubbish for recycling, we try to use cleaning products that are good for the environment and we remind our guests to be economical with water and hang up their towels if they don’t need washing. Everything, no matter how small it may seem, can make a positive difference.

It’s your holiday!

We try to offer visitors to the 51 Oldenland Guesthouse a nice change from daily life and everything that implies. There’s lots to do here, but you don’t have to be active if you don’t feel like it. You don’t have to be sociable either.