Spring has sprung! What better way to shake off winter than by planning a little getaway. You needn’t travel far, or blow your budget, to celebrate the return of sunny and warm weather. Here’s a list of local accommodation that will have you feeling rested, rejuvenated, restored and ready to head into the last quarter of the year with gusto.
GRACELAND ECO RETREAT – LIMPOPO
This is the ideal staycation destination for anyone looking to unplug for a few days and disappear into the wonderment of the natural environment. In the building of Graceland, owners Douglas Walker and Anders Ragnarsson have tried to make as little change to the luscious neighbourhood of Magoebaskloof as possible.
There is brag of a wonderful waterfall and picnic spots to discover along the 21km hiking route you can explore. Visit Woodbush Forest Reserve and you’ll definitely happen upon the friendly giraffes and impalas along the way. Here, Mother Nature shows off and you can enjoy the stunning view from every corner of this pet-friendly, solar-powered oasis. Expect an unforgettable stay at the tastefully decorated contemporary lodge.
ST LUCIA ECO LODGE – KWAZULU NATAL
While you have Zululand’s wetlands and forests in your backyard, a game reserve is a stone’s throw away – so undefined are the borders that hippos and leopards often share the lodge’s garden with its guests.
You won’t have to scramble for entertainment at this magnificent seaside hideaway, as you’ll really be spoilt for choice. Either surf down Mapelane dunes and into the estuary, laze along Lake St Lucia on a boat safari, or delve into the depth of Cape Vidal with a wetsuit and snorkelling gear.
PURPLE HAZE ECO LODGE – EASTERN CAPE
Cintsa East provides the perfect setting for any guest hoping for a digital detox because the 4km² village is in the middle of nowhere. And if it isn’t the mischievous monkeys causing a power outage because they’ve been swinging from the powerlines, it’s the mysterious network disappearance that occurs over the weekend which prompts a leisurely walk to the beach.
First of its kind in the Amatole coastal region, the lodge has been built from recycled materials, utilises greywater, and is kitted out with low-energy appliances. The Green Deck provides an unobstructed panoramic view of the Indian Ocean which is the perfect place to while away a balmy day by the beach.
FRANSCHHOEK COUNTRY HOUSE – WESTERN CAPE
You can feel like you’re in the French Wine Country without having to polish your pronunciation of s’il vous plait and merci beaucoup. This 5-star boutique hotel is steeped in history and has been restored to give you the best of the French experience. The restored manor is made up of a number of villa-style buildings, placed in a way that makes you forget you’re located on the busy road that enters and exits Franschhoek.
If it isn’t the attentive staff and idyllic atmosphere that wins you over, it will be dining at Monneaux Restaurant that does. The fine-dining eatery pays homage to the history of French-influenced Franschhoek while celebrating local flavours too.
OUDEBOSCH ECO CABINS – WESTERN CAPE
Erica, Marsh Rose, Fire Lily, Iris, and Everlasting Daisy are the names of the five cabins that can be found in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve which is considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Reconnect with nature at this magnificent setting that boasts breath-taking waterfalls, fantastical mountain ranges, and private dams and rivers found along any of the hiking routes that depart from the borderless site. Each four-sleeper unit has been built with planted roofs for effective insulation, solar-powered geysers, and waterless toilets.
The glass-fronted cabins are proof that you can have an awe-inspiring experience without disturbing or depleting the resources of the natural surroundings, as the units only use two kilowatts of electricity a day. Ideal for couples, the isolation paired with the surrounding mountain range’s embrace will encourage romantic reconnection.
AFRICAN VINEYARD HOTEL – NORTHERN CAPE
Kanoneiland in Upington, known to Northerncapers as the ‘Slow Island’ is where you go to shift gears for a few days of refuelling. The 4-star hotel is the ideal place to enjoy the jewels of the Green Kalahari. A combination of the ambience, personalised service and modern accommodations make for a comfortable stay. Body clay wraps, skin treatments and African stone massages are just a few of the offerings available at the in-house wellness spa too.
After a few days at this peaceful and lush location, you certainly won’t want to leave.