10 Unique Spots to Stay in South Africa That You Will Love

Inspired Spaces: Part 1



To kick things off, I thought I’d show off a bit of my very own home country, South Africa! Though we have had some bad press, and there are safety considerations (akin to visiting any 3rd world country), South Africa is a country of unquestionable beauty. Any which way you turn, by any definition of the word, the sphere of crazy inspiring AND lesser-known spaces to be found within our borders is almost innumerable!
Maybe it’s the melting pot of cultures, backgrounds, climate or the sheer size that make South Africa such an incredible place to explore but Mzanzi is as unique and different a place as I’ve ever experienced. Living here my entire life, I’m still left enamoured by the incredible places to be found. Some in towns I’ve never even heard of!

So I am really happy to be able to show off – at least a little – of what is on offer here.

I hope that some may allow you to daydream, others tickle your imagination and hopefully at least one may be the magic slipper to your next trip.

Either way, you are welcome to return over and over again, to wander and wonder to your heart’s content.


1. Tanda Tula Safari Camp, Timbavati Game Reserve

Some will say that you cannot visit South Africa without going on a Safari. And I tend to never dispute this. Because there is nothing; nothing quite like waking up to the sound of the bush. And if you’re going to, Tanda Tula is one place I would add to anyone’s bucket list. Besides being located in the Timbavati Reserve, everything about Tanda Tula is there to give you the most authentic and unforgettable bush experience you’ve ever had… Welcome to South Africa!

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2. Old Mac Daddy Airstream Trailer Park, Elgin

Known as the Valley of Apples, Elgin is postcard-worthy by anyone’s standard! I first got to visit Old Mac Daddy for a friends wedding. Taking a true love, the Overberg Mountains and the space that is OMD, it was absolutely incredible! That aside, there is something about camping in a trailer, in that kind of scenery. This really is a little slice of heaven on earth.

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3. Kagga Kama Nature Reserve, Cederberg

Nestled in the Cederberg Mountains, Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve was once home to the indigenous San Bushman. Here, rock formations frame the horizon, and wildflowers scattered as far as your eye can see. There are legions of stars in the heavens here too, that call you back to an ancient unknown time before. Kagga Kamma and the Cederberg is one place that will creep into your soul and has you returning again, and again.


4. The Outpost Lodge, Kruger National Park

With its remote location in the northernmost corner of the Kruger National Park and perched halfway up on a hill showing off breathtaking views across the Luvuvhu River, there is a very good reason this Lodge was named The Outpost. You will literally feel like you have the bush all to yourself here. And G&T sunsets will never be the same again… *Insert collective sigh here.*

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5. The Hatchery, Amatikulu Game Reserve

The Hatchery is literally an old prawn hatchery which has been “lightly converted” which I love! It gives the space a really cool rustic but comfy vibe! Though it generally serves as a link between journey’s to St Lucia and Isimangaliso, the Kruger, The Battlefields, The Elephant Coast or even across South Africa’s borders into Swaziland and Mozambique, I think it could be a destination on its own. Being on a river overlooking a deserted beach (and in the Amatikulu Nature Reserve) it is a really great spot to just unwind and reconnect with nature. Yes! 

6. Lindsay Castle, Noetzie

The second I saw Noetzie, I fell in love! This place is like something out of a fantasy novel. The castles here sit scattered along the mountainside seemingly stuck in time. It is almost ethereal. As if you are a part of something out of this world and yet still a part of it. And Lindsay Castle is just so. Somehow a part of this time, and yet not. This is an escapists dream. If you’re a lover of Harry or Frodo or a bit of Stark still swirls in your bloodstream, Noetzie and Lindsay Castle will leave you forever charmed.

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7. !Xaus Lodge, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape

Right in the heart of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, lies !Xaus Lodge. Pronounced ‘kaus’, the lodge is the first fully catered luxury lodge in the Kgalagadi. It is also owned by the Khomani San (Bushmen) and Mier communities. Yay! And being one of the last pristine conservation areas on earth, let alone South Africa !Xaus is the perfect place to experience stargazing. Stargazing that will leave you breathless. But the most profound thing to experience in this unique desert environment? The absolutely mind-blowing silence. 


8. The Pig & Whistle Inn, Bathurst

In the quaint English style village of Bathurst, in the heart of settler country in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, lies The Pig & Whistle Inn. This is the home of the oldest pub in the country – established in 1832 – and is also a National Monument! Imagine that! Not too shabby, I’d say! Drinking a pint in a national monument! The best part about this space though is the rustic old world charm. You literally feel like you may have gone back in time. And following that, is sharing a cold one while listening to local stories of years gone by.

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9. Thonga Beach Lodge, Elephant Coast

If Robinson Crusoe had a hideaway along the South African coastline, this would be it! Here, in the heart of iSimangaliso World Heritage Park, lies Thonga Beach Lodge. It is a most magical place with unspoilt beaches, coastal forests and shimmering lakes… Imagine sunset over Lake Sibaya or unwinding in the forest or ocean side. Speaking of the ocean; the Ocean Safari is something super special here, where you’ll get to see wild bottlenose dolphins, whale sharks and turtles in summer and our beloved humpback whales in winter. 


10. Grootbos Nature Reserve, Gansbaai

Being from the west coast of South Africa makes me slightly biased in my love of the coastline. But what’s not to love about being surrounded by wild fynbos, while the sun sets over the ocean with a glass of local South African wine in hand?! Or horseback riding, hiking and uncovering magical rock pools… Besides being home to the largest Milkwood Forest in the world; and often visited by Southern Right Whales, the rare African Penguin and Great White Sharks?! Grootbos is one for the books!  

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10 Unique Spots to Stay in South Africa That You Will Love

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