Romantic nature spots

2012-09-06 13:46

While spa treatments and fancy dinners may sound romantic to many, there's nothing that turns an adventurous spirit on like a little wildness.

So, if you're looking to rekindle your hibernating passion as spring pops up all around, we suggest whisking your love off to one of these super romantic, nature-rich spots around the country. 

There's one for every budget!

Dream Lodge, Magaliesburg, North West

Photo: Dream Lodge website

"No electricity, no TV, no rush. Just you, your partner and nature." The tagline on the Dream Lodge website pretty much sums it up. Located 17km's out of the town of Magaliesburg. The Gecko and Agama stone cottages are set aside for couples and are aimed at providing as much privacy as possible. Both have built-in fire places, romantic bathrooms and are surrounded by rugged acacia trees and bushveld on all sides. Meals are included and they cater for all tastes and dietary requirements. 

Cost: R740 per person per night, which includes dinner and breakfast.

Check out the Dream Lodge website.

Toplodge, Putterill Valley, KZN

Photo: Toplodge website

If you really, really, really want to get away from it all, this delightful stone and thatch lodge in the Drakensberg should be first on your list. Secluded within a mountain wildlife sanctuary, the only way to reach the cottages is by 4x4. If you don't have one, a free transfer can be arranged from the neighbouring Alpine Heath resort. 

The cottages are double story, open plan, each have their own fireplace and completely surrounded by breathtaking views. While they do accommodate up to four people, we suggest leaving any other interested parties at home. 

Cost: R390 per person per night.

Check out the Toplodge website for more details.

Nibelheim Cottage, Hogsback, Eastern Cape

Photo: Hogsback Info

The little town of Hogsback is nothing short of a delight all year round: in winter it often gets covered in a blanket of fluffy snow, while spring brings with it fields of flowers. 

The enchanting Nibelheim Cottage is located right in the middle of a garden filled with fruit and nut trees, and the abundant bird life that comes with that. The cottage is self-catering and takes the form of a wooden cabin on stilts, looking out over the Hogs and Tor Doone. There's a built-in fire place as well as braai facilities. 

Cost: R450 per couple, per night 

Tamboti tented camp, Kruger National Park


Okay, so these rugged tents are a far cry from Out of Africa type colonial luxury. Don't expect luscious double beds... in fact, the bad news is, don't expect double beds at all.

But if wildness is what you want this is your spot! Unlike other Kruger restcamps, Tamboti Bushveld camp doesn't even have a reception area or a shop, which means staff presence is pretty low. The gate stays open throughout the day, which means any sort of creature can creep in. Of course this means a trip to the ablution block at night could get the adrenaline pumping, so make sure your other half is by your side to be in it all together. 

The tents are equipped with a fridge, fan and extra blankets if needs be. Spend some time lounging on the wooden verandah while looking out over the Timbavati River. 

Cost: R400 per tent plus conservation fees if you don't have a Wildcard.

Check out the SANParks website for more details.

Mazeppa Bay hotel, Wild Coast

Photo: Fish and stay

Immerse yourself in the magic of the Wild Coast with a weekend getaway at the Mazeppa Bay hotel.

Located in an island-like setting, the hotel encourages guests to be as relaxed as possible - kick off your shoes and wander around in your swimming costumes if you want!

The rates are very affordable and include three home cooked meals per day. With a seafood dinner on a Saturdays and a mini seafood dinner on a Wednesdays.

Cost: R700 per person sharing (for the honeymoon suite)

Visit the Mazeppa Bay hotel website for more details.

Tswalu Malori sleep out deck, Kalahari

Photo: Tswalu

If you've got a really special occasion to celebrate and some cash to spend, head to the dreamy sleep out deck in the Tswalu Kalahari reserve.

The Malori (meaning ‘dreamer' in Tswana), offers guests the unique experience of a safari sleepout on a magnificent 100,000ha five star private game reserve. The deck boasts a raised platform with a thatched overhang for protection should it rain. Guests can choose to sleep under the thatch or further along the deck where it is completely open. The quaint bush suite also has weather-proof blinds which can be rolled up or down according to preference.

The king-size bed is dressed with exquisite Aldona linen. Luxury towelling robes and slippers are provided and an adjacent outdoor toilet, basin and shower are just a short distance away along a lighted walkway.

Cost: R7 700 per person (based on a couple sharing)

Visit the Tswalu website for more details.

Namaqua Flowers Beach Camp, Namaqua National Park

Photo: SANParks

Open only between 15 August and 16 September 2012, this temporary tented camp on a coastal site within the Namaqua National Park is something of a Never Neverland. 

The camp consists of 15 Dome tents and 5 family ones, each kitted out with everything you may need. Once again, like Tamboti, the Dome tents unfortunately do not have double beds... but hey! Nothing wrong with a bit of single bed snuggling, or what?

Brunch, high tea and dinner are included in the price. 

Cost: R2 015 per person

Visit the SANParks website for more details.

Highlands Mountain Retreat, Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Photo: Tracks4Africa

A relatively new addition to the Free State's Golden Gate National Park, the Highlands Mountain Retreat is a luxury camp boasting eight log cabins nestled into the majestic foothills.

Located 2200m above sea level, it is truly a escape for the mind, body and soul and the perfect place to reconnect with your soul mate. 

Cost: R 1 025 for two people in one bedroom cottage

Visit the SANParks website for more details. 

Oudebosch Eco Cabins, Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Photo: Provided 

Located in the very heart of the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, between the gorgeous coastal villages of Kleinmond and Betty's Bay, the Oudeosch cabins provide the latest in eco-friendly breakaways. 

The glass fronted cabins afford occupants breath-taking views of the reserve, which is a World Heritage Site. Each one comprises two bedrooms, one bathroom and a spacious kitchen, lounge and dining area.

Amenities include a closed combustion fireplace and stylish, locally produced decor and furnishing, giving the cabins a modern and inviting feel.

Visit the Cape Nature website for rates or more details.

Mvubu Bushcamp, Groenvlei near Sedgefield

Photo: Show me

Overlooking the Groenvlei lake just outside Sedgefield, Mvubu Bushcamp is a very comfortable wood, reed and thatch cottage on stilts. Surrounded by Milkwood forest, it has spectacular views and wide, sliding doors leading from both bedrooms and lounge onto a large deck overlooking the lake. 

After a leisurely morning of lounging on the wide porch, take a stroll into the forest, pack a picnic and have a bit of a row. 

Visit the Cape Nature website for rates or more details.

Hogsback, Eastern Cape image: Shutterstock
Read more on:    travel south africa  |  romance

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