Michael-John stayed at Teniqua Treetops and had a amazing time enjoying the simplicity of life amongst the trees at this eco-friendly lodge. Make sure to book a weekend away at Teniqua Treetops.
With rain clouds looming ahead we set off on our way to Sedgefield for two nights. Despite the expected bad weather I was excited to be getting away, but even more to be sleeping in a tree house. Since I was a young kid I've always had a fascination with them. I grew up reading and watching Swiss Family Robinson and have always wanted to build and live in a tree house. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be visiting Teniqua Treetops, a unique resort with a number of tree houses built into the Outeniqua Forest.
We arrived to rainy Teniqua Treetops and were greeted by Robyn who showed us to our tree house and told us that Teniqua has about 4-5 rainy days a month and we had unfortunately arrived on one of them. On our way down to our tree houses we were greeted by some horses which we found out later were actually rescue horses. The horses were now looked after by Teniqua and allowed to graze on the hills. This concern for nature and animals is a major part of the ethos at Teniqua, which is really great to see. Everything from the bathrooms to the kitchen is designed to be as eco-friendly as possible.
We stayed in two different tree houses during our stay; the first was the Gorge View two-sleeper and the second was the Eyrie four-sleeper family tree house. We quickly got settled in to our cosy self-catering tree house. One of the major attractions of Teniqua Treetops is its simplicity and the way it forces you to relax. I've found some holidays along the Garden Route to be quite busy with no chance to actually unwind. Not so at Teniqua Treetops. Here you are surrounded by the forest and, seeing as it was raining outside, we were forced to stay in and simply relax.
The second morning I awoke to see that the sun had come out and the weather had mostly cleared. After a cup of filter coffee and a hearty breakfast we decided to take advantage of the break in the rain and went for a walk down to the river at the bottom of the gorge. The moderate walk takes you through a Milkwood forest and should be fine for most people of average fitness. By the time we got to the river at the bottom the weather had turned again and rain clouds were overhead. I imagine it would be a very nice place to swim on more summery days, but when the rain started falling we decided to head straight back to our tree house.
After the walk we took a drive through to Knysna to visit the Mitchells Brewery and do some beer tasting. The weather wasn't much better in Knysna, but we managed to enjoy some of the different beers on offer at Mitchells. My favourite was definitely the 90 Shilling Ale offering a spicy and aromatic rounded flavour, while my girlfriend enjoyed the Millwood Mild. It's a very nice stop if you're in Knysna as the restaurant is located right next to the water's edge on Thesen Island. Just note that the restaurant attached to the Mitchell's Brewery is called Sirocco. For a while we weren't altogether sure if we were sitting in the right place.
We then headed back to Teniqua where we got settled into our second tree house, the Eyrie. It's a larger tree house located at the end of a short forest walk, so you really feel like you're out in the forest. It also has a very nice wrap around deck allowing you to make the most of the beautiful view. Another great thing about the tree houses is that the shower and bath has large windows looking into the forest offering beautiful but private views.
Interestingly Teniqua Treetops offers a wheelchair friendly tree house with everything on one level. This is a great option and allows everyone to enjoy the beauty of the forest. Teniqua also has an indoor entertainment area with a pool table, table tennis table, large-size chess and a TV. There is also a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi, but with the cold weather we decided against the swim.
That night we enjoyed the more spacious tree house and were able to sit around the wooden dining table eating the dinner we'd made on the gas stove in the tree house. There is also a braai available, but with the bad weather we decided against it. For safety reasons you can only use briquettes in the braai, but that is to be expected in a wooden tree house surrounded by forest.
The next morning we had to leave Teniqua Treetops having enjoyed a wonderful and relaxing holiday in the trees. It's a pity the weather wasn't great as I'd have loved to do some more walking and swimming and enjoying the forest life. If you're looking to get away and enjoy the simple beauty of the Garden Route, I'd definitely recommend Teniqua Treetops.
To find out more about Teniqua Treetops and to book a weekend away, click here.