When people think of Cape Town, they think of Table Mountain and possibility Cape Point and the Victoria and Albert Waterfront. But if you get tired of jostling other tourists to get a few snaps, why not tour in true ‘Cape Townian’ style and head out to the country for a weekend? The Western Cape has an almost endless choice of great weekend spots, for both travellers on a shoestring budget and those with plenty of cash to spare. We explore just three of the many guest cottages available, starting with the rustic and concluding with the luxurious.
Beaverlac – for the nature enthusiast
The first holiday spot on our list is Beaverlac, about two hours north of Cape Town and 26kms from Porterville. For those who prefer having a few home comforts on their holiday, Beaverlac is perhaps not the best destination – the campsite only provides cold water and the cottages are very basic. But what Beaverlac lacks by way of towel warmers and room service, it makes up for by way of sheer natural beauty. Tucked between two rivers – the Olifants and the Ratel – and nestled in the beautiful Olifants Mountains, the area is a nature lover’s dream destination. Enjoy exploring numerous hiking and mountain biking trails, indulge in bird watching and plant spotting or swim in the refreshing natural pools and relax under the calming powers of the waterfalls on your visit.
Honeywood Farms – for families and couples
If you enjoy reasonable accommodate rates and country-style hospitality, Honeywood Farms has something to offer you. The working honey farm – 20 kilometers from Heidelberg – is also home to a few groomed horses who wander freely between the cottages. All the cottages provide breathtaking views of the emerald green hills that reach past the farm’s boundaries and sport quaint country names such as ‘Hunter’s Lodge’ and ‘Oakvale’. The owner, John Moodie will gladly avail you of the family history – the farm has been home to the Moodies since 1817 – and give you friendly advice on hiking trails and nearby nature reserves. You may even be lucky enough to spot a leopard during your stay if you venture into the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve nearby.
La Cabriere Country House – for a pamper weekend
La Cabriere Country House is for those who enjoy the elegant beauty of wine farms and Cape Dutch style architecture. If you would like to spend the afternoons tanning next to a luxurious pool and the evenings curled up next to a fireplace, you can find no better holiday spot. Located in the beautiful setting of Franschhoek – the old Cape Huguenot settlement – with its breathtaking mountains and vineyards, there is plenty to do and see near La Cabriere. It is also less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, an added bonus when you’re only going away for a weekend.
If you try to book accommodation at one of these great retreats around Easter and Christmas, you may have to be more creative about finding a spot, but for your ordinary weekend away you can pretty much phone up the night before and drive just a few short hours to a place of solitude and bliss.