Sometimes life can get pretty mundane if you’re going through the routined motions, and from time to time we’re all looking for something other than the usual beach holiday or bush getaway to put the spring back in our step. The good news is we live in a country filled with unique landscapes and even more eccentric stays, so there’s no reason for you to have the same holiday twice!  

TravelGround has found some of the quirkiest stays in South Africa for those of you who are longing to be inspired by a noteworthy getaway. 

Fairview Estates


You could say that Fairview Estates’s main goal is to be as quirky as possible. This lovely estate, tucked away in the hills of the fantastic Free State, boasts South Africa’s own eccentric Twin Towers. Other than New York City’s beloved Twin Towers, they are three-leveled, morphed together with a connected balcony, and located on a beautiful farm.

The Stay


This estate consists of working farms producing Bonsmara cattle, plant maize and beans. If you’re a sucker for fluffiness, you’d be chuffed to know that the farm also breeds adorable alpacas!

Accommodation is offered in the Twin Towers, which is self-catering and ideal for a group getaway, as well as the beautiful and tranquil De Rust Farm Cottage, the Damn Caravan overlooking a trout dam, and Opstal, a 100 year-old sandstone house where you can experience old-world luxury.

Naries Namakwa Retreat


Those of you who’ve travelled to, or stay in Namaqualand, know that it’s a one-of-a-kind landscape ─ arid plains with the occasional quiver tree, oddly-shaped little hills all over, and, in the Spring if the rainfall was good, this dry landscape is brightened up with a spectacular blanket of wild flowers. At Naries Namakwa Retreat you can get the double whammy of quirkiness: staying in unique accommodation surrounded by unique landscapes.

The Stay


This distinctive retreat is a romantic hideaway on the edge of the Spektakelberg Mountain between Springbok and Kleinzee. Accommodation is offered is three quirky, dome-shaped mountain suites, which closely resemble the little hills that surround you while on the road in Namaqualand, a Cape Dutch Manor House with five en-suite rooms, and two self-catering cottages.

Prepare yourself for heavenly peacefulness, warm-hearted hospitality, and a spectacular night sky where you can clearly see the milky way at this eccentric resort!

Mount Noah Lodge 


Are you keen on going on a boat trip but being on open water doesn’t sit well with you? We have the ideal destination for those of you who are a little careful of motion sickness: accommodation in the form of a yacht club in the middle of the Klein Karoo

The Stay


Mount Noah Lodge is situated in the charming ostrich capital of South Africa, Oudtshoorn, south of the Outeniqua Mountains. This so-called yacht club features renovated yachts that have been transformed into seven remarkable units, each accommodating two to four guests. You will have all the luxuries of being on a yacht but without the motion sickness to ruin your good time! Surrounded by the beauty of the Klein Karoo, you can’t go wrong with a yacht trip at Mount Noah Lodge. 

Santos Express


Now here is a train you should never miss! The Santos Express Train Lodge is situated on the beautiful Santos Beach in Mossel Bay and boasts unbeatable sea views from all its compartments. You will time travel right back to the good ol’ train days with these compartments that resemble the famous Trans Karoo. 

The Stay


This unique train stay offers something for everyone. Accommodation is offered in seven coaches, four of which are identical, with five compartments that sleep two to four guests each. Coupe’s for couples are available, as well as a dorm with sixteen beds, and the Caboose that boasts an en-suite bathroom and a balcony.

On the Santos Express you’ll never be bored ─ there’s a restaurant, bar and a lovely deck on the premises. The staff can arrange activities like shark cage diving, whale watching on a boat, skydiving, boat trips, quad biking, deep-sea fishing and even game driving for all the adventurous souls. 

Ballots Tree House 


Still daydreaming of those careless childhood days where you used to sit in your treehouse for hours creating your own dream world, or have you always just wanted to experience the magic of a treehouse but never had the chance? Who said these treehouse adventures are just for the kids? 

The Stay


Ballots Tree House is a secluded, fairytale treehouse in a private nature reserve close to George, overlooking the pristine pebble beach and Meul River. Accommodation is offered in a heavenly cabin accommodating four adults and two children. There’s an exquisite deck with wonderful views, three cosy bedrooms and an open balcony that overlooks the forest canopy. If you’re not reminiscing about childhood adventures in the treehouse, you can hike through the forest to a rock pool, relax at the pebble beach, or enjoy a braai with your loved ones.  

Honourable Mention


The Shoe Guest House


Have you ever wished you were living near a gigantic shoe? Well, me neither, but TravelGround gives you the wonderfully-weird option to do so! And why wouldn’t you want to have this unique experience? 

The Shoe Guest House is owned by The Shoe Ministries, a non-profit organisation that provides accommodation on the same premises as, you guessed it, a giant shoe-shaped building of twelve metres long that doubles as a museum and gallery. It’s located in the middle of the Bushveld, twenty kilometres from Ohrigstad in Limpopo. Not only do you get to stay near a very uniquely-shaped building, you also do your part in saving a bit of electricity seeing that the accommodation runs on 80% solar power ─ and even better, it provides the perfect opportunity for bizarre photos!  

The Stay


Accommodation is offered in eight separate chalets, four of which are back-to-back. All chalets are self-catering and spacious, and therefore ideal for a group getaway, so grab your loved ones and plan your next getaway nearby a quirky shoe.


Whether you want to go on a boat trip without the motion sickness, travel back to your fairytale childhood days in a treehouse, or experience what it’s like to stay in a train that has no destination ─  we have the ideal quirky stay just for you! 

Feature image: Naries Namakwa Retreat (TravelGround)