Chill out this winter
Log Cabins and quaint cottages … not to mention farmhouses, houseboats and tents. There’s a huge variety of accommodation options in the Wild Parks, plus an All Cluster Wild Card earns you free entry around the country.
Golden Gate National Park, near Clarens
Perched on a hill with a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and grasslands, the Highlands Mountain Retreat is the ideal escape for stressed city slickers. Rustic on the outside only, these log cabins have everything you need, even DStv. If you can bear to leave there are several hiking trails, displays of traditional life at the Basotho cultural village and the chance to go horse riding. Read more about Golden Gate on page 27.
Family log cottage R1 430 a night, log cottage for two R870.
winter average: min 0° max 14°
Contact: Golden Gate 058-255-1000, Central Reservations 012-428-9111, www. sanparks.org
Injisuthi uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, near Winterton
What could be better than snuggling up to a blazing fire after a walk in the bracing mountain air? The hutted camp at Injisuthi is watched over by Cathkin Peak, Monk’s Cowl and Champagne Castle. Apart from hiking, you can fish for trout on a catch-and-release basis. It’s lights out at ten as there’s limited electricity supply, leaving you to stare into the glowing embers in the fireplace or out at the dark and peaceful valley.
From R795 a night for four. winter average: min 2° max 18°
Contact: Injisuthi 036-431-9000, Central Reservations 033-845-1000, www.kznwildlife.com
Bontebok National Park, near Swellendam
Built from wood and stone, the charming chalets at Lang Elsie’s Kraal rest camp were designed to touch the earth lightly. From the deck you can look out over the Breede River valley and the Langeberge. Use it as a base for visiting the area’s wineries or the hot springs at Montagu. The weather is temperate in winter, but if you feel chilly you can warm yourself in front of the huge stone hearth. From R705 a night for two. winter average: min 5° max 17°
Contact: Bontebok 028-514-2735, Central Reservations 012-428-9111, www.sanparks.org
Cederberg Wilderness Area, near Clanwilliam
You might feel nostalgic when you stay in Rietdak, a quaint stone cottage at Algeria. With a fire in the hearth and a dark and starry night outside, it could be a hundred years ago. That’s the appeal of the Ceder-berg. The deep silence, the slow pace, the beautiful rocks. Make time for a trip to Heuningvlei, a Moravian mission village, where people work the land and donkey carts rule the roads. From R530 a night for four. winter average: min 6° max 18°
Contact: Cederberg 027-482-2403, Central Reservations 0861-227-362-8873, www.capenature.co.za
Garden Route National Park, at Nature's Valley
With their gleaming wooden walls and pointy roofs the forest huts at Nature’s Valley are straight out of a fairy tale. Not to mention the mysterious forest and shimmering river on your doorstep. The huts are basic but cosy and are geared for frosty nights with a heater and extra blankets. The days are mild so you can go canoeing or hiking in the forest before settling in for a long evening reliving the day’s adventures. From R335 a night for two.
Winter average: min 8° max 19°. Contact: Nature’s Valley Camp 044-531-6700, Central Reservations 012-428-9111, www.sanparks.org