HOT SPOTS

From beach to bush – four su­perb stays for your next break

Getaway (South Africa) - - Contents -

CORAL TREE COLONY South­b­room, KwaZulu-Na­tal

Nat­u­ral ecol­ogy is an im­por­tant part of South­b­room’s DNA and, thanks to its res­i­dents, is why the town hasn’t suc­cumbed to the high-rise apart­ment cul­ture of its South Coast neigh­bours. Even the sprawl­ing 18-hole golf course at its cen­tre seems, sur­pris­ingly, a nat­u­ral fit in this pretty pocket of green. Just be­hind the twelfth hole you’ll find Coral Tree Colony – a pur­pose-built B&B with just enough of a colo­nial throw­back for it not to feel con­trived. There’s a cen­tral lounge with wicker chairs and pol­ished wooden floors, long ve­ran­das and the six cosy rooms (with king-size or twin beds) all look out over the sub­trop­i­cal course and the ocean beyond. The at­mos­phere is re­laxed – guests have ac­cess to the kitchen – but the ta­ble set­tings and fin­ish­ing touches have a real restau­rant-qual­ity feel. It’s quiet, homely and pet friendly – a good op­tion for those stop­ping by on a coastal road trip, or set­tling in for a week of seclu­sion from the rest of the South Coast crowds. RATES From R775 pp shar­ing B&B. CON­TACT 039-316-6676, thec­o­ral­tree.com – TYSON JOPSON

VIR­GINIA FARM Near Es­ton, KZN Mid­lands

The road to Vir­ginia Farm passes Tala Game Re­serve and ru­ral farm­land, giv­ing an in­tro­duc­tion to this area’s beauty. How­ever, it doesn’t pre­pare you for the strik­ing gorge that un­folds as you en­ter this his­toric work­ing sugar-cane farm, set in a con­ser­vancy area and owned by the su­per-hos­pitable Pete and Lou Stain­bank. It’s great for bird­ers, moun­tain bik­ers and hik­ers, with 80 kilo­me­tres of trail snaking through cane fields, dip­ping through aloe-clad moun­tain folds and hug­ging the val­ley sides. The land is pris­tine and safe; guests are en­cour­aged to ex­plore by them­selves (even women) or in groups, and the well-main­tained fa­cil­i­ties are spot­less. For day vis­i­tors (en­try R45 pp) there are braai and rest ar­eas, hot show­ers and an hon­esty-sys­tem snack bar. The self-cater­ing Cot­tage (sleeps six) makes for a homely group get­away with views over the pool and farm, while the con­verted farm Shed (sleeps seven) is re­laxed and com­fort­able. RATES From R260 pp (R520 min­i­mum). CON­TACT 031-781-1042, vir­gini­a­farm.co.za – TEA­GAN CUN­NIFFE

WITS RU­RAL FA­CIL­ITY Near Kruger Park, Mpumalanga

Wits University refers to its 350-hectare bushveld es­tate as a ‘ru­ral cam­pus’, with a lab­o­ra­tory, sem­i­nar and con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties, swim­ming pool, restau­rant and four ac­com­mo­da­tion clus­ters. Stu­dents get first dibs but if it’s avail­able, the re­cently built Bush­camp is a neat op­tion for any­one want­ing an af­ford­able self- cater­ing base for self- drive trips into Kruger, or to avail them­selves of guided soirées into Ka­pama or Manyeleti (ar­ranged pri­vately). Bush­camp com­prises two par­al­lel wings, each with four com­pact, ad­join­ing en-suite stu­dio units that can be booked in­di­vid­u­ally. Bet­ter still, take all eight and you’ve got a great space for a group of 16 shar­ing the large com­mu­nal firepit and open-air din­ing room. Flanked by pri­vate game re­serves, pop­u­lated with free-roam­ing game and 30 kilo­me­tres from Or­pen Gate, this is one of the best bargains you’ll find in the bush. RATES From R522 pp shar­ing. CON­TACT 015-793-7508, wits.ac.za/cam­pus­life/arts-and-cul­ture/wits-ru­ral-fa­cil­ity – PIPPA DE BRUYN

FLY ME TO THE MOON Gar­den Route, West­ern Cape

Fly Me To The Moon is the new­est edi­tion to Moon Shine on Whiskey Creek’s lov­ingly con­structed forest cab­ins, in beau­ti­ful in­dige­nous forest 10 min­utes from Plet­ten­berg Bay. When own­ers Sue and Al­bert ar­rived 18 years ago, there were no build­ings. Al­bert set to work, first on their own home, then on a grow­ing se­lec­tion of se­cluded cab­ins. Each is unique, an ex­pres­sion of Al­bert’s ever-in­creas­ing con­fi­dence and crafts­man­ship, and this lat­est cou­ples’ re­treat is his most im­pres­sive to date. Colour­ful mo­saics adorn the bath­room and out­side shower, and hand-picked tim­ber frames the slid­ing win­dows. A stash of wood and char­coal is pro­vided for the braai and fire­place, and there’s a neat kitch­enette. What there isn’t is cell re­cep­tion – just free Wi-Fi, if you must, in the pur­pose-built cabin up the hill. Have a dip in the swim­ming pool on your way back, or walk down to Whiskey Creek it­self where there’s a water­fall and a huge, icy rock pool to swim in. RATES From R690 for two shar­ing. CON­TACT 072-200-6656, whisk­ey­creek.co.za – CHRIS DAVIES

ue Thisof­fer­s­the best val for group get­aways

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