Imagine a winter holiday in a cosy log cabin, relaxing by the fireplace while playing board games with your kids, or enjoying a nature walk while taking in the beautiful scenery. These ten log cabins are all kid-friendly and close to nature. Some have electricity, and some have television but they all have indoor fireplaces and barbecue areas, perfect for a cosy family getaway.
1. Rockwood Forest Lodge, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal
Rockwood Forest Lodge is situated on the banks of the Godwini stream, within the indigenous forest of the Karkloof Nature Reserve. The area offers loads to do, including walking and cycling routes, a lovely waterfall, mountain biking, trout and bass fishing, birdwatching, swimming (in natural pools) and the famous Karkloof Canopy Tour. Keep your eyes peeled for bushbuck, blue duiker and Samango monkeys around the camp.
The lodge sleeps six people and offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and an open plan kitchen/dining area. Perfect for winter, there’s a fireplace and a flat-screen TV. There’s no cell phone access inside the lodge but they do have a selection of board games available. A large entertainment deck overlooks the stream and it’s a short drive to a private jungle gym/trampoline area.
2. Kurisa Moya, Magoebaskloof, Limpopo
Situated near Magoebaskloof and totally off-the-grid, Kurisa Moya offers two log cabins up in the canopy of the indigenous forest, surrounded by mountains, rivers, and bushveld.
Each cabin sleeps between two and four people in one double bedroom and one or two single beds in the loft room. The kitchenette is equipped with all you need and there’s a bathroom with a shower. Lights are solar powered, and the stove, fridge/freezer, and hot water run on gas. You can enjoy spending time on the private deck outside or relax in front of the fireplace. The cabins have large windows, providing stunning views, so keep your eyes open for Knysna Turacos (louries), bushpigs or bushbuck roaming the forest.
Kurisa Moya offers plenty of activities, including walking and hiking trails, sunset 4×4 drives, mountain bike trails, bird watching, fly-fishing or going on an authentic village experience.
3. Highlands Mountain Retreat, Golden Gate National Park, Free State
The luxury camp is situated 2200 m above sea level and offers glorious views of the surrounding Malutis. The spacious log cabins provide the perfect winter escape, as they were designed to retain warmth during the colder months.
Accessible to the mobility challenged, the family cabins feature two en-suite bedrooms each (sleeping four people), a kitchen, living area with fireplace, and a veranda with a Weber braai.
The gates in Golden Gate do not close. The road running through the Park is a public road which does not allow for the installation of any boom gates. Gate control is done at both receptions (Golden Gate Hotel and Glen Reenen Rest Camp) on arrival.
4. Ingwe Cabin, Northern Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal
Situated high up in the mountains between Little Switzerland and Alpine Heath, Ingwe farm is a nature lover’s paradise.
There is only one cabin, on a 4×4 track in an unspoiled part of the Berg. Except for free roaming eland, bushbuck, mountain rheebok, wild baboons and an abundance of bird life, you are assured total peace and privacy.
The cabin sleeps six people in two bedrooms, one with a queen-size bed and one with two single beds, as well as a bunker bed in the living area. The living room is open plan with a fireplace and there’s a fully equipped kitchen, as well as one bathroom with a bath, basin and flush toilet.
The cabin has solar powered lights, and the stove, fridge, and geysers run on gas. A wood-fired donkey provides hot water to the outside shower. There is also a deck, lapa and flush toilet outside.
Activities in the area include hiking, bird watching, horse riding, and golf. A dam stocked with rainbow trout makes for great fly fishing, and golfers can enjoy the self-service driving range over the trout dam.
5. Kolkol Mountain Lodge, Bot River, Western Cape
Located on the Van der Stel Pass, the lodge offers luxurious log cabins with sweeping views of the Babylonstoren Mountains and the fynbos of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
KolKol log cabin sleeps 2 – 6 people in two bedrooms, one en-suite with a queen size bed, and a second bedroom with two single beds, and a bathroom in the hallway. The lounge area has a stone fireplace where you can curl up with a book and enjoy a glass of the local wine.
The cabin offers a fully equipped kitchen, as well as a CD Player with iPod connection, a braai area on the patio, and a private wood-fired plunge pool/hot tub.
There are lots for nature lovers to do on the farm including birding, mountain biking, swimming in the dam, picnicking or going on a fynbos hike while enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Rudi & Karen Oosthuyse
Tel: +27 (0)76 9136014
Cel: +27 (0)82 654 5090 (Karen)
6. Riverside Lodge, Oudtshoorn
Situated on the banks of the Grobbelaars River, Riverside Lodge offers luxury log cottages with panoramic views of the river and the Swartberg Mountains.
Built by an artist, each cottage features a living room with a fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, and a private deck on which to relax while watching the birds. All the cabins have flat-screen TV’s with DSTV, and all have private en-suite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries and bathrobes.
The lodge also offers a main deck with a splash pool, private bar, a shared lounge and a barbecue area. A freshly prepared breakfast is served daily, and guests can enjoy cheese and wine in the afternoon.
Riverside is walking distance from town, where there are many tourist attractions and restaurants to discover and explore. Oudtshoorn offers a host of attractions, including the Swartberg Pass, Cango Caves, Cango Wildlife Ranch, Meirings Poort, waterfalls, game farms, ostrich show farms, olive farms, and wine estates. Nearby activities also include hiking, cycling, and horse riding.
7. Moon Shine on Whiskey Creek, Plettenberg Bay
Set on 14 hectares of unspoiled indigenous forest, Moon Shine on Whiskey Creek offers handcrafted wooden cabins nestled among the beautiful trees.
Sleeping a maximum of six people, Tree Frog forest cabin is set up high amongst the trees and offers magical views of the forest. There’s a bedroom with a queen size bed, an inviting upstairs loft area with three single beds (a fourth can be added), and one bathroom with a shower.
The double volume kitchen and living area create a lovely feeling of space and light. The kitchen is fully equipped, and the open plan living area has French doors opening onto the wrap-around deck. There is a barbeque area outside and a wood burning fireplace inside. No television!
Vervet forest cabin is the largest, sleeping six people in two bedrooms. The main bedroom has a queen-sized bed and the second bedroom has two sets of spacious bunk beds. There are a large private deck and a fully equipped open plan kitchen. There is a barbeque area, a wood burning fireplace and a flat-screen TV with select DSTV.
The property also boasts a sparkling swimming pool and a fabulous playground for the kids. You can take a short hike to a beautiful mountain pool for a relaxing picnic. Watch the vervet monkeys play and if you’re lucky enough, you may even spot a bushpig or bushbuck. You can enjoy birdwatching too – your chance of spotting a Knysna Loerie (Turaco) is pretty good.
Moon Shine on Whiskey Creek has been awarded Five Green Hearts for their environmental conservation efforts.
8. Bushman’s Nek, Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal
Situated in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, Bushman’s Nek offers a variety of accommodation options. The two-bedroom log cabins have mountain or partial mountain views. Each cabin features a main bedroom with a double bed, a second bedroom with two single beds, and two bathrooms each. They also offer a fully-equipped kitchen and lounge with double sleeper couch. Perfect for winter, the cabins offer heaters, braai areas, fireplaces and television with DSTV. Although equipped for self-catering, room service may also be ordered.
The three-bedroom cabin sleeps six people in three en-suite bedrooms. Two bedrooms have double beds, while the third bedroom has two single beds.
Bushman’s Nek boasts an array of onsite facilities, including a spa and a restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There are numerous activities available including horse riding, paintball, fly fishing, archery, picnics, adventure golf, water slides, cycling, bowls, tennis, a children’s playground, kids club and much, much more.
9. Monkey Valley Resort, Noordhoek, Cape Town
Nestled within the Milkwood forest at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, Monkey Valley has an unrivaled view of Noordhoek beach and the nature reserve. Built to preserve the natural beauty of the area, it is surrounded by nature reserve on three sides. It boasts direct access to the long and unspoiled beach and lagoon, where pelicans and flamingos are often spotted.
The 14 private, thatched, luxury cottages enjoy sweeping views of the sea. Each cabin has a stone fireplace inside and a deck or lawn terrace outside, with a private barbeque and outside shower. Bedrooms are en-suite, and the lounge and kitchen are open-plan.
The restaurant offers organic, farm style cuisine in a candlelit atmosphere with a deck overlooking the ocean. There is also a quaint treetop pub, a treetop sauna, three swimming pools and a children’s playground. A wonderful variety of activities can be arranged, including horse riding, whale watching, beach walks, mountain biking, hiking, snorkelling with seals and more.
10. Riverman Cabin, Dullstroom, Mpumalanga
Situated in the Tonteldoos Valley, there are seven cabins – three of which are log cabins. Fully equipped for self-catering, all the cabins are open plan with cosy indoor fireplaces, as well as private, outdoor braai areas.
The farm boasts abundant trees, streams running through the trout dams and majestic mountains. If you’re lucky enough, you could spot endangered plant and animal species such as the crane family, oribi, aardwolf and arum lilies.
Activities on the farm include picnicking, fly fishing, the Wattle Walk or enjoying a barbecue at Die Koekepan Boma. Other activities nearby include paintball and guided horse riding in Tonteldoos, or a 4×4 course, nature trails and fly-fishing at the neighbouring farm, Woolly Bugger.