It is not often that one is invited to sleep, eat and wash high up in a wild, indigenous forest canopy, surrounded by mountains, bird song, butterflies and, well not much else really. But the tented tree house resort set in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains right in the heart of the Garden Route does just that.
Not only does this pretty, tented treehouse destination lie roughly 23 kilometres outside of the equally attractive village of Sedgefield, but by all accounts a visit here is ‘quietly life-changing’. It is also one of few truly eco-friendly venues.
The creators of Teniqua Treetops emphasise that they have gone to great lengths to preserve the peace and quiet of the natural environment, have used natural materials in the construction of the tree houses, and have concerned themselves with minimising their energy use and impact on the environment.
They have incorporated a dry toilet system, pipe river water from the Karatara River for washing, whilst drinking water is harvested from rain (both sources are tested and potable); they process their own grey and black water and use no chemicals when washing or cleaning.
Despite, or because of, this there is a beauty to this part of the world that is totally unspoilt by the presence of the the tree houses. Bird and beast behave as though the canopies remain undisturbed and giant 1000-year old milkwood trees, towering yellowwoods, candlewoods and saffrons form a treasure trove of trees that envelope the resort in a private world of leafy, distilled sunshine and effortless harmony.
There is a magic element to the distribution of the treehouses, some of which are multi-level, or have romantic glassed showers, loos with a view and pretty decks from which one can simply sit and absorb the forest views, undisturbed. For those with children, there is plenty at ground level to provide entertainment, and a huge jungle gym, trampoline, swimming pools as well as plenty of hiking and river and rock hopping are par for the course.
Teniqua Treetops is self-catering, easily provided for by the famous Saturday morning craft and produce market in Sedgefield, and a quick detour to the supermarket for essentials for which the market does not cater.