Off-the-grid weekend nature escapes

by Jared
 * This article first appeared here at Castle Free

If some offline time you’re after, why not take a digital detox in one of these enticing off-the-grid breakaways spread across South Africa

  1. Climb every mountain at Koegelberg, Kleinmond

Just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town Kogelberg is Cape Nature’s most sought-after wilderness escapes. Several eco-friendly and off-the-grid units are cradled in a valley – surrounding by impressive Cape Fold Mountains all around. Hiking is plentiful – the walk up the Valley and then down again to Harold Porter Nature Reserve is breath-taking. Make sure to have a cold Castle Free in your backpack – the summit of the hike is the perfect space to enjoy a cold one before heading back down. capenature.co.za

jared ruttenberg, jared in cpt, cape town, south africa, nature escapes, escape the city, mzansi, nature reserve, camp, camping, nature, off the grid, castle free, beer, free to be, free to explore, explore south africa

  1. Shower under the stars at Karoo Eco Lodge, Lukhof

Astounding silence and stark natural beauty await at Karoo Eco Lodge. This relatively new lodge has made ripples on social media for its trendy design – 100% inspired by and made up local artisans. It’s also a surprisingly affordable getaway but be sure to book well in advance. Take all your food – and be prepared to be Each of the spacious unite have their own deck and both indoor and outdoor showers. I’ll never forget my 3 Deg Celsius winter shower with only a sheet of stars overhead. ecokaroo.com

  1. Navigate thrilling mountain passes at Die Hel, Swartberg

Die Hel or Gamkaskloof as it’s also known, must be one of South Africa’s most epic adventures. Hidden deep in the Swartberg Mountains, lies a Valley only accessible through a thrilling mountain pass best driven in a 4×4 or high clearance vehicle. The valley was once home to an isolated South African community, and now their simple homes can be rented for an unrivalled isolated escape from it all. ‘Koot Kordier’ is my favourite of the homes with views for days and a splash pool to cool off in. capenature.co.za

jared ruttenberg, jared in cpt, cape town, south africa, nature escapes, escape the city, mzansi, nature reserve, camp, camping, nature, off the grid, castle free, beer, free to be, free to explore, explore south africa

  1. Walk desolate beaches at Bungulula, Wild Coast

Synonymous with inviting beaches, green hills that tumble dramatically into the ocean and some of South Africa’s friendliest communities, the Wild Coast is a bucket-list South African adventure. Bulugula is not only a standout visit because of its prime location on a headland overlooking the ocean and estuary, but also for its forward-thinking social focus that has led to the lodge being 100% owned by the community. Ask for a tour of the Bulungula Incubator which helps equip the local community with self-sustaining skills. Accommodation is in simple thatched huts, but with unbeatable views. bulungula.com

  1. Romantic Getaways at Dream Lodge, Magaliesburg

For Joburgs looking for some respite from the helter-skelter of city life, the mountainous Magaliesburg has some serious hidden gems waiting to be explored. Dream Lodge is one of these breakaways and guests have a choice of three separate cottages. Chameleon is the self-catering 5 sleeper cottage suited for families. Gecko Cottage has an elevated deck for an immersive nature experience and Agama features a relaxing indoor bath and outdoor shower. The latter two are intended as relaxing romantic escapes and therefore have no kitchens – rather dinner and breakfast are included in the rates and brought to you at a time of your choosing. dreamlodge.co.za

  1. Snorkel with turtles at Mabibi, iSimangaliso Wetland Park

It hardly gets more remote than this, located in one of the furthest flung corners of South Africa. KwaZulu Natal’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park is the magical setting for Mabibi Beach Camp – which offers camping or simple self-catering units. Far away from everything, the wild beaches, forests and lakes are there to keep you entertained with snorkelling, fishing, turtle tours, scuba diving, community visits, and much more on offer. My top suggestion? Head to the nearby Lake Sibaya – an unforgettable way to enjoy the sunset, of course, cold beer in hand. Just watch out for the resident pod of hippos who may also be joining for the sundowner. bhanganek.co.za

jared ruttenberg, jared in cpt, cape town, south africa, nature escapes, escape the city, mzansi, nature reserve, camp, camping, nature, off the grid, castle free, beer, free to be, free to explore, explore south africa, beach, beaches, mountains

You may also like