* This article originally appeared here in VIEW Magalogue
If you’re in need of an immersive nature experience to escape the helter-skelter of life, why not take to the sanctuary of the trees? South Africa offers a plethora of treetop stays, and I’ve picked my top three.
Scarborough’s charm lies in the fact that it’s a short drive from the city; only 45-minute’s drive from town and you’re safely in the seaside conservation town. This property topped one of my bucket lists for many years and during the lockdown, I was finally able to witness the Synergy magic in person.
Although the house is not technically a treehouse, the glass and steel building carefully follows the steep incline of the land, with immense consideration to the trees. The generous decks that wrap around the property have been carefully crafted around the magnificent Myoporum trees that surround the home.
The main structure includes a downstairs master bedroom opening onto the pool and sun deck, and then upstairs a modern kitchen, lounge and then veranda with views over the town. Outside there’s a large dining table, boma fashioned into the garden, and then a little higher up a second bedroom floats above the trees. synergy-escape.com
Teniqua Treetop Suites
From the ocean to a forest hideaway – our next experience takes us deep into the forests that inspired the iconic novels by South African author Dalene Matthee. The Teniqua Treetop Suites offer eight unique stay options in the heart of the forest.
Arriving just in time for sunset, I lit up the braai and watched the last rays of the sun work their golden magic through the forest. After a hearty meal, the large bathtub offered the chance to forget about all my woes as the sounds of the forest falling asleep filled the air. The Knysna Louries are regular visitors so look out for the unmistakable flashes of green and purple.
The suites are set in 36 hectares of pristine Garden Route forest – with two trails to fully explore them. Be sure to ask the team about the steep, but rewarding walk down to the Karatara river and rock pools. Since the suites are spaced out, you possibly won’t see another guest during your stay. The quaint town of Sedgefield is less than a 15-minute drive away if you’re needing to stock up on anything. teniquatreetops.co.za
&BEYOND Ngala Treehouse
Surrounded by the Kruger National Park’s world-renowned Big 5 territory, &BEYOND Ngala’s Treehouse may just be South Africa’s crowning glory treehouse experience. Standing at twelve meters tall, the freestanding masterpiece was engineered by legendary safari lodge outfitters Fox Browne Creative.
From either the Ngala Tented or Safari lodge, it’s a relatively short drive until arriving at the treehouse site. Your host and guide then walk you through the bush, as the magnificent structure slowly comes into view. A thicket fence creates a safe boma around the base of the treehouse, and from there it’s time to experience the magic.
Once you’ve stepped in, it’s an unforgettable journey up until you reach the top. The first level houses the fully-equipped kitchen, where meals are served – with Smeg appliances you’re immediately aware that you’re in for something utterly unique. The next level features the bathroom with a shower that offers prime views into the bush. The third level is the bedroom with a plush king bed and surrounded by glass so that you never feel separated from the wild surroundings. Lastly, the top level is a viewing and relaxation deck for alfresco dining and game viewing from the luxury of the top of the trees. andbeyond.com