WORDS Lynette Botha
These secluded properties may take a little more effort to reach, but you’ll be rewarded for your undertaking with thoughtful design, never-ending vistas and the space to really clear your head. It’s time to escape.
HABITAS NAMIBIA, WINDHOEK
For total isolation with an injection of the esoteric, this anticipated 2021 hotel opening is just the ticket. Wellness is top priority at Habitas Namibia, with yoga, sound meditation, full-moon bathing, medicinal plant workshops and a range of spa treatments part and parcel.
Located one hour from Windhoek, each of the 15 luxury tented rooms benefits from an elevated position, as if floating above the savanna. The interiors, decorated with regional crafts and custom-made furnishings, give a nod to nature and all things local. Safaris are led by Habitas’s Namibian guides, who share a wealth of native knowledge.
For more info, visit ourhabitas.com/namibia
SKY LODGE AT MAGIC HILLS PRIVATE COLLECTION, GREAT KAROO
Sky above, earth below and wide-open plains as far as the eye can see make Sky Lodge a literal oasis hidden deep in the Karoo Noorsveld. In this sanctuary atop a hill, the interior decor was hand-selected by the owners and sourced from all over South Africa, making the personal touch visible throughout. Tonal shades of brown and beige mimic the natural surroundings, as do the textures of wood, wool and other natural fibres. Daily game drives, a spa with a view and a Jacuzzi that’s accessible 24/7 make this the ideal place to disconnect.
For more info, visit magichills.com
THE GREENHOUSE AT FAZENDA, SWELLENDAM
The Greenhouse is an open-plan double-volume glass cabin far off the beaten track. Located in Swellendam, South Africa’s third-oldest town, it is surrounded by a secret forest – and little else. A plunge pool and sun deck complete the pod, which, while being completely transparent, is also completely private.
For more info, visit fazendaswellendam.co.za
CEDERBERG RIDGE WILDERNESS LODGE, CLANWILLIAM
Set on a 3 000-hectare citrus and grape farm, this contemporary lodge overlooks the Cederberg Mountains. Nine luxury rooms are positioned far apart, offering total privacy and space to unwind. While R&R may be the name of the game, there is no shortage of activities if you’re that way inclined – anything from farm tours and biking trails to boating and rock-art excursions. A traditional African massage at the spa is mandatory, as is stargazing in this area where the night skies are truly vibrant.
For more info, visit cederbergridge.co.za
It’s hard to pinpoint which is more exquisite: the natural Mozambican surroundings or the thoughtfully designed Sussurro itself. With a commitment to sustainability and supporting local, everything is 100% African-sourced, built and serviced. Interiors are pared down yet luxe, and each element has a story. Once you pull yourself away from the lodge, the warm water of the tranquil lagoon on which Sussurro is located will wash away all your worries. This is a retreat in every sense of the word, with spacious bungalows, indoor and outdoor bathing facilities, and water-facing decks.
For more info, visit sussurro.co
THE OUTPOST LODGE, PAFURI, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Summed up as a “secluded architectural beauty”, the Outpost Lodge’s award-winning design is even more impressive in the bush setting of Pafuri. Twelve stand-alone suites are linked to the main lodge by an elevated wooden walkway – each with plush, understated decor, sunken tubs with uninterrupted views of the outdoors, and all the amenities you’d expect at a five-star retreat. Game-viewing and walking safaris in one of the most scenically beautiful and diverse wilderness areas of the Kruger National Park add to an already rich experience.
For more info, visit rareearth.co.za/the-outpost
Looking for more local escapes? Take a look at these off-grid tiny cabins.