About Your Hosts

After purchasing Pikkie Cottage Bed and Breakfast, owners Gideon and Ilse Scheepers, who have business interests in Qatar, asked relatives Tilla and Leon Nell to manage their establishment.

This came quite naturally, for Tilla worked as a tourist officer in Etosha National Park, Namibia, worked for nature conservation in Mpumalanga and was co-owner of a successful pub in Knysna and co-guide for the Nell’s tour guide business in the Garden Route and Little Karoo. She has travelled and worked widely across southern Africa, helped Leon with research while he was working on his travel books and her great love for botany led her to discovering a new fire lily species, Cyrtanthus aureolinus, on the northern slopes of the Swartberg in the Great Karoo in February 2005.

Leon worked as a tourist officer in Etosha National Park and as a nature conservator in Mpumalanga before moving to Knysna, where he owned a successful pub for seven years. In 2003 his first travel book, the highly acclaimed The Garden Route and Little Karoo (Book of the Month, Yorkshire Horticultural Society, UK, January 2004) was published, and he moved to De Rust to concentrate on more travel books. In 2005 he completed two visitor’s guides – one on Knysna and the other on Oudtshoorn, before completing The Great Karoo in 2008 (Book of the Year, Struik Random House Publishers) – all published by Struik and/or Struik Random House Publishers, one of the most prestigious publishing houses in the southern hemisphere. In 2011 he wrote Die Oervlakte – Primordial Plains and has spent the last few years writing more than 300 articles for local papers and national magazines such as Country Life and Vrouekeur. He does all the photography for his coffee table books and magazines and is currently working on another coffee table book about the West Coast.

Beide is ten volle tweetalig.

About Saldanha

The gateway port to the 'Coast of Dreams' Saldanha is one of the great natural harbours of the world, this is the deepest, largest port in South Africa and is a world class port destined to become one of the main strategic hubs for the world's oil and gas industry. The sheltered harbour plays an important role in the huge Sishen Saldanha iron ore project where Saldanha Steel Mill is an integral part in the main economy of the town and surrounding areas.

This picturesque seaside town lies between the Berg river mouth in the North and the West Coast National Park in the south which has so much to offer the visitor as well as being a paradise for yachting and all water sports. Saldanha is also home to South Africa's historic naval and military college. During the spring and summer months the bay in teeming with marine life, including Southern Right Whales. In the flower season the S.A.S nature reserve is carpeted edge to edge in a wild and colourful display of the best of our floral heritage.

Taverns and restaurants can be found easily accessible, offering the visitor warm west coast style welcome with cuisine which has made Saldanha a destination for typical seafood fare. Saldanha is centrally situated and offers many attractions and activities including The West Coast National Park, horseback riding, 4 x4 trails, quad biking and boat chartering.