Turning old shipping containers into luxurious living spaces has become an increasingly popular architectural pursuit for the ecologically minded over the past few years. Ingeniously upcycling worn-out containers into sleek homes offers several advantages: it employs more eco-friendly building methods, is way quicker than brick-and-mortar building, and, since you can connect or combine the containers in different ways, owners can dream up their ultimate tiny home by stacking the containers however they’d like.
Naturally, some of these container homes have found their way onto TravelGround’s list of striking stays and, for their fantastic locations, green initiative and aesthetic appeal, have become very popular amongst vacationer. Feast your eyes on some of our favourite container contenders below, and book your tiny home stay with massive holiday appeal now!
This container home for two is situated on a private plot in the village of Koringberg and boasts a 180° view of the Swartland all the way to the Piketberg and Cederberg Mountains. Being an off-the-grid, gas-powered stay, Encounter Container Home will ensure you have little to distract you from spending time with your partner and pet. Come sit on the deck, dip into the splash pool, light a fire and take in the incredible view.
When the owner of this hybrid container home would ask her brother what he felt like doing or eating, he’d respond, ‘I don’t know Sis. I’m easy for days.’ So, when it came to creating a stay in the beautiful country town of McGregor, the idea was to remain respectful to nature whilst making a creative space where vacationers would be able to spend an easy few days. If you’re looking for something different, but don’t want to compromise on luxury and top-of-the-range appliances, this container home for four, with its covered deck, braai and a splash pool, is the perfect place to laze away your days.
Looking for a quirky yet contemporary escape in the countryside? Then the FamTin is exactly what you need! This container home for four is located next to the farm dam and though there is no TV, it does promise breathtaking pink and orange sunsets behind the Mostertshoek Mountains and you can have a braai on the deck, curl up next to the fireplace or visit various beautiful towns and wine estates in the area. With an enclosed paddock behind the unit and a pet-sitting service on request, it is also pet friendly, so be sure to bring Lucky along.
Contain the View Cottage offers self-catering accommodation for a family of four in the picturesque Eastern Free State town of Clarens. Large stacking doors in the living area open to the outside deck with a braai and a beautiful view of the Drakensberg Mountains in the distance. The fireplace ensures cosy nights during winter and the green lawn is the perfect place for the kids to run around when the sun is out.
After the owners lost their house in a devastating fire, this container on a smallholding just outside of Plettenberg Bay was their home for almost two years. As a result they named it ‘Fire Cottage’ in Italian. Though it is small, this quaint space sleeps five guests, and because the owners lived here for so long themselves, you can be sure it has everything you need for a self-catering getaway. It has a solar geyser with municipal electricity during the evenings and uses rain water to minimise your carbon footprint.
Come and relax in a peaceful valley between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam in the majestic Cederberg. Leopard Valley Eco Retreat offers three stylish off-the-grid container units amidst breathtaking vistas and crystal clear springs where you can sit back and enjoy modern luxuries like the Jacuzzi, braai area and free WiFi, or venture out to glance at Khoisan rock paintings, go hiking or biking and explore the magnificent surroundings. They’re also pet friendly by arrangement, so bring Fido along for the adventure!
Enjoy sweeping views all the way to the bay when you soak your troubles away in the wood-fired hot tub on this refurbished container home’s deck. Tin Shack is nestled on a hill in St Helena Bay amidst pristine coastal flora and offers comfortable lodgings for up to four guests, or a romantic escape for two if you’re so inclined. Not only is this stay minimalistic and chic, it is also eco-friendly and employs rain water and compost toilets that are cleaned daily. Bring your binoculars along if you’d like to view the small game and bird life that visit the property.
Buff and Fellow offers an array of striking container units that have remained a firm favourite among TravelGrounders. The cabins, though luxurious, are eco-friendly and will soon be 100% off-the-grid too! The eco-friendly pods by the river have wood-fired hot tubs built into the deck, the eco-friendly pods have outdoor showers, and the coconut villas (a rare sight!) are the only units with space for up to six guests and also sport wood-fired hot tubs. Do a wine tasting with the owners, cycle in beautiful surroundings and unwind around the bonfire ─ at Buff and Fellow life is good!
You can expect fresh fountain water and magnificent views when you stay at the foot of the Great Winterhoek Mountains in one of these beautiful units. Named after ─ you guessed it ─ Bruce Springsteen songs, each of the two container units offer a place for soulful individuals who’d like a restorative escape in beautiful surroundings. Each self-catering unit has its own deck, wood-fired hot tub and allows small pets by arrangement. Come make one of these cabins your ‘Tunnel of Love’ and leave reinvigorated, destressed and ‘Tougher Than The Rest’!
These shipping containers could have been rusting away in a harbour somewhere. Instead, thanks to the ingenuity of their owners, they have been put to better use and now offer travellers a holiday with an eco-friendly twist. Come and try them out!
This blog was originally written by Nanje Lourens in 2017 and revised by Adriëtte le Roux in 2022.