Peace of Eden
Think of a woodcutter's cabin nestled in the midst of a tranquil indigenous forest and you’ll have a sense of Peace of Eden.
Situated 8 kilometres off Rheedendal Road on the outskirts of Knysna, Peace of Eden offers its own little slice of paradise in the Knysna forest, where forest walks and hours of bird watching are just some of the activities to keep you from ever wanting to leave.
Peace of Eden’s accommodation ranges from a spacious double-story cottage to cosy woodcutter’s cottages, bedded safari tents or DIY camping along the forest edge.
Gwen’s Glade cottage is a family-sleeper with a vast attic bedroom overlooking a willow and evergreen-fringed lily pond.
Downstairs you’ll find a comfy lounge with fireplace, open plan kitchen and outdoor deck.
There’s a choice of two woodcutter cottages (2-3 sleepers) with a double-bedroom, bathroom, kitchen galley and open plan lounge (equipped with day bed) leading onto a wooden deck offering views of fields and forest.
There’s also two barn cabins, draped with lingering wisteria and bougainvillea - the Sunbird cabin sleeps two with a double en-suite bedroom and open-plan kitchenette/lounge leading onto a covered veranda, while the more spacious Bodhi Barn cabin sleeps up to eight.
Apart from the bedded tents, outdoor campers can enjoy the relative luxury of a bush kitchen, solar/gas-heated outdoor shower and an eco loo (aka compost toilet/long drop).
There’s plenty of blue-bottomed vervet monkeys (one of which seemed determined to steal my computer bag), friendly horses and green Knysna Loeries, but the wildest of all is the ‘tame’ guinea fowl - it has a penchant for pecking the feet (consider yourself warned).
Insect haters should likewise beware - If 5-star luxury is what you’re after, this place is not for you. It’s rustic, simple, outdoorsy and lovely, but it’s an eco-hideaway, not the Sheraton.
Peace of Eden is doing their bit to deserve their eco status, with a massive organic garden, solar panels and a commitment to community upliftment that sees them engaging in projects such as environmental education and outreach in local communities and townships, music workshops and therapy, and musical internships.
There’s also a range of eco-friendly activities on offer - including indigenous forest walks, canoeing, birdwatching or star-gazing, and catered vegetarian meals, and even a resident nature guide.
If you can tear yourself away, the town of Knysna is also a 10 minute drive from the lodge, with plenty of activities, shops and other urban distractions.
There’s also no shortage of adventure activities nearby, including forest mountain bike and hiking trails, horse rides, abseiling, kayaking, paragliding, sky diving, bungi jumping, Lagoon ferry rides plus the Knysna Elephant Park, Wolf Sanctuary, Birds of Eden and Monkeyland just around the corner.
A short drive to the village of Millwood takes you even deeper into the forest to discover this once-lucrative gold-mining area.
You might even be lucky enough to spot one of South Africa’s stars - Peace of Eden is also the home of an award-winning recording studio. But if sanctuary is what you’re after, Peace of Eden won’t give you any reason to leave.
Peace of Eden takes in volunteers to assist with the large organic permaculture garden, guest farm management duties, sustainable initiatives, forest rehabilitation, horse care, environmental education with the resident nature guide, outreach workshops in the local communities and township tours.
They also offer a musical outreach internship, where volunteers assist with various musical projects and get to learn the ins and outs of the business.
Some of these include facilitating workshops with township musicians, musical therapy with underprivileged children, empowering young artists to make their own instruments and learning creative enterprise within the industry.
Peace of Eden Quick Facts
Accommodation type: Self-catering cottages, safari tents or camping
Where: Just west, or on the Sedgefield side of Knysna, about 8,2 km along the Rheenendal Road which comes off the N2.
GPS Coordinates: S 33 98 6323 E 022 96 572
Sleeps: Singles to families
Rates: Camping from R100 - R200 a night (safari tents). Cottages from R596 - R750 per night (sleeps two) or R1150 (3-sleeper) to R1650 per night (5-8 sleeper).
Secure Parking: Yes
Green in Africa Eco-rating: 3/5
+27 (0)44 388 4671 or +27 (0)72 528 5859 /+27 (0)72 0181 333
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