5 Isolated Country Escapes

by Jared
* This article first appeared here in VIEW Magoluge

As isolated escapes remain a desired choice in the post-pandemic landscape, travel writer Jared Ruttenberg shares five isolated escapes worth considering.

  1. Eco Karoo Lodge, Lukhof

If the vast and wild spaces of the Karoo speak to your soul, then newcomer Eco Karoo Lodge should feature on your next visit. Tucked away at the base of the mountains a cluster of five modern, yet strikingly simple cottages offer a homely Karoo stay. Local artisans were employed to curate the – including the dining room table which was crafted from a tree that had fallen over nearby. The communal area offers a pool, lounge, and kitchen. In the evenings lanterns and a fire join a million stars in lighting up the landscape. An exceptionally affordable stay with breath-taking views of the semi-dessert landscape. ecokaroo.com

  1. Haesfarm, Stanford

Stanford is every bit the quiet and charming country village, set in the heart of the dreamy Overland landscapes. Mere kilomters from town you’re welcomed to Haesfarm – is a magnificent home that rises out of the fynbos and commands generous views down the valley. There are only two rooms available and warm intuitive hospitality is served up by owners Harry and Steyn – along with Instagram-worthy breakfasts. If you feel like a little exploring, the village of Stanford has several shops to browse and several wineries are within a 20-minute drive. haesfarm.com

  1. Windfall Cottages

A two-hour’s drive from Cape Town, you’ll find the charming Windfall cottages set on a working estate just outside of McGregor. Surrounded by mountains, there are five self-catering cottages offering country solace, each with its own braai area. With rates from R550 per person a night it’s unbeatable value. Wine tastings are arranged in the owner’s house or in your cottage: the Mendola MCC has a very interesting story behind its name, the Barrel 41 is a complex and enticing red blend, and don’t leave without tasting The Hunter – their heavenly Potstill Brandy. windfallcottages.co.za

  1. Thabametsi Treehouse, Marataba Luxury Game Reserve

It hardly gets more private than a night spent in glorious isolation in the heart of a big five game reserve. In Marakele National Park, 3-hours from Cape Town, Marataba Luxury Lodge is home to the legendary Thabametsi Treehouse. A night spent in the treehouse is an experience difficult to put into words. The treehouse provides every creature comfort with a four-post bed, glass-enclosed bathroom, and spacious lounge deck. You’re provided with a spotlight for game-viewing from the treehouse (I spotted various antelope and a curious Cape Serval) and an iPad with bird calls and even a Star App to help navigate the stars overhead. The height of the structure ensures you’re perfectly safe from any wild visitors during this bucket-list African experience. more.co.za/marataba

  1. Treedom

Nestled in the greenbelt of the Western Cape’s Garden Route another treehouse villa awaits. Treedom is a luxury self-catering treehouse villa set in the forest of Wilderness. This magical breakaway spot features a lush interior that comfortably sleeps four. On the ground level there’s an entertainment area with a dining table and lounge, and then outside a braai area, fire pit, and forest daybed swing. Be sure to also ask about the Love Tunnel Dinners (private dining in the forest under a natural handmade woven tunnel) and the outdoor sauna. treedomvillas.co.za

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