30 Super South African Getaways

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.

  1. Leshiba Wilderness

Location: Soutpansberg
Contact: leshiba.co.za

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.

  1. Bateleur Nature Reserve

Location: The Waterberg
Contact: bateleurnaturereserve.co.za

The view at this stone cottage looks out onto unbroken veld; it’s just you and perhaps a few visiting cows.

  1. Franshoek Farm and Polo School

Location: Eastern Free State
Contact: poloschool.co.za

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.

  1. B’Sorah Luxury Tented Camp

Location: Broederstroom
Contact: bsorah.com

These lovely tented camps overlooking the river seemed a world away from city stresses.

  1. De Kunst Huisje

Location: Bela Bela
Contact: dekunsthuisje.co.za

Trendy, fun decor fills the spaces at this B&B, where each room has its own character. A great base for exploring the town.

  1. Kurisa Moya

Location: Magoebaskloof
Contact: www.krm.co.za

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.

  1. Birder’s Cottage

Location: Magoebaskloof
Contact: mbcottage.co.za

This small cottage is secreted away in a mountainside with nothing but yourself and birdsong for company.

  1. Melody Hill Retreat

Location: Magaliesberg
Contact: melodyhillretreat.co.za

Even the air here is calm, and within a few minutes of arriving you’ll feel yourself starting to unwind.

  1. Old Willow Houseboats

Location: Vanderbijlpark
Contact: oldwillow.co.za

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.

  1. Summerfields

Location: Hazyview
Contact: summerfields.co.za

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.

  1. Yvonne’s House

Location: Rosendal
Contact: rosendalinfo.co.za/yvonnes-house

A foodie’s heaven – it’s owned by Yvonne Short, author of Kitchen Safari – and open plan retreat overlooking a scenic valley.

  1. Wessel’s House

Location: Rosendal
Contact: rosendalinfo.co.za/wessels-house

The masculine version of Yvonne’s house and just as well decorated. Both were designed by architect Daniel van der Merwe.

  1. Zwakala River Retreat

Location: Magoebaskloof
Contact: zwakalaretreat.co.za

Owners Denise and Rob’s creative, DIY approach can be found over everything they put their minds to on this farm. Camping also available.

  1. Hillhouse

Location: Midlands
Contact: hillhouse.co.za

A great favourite to return to alone or with a group of friends to enjoy the boho loft-living!

  1. Midlands Cottages

Location: Midlands
Contact: midlandscottages.co.za

It’s all soft comforts and friendliness here; owner Jayne is wonderful and pays such attention to detail.

  1. Rockshandy Beach House

Location: Marina Beach
Contact: rockshandy.co.za

A sprawling house near Southbroom, Rockshandy makes for the perfect upmarket group escape.

  1. Rockwood Forest Lodge

Location: Karkloof Nature Reserve
Contact: rockwood.co.za

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.

  1. The Fat Hamster

Location: Pennington
Contact: www.wheretostay.co.za/thefathamster

Right on the beach, this house is brilliant for friend or family get-togethers and has fantastic décor

  1. St Helier Cottage

Location: KZN South Coast
Contact: www.perfecthideaways.co.za

Ah, one can dream. This luxury house is perfectly decorated, and overlooking the sea on KZN’s South Coast.

  1. Ou Kraal

Location: Gamkaberg
Contact: capenature.co.za

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.

  1. Courchevel

Location: Franschhoek
Contact: courchevel.co.za

Owned by Sonja, a horse-lover, these cottages overlook Franschhoek from Chamonix Wine Farm. Each cottage is different, with an equestrian theme running throughout.

  1. Opstal Vlei Suite

Location: De Hoop Nature Reserve
Contact: dehoopcollection.com

Get blown away by its diverse beauty of this area and spoiled rotten by the staff at this lovely destination.

  1. Guinevere Guest Farm

Location: Tulbagh
Contact: guinevereguestfarm.com

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.

  1. Klein Nektar

Location: Montagu
Contact: montagu-ashton.info

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.

  1. De Hoop camp

Location: ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park
Contact: sanparks.org

Camping here with the Orange River on your doorstep is incomparable.

  1. Vindoux

Location: Tulbagh
Contact: vindoux.com

These tree-houses make for the perfect romantic escape, with the added bonus of having a spa on site.

  1. The Vineyard Country House

Location: Montagu
Contact: thevineyardcountryhouse.co.za

Arguably serving the best B&B breakfasts  and with cottages overlooking vineyards. What could be better?

  1. Chamonix Waterfall Lodge

Location: Franschhoek
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

Location: Franschhoek
Contact: lapetite.co.za

Suite 9 is private, well-furnished and cozy, the perfect retreat for a couple.