13 Jun 30 Super South African Getaways
With the winter holidays around the corner, I thought picking the brains of a real expert in the field of breaking away would be a good idea. As photo editor of Getaway, Teagan Cunniffe has been to more holiday destinations than she can remember. In January last year, she published an article listing 30 wonderful places and I thought it might be time to revisit her suggestions.
Whether you’re after a secret haven all to yourself or a holiday for the family, you’ll find something here.
- Leshiba Wilderness
Decorated in a Venda theme by famed artist Noria Mbasa and overlooking a valley framed by mountains. The drive up to the camp can only be done by 4×4 and you never seem to stop climbing, but once you reach this haven you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave.
- Bateleur Nature Reserve
Location: The Waterberg
The view at this stone cottage looks out onto unbroken veld; it’s just you and perhaps a few visiting cows.
- Franshoek Farm and Polo School
Location: Eastern Free State
It feels like you’re at the end of a cul-de-sac on this farm, and that the valley stretching before you is at your disposal. Fun owners and company, polo lessons and a laissez faire ambiance all make for a great stay.
- B’Sorah Luxury Tented Camp
These lovely tented camps overlooking the river seemed a world away from city stresses.
- De Kunst Huisje
Location: Bela Bela
Trendy, fun decor fills the spaces at this B&B, where each room has its own character. A great base for exploring the town.
- Kurisa Moya
These cabins are a five-minute walk into the thick forest and feel like a tree-house hideaway where you could sit for ages writing or listening to birdsong.
- Birder’s Cottage
This small cottage is secreted away in a mountainside with nothing but yourself and birdsong for company.
- Melody Hill Retreat
Even the air here is calm, and within a few minutes of arriving you’ll feel yourself starting to unwind.
- Old Willow Houseboats
Not really a place per say, but absolute bliss waking up to the still waters of the Vaal lapping the sides of your houseboat – which you can commandeer yourself after taking a brief skippers test.
What can be better than falling asleep to the sound of the river at this 5-star lodge, and then running a hot bath with the open forest at your elbow.
- Yvonne’s House
A foodie’s heaven – it’s owned by Yvonne Short, author of Kitchen Safari – and open plan retreat overlooking a scenic valley.
- Wessel’s House
The masculine version of Yvonne’s house and just as well decorated. Both were designed by architect Daniel van der Merwe.
- Zwakala River Retreat
Owners Denise and Rob’s creative, DIY approach can be found over everything they put their minds to on this farm. Camping also available.
A great favourite to return to alone or with a group of friends to enjoy the boho loft-living!
- Midlands Cottages
It’s all soft comforts and friendliness here; owner Jayne is wonderful and pays such attention to detail.
- Rockshandy Beach House
Location: Marina Beach
A sprawling house near Southbroom, Rockshandy makes for the perfect upmarket group escape.
- Rockwood Forest Lodge
Location: Karkloof Nature Reserve
Surrounded by forest and ideal for winter, where you can light a fire and nestle into your log cabin with a cup of coffee. In summer months there are great hikes and rivers nearby to explore.
- The Fat Hamster
Right on the beach, this house is brilliant for friend or family get-togethers and has fantastic décor
- St Helier Cottage
Location: KZN South Coast
Ah, one can dream. This luxury house is perfectly decorated, and overlooking the sea on KZN’s South Coast.
- Ou Kraal
After a long 4×4 drive you reach this spot, high up on a vast plateau. It’s almost a lean-to, with stone walls and a corrugated iron roof resting on boulders that form the back wall, and if you like the idea of being completely off the grid in a place of unparalleled beauty that you don’t have to share with anyone, this spot is for you.
Owned by Sonja, a horse-lover, these cottages overlook Franschhoek from Chamonix Wine Farm. Each cottage is different, with an equestrian theme running throughout.
- Opstal Vlei Suite
Location: De Hoop Nature Reserve
Get blown away by its diverse beauty of this area and spoiled rotten by the staff at this lovely destination.
- Guinevere Guest Farm
Another place that is best enjoyed with a large group of friends. This unusually-designed house is huge, with wonderful artworks and living areas. It’s like a private hotel, with bedrooms dotted all over for friends to share.
- Klein Nektar
Ideal for a quiet break, this simple farm cottage is surrounded by olive trees, and has a daybed on the verandah.
Penguin’s View Villa
Location: Betty’s Bay
Contact: Penguin’s View Villa
Disclosure: Must love penguins. This airy beach house overlooks Betty’s Bay, and you can take in the view while penguins and dassies suntan themselves on the lawn by your feet. Bring friends and family.
- De Hoop camp
Location: ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Camping here with the Orange River on your doorstep is incomparable.
These tree-houses make for the perfect romantic escape, with the added bonus of having a spa on site.
- The Vineyard Country House
Arguably serving the best B&B breakfasts and with cottages overlooking vineyards. What could be better?
- Chamonix Waterfall Lodge
Contact: Chamonix Waterfall Lodge
WHAT a location. At the end of a cobblestone driveway fringed by towering mountainside, right at the base of a waterfall… you step out of your door and almost literally into the stream running past your cottage. The waterfall forms a pool at the back of the house, perfect for swimming.
La Petite Dauphine
Suite 9 is private, well-furnished and cozy, the perfect retreat for a couple.