Reflections Eco Reserve
Top Pick: Eco Accommodation, Wilderness
Set against the beautiful Rondvlei Dam, right next to the Garden Route Nature Reserve, Reflections is a private nature reserve and bird-watcher’s paradise.
Fish Eagles breed and nest here, while over 140 types of birds dart and plunge across the dam. Situated on 26 hectares of what was once an alien pine plantation, the four chalets are lovingly built from this reclaimed wood.
Reflections Eco Reserve Quick Facts
Accommodation type: Self-catering wooden chalets
Where: Several kilometres of dirt road off the main N2 from Knysna to George
GPS Coordinates: S 33 58 59 E 022 41 40
Sleeps: Couples or families (up to six)
Rates: Chalets from R850 (for two) to R1200 (for four)
Secure Parking: Yes
Green in Africa Eco-rating: 5/5
+27 (0)71 683 4133
We arrived at Reflections Eco Reserve to the exuberant greeting of Olive, owner Tim and Angelique Carr's very friendly dog, who was completely unperturbed by our scooters.
While Tim and Angelique were not there to show us around, their full-time employee Reggie, who lives with his wife on the property, gave us a mini-tour of the property.
Totally off-the-grid, using solar and wind power for their energy needs, the luxurious wooden chalets can accommodate a whole family, with three bedrooms, inside and outdoor showers, two bathrooms and large wraparound decks, allowing you to make the most of the incredible views.
Each chalet can accommodate 4 adults and up to 3 children in two bedrooms with an upstairs loft for single guests or children. The main bedroom has a queen-sized bed, dressed in spotlessly clean white linen while the second bedroom has two single beds.
There’s two bathrooms, one with bath, shower and toilet, as well as a separate toilet. Best of all, there's an outdoor shower for those balmy summer nights.
The kitchen is fully-equipped with all the self-caterer could possibly need, while the gas oven and fridge allow for long and contented culinary endeavours - more so with an offer to pick fresh organic veggies from the garden. Naturally, guests are encouraged to recycle and compost.
We were welcomed with a hearty fire (burning surplus alien wood), and took a (solar-warmed) shower using guest toiletries that were completely biodegradable. This means that all the shower and kitchen water can go directly back into the earth without the need for any filtration.
Passionate about his surroundings, Tim has planted over 1000 indigenous trees, and will buy and plant trees for guests who wish to offset their carbon footprint. You’ll even get Google Earth GPS coordinates so you can visit your tree and watch it grow.
Tim certainly knows his stuff - not only will he calculate your carbon footprint for you, he’ll provide the stats: “1 tree fixes 2500kg carbon dioxide from 18 million cubic metres of air and supplies 1 person with clean air for 20 years, this is an easy way for everyone to help. Each tree in its lifetime will also provide shade, food and a habitat for countless smaller creatures”.
But apart from its stellar eco credentials, what makes Reflections Eco Reserve special is the profound sense of solitude and peace that envelops you while staying there.
The simple joys of waking up to the call of a fisheagle, taking a walk to watch the abundant birdlife frolicking over the dam, trying to spot some of the resident wildlife at sunset (including the Cape Clawless Otter, Water Mongoose, Caracal, Bushpig, Grey Duiker and Grysbok) or just relaxing on the deck.
The multi-talented Tim is also a guide who offers tours for birdwatchers, plant and insect lovers, history and archaeology buffs, photographers and everything in between.
I particularly enjoyed the large sliding doors allowing uninterrupted views over the deck, even while inside on a cold winter’s day snuggled up by the fireplace.
Reflections Eco Reserve is one of the Garden Route's most beautiful and tranquil destinations, giving you the space to reflect and reconnect with nature.
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