Book a stay at these one-of-a-kind accommodation options, for romance under the stars, nocturnal wildlife sightings and the promise of an epic sunrise. By Rebekah Funk
Oranjekom Gorge Cottage
Augrabies Falls National Park
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Gorge Cottage at Oranjekom in Augrabies Falls National Park in the Northern Cape has the most stunning position of any SANParks accommodation around the country. It sits on a cliff overlooking the Orange River gorge and has a wall of glass doors and windows that allow you to see it every moment and from almost every angle. Truly takes your breath away. Best of all, it stands in romantic solitude so you don't have to share your moment with any neighbours but the dassies and klipspringers.
This gravity-defying cottage has one of the best views of South Africa – wake up in the morning to the thunderous Orange River flowing more than 200m below.
Situated just 10km from the main rest camp underneath the Oranjekom Gorge viewpoint, this luxurious one-bedroom has a queen-sized bed, fully-equipped kitchen (ample kitchen cupboards with a gas hob, fridge and dining extension), as well as a couch and coffee table.
The cottage accommodates just two people, including guests with mobility impairments – so come sunset when all other visitors must turn back for the main rest camp, guests have the entire area to themselves.
Ablution facilities and a shower are housed in a separate building, but there is an eco-loo in the cottage for those middle-of-the-night emergencies. The cottage is powered by solar panels and features a cooling system for hot summer days.
Outside, a fence surrounds the property (peace of mind for the faint of heart) and features two braai areas for when you need shade or shelter from the wind.
The cottage is both romantic and breathtaking: a wall of glass windows and sliding doors brings the outside in, with views to nearly every side. This is nature immersion at its best.
Rates: R1,826 for 1-2 people.
Few places are more magical or unique than this hideaway in the unspoilt Harkerville Forest between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Sleep in four-star comfort surrounded by venerable trees and soak up life high up in the canopy by day.
The chalet can accommodate four people comfortably, with two double rooms each with its own bathroom. A large viewing deck is the perfect place from which to bird watch or enjoy a romantic meal.
It’s fully appointed with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer, DStv, telephone and alarm system.
If you can tear yourself away from the chalet, forest adventures await: there are plenty of great walking and mountain biking trails to explore, as well as other treasures in the area at the Wilderness and Tsitsikamma sections of the park.
Note: Due to the geographical location of the chalet, guests must check-in with valid proof of payment no later than 18:00 on their day of arrival.
Rates: R2,341 for 1-2 people, R485 an extra adult, R243 an extra child
Boulders Bush Lodge
Kruger National Park
Built on stilts, the private bedrooms are connected via wooden boardwalks that lead to a communal area. The lodge must be booked en bloc, and can accommodate up to 12 guests at any one time.
The living area is comprised of a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, bar, lounge, braai and viewing deck which offers unparalleled views of the mopane veld plains and a secluded waterhole. The kitchen has a gas stove with oven, refrigerator, freezer, cutlery and crockery.
Rates: R5,629 for 8 people, R777 an extra adult, R389 an extra child
Also read: Kruger’s best rest stops for views
Table Mountain National Park
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Recharged after a weekend tented camping just over the other side of table mountain, so close to the city. Natures paradise 💚💚 . . . . #orangekloof #mountains #mountainlife #bliss #nature #soundsofnature #friendship #mothernature #tentedcamp #capetown #capetownvibes #mothercity #naturesparadise #retreat #yoga #mountainscapes
Ever dream of what it would be like to be a part of Swiss Family Robinson? Here’s your chance!
A stone’s throw from Cape Town, Orange Kloof Tented Camp is a picturesque camp by the ancient Afromontane forest of the same name. A boardwalk winds between safari tents and communal spaces crafted from wood. Built as one of the overnight stops on the Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail, the camp is an ideal breakaway if you want to immerse yourself in Table Mountain’s secret places.
And you won’t have to rough it entirely; while there’s no cellphone reception, there is electricity. The camp is made up of one four-sleeper family tent, as well as four two-sleeper tents. The tents are equipped with electric lights, single beds and mattresses with sheets. The camp also has two ablution blocks, with hot showers and toilets.
The communal area houses a large kitchen equipped with a fridge, stove, oven and dining table for indoor dining. The outdoor communal area boasts a braai area, sundeck and another dining table for outside dining.
Swimmers, rejoice! There is a small dam in which to dip your toes.
Rates: R586 for a two-sleeper tent, R263 an extra adult, R132 an extra child
Agulhas National Park
Listen to the sound of the wind and the waves at Agulhas’ historic Lagoon House, with 270-degree views of the peninsula to the west of the Suiderstrand enclave of holiday houses.
The coast is ripe for exploring: Cape Agulhas is where two oceans are said to meet. It’s also where you’ll find the rusty shipwreck of the Meisho Maru, which ran aground in 1982. It’s prime birding territory and a great base from which to visit the region’s iconic lighthouse, wine farms and Shipwreck Museum. The nomadic Khoi also fished these territories and remnants of their stone tidal traps remain.
This carefully-restored Lagoon House and farm once belonged to PK Albertyn – he built the cottage for Mrs Albertyn as a birthday gift and added onto it when the children were married.
The facility has four bedrooms and can sleep up to eight guests. Two bedrooms have separate external entrances and their own en-suite bathroom (shower and toilet); the other two are inside the house with a single bathroom (bath, shower and toilet). A spacious kitchen is great for preparing meals and there’s a fireplace for chilly winter nights.
Rates: R4,484 for 1-6 people, R686 an extra adult, R394 an extra child
Book your next stay with SANParks
- Rates valid until 31 October 2018.
- Call: +27 (0)12 428 9111 or +27 (0)82 233 9111 (Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 17:00, or Saturday and Public Holidays from 08:00 to 13:00. Closed on Sundays).
- Email: [email protected]
- Book and pay online in real time.
Banner picture by Rudolph de Girardier
Also read: Stay alone by the water