It’s no secret that glamping, or luxury camping, is more popular than ever among those seeking a one-of-a-kind, close-to-nature experience – without the sleeping-on-the-floor part. And, just when you thought cabins and canvas tents were the norm, you can now gaze up at the stars through the crown of a magnificent yurt.
Once a standard choice of accommodation for nomads in Mongolia, Siberia and Turkey, yurts (a circular tent made of felt or skins on a collapsible framework) have made their way onto our very own mountains of the Overberg – a first-of-its-kind in South Africa – thanks to Cape Town manufacturer, Southern Yurts.
Located on a hidden hill overlooking the Diepklowe Nature Conservancy at Porcupine Hills Guest Farm, a short drive from Bot River, this private yurt provides guests with an unforgettable experience, and offers a unique twist on traditional camping.
A sensational setting
The peaceful surrounds of mountains, streams and extensive flora and fauna make for an ideal weekend escape away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In addition to the existing accommodation, which includes luxury self-catering cottages, large villas and intimate chalets, the guest farm has welcomed the private yurt – in its own secret location – to its tranquil collection.
Yurt your way
Situated on a north-facing slope of the conservancy, next to the reserve’s “secret forest”, the secluded yurt provides majestic views of every sunrise and sunset over the vast, lush valley below. Made from wooden beams and draped in canvas, the unit is minimalistic in appearance, yet offers all the amenities of a luxury chalet – including two fireplaces and a heater, an open-plan kitchen with drop-down blinds offering views of the stars, a corrugated roof, an outdoor (yet enclosed) bathroom complete with a hot shower, basin, towels, bedding, toiletries, and even the option of laundry service, should you need it. Firewood, firelighters, organic olive oil (fresh from the farm), tea, coffee, and sugar are also all provided to you during your stay.
An Overberg adventure
And should you tire of sitting on your own private deck under the stars, the farm offers countless activities to explore. Swing under an ancient oak tree, venture out on one of the many hikes, birdwatch, take a dip in the Yurt’s own private hot tub or enjoy a sundowner on the floating raft in the dam. For those with a little more time to kill, take a zipline through the Overberg mountains with Cape Canopy Tours, visit one of the nearby wine farms or go horse-riding.
There’s hardly a better way to get away from it all than waking up to the sounds of birds, and falling asleep under the stars. Not only is a yurt a one-of-a-kind experience, it’s also history in the making!
Pet-friendly? On prior arrangement.
Cost R1 500 per night (1 December 2019 – 12 January 2020)
From R1 100 (weeknights, 13 January 2020 – 30 November 2020)
From R1 300 (weekend nights: 13 January 2020 – 30 November 2020, minimum of 2 nights required)
Where to find it Diepklowe Private Nature Reserve, 113/7 Van der Stel Pass Road, Bot River, Overberg District