Fond memories from our childhood usually include scenes in the outdoors. Things like playing in the garden or going camping with some friends. Being surrounded by nature in all its glory beats being indoors any day. In South Africa, we are lucky enough to have loads of places for us to immerse ourselves in nature in a way that’s not possible while surfing the web.
While many people choose to rough it by camping, others prefer the luxury and comfort that resorts and hotels offer. Today, there’s a truly special alternative that combines the elements of both: glamping. Stay over in a luxury tent that will give you the escapism of the outdoors but also with the luxuries that will make your holiday truly memorable – comfy beds, a fully-fitted kitchen, and luxurious bathroom facilities.
Here are some places you could consider for your next outdoor adventure.
Glamping in Gowan Valley – Natal Midlands
If you love nature and would like to get away from the city for a vacation, but the idea of getting some shut eye in a sleeping bag is putting you off, you should definitely consider glamping, a luxurious way of getting into the great outdoors while keeping the comforts of home. AfriCamps Boutique Glamping at Gowan Valley in The Midlands is the ideal place for you. Located along the famous Midlands Meander, here you’ll be able to enjoy fully equipped luxury 2 bedroom tents, private outdoor wood-fired hot tubs and an aircon and fireplace to make you feel right at home. There are also plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy and picturesque spots to have a picnic with your loved ones.
Cottage chilling in Olifantsbos – Cape Point
Olifantsbos offers the unique opportunity to stay in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Here you’ll be able to get the full natural experience: from the beautiful fynbos, unspoiled beach views, ostriches and grazing buck in the background, you’ll need a couple of days to take it all in. The cottages at Olifantsbos each have a fully kitted, gas-fuelled kitchen, cozy bedrooms and an open-plan lounge perfect for those winter nights. For the warmer summer evenings there is a patio and braai area with a boardwalk leading to the beach.
Addo Elephant Park – Near Port Elizabeth
This beautiful reserve is home to the largest land animal on the planet! Addo Elephant Park is one of the few places where you don’t have to look far to spot one of these gentle giants. The activities at the park include elephant back-rides, 4X4 safaris and guided game drives. There are four accommodation options in the reserve for families to enjoy – the Addo main rest camp, camp Matyholweni rest camp, Narina bush camp, and the Spekboom tented camp. At night you can hear hyenas and lions really close to the camp.
Madikwe Game Reserve – Borders Botswana
If it’s a safari trip what you’re after, your best bet would be Madikwe Game Reserve. Situated just three hours outside of Johannesburg, this reserve is home to all of our Big Five, as well as over 300 species of birds. It’s home to the second largest elephant population in the country and it’s also one of the few reserves which offers day and night game drives as well as bush and nature walks. The best part about this reserve is that you could visit at any time of the year as the animals do not migrate. The Madikwe Game Reserve also has a lodge, located at the centre of the reserve, which is great for families who would like to stay the night.
Farm stay vacation
If you really want to get acquainted with nature, how about trying out a farm stay? Airbnb has noticed an increase in demand in farm stays locally. During the period 1 March – 21 April, farm stay bookings on Airbnb saw an increase of 19.87% (when compared with the same period last year). In many ways farms are ideal for Airbnb guests. Set in the beautiful countryside, farms serve as excellent stops between destinations on long road trips and provide a unique insight into rural life. For travellers looking for an authentic, local experience that puts you in the heart of nature, farm stays offer the perfect escape.