The Best Forest and Treetop Retreats in the Cape

The Best Forest and Treetop Retreats in the Cape Tamodi Lodge & Stables

Branch out on your next trip at one of these treetop retreats…

Where better to escape than into the forest? The place where magical and mysterious creatures were believed to have dwelt, and where a sea of trees provides shade and life-giving oxygen. Our list of the best forest retreats includes cosy log cabins, lush tree houses and colourful camping vans, all of which will leave you feeling well rested, and with a deep-rooted sense of appreciation for the natural world.

1. The Old Mac Daddy

Forest Lodge: Old Mac Daddy

Where Elgin
Brought to you by Daddy Brands, the people behind The Old Biscuit Mill and The River Club, Old Mac Daddy is a luxury trailer park (yeah, we know, it sounds like a contradiction) that offers a variety of accommodation options – from glamping and Airstream vans to luxe, self-catering eco lodges. A family-friendly escape, Old Mac Daddy sits beside a peaceful lake with a white-sand beach. In summer, there’s nothing better than relaxing in a hammock, Huckleberry Finn-style, with a cocktail from Daddy’s Beach and Bar… Or there’s the nearby pool, with its breathtaking views of the lush valley.
The Barn Restaurant & Bar offers wholesome country fare to residents and daytrippers alike, and the surrounding Elgin Valley just begs to be explored.

Rooms and facilities

  • Trailer units: The 12 wonderfully quirky vintage Airstream trailers (nine family-friendly suites and three couples-only suites) each have their own unique theme – For Better or Boerewors, Give Bees a Chance, and Dirkie Sanchez – with decor and furnishings to match.
  • Self-catering Villas: The two available villas (Daddy’s Villa and School House) include fully equipped kitchenettes, and are ideal for families and small groups
  • Glamping Sites: The two tented camps include Daddy’s Hideaway Luxury Tent (1 double bed and 2 single beds) and Daddy’s Den (2 tented bedrooms, one with a double bed and the other with 2 bunk beds)
  • All accommodation options are equipped with a mini bar, tea and coffee station, air conditioning, and a bathroom with a shower or bath
  • Free wi-fi, library, swimming pool, spa van, conference room, well equipped children’s indoor and outdoor play areas, and babysitting services

On-site and nearby attractions

  • The Barn Restaurant & Bar
  • Daddy’s Beach & Bar
  • Lebanon Mountain Biking Trail (requires a R30 permit)
  • Wine-tasting tours
  • Archery
  • Kayaking
  • Tractor rides
  • Clay-pigeon Shooting
  • Fishing

Cost Family Trailer (sleeps 2 adults and 2 children): R1 195 per night
Daddy’s Den Tented Camp (sleeps 2 adults and 2 children): R1 195 per night
Couples-only Trailer Unit (sleeps 2 adults): R1 195 per night
Daddy’s Hideaway Tented Camp (sleeps 2 adults and 2 children): R1 895 per night
Daddy’s Villa (sleeps 6 people): R2 595 per night
The School House (sleeps 6 people): R2 995 per night
Book online
Contact 021 844 0241
Address Old Mac Daddy, Elgin Valley Road, Elgin

2. Synergy Tree House

Synergy Treehouse: Best Treetop Retreats

Where Scarborough
This state-of-the-art luxury treehouse boasts immaculate design and unfettered ocean views. The wooden walkways that connect various parts of the house bring to mind Tolkien-esque treetop villages, especially in the evening when fairy lights illuminate the tree branches. The lounge and bedrooms are encased in sliding glass, blurring the boundaries between indoors and out. With only two bedrooms, the space is romantic and intimate, with easy access to the peaceful seaside village of Scarborough.

Rooms and facilities

  • Two bedrooms
  • Two bathrooms
  • Fully equipped kitchen with a coffee-making machine
  • Two wood-burning fireplaces
  • DStv
  • Wi-fi
  • Plunge pool
  • Braai facilities

Nearby attractions

  • Scarborough Beach
  • Hiking trails
  • Massages and yoga on the deck (by arrangement)
  • Cape Point Vineyards
  • Noordhoek Farm Village and The Foodbarn
  • Cape Point Nature Reserve
  • Penguin colony at Boulders Beach

Cost R5 500 – R9 350 per night
Book online
Contact 0860 888 862
Address 90 Mountain Rise, Scarborough

3. Grootbos

Forest Lodge: Grootbos

Where Gansbaai
This 2 500-hectare eco-reserve lies on the edge of Walker Bay, which is home to a network of secluded beaches, secret coves and enchanting forests. Accommodation comes in the form of two luxurious lodges and two private villas, all of which are set among thousand-year-old milkwood trees and offer mesmerising views of (and easy access to) the coast. The endless fynbos fields are home to a vibrant and diverse array of plant and animal species, some of which are endangered and/or peculiar to this region.
There’s also a wide range of gourmet and adventure activities on offer – from mussel foraging in the nearby ancient caves to horse riding, pasta-making workshops, and even honey harvesting in the fynbos.
Good to know Grootbos’ special wintertime itinerary – known as Secret Season – runs from May until end-July each year, and allows visitors to experience a handful of custom-designed experiences.

Rooms and facilities

  • Garden Lodge: 11 luxury, family-friendly suites, each of which sleeps two to four guests
  • superb restaurant, lounge, well-equipped kiddies’ playroom, barista bar, beauty salon, library, and swimming pool overlooking the ocean
  • Forest Lodge: 16 romantic suites that sleep two guests each
  • restaurant, lounge, barista bar, beauty salon, library and infinity swimming pool with ocean views
  • All suites each have and en-suite bathroom (some have two), a private deck, lounge with a cosy fireplace, mini bar, underfloor heating, DStv, and a tea and coffee station with a sink

On-site and nearby attractions

  • Whale watching
  • Shark-cage diving
  • 4×4 tours
  • Mussel foraging at De Kelders
  • Horse riding
  • Hiking trails and milkwood forest walks
  • Luxury boat tours
  • Quad biking

Cost Luxury Suite (sleeps 2 adults): R9 100 – R12 800 per night, depending on season
Family Suite (sleeps 2 adults and 3 children): R13 650 – R22 200 per night, depending on season
Book online
Contact 028 384 8008
Address Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, R43, Gansbaai

4. Tamodi Lodge & Stables

Forest Lodge: Tamodi Lodge & Stables

Where Plettenberg Bay
What began as an equestrian farm now serves as a haven for horses and their human counterparts. Animal-loving couple Lynne and Owen Johnston started this family-run estate in The Crags, with magnificent views of the Tsitsikamma Mountains and surrounding valley. The spacious Guest House, warmed by fireplaces, is rich in rustic charm and homely atmosphere; and the sight of horses grazing as you enter the estate provides the perfect picture of countryside tranquility.

Rooms and facilities

  • Two Standard Rooms in the main lodge
  • Three Honeymoon Suites, one in the main lodge and the others in separate buildings
  • Two Lux Honeymoon Suites (coming in November 2017)
  • All rooms have king-sized beds, baths, showers, underfloor heating and DStv
  • The Honeymoon Suites also have an outdoor shower, air conditioning, a mini bar and nespresso machine
  • The new Lux Honeymoon Suites will have private plunge pools
  • The main lodge has two lounges, three indoor fireplaces, a reading room for cold and rainy days, and swimming pool for warmer months
  • Full English and continental breakfasts are served on the main deck, overlooking the lush valley

On-site and nearby attractions

  • Equestrian Farm (though horse rides are not on offer to guests – as the horses are bred for professional riders – guests are welcome to explore the estate)
  • Hiking trails in the surrounding valley
  • Bird-watching
  • Kloofing routes in The Crags
  • Bramon Wine Estate
  • Newstead Wine Farm
  • Keurboom Beach, a few minutes drive away
  • Enrico’s Italian restaurant, located on Keurboom Beach
  • Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre – a haven for wildcats, including a Cheetah and Leopard
  • Whale- and dolphin-watching tours

Cost Standard: R1 195 per person sharing
Honeymoon: R1 595 per person sharing
Lux Honeymoon (available from 16 November 2017): R1 895 per person sharing
Rates valid until 15 December 2017
Book online
Contact 082 470 2892 (Chelsea Atherstone); res@tamodi.co.za
Address Pinehaven Road, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay

5. Vindoux Tree House & Spa

Treehouse Accommodation: Vindoux Guest Farm
Nina Haddad

Where Tulbagh
Nestled on the foothills of the Saronsberg Mountains, between the fruit trees and vineyards in Tulbagh, is this impressive and luxurious guest farm. Offering weary travellers a secluded tree-topped getaway with large comfy beds and delicious farmhouse breakfasts, it’s the perfect hideout for young – and veteran – couples.

Rooms and facilities

  • Four Luxury Treehouses sleep two people each, and include an en-suite bathroom with a large spa bath, and tea and coffee facilities
  • Honeymoon Suite is separate from the other accommodation, and has more space, along with special romantic touches
  • Self-catering Deluxe Tree Lodge has three bedrooms (two of which have private balconies), a family bathroom, open-plan kitchen, dining area, lounge with DStv and DVD player, and a garden with a braai area and swimming pool
  • Breakfast served on your private treetop stoep (or have it in bed)

On-site and nearby attractions

  • Farm kitchen offering homemade dishes made with locally sourced produce
  • Picnic areas and braai areas onsite
  • Gym and spa facilities available onsite
  • Tulbagh’s largest swimming pool
  • Small wildlife reserve with zebra, wildebeest, springbok and a couple of tortoises
  • Fishing and bird-watching at the nearby dam
  • The historical town of Tulbagh, home to the famous Church Street, is packed with national monuments
  • Hiking and biking trails

Cost Luxury Tree House: R1 550 – R1 950 per night (for two people, depending on season)
Honeymoon Suite: R1 750 – R2 150 per night (for two people, depending on season)
Deluxe Tree Lodge: R2 000 – R2 250 per night (for 4 people, depending on season);
R2 900 – R3 350 per night (for 6 people, depending on season);
R3 800 – R4 450 per night (for 8 people, depending on season);
R300 per night (child, aged 2-12)
R50 per night (dogs allowed by prior arrangement)
Book Online
Contact 023 230 0635, vindouxfarm@gmail.com
Address Vindoux Guest Farm & Spa, Twee Jonge Gezellen Road, Tulbagh
Reviewer Alicia Chamaille

6. Platbos Forest

Forest Lodge: Platbos Forest
A Blonde and a Beard

Where Gansbaai
Set in an ancient forest, Platbos is privately owned by conservationists intent on preserving its rich diversity of flora and fauna, which includes thousand-year-old milkwood trees, bushbucks, baboons and even some leopards. The entire site is effectively off-the-grid and utilises solar-powered lighting, and old-school donkey boilers to heat the water. Unique for its flat terrain (hence its name) and sandy, alkaline soil, Platbos offers a variety of accommodation options, including secluded log cabins and tented rooms.

Rooms and facilities

  • Old Olive Cabin is situated close to an 800-year-old Wild Olive tree, and has a bedroom with a double bed, sitting room with a sleeper couch, fully equipped kitchen, indoor and outdoor fireplace, open-air shower and braai facilities
  • Honey Bee Suite is a private tented room offering glamping accommodation for two. It has a double bed with mosquito net, a fully equipped kitchen, open-air shower, newly installed hot tub, and an outdoor fireplace with a braai grid
  • Bush Buck Suite is a secluded forest cabin with an open-plan bedroom, sitting area and kitchen, an indoor fireplace, braai grid and open air bathroom

On-site and nearby attractions

  • Forest trails
  • A labyrinth made from mother-of-pearl sea shells
  • Platbos Forest Tree Nursery
  • Grootbos Nature Reserve at Gansbaai
  • Restaurants and shops in Stanford
  • Klein River Cheese Farm
  • 40 minutes drive from Hermanus

Cost Olive Cabin (sleeps four adults): R850 per night (two adults); R950 per night (three adults); R1 150 per night (four adults); R90 per night (children under 18)
Bush Buck Suite (sleeps two adults): R950 per night
Honey Bee Suite (sleeps two adults): R950 per night
Book online
Contact 082 447 3032, admin@platbos.co.za
Address Baviaanspoort Hills, Grootbos Road between Stanford and Gansbaai

7. Moontide Guest Lodge

Forest Lodge: Moontide Guest Lodge

Where Wilderness
On the banks of the Wilderness Lagoon is a series of thatched and timber cottages shaded by 400-year-old milkwood trees and featuring an abundance of bird life. Moontide Guest Lodge is a serene sanctuary that provides the perfect base for exploring Wilderness National Park, Oudshoorn and the aptly named Garden Route.
Accommodation options include a cabin elevated above the canopy with lovely river views, a century-old stone cottage, and a romantic boathouse right on the river’s edge. All of the rooms offer splendid views of the lagoon, and are decorated with interesting art pieces and furnishings that grant each abode its own unique character.

The rooms

  • Tree Tops sleeps two adults, and has a private terrace, outdoor shower, and an en-suite bathroom with a bath
  • Moon River can sleep four people, and has one king-size bed and two single beds on a mezzanine loft, an en-suite bathroom with a bath and shower, and direct access to the lodge swimming pool
  • Milkwood Cottage can sleep five people, and has one king-size bed, a double and single bed in the upstairs loft, an en-suite bathroom with shower and bath, and an outdoor seating area shaded by a 400-year-old milkwood tree
  • Stone Cottage can sleep four people in two bedrooms that share a bathroom with a shower and Victorian slipper tub. There is also an outdoor lounge area shaded by trees
  • The Boathouse sleeps two people, and has a lounge area warmed by a woodburning fireplace, a bathroom with a shower and tub, and an outdoor table and deckchairs
  • Moondance Cottage can sleep two adults and one child, and has a bedroom, en-suite bathroom and small patio with a table overlooking the river
  • Moonshadow 1 sleeps two people, and has an en-suite bathroom and outdoor patio with table and chairs
  • Moonshadow 2 sleeps four people, and has a bedroom, a lounge with two sleeper couches, an en-suite bathroom with bath and shower, and an outdoor patio with tables and chairs
  • All rooms include a bar fridge, DStv, and tea & coffee facilities

On-site and nearby attractions

  • Swimming in the river, or in lodge’s own plunge pool
  • Beach and forest walks
  • Bird-watching
  • Canoeing
  • Paragliding
  • Canopy tour in the Tsitsikamma rainforest
  • Knysna Elephant Park
  • Friday night Village Market in Wilderness
  • Health treatments at Lavender Breeze Beauty Salon in Wilderness Village, or at the Views Boutique Hotel & Spa
  • Wilderness Village shops and restaurants

Cost R580 – R1 050 per person sharing, depending on season
Rates valid until 10 January 2018
Book online
Contact 044 877 0361, moontide@intekom.co.za
Address Southside Street, Wilderness

8. Tsala Treetop Lodge

Tsala Treetop Lodge: Forest Retreats

Where Plettenberg Bay
A rejuvenating retreat, hidden among the treetops of the Garden Route, Tsala exudes an aura of mysticism and ancient wonder, such that you can imagine it having once been the abode of a long-lost African tribe. Elevated wooden walkways connect the various suites and villas, which offer creature comforts and solitude. Wherever you are in the lodge – whether you’re sitting in the lounge by the fireplace, relaxing in the pool or enjoying meals in the glass-walled dining room, you can look around and be reminded that you are, in fact, several metres above ground level.

The rooms

  • 10 Treetop Suites have a bedroom, bathroom, lounge with a fireplace, private deck and infinity pool
  • Six Treetop Villas have two bedrooms, an outdoor and indoor shower, lounge with fireplace, dining area, and private deck with infinity pool, providing the ultimate private retreat
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • Tea and coffee facilities
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Daily breakfast in the glass-walled dining room

On-site and nearby attractions

  • Zinzi Restaurant, offering fine-dining just a short stroll from Tsala
  • Tsala wine cellar, showcasing a selection of top South African wines
  • In-room Spa treatments on request
  • Swimming with African Fur Seals in Plettenberg Bay
  • Birds of Eden bird sanctuary
  • Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, which houses 18 species of primates, 11 of which are given free reign to frolick in the treetops
  • Boat trips on the Keurbooms River and Knysna Lagoon
  • Dolphin-, whale- and seal-watching
  • High-speed boat rides
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking and mountain-biking trails

Cost Tsala Suite (sleeps two adults): R5 080 per person sharing
Tsala Villas (sleeps four adults): R11 940 per night (for up to 3 adults), plus R770 for a fourth adult
Rates are valid from 1 September 2017 – 17 December 2017
Book online
Contact 044 501 1111, res@hunterhotels.com
Address off N2 10km west of Plettenberg

9. Treehouse at Anna’s Country Accommodation

Forest Lodge: Anna's Country Accommodation

Where Greyton
Accessed by an illuminated stairway, this cosy treehouse is situated in the midst of Greyton, a village rich in old-English charm. Its interior is small (one room and a well-stocked kitchen), which only enhances the intimacy of the space and experience – it feels like a secret escape despite being in the middle of town. The outdoor shower and bathtub in the branches of the tree (rest assured they were well hidden from the sight of anyone passing below) makes for a unique treetop getaway.

Rooms and facilities

  • Hot outside shower and free-standing bath in the branches of the trees
  • Microwave oven, gas stove and fridge
  • TV
  • Balcony shaded by leaves
  • Braai area at the foot of the tree

Nearby attractions

  • Greyton Village Square, where a market famous for homemade cheese and fresh country produce is held every Saturday morning
  • Restaurants and art galleries in Greyton
  • Hiking and walking trails (including the famous Boesmanskloof Trail from Greyton to McGregor)
  • Mountain biking
  • Horse riding
  • Overberg Wine Estates
  • Caledon Golf Course

Cost R700 per person sharing
Contact 084 764 6012 (Anna), info@annasplace.co.za
Address Cross Market Street, Greyton

Discover the secrets of the Cape with our weekly newsletter.

Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 27 September 2017

Add new comment

3 Responses to “The Best Forest and Treetop Retreats in the Cape”

  1. Chris Le Jehan

    We have stayed in Number 10 at Tsala several times, great experience and very relaxing to get away from the norm and to watch and listen to the monkeys who usually are about in the early mornings.

    Reply
  2. Agrekarene

    Agreed

    Reply
  3. Dieter

    Hi,

    Some of the rates are insane considering the GDP in South Africa. They are even more outraged than the tariffs for Electricity.

    Reply