Hog Hollow Country Lodge

One of my favourite properties on the Garden Route! This 4 star lodge is located on the edge of the Matjies River Gorge, 18 kms out of Plettenberg Bay and it offers a breath-taking view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

The rooms are decorated in vibrant bright coloured fabrics and kept in a comfortable African style, all units have a spacious bathroom and a terrace as well as a view onto the trees.

You can enjoy the same view from the pool and pool deck which invites guests to relax and cool off on a hot summer’s day.

There’s a big terrace in the main building which is almost like an outdoor lounge. What I really liked was the fire pit on the terrace which is great in summer and in winter, always nice to have a fire on in the evening! Very South African… 🙂

The restaurant at Hog Hollow serves breakfast, lunch and dinners. Normally there’s a children’s meal for dinner already included while the parents can order from the a la carte menu.

There’s a long dinner table where guests are seated all together and can chat about their travel experiences. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, so if you prefer to enjoy a quiet evening with your loved ones only, a private table will be arranged for you.

The lodge offers great horse trail activities for everyone from beginners to advanced riders. You actually drive past the horse stables on your way to the lodge. One can walk comfortably to Birds of Eden and Monkeyland and then get a lift back to Hog Hollow afterwards.

This is a lovely place to just relax and put your feet up but also be close to some of the most beautiful nature sites that South Africa has to offer. Definitely worth recommending!

Hunter’s Country House & Tsala Treetop Lodge, close to Plettenberg Bay

Wow, what a stunning property! Hunters Country House is located 10 km from Plettenberg Bay and 24km from Knysna.

Hunters Country House is a 5 star resort that combines traditional elements with modern comfort. The rooms are individually decorated, all are thatch- roofed and offer a fire place, spacious bathrooms and interior in natural, earthy colours. Some of the higher room categories have their own private terrace with a pool and garden.

There is a lovely outdoor boma in a bedouin tent style with comfortable couches and arm chairs, perfect to enjoy a pre-dinner drink or just read a book and put your feet up! The boma is located next to a large swimming pool to cool off on hot summer days.

For families there is a play area for children as well as a club house with DVDs, video games etc. for teenagers.

The main building including Reception and Dining Room showcases beautiful antique furniture and paintings which make this a special spot to have dinner.

Breakfast is served in the conservatory while lunches and dinners are arranged in the dining room or -on a warm evening – outside on the lawn.

We were shown around by Andrew who is one of the Managers and he mentioned that most of the staff have been working there for years. Always a good sign!

After our visit at Hunters Country House we also went to see Tsala Treetop Lodge which is on the same estate as Hunters Country Estate, about 5 min walk (or a quick drive) between the two.

Tsala is also part of Hunter Hotels however the style and interior is completely different to Hunters Country House. The lodge’s interior creates a warm atmosphere with an African feel to it while being quite modern.

The rooms are built high up above the treetops and offer a fantastic forest view while being completely private. Elevated wooden pathways connect the main lodge with the rooms and other facilities.

The rooms have a private outdoor deck and small private infinity pool. Once the glass doors are open it feels like indoors and outdoors are just the same!

Tsala has a wonderful wine cellar which invites guests to try one of their excellent wines.

Dinners are either prepared for guests at Tsala, or at the beautiful Zinzi Restaurant which is one the firm favourites of the locals in the area, and one of the best restaurants on the Garden Route.

What I liked about the property is the feeling of staying in a tree house in the middle of a jungle, however bars, shops and stunning beaches in Plettenberg Bay are only a 10 minute drive away from Tsala. A lovely option for guests who are looking for luxury in the middle of nature and are willing to spend a little more on their accommodation… well, quite a bit more… 🙂

Hunter’s Country  Cottage

Tsala Treetop Lodge

Hotels, Gästehäuser und Lodges in Knysna – unsere Favoriten!

In Knysna we stayed for 3 nights at the beautiful Stannards Guest Lodge where Andrew and I had stayed before. We had booked the two luxury cottages which are situated on the side of the property and have a separate entrance and a private veranda each. Stannards Guest Lode is owned and managed by Patrick and Helene-Marie, a French couple that has travelled extensively which shows in the interior of the lodge. The guest house is located a only a 5 mins drive away from Knysna centre and offers tranquil surroundings and nature.

Each of the 6 double rooms is decorated individually and has its own entrance, private patio, full en-suite bathroom with shower and/or bath, television with DStv, free internet Wifi, tea and coffee making facilities.

There’s a very large swimming pool and the hammock in the garden invites you to relax, read a book and just snooze under the tree. You’ll find more details and pictures on their official website: http://www.stannards.co.za/

Patrick and his wife are always there to help arranging activities, restaurants and give advice what to do in the area.

Stannards is definitely one, if not THE best, 4 star guesthouse in the Knysna area if one looks at their prices and location. A superior double room including breakfast in the middle of high season is currently less than EUR 100 per night….!

Oudtshoorn: Karoo Retreat, Surval Boutique Olive Estate and Buffelsdrift Game Lodge


We stayed at a lovely self-catering guest house called ‘Karoo Retreat’ which offers 4 very comfortable guest rooms and an extra cottage on the side. It’s got a large swimming pool ( Always a plus!!), very spacious and cosy Karoo- style country kitchen and a braai which of course Andrew was very happy about 🙂

Lovely stay in Oudtshoorn and we got to experience Surval Olive Boutique as well as a sunset game drive at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge.
Surval was a surprise find, we hadn’t seen it before and just read the sign ‘ Olive tasting’… sounded great! They have a beautiful and very large restaurant where we sat down to do the Olive Tasting… of course you cannot taste Olives without a glass of wine, and with a glass of wine some other nibbles and snacks go very well…. 🙂 So our Olive Tasting turned into a lovely lazy afternoon with great food and wine, and we enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.
They do have accommodation as well which seemed quite comfortable as well.

We stayed at a lovely self-catering guest house called ‘Karoo Retreat’ which offers 4 very comfortable guest rooms and an extra cottage on the side. It’s got a large swimming pool ( Always a plus!!), very spacious and cosy Karoo- style country kitchen and a braai which of course Andrew was very happy about 🙂

Karoo Retreat - Room
Karoo Retreat - Kitchen
Karoo Retreat - House
As a highlight in Oudtshoorn, I organized a sunset game drive at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge. Before hopping onto the open game vehicle, we quickly signed the indemnity form and then off we went into the reserve. The Game Reserve is such is not very big however the variety of animal species, different birds and reptiles almost makes you forget it’s that small!
Surval 1
Surval 2
We were lucky to see giraffe, buffalos, meerkats, hippo and springboks amongst many other animals.
Our ranger drove us to one of the highest points of the reserve to enjoy the sunset and breath-taking view onto the reserve with the Swartberg mountains in the background while sipping a sundowner drink!
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is located off the R328, just over 6 km from the town centre of Oudtshoorn, and the luxurious tent suites are built around a dam that is home to a couple of hippos. They offer an elephant experience including feeding, walks and rides on the elephants, as well as meerkat safaris. Their a la carte restaurant is open to guests and the public and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a great spot for sundowner drinks.
There are Luxury waterfront tented suites that are situated right at the dam and the other rooms are in second row behind them. The interior is basically the same in both room categories though and offers a private outdoor hot water shower, air- conditioning, telephone and free Wifi. The luxury waterfront rooms come with their own sundeck and a direct view onto the dam.

In my opinion, Buffelsdrift is a fantastic option for people that, firstly, want a change from the usual guest houses or hotels on their trip because the tented suites are something completely different albeit very comfortable. And secondly, if you don’t have enough time or budget to do a 3-4 day safari at Kruger National Park or in the Eastern Cape but still want to enjoy seeing some animals close- up on the Garden Route, this is a lovely option to do it.
However, if you want the ‘real’ safari thing, Buffelsdrift won’t be for you and it doesn’t compare to a safari in the Kruger Park or in the Eastern Cape. But for anything else, it’s great!

Buffelsdrift 2
Buffelsdrift 3

Fraai Uitzicht

Since my family from Germany came to visit us beginning of the year, we took the opportunity to travel with them along the scenic R62 to Oudtshoorn until Knysna and of course, stopped in beautiful Pringle Bay on our way back
Here’s what we’ve been up to during our trip!

Fraai Uitzicht 1798
We stayed here the first night on our trip and it’s a lovely stop between Cape Town and Oudtshoorn ( 2 hour drive from Cape Town), located in the beautiful and tranquil Robertson valley with stunning views onto the mountains and vineyards around. This is a place where you arrive and you immediately feel relaxed. We were welcomed and checked into our rooms, a luxury cottage and one of the Vintage cottages that sleeps up to 4 people. The Vintage cottages are comfortable and cozy and are located in the historic building of the wine cellar. Even though there is no air-con in those rooms, the stone structure kept it nice and cool inside.
The luxury cottages are a slightly more expensive and offer space for 2 people. They are much more modern and sophisticated and we loved especially the twin outside showers and luxurious bathroom!
Karl – Uwe, the winemaker and host at Fraai Uitzicht, did a wine tasting with us which was great. The highlight however was Dinner in the Fraai Uitzicht Restaurant, we enjoyed some fantastic food outside on the terrace paired with lovely wines, had great and inobtrusive service and all this in a very relaxed atmosphere. Couldn’t ask for more that night! The restaurant is managed by Karl Uwe’s wife Sandra and we loved the attention to detail with every single dish we ordered. The menu portraits country style cuisine offering seasonal fresh dishes made from fresh vegetables and just-picked herbs from their own garden.
Someone told me it’s the best dinner on the Garden Route…. Gotta say, I’d agree with that!
Website: www.fraaiuitzicht.com