Escape the humdrum of your daily routine and fast-paced city life and step in worlds of untouched nature and uninterrupted tranquillity with our list of Off the Grid getaways. From simple farm living to enchanted forests, these local Cape retreats have the right kind of magic for the ultimate break.
Where: Rheenendal Road, Knysna
Nestled on the edge of a forested valley, Cliffhanger Cottages overlook the Knysna forest canopy with uninterrupted views of the ancient Outeniqua Mountain range.
The modern timber, self-catering cottages offer a “soul-cleansing” retreat from the city. Perfect for a tranquil hideaway, the private log cabins Cliffhanger Cottage or Cliffedge Cottage, or the smaller Hedge Cottage offer fully equipped kitchens and all amenities for a comfortable and unforgettable stay.
Cliffhanger Cottages was established in 2005 by inventive, artistic nature lovers Ingrid and Barry Young, whose connection to the forests of Knysna is evident in the sense of detail in the cottages.
The cottages are impeccably designed for romantic getaways, honeymoons, anniversaries or private escapes. And while the forest getaway is set in peaceful, unspoiled surroundings, it is also central to the Millwood Forest, Knysna town and the blue flag Buffalo Bay Beach, if you’d like to explore the scenic Knysna.
Relax with a steaming cup of coffee, take in the natural beauty of the area’s fauna and flora or explore the many activities and attractions the area has to offer. However you choose to relax, Cliffhanger Cottages should be at the top of your list
Where: 32 Long Street, Montagu
For a picturesque and historic getaway, The Klein Nektar Wine & Olive Estate offers a range of accommodation options, situated on a 3-hectare town farm in Montagu.
As one of the first town farms in the area, The Klein Nektar Wine & Olive Estate is a beautiful Cape Dutch property that forms part of an important historical and architectural heritage of Montagu.
The farm practices organic farming featuring a Chardonnay vineyard and an olive grove.
Klein Nektar’s self-catering Manor House tells the story of the rich history of Montagu but also offers a luxurious home away from home. Tastefully decorated with artwork and antique furniture, the manor house overlooks the vineyard and olive grove. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 private lounges, a large kitchen and a sheltered patio area.
The farm cottages nestled amongst the olive trees, present you with a very different type of getaway. This fully equipped cottage is off the grid with no electricity or Wi-Fi. Solar-powered lamps, a gas water heater, gas fridge/freezer, and gas stove/oven all ensure you have the mod cons to make life comfortable.
Special offer: Extend your luxury weekend in the Manor House to four days – only pay for three. The self-catering space can accommodate up to 6 guests
Where: Kempsriver Farm, Caledon
For a completely off-the-grid experience, Black Eagle Lodges offers a serene escape with simple farm living and beautiful accommodation.
Situated just outside of Caledon, Black Eagle Lodges features three self-catering properties surrounded by spectacular views and a restful farm environment. All the properties are spaced a kilometre apart from each other, offering a rustic, eco-friendly and private way to experience nature in comfort.
While the rustic Lodge and more sophisticated Villa both operate off-the-grid using solar energy and gas, the country chic Cottage has electricity for those looking for a bit more convenience.
All 3 lodgings have a wood-fired hot tub, 100% cotton linen and an outside braai area. The Lodge and Villa also each have their own private spring-fed dam.
Black Eagle Lodges is a family-run farm where the Delport’s rear sheep and cattle, and grow fruit and wheat. The farm, called Kempsrivier, is also home to magnificent bird and animal life, including the Blue Crane, Black Eagle, Cape Sunbirds, and even the elusive Cape leopard.
Because of the privacy of Black Eagle Lodges, you can design your stay based on how you choose to unwind – whether that’s a long trail cycle, family adventuring, relaxing in the hot tub, or enjoying the surroundings with a book.
Special offer: Discounted rates apply for midweek bookings. A special 20% is also on offer for all midweek stays at The Cottage. The space is ideal for working couples and comes equipped with wifi, or small families
Where: Van Der Stel Pass Road, Vyeboom, Botrivier
Getting away does not only mean escaping our day-to-day routine but also reconnecting with nature and taking a break from life’s excess. Underhill Farm offers exactly that – a green oasis to relax and re-centre.
Underhill is an eco-friendly guest house dedicated to sustainable living. The farm is in the Botrivier Valley, located between two streams and surrounded by apple and wine farms. The property was created with resources made on the farm or built using reused or up-cycled materials bought locally.
Underhill Farm features three unique cottages and three other cottages when the owner Julian, and other long term tenants stay. Rivendell Cottage makes for the perfect weekend getaway and features a plunge pool with views of the mountains as well as a fire-pit next to the stream.
Hobbit Hollow is built underground next to the famed Botrivier with a rock pool for relaxing in, and next to the river trail. Oak cottage is a cosy little getaway nestled just downstream from Hobbit Hollow overlooking the riverbank. It has a large pool with views of the Franchhoek mountains in the distance.
All cottages have fully equipped kitchens with dishwashers, plunge pools, indoor fireplaces and securely enclosed private gardens for you and your dogs to enjoy.
You can’t get closer to nature than escaping to Underhill Farm’s rolling lawns, oak trees and sod roofs, its hidden luxury and eco-friendly experience.
Special Offer: Book 2 nights or more and get one night free via the website. Valid for midweek stays only. Not applicable during school holidays
Where: Knysna Forest, Barrington Road, Sedgefield
There’s something about unspoiled nature that simply compels you to relax and unwind. Just 20 kilometres from the slow town of Sedgefield hides the tented forest getaway of Teniqua Treetops.
They are an off-the-beaten-track 3-Star self-catering, exclusive resort with accolades for birding, family-friendly and hiking.
Each of the four Couples Treetop Suites has its own enchanting flair with something unique and beautiful to offer.
The two, Family Sharing Treetop Suites are for a family of four with kids under the age of 13 offering a large, shared bedroom with a queen bed and bunk beds.
Finally, the two Family Double Treetop Suites suitable for families with older kids or four adults, featuring two separate bedrooms and a shared forest view bathroom.
Hiding out in the forest just took on a beautiful new meaning at Teniqua Treetops, so if you want to take yourselves off the beaten tourist tracks and immerse yourselves in the authentic charms of nature…well, you know exactly where to head.
Special Offer: Book 2 or 3 night weekday stay and get a 15% to 18% discount. And if you book a 2 or 3-night weekend getaway, Teniqua Treetop offers a discount from 10% to 15% off your rates. Direct bookings only
Where: Directions: Off- R44 between Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay
Tucked away on the scenic Kogelberg Nature Reserve is the CapeNature’s Kogelberg Oudebosch Eco Cabins – the perfect getaway for uninterrupted views and some unique Cape fynbos exploration.
Spend 2 nights in 1 of 5 timber cabins, which sleeps up to four people, and consists of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a spacious kitchen, lounge and dining area.
These architecturally and ecologically self-catering timber cabins offer the perfect escape for city-slickers looking to tap out of technology and embrace a slower-paced lifestyle. The Kogelberg Nature Reserve presents perhaps the finest example of mountain fynbos in the Western Cape and is a world-renowned World Heritage Site.
When you’re not making the most of the stunning natural scenery and birdwatch, relax in the shared, central natural pool while soaking in the views, curl up by the woodfire or lay a little longer in bed and watch the sunrise from the huge north-facing windows.
All of the units come with a combination of Eskom and solar-powered energy, a fitted kitchen with all the essentials, and a braai space to create some truly African memories.