This month we lose our hearts to stone-built wilderness accommodation: a charming stone cottage in the Cederberg, luxury rock chalets at Mountain Zebra National Park, and a picturesque stone camp in the heart of Swaziland.
Mkhaya Game Reserve
Stone Camp gets its name from the dolerite rocks used to build the stone and thatch cottages. But these aren’t your run-of-the-mill cottages: the walls extend just halfway, so you feel you are sleeping out in the open while enjoying the comfort of the luxuriously appointed rooms. The camp’s 12 cottages are dotted around a forest – thick vegetation means each unit feels completely private. This four-star camp oozes romance, especially after sunset, when the meandering pathways are lantern-lit. Originally founded to provide a haven in Swaziland for the pure Nguni breed of cattle, Mkhaya Game Reserve is also home to endangered species such as white and black rhino, roan and sable antelope, and tsessebe. Whether you’re game for a guided walk or explorations in an open safari vehicle, you’ll encounter spectacular wildlife.
- Because temperatures can drop suddenly, pack warm as well as light clothing irrespective of the season.
- The reserve is a malaria risk area, so take the necessary precautions.
Bookings: +268 2528 3943, [email protected]
Rates: From R2,145 per person sharing (dinner, bed and breakfast)
Cederberg Wilderness Area
Aside from the Cederberg’s unparalleled beauty, this mountainous landscape is a playground for outdoor explorers with hiking, mountaineering, bouldering, rock art sites and donkey cart excursions. Situated at Algeria, Rietdak is a quaint four-sleeper cottage with a fireplace for those chilly winter nights. The cottage is equipped for all your needs with modern appliances, hot water showers and an outside braai area. But the real appeal is its proximity to stunning walks and a heart-stirring view of the mountains. This is your chance to breathe in fresh air and surrender to the splendours of one of the most breathtaking places on Earth. Like Liesl Ravenscroft writes in Wild 31: “This wild bundle of tortured rock holds the most beautiful secret valleys and shale bands.”
Mountain Zebra National Park
These chalets are so luxurious, sophisticated and elegant, you’ll be wowed the minute you walk in the door – and that’s before you look at the view. With floor-to-ceiling glass panels along one side, you have a front-row seat to Mountain Zebra National Park’s soul-stirring rocky vistas. The two rock chalets have cleverly been developed on a level dolerite ridge so that you feel a part of the rugged landscape. Inside each chalet you’ll find leather couches, a fireplace, air conditioning, flat screen TV with DStv, and a modern kitchen. The bathroom has a walk-in shower and free-standing bath, not to mention your very own outside shower. Light a fire, pour your favourite drink and experience natural bliss.
- Mountain Zebra National Park is famous for its guided cheetah tracking excursions. Advance bookings are essential – call the park on +27 (0)48 801 5700 or send an email to [email protected].
- For the more adventurous, explore the park’s three 4×4 trails. The trails are unguided and you don’t have to make a booking.
Bookings: +27 (0)12 428 9111, [email protected]
Rates: R3,198 per night for four guests