I’ve always had a fascination with tree houses, perhaps because they really appeal to the kid inside me, or maybe it’s because the forest is where man originated from.
Either way, with each and every tree house completely unique, Teniqua Treetops is sure to please every nature lover (Note: if the thought of non-venomous, albeit scary looking spiders or a friendly visiting lizard sends you into a blind panic, Teniqua might not be for you).
Completely blending into the natural surroundings, the 8 tree houses are set deep in the forest, carefully placed in the spaces left from the removal of non-indigenous trees.
Lovingly handcrafted from reclaimed wood, the treehouses are positioned for jaw-dropping views over the forest canopy, with vast decks and outdoor bathrooms allowing you to connect with nature at every opportunity.
Offering lavish corner baths, tented double beds, fully-equipped kitchens, and even wheelchair-friendly access, their secluded locations ensure couples can retreat into privacy at a moment’s notice.
Teniqua Treetops is equipped with a lounge and gaming room perfect for families, a conference centre for groups, and swimming pools for cooling off in the hot days of summer.
There’s numerous hiking trails to lose yourself in - an easy hike down to the bottom of the gorge takes you to a tan-coloured river, dyed by the tannins of the fynbos (“fine bush”) indigenous to this area.
Listen to the happy trill of birdsong and see if you can spot the Kynsa Louries, Forest Buzzards, Blackheaded Oriole, Fish Eagles, Eagle Owls and Forest Canaries (to name a few) flitting between ancient Yellow woods, Milkwoods, Candlewoods and Saffron trees, some pioneers and others over a thousand years old.
You could even be one of the lucky few (as we were), to have a Knysna Lourie perch atop your tree house deck.
The love that owner Robyn and Viv have for the forest is immediately apparent - committed to conserving the forest and ensuring a minimal footprint, Teniqua Treetops boasts eco-friendly credentials.
These include recycling, composting, solar power and water management - they harvest rainwater for drinking and pipe and purify water from the Katara River for bathing, as well as processing both black and grey water.
Even the ablutions are designed to give back to the forest. The treehouses are equipped with a dry, composting toilet - a waterless chemical-free system.
Instead of using precious water and installing piping that would disturb the ancient forest floor, the EcoSan system requires only the use of composting leaves - which are full of natural bacteria and are harvested from the forest itself - and a circulating fan which dries out the organic matter to be used as a fertiliser to nourish the trees.
Unwanted horses also find a home at Teniqua, where they are free to roam and graze wherever they want.
Ultimately, Teniqua Treetops is a forest retreat, where your stay directly benefits the environment and provides jobs for the local community. So pat yourself on the back as you lie suspended in the forest canopy surrounded by birdsong and butterflies, enjoying the perfect combination of nature, comfort and tranquillity.
Teniqua Treetops Quick Facts:
Accommodation type: Self-catering tree houses
Where: Just off the N2 between Sedgefield and Knysna, with 15km being a graded farm road, easily accessible by car
GPS Coordinates: S 33 56 49 E 022 51 18
Sleeps: 2 (honeymoon suite) or 4 (family)
Rates: Tree houses from R875 (standard) to R1660 per night for honeymoon suite (sleeps 2). Four-sleeper family units from R1090 to R2480 a night
Secure Parking: Yes
Green in Africa Eco-rating: 5/5
+27 (0)44 356 2868
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