Surrounded by an UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town is at the heart of magnificent…
South Africa is a stunning country and there is a lot to see and do when you visit. There is a huge amount to accommodation to choose from, but if you are looking for something more unusal then this post will give you some ideas.
SIMA CADE BUSH RETREAT – MAGALIESBURG, GAUTENG
ABOUT SIMA KADE BUSH RETREAT
Sima Kade (Tree of Life) is nestled in a private valley in Magaliesburg, about 30km north of Johannesburg. Built using stone and wood from the valley the three separate, self-catering venues mimic the surrounding environment, flowing from forest to river-side to grass along stone pathways. Designed as sustainable off-grid retreats for total immersion in the natural environment, Sima Kade is truly at one with its surroundings. The venues are ideal for groups, ceremonies, outdoor enthusiasts, retreats and totally private, secluded stays.
This is the perfect base for exploring the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
ADDO TIPI BUSH CAMP – ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK, EASTERN CAPE
ABOUT ADDO TIPI BUSH CAMP
TiPi bush camp prides itself on being an environmentally friendly, eco-tourist destination and offers a unique setting in the Addo Afrique estate game reserve, bordering the Addo Elephant National Park.
Three large 6.3 metre diameter TiPi’s, based on the American Indian style can each accommodate 4 people on a self catering, un-serviced basis. All you need to bring is your food, toiletries and clothing. Don’t forget your drinks, cameras and binoculars.
Included are bedding, towelling, crockery, cutlery, sink, cleaning equipment, twin gas cooker, gas fridge, double bed and double “sleeper couch” per TiPi. The “sleeper couch” separates to two single beds if required. You will need to light the gas fridge on arrival. Neat ablutions in close proximity to the TiPi’s provide glass showers with hot & cold water, wash hand basin, flushing toilets and communal sink. All hot water and lighting is by solar.There is no electricity on the site.
Each TiPi is secluded and offers beautiful panoramic views over a valley teeming with game. For the energetic, there are numerous walks within Addo Afrique, where you may roam un-escorted through a wide variety of non predatory game like Ostrich, Giraffe, Kudu, Eland, Bushbuck, Nyala, Impala etc. Fuel and shopping facilities are found at Paterson 8 km to the east and Addo village 28 km to the west.
The main gate to the Addo Elephant National Park is 15 km to the west. All roads are tarmac surfaces. By either of two routes, Port Elizabeth city centre and airport is 80 km to the South-South-West.
SANTOS EXPRESS – MOSSEL BAY, WESTERN CAPE
ABOUT THE SANTOS EXPRESS
The Santos Express Train Lodge is a genuine train situated on the Santos Beach in Mossel Bay with all cabins facing the sea. With the ocean so close, you can’t really beat its unbelievable position and exquisite views. An invigorating sea breeze keeps everything cool even on really hot days.
The Santos Express Train Lodge opened its doors on 1 December 1994. Nine decommissioned coaches were procured from South African Railways and fitted with the necessary plumbing and electricity. These coaches were similar in style to the Transkaroo first class, which operated on South African lines during the seventies. One coach was a communal kitchen and a bed cost only R25 per person per night, but guests had to supply their own bedding.
Originally it provided only accommodation, but due to its uniqueness and location, it proved very popular, especially with foreign visitors and it was decided that a restaurant was needed to complete the experience. The accommodation was upgraded and a bar and restaurant were added.
In August 2007 a fire destroyed the train restaurant and offices. A new restaurant area was built, but all the memorabilia and authentic train fittings were lost in the fire. We are looking to recreate this due to popular demand and in an effort to provide the full experience of staying and dining in an authentic Transnet train. The Outeniqua Choo Tjoe used to run between Mosselbaai and George, but has ceased service much to the dismay of the general public, as well as foreign visitors. It proved to be a major attraction whilst it was running and we still get many enquiries. Nowhere on the Garden Route can one now experience a train ride or any train related experience apart from the Transport Museum in George and our Train Lodge.
A need for more luxury coaches was identified and two vintage wooden coaches called the Royal Suites were acquired. These were built in 1919 and 1921 respectively, then transported by boat from England to South Africa where they served a luxury rail company until they were decommissioned and made their last journey by rail to join our fleet in December 2013.
PLATBOS FOREST CABINS – GANSBAAI, WESTERN CAPE
ABOUT PLATBOS FOREST CABINS
Platbos Forest offers self-catering accommodation in an indigenous forest found on the Baviaanspoort Hills in Gansbaai. This ancient forest has trees that date back over 1000 years in age. This endangered and rare ecosystem is one of a kind and certainly worth the visit.
This exclusive forest camp means that guests can enjoy the forest area all to themselves.
SELF CATERING ACCOMMODATION
As the accommodation is off the grid there are no electrical appliances. Gas for cooking and crockery for six persons per unit is available. Should you require more, please bring this along. A communal freezer is available at reception and there is an outdoor fireplace.
THE GRAND DADDY – CAPE TOWN, WESTERN CAPE
ABOUT THE GRAND DADDY
With its rooftop Sky Bar, outdoor cinema, Airstream trailer park and coolly elegant rooms, this recently refurbished boutique hotel has a young, funky character that will suit those wanting an urban central-city base, close to the Long Street’s action and Bree Street’s hip restaurants and bars.
It’s located on busy Long Street, a five to 10-minute stroll to the heart of the city’s nightlife district. Grand Daddy is very much an urban experience, with no real views or grounds other than the rooftop. This is very convenient – aside from the plethora of restaurants and bars in the city, the Waterfront is a 20-minute walk away, and the nearby MyCiti bus stop connects you to most of the city’s top attractions. If you have a car, complimentary parking is available a block away.