By Roxanne Reid
If you’re like me, you need a few days now and then to stay strengthened and healthy. But what happens when the wallet chains are tight? Fortunately, there are many Budget friendly self catering accommodation in the Western Cape where you can stay without haggling your house.
- I have compiled a list of 18 self-catering accommodations in the Western Cape that can sleep two people for R1100 – or less – per night.
- All prices I have quoted are prices outside of peak times and do not reflect the Christmas / New Year increases in the high season.
- Please inquire about special offers before booking. Some of these Western Cape accommodations offer significant (20-40%) winter and spring discounts on the prices listed here. In some cases, these offers can run until September or November. Do yourself a favor and check.
- At the beginning of each snippet there is a link to the accommodation company’s own website to make it easier for you to make a booking request.
- Note that not all of them – e.g. CapeNature and SANParks – may have been reopened after Covid-19 was closed, but it is definitely good to dream and plan ahead.
- I have placed an * asterisk next to the places that I have experienced myself. The others were all recommended by friends from their personal experience.
- I have listed regions and accommodations alphabetically so that I cannot be accused of favoritism!
1. * Eikelaan farmhouses, Tulbagh
In summer there is a pool to cool off and a small children’s playground. Walk through the fynbos, gaze at the stars, bike on the dirt roads or just relax on your stairs. Take a ride into town and discover all the activities in Tulbagh.
R950 for 2-4 people
Read more about Eikelaan Farm Cottages
2. Plum Tree Cottage, McGregor
Get up early to listen to the birds, enjoy wine on the stairs while watching the sunset, or explore the many things to do in McGregor, from hiking to wine tasting, from the country market to driving along the road to nowhere.
R860 for 2 people
3. Knysna footprints, Knysna
The larger Heads Up Apartment (picture), also on the upper level, is decorated in nautical shades of blue and white. Expect a wonderful view from huge panoramic windows in the open living / dining area. The kitchen is fully equipped with a stove, microwave and refrigerator. There is a separate bedroom with a queen-size bed and a private bathroom with a bath and shower. The view of the lagoon from the deck is magical and there is a braai that encourages you to make the most of it. Spend time here watching the Knysna Heads, Dawn Pink’s first blush, or the stars after dark.
R600 for 2 people in the Featherbed Studio
R700 for 2 people in the Heads Up Apartment
4. * Forest Cabin, Wilderness Ebb & Flow
This is an ideal base for exploring the Wilderness Lake District, some excellent forest walks and rides. Don’t miss an early morning walk on nearby Wilderness Beach or some of the many other activities in Wilderness.
R890 for 2 people
Additional R46 maintenance fee per person per night (unless you have one placeholder).
5. * Goukamma Nature reserve
Goukamma is a perfect place for those who like to hike and enjoy nature. Make yourself comfortable on the beach, dune and forest paths from 4 to 15 km and keep your eyes open for birds like the colorful Knysna Turaco. There is a lot to do on this Knysna site. Let yourself fall asleep from the distant sound of the sea.
R1030 for 2-4 people at the Otter’s Rest Lodge
R900 for 2 people share Fish Eagle Loft
R950 for 2-4 people who share the cottages
Additional R40 maintenance fee per person per night (unless you have one placeholder).
Read more about Otter’s Rest Lodge
6. * Gamkaberg nature reserve
The joy of these camps is the environment and the view, the glow of warm rocks at sunset and the opportunity to listen to the morning choir while drinking your first cup of coffee. Hike on one of the trails, observe animals and birds, climb in animal toilets or take a 4×4 trail.
R650 for 2 people in Fossil Ridge (2 tents), Sweet Thorn (3 tents), Tierkloof (4 tents) and Xami Eco Lodge (1 tent)
Additional R40 maintenance fee per person per night (unless you have one placeholder).
Read more about the Fossil Ridge Eco Lodge
7. Karoo Khaya, Prince Albert
The hospitality of the Karoo has something special. Sit back and relax, visit the farm animals and orchards, and gaze at the stars where the lack of street lights enhances your experience. Despite the tranquility in Karoo Khaya, the village is so easy to walk to. There is a lot to do in Prince Albert. Two of my favorites are the gravel roads of the Swartberg Pass and a visit to the Fransie Pienaar Museum.
R860 for 2 people
8. * Olive Grove Guest Farm, Beaufort West
Treat yourself to the classic Karoo activity of stooping, watch the sunset and admire the view of the mountains and steppes. Go birdwatching, walk one of the trails or bring your mountain bike, canoe to the dam. During the olive season (March to July) you may be able to try and try an olive tour. Leave the farm for a day trip to nearby Karoo National Park or to explore some of the other activities in Beaufort West.
R790 for 2 people sharing a room
R970 for 2 people in a self-catering cottage
9. The Barnacle, Pringle Bay
Go kayaking, hiking and bird watching to discover the elusive Rooiels Rockjumper. Other wild animals that live in harmony with the inhabitants are porcupines, genes, duikers, baboons and otters. There are restaurants for days when you don’t want to take care of yourself, a small village market every weekend. Don’t miss out on meeting Montana, the city sheep, or the three alpacas collecting money for the fire station.
R1100 for 2 people
10th * Belfield Cottages, Grabouw / Elgin
Go hiking and wine tasting in the area, ask owner / winemaker Mike for a tasting of Belfield’s red wines. Chat with Mel about the history of the farm and she may even tell you some of the strange characters (think of Jailbird and prostitutes) they found on the farm when they arrived 20 years ago. There is also a two bedroom family cottage.
R900-R1000 for 2 people
11. * Black Oystercatcher Cottages near Elim
Visit a wine or beer tasting on the property, enjoy a meal in an on-site restaurant, or bring your bike to explore the surrounding Agulhas Plain. L’Agulhas – where you can see the lighthouse and the southernmost tip of Africa – is only 43 km away. Do not miss a visit to the historic Moravian village of Elim, 10 km away
R990 for 2 people
12th Honeyrock Cottages, Kleinmond
Sit on your stairs to admire the Kogel Mountains, take a short walk through the fynbos, watch birds like the orange Sunbird and Cape Sugarbird, or take a short drive to the beach. There are many things to do in Kleinmond, including hiking in the Kogelberg nature reserve, wild horses in the Rooisand nature reserve or walks along the cliffs over the rocks and the sea.
R580-R805 for 2 people
13. * Platbos Forest, Gansbaai
The Honey Bee and Bushbuck suites are free-standing rooms with half a cabin and half a tent, double beds, separate barbecue areas, showers and toilets (waterless at Honey Bee and flush at Bushbuck). For all units, make a fire in the donkey kettle (wood supplied) for a hot shower in the partially closed washes, a short walk along a leafy path from the cabin or suite. Honey Bee has a separate kitchen, while Bushbuck’s kitchen is part of the main unit. Bushbuck also has an indoor fireplace. There’s a Mozzie net for summer, or you can fold down the front blinds when it’s cold.
Each suite is in a piece of indigenous forest, so you have the whole forest to yourself. You will be fascinated by the shady dance of the leaves of white stink wood and the call of the birds. If you enjoy nature, you will love this unusual off-grid experience. If you are very concerned about the strange creepy crawl, this immersion in nature may not be for you.
Explore the hiking trails or relax in the shady forest (read here why Platbos is special). You can even hear a bushbuck barking nearby. There are many things to do in Gansbaai, 15 km away, such as whale and shark experiences.
R900 for 2 people in the Old Olive Cabin
R1050 for 2 people in the Honey Bee Suite or Bushbuck Suite
14. * Robin’s nest, Hermanus
You are within walking distance of one of the best wine shops in the country and some restaurants. A brewery and two wineries are also within walking distance, while the riches of the wine farms and restaurants in the Hemel en Aarde Valley are a short drive away. There are many things to do in Hermanus, such as whale watching from June to November.
R750 for 2 people
fifteen. Umshanti, Buffeljags near Swellendam
The chapel is a romantic bridal suite with a wonderful view of the dam and the mountains. It has all the facilities of the other two cottages, but has an indoor bathroom.
Umshanti is popular with families who spend the weekends and high season in larger cottages or campsites. If you prefer your vacation to be calm and tranquil, try going during the week and / or outside of school holidays.
Hike to a mountain pool, go swimming, boating, canoeing, or soaring in a tandem microlight to get a bird’s eye view of your surroundings. There is also plenty of fun in Swellendam, just a short drive away.
R600 for 2 people in Gypsy Cottage
R750 for 2 people in Gypsy Cottage 2
R950 for 2 people in the chapel
16. * Azzuro, paternoster
On the stairs of the house, where you can sit to watch the world, there is a built-in braai that doubles as a pizza oven, or you can take the Weber Braai outside if you prefer. Although you don’t have a sea view from the cabin, you’re only one street from the beach.
There is no shortage of activities in Paternoster, from visiting the lighthouse and Cape Columbine nature reserve to choosing a number of good restaurants to taking long walks on the beach.
R1000-R1100 for 2 people
Read more about Azzuro
17th Enjo nature farm, Biedouw Valley
If you love seclusion from the power grid far from other people, choose the Lonely Planet Cottage (picture). Drive there on a scenic jeep route so a vehicle with high ground clearance is best. There is no electricity, but there is a fireplace inside and a grill outside. There is a queen-size bed in a separate bedroom, an open living area and a kitchenette with solar-heated water, gas refrigerator and gas stove with two plates.
Take a dip in the whirlpool with natural stone walls, enjoy the view of the steppe and the poppies, admire a sky full of stars, in which there is almost no light pollution. If you have to, you can continue exploring the area in search of activities on the Cederberg.
R750 for 2 people in Enjo or Oak Chalets
R750 for 2 people sharing the Lonely Planet Cottage
18th * Sea Shack, paternoster
The huts are close together and are therefore more suitable for social types than for lone wolves who value their privacy, especially on weekends or in high season. Fall out of bed and head to the beach, watch the sun set over the ocean, drive around Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and the lighthouse. There is also plenty to do in Paternoster, just 5 km away.
R820 for 2 people (if you stay 2 nights from Monday to Thursday, it is R750 per night for 2 people)
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