A Sweet Escape: 9 Remote Getaways in South Africa
We can thank our lucky stars that we live in a country with incredible, unique scenery and secret spots that are practically made for the rejuvenation of tired souls. With South Africa nearing the one year anniversary of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, working from home has made us all feel a bit smothered and the routine of everyday life simply gets the better of us. The cure for this is, of course, to seek some seclusion! It is time to trade working remotely for a remote holiday.
For those of you who are too busy to even look for your next escape, don’t rack your tired brain any further! TravelGround has gathered a magnificent remote getaway in each province of South Africa that is perfect for those craving some diversion from their daily patterns.
Amanzi Empilo Bungalow
This cute little river stone bungalow is hidden in a lush green valley about one kilometre off the road to Naude’s Nek Pass. It’s situated on the Bell River, about four kilometres from Rhodes Village. Amanzi Empilo means ‘healing waters’ in Xhosa, and this is exactly what you can expect here ─ some healing from all your daily stress and pandemic-worries. This bungalow accommodates up to four guests, so it’s the ideal escape for a family. All appliances are powered by solar panels or gas, and there is an outside deck with braai facilities and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and the Bell River. Here, you don’t need any routine ─ your only obligation is to unwind.
Thatcher’s Rest Self-catering Cottage
If you’re looking for a remote getaway in KwaZulu-Natal, then this gorgeous self-catering cottage in the peaceful hills of the Biggarsberg Mountain Range between Ladysmith, Dundee and Newcastle might just be your cup of tea. With its beautiful thatched roof, private balcony with views across the dam and surrounding farmland, a Jetmaster fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and beautiful boardwalk, this cottage offers tranquility that will be hard to leave behind.
Nigramoep Slowliving Guest Farm
The Northern Cape is known for its vast, forgotten landscapes and is the ideal place to get far away from the fast-paced city life. Here you can find the peace you’ve been looking for, because life on this lovely farm 60 kilometres outside Springbok is nothing but slow. Nigramoep Slowliving Guest Farm offers an old-timely stay and can accommodate three guests. There is a communal swimming pool and braai area you can enjoy. Explore the area with its wide variety of plant life and various walking routes. Come and leave your worries in the open fields of this special province.
Stille Karoo is a budget friendly guesthouse outside of Oudtshoorn that can accommodate ten guests. This is the perfect getaway for a family and group of friends that would like to escape the hustle and bustle of their own house-turned-office. This spacious house is on a working farm and offers ample ways of relaxing: whether it is cooling down in the pool, lounging next to it in the sun, reading underneath a tree on the lush green grass or baking your way to peace in the equipped kitchen, Stille Karoo offers something for everyone. You also don’t have to worry about your furry friends, as pets are welcome!
This lodge most certainly does its name justice! It is a complete dream: a beautiful, cosy lodge situated on a picturesque farm only 20 minutes from Magaliesburg. Dream Lodge is ideal for a worn-out couple dying to have some time away from everything. There are two free-standing cottages on the farm. Both are off the grid, and they also have indoor fireplaces, hot water provided by solar-heated geysers and lots of candles to set that romantic atmosphere. You don’t even have to worry about cooking, seeing that dinner and breakfast are included. Now that’s a proper place to get the rest you deserve!
The Stables and The Loft @ Glenogle Farm
Are you dreaming of a fairy-tale escape? Then Glenogle Farm will make your heart skip a beat! This splendid farm is hidden amongst the pine plantations in the mountainous area of Magoebaskloof and boasts two luxury units, a private dam stocked with trout, and plenty of horses. The Stables is a grand double-storey house with all the facilities you’ll ever need and can accommodate four guests, while The Loft is the perfect romantic hideaway among the pine trees. Here you can enjoy all modern facilities, including cell-phone reception and Wi-Fi, while rejuvenating on a farm surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
Mafube Mountain Retreat
With its unique position in a semi-circle of red and yellow sandstone mountains surrounded by wilderness, Mafube Mountain Retreat is a nature lover’s paradise. This spectacular retreat is situated in the Eastern Free State Highlands between Clarens and Fouriesburg, and offers nothing but relaxation and freedom to do what you can’t do at home. There are plenty of hiking trails, pools, caves and waterfalls to explore, and if you don’t feel like being active, you can merely sit back and marvel at the dreamy surroundings.
This exclusive lodge accommodates a maximum of two guests in each of the five luxury chalets. Here you can enjoy total seclusion in the Lowveld Forest in the Sabie River Valley. The scenery will leave anyone breathless and the lodge offers luxuries that you won’t easily find elsewhere. Each chalet is secluded and surrounded by unspoilt nature and views to die for!
Ezemvelo Nature Reserve
It might be hard to imagine that this tiny province offers remote getaways away from big cities like Johannesburg or Pretoria. However, Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, which is only an hour and 20 minutes’ drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport, offers the serenity you need to detox. There are private chalets, plenty of game, decks with gorgeous views and scenery that will heal your city exhaustion. Isolate yourself hear and breathe in the fresh air to soothe your lungs and soul.
No matter where in South Africa you stay, you are only a few hours’ drive away from getting your soul rejuvenated. There’s no better way to heal from the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic than a holiday that completely deviates from your daily routine. Don’t wait for a total burnout, book your next remote getaway now so you can get your mojo back!
Feature image: Bigstock
Written by Hennely Nel for TravelGround in 2019, reviewed by Janke van Schalkwyk for TravelGround in 2021.