The Teniqua Treetops Lodge houses seven immaculate “treehouses” – they are raised tents engulfed by a canopy of trees – that convince you that you are in the middle of nature, with not a soul in sight. This is largely true, but if you stare long enough (and have some brandewyn en coke) they may appear; you just might not know if it’s them or the brandewyn talking. Either way, you are in for an interesting night.

When I asked if they get baboons, the manager replied gleefully “No, we never see them. They say it’s a sign that we have leopards, as that is the only reason they’re not around and our neighbours have troubles with them.” Charming. Delightful. I’m locking my room door at 6pm. Maybe 5pm. When they asked an hour later if I could walk down to the river (alone) to take photos of it in the gorge, I was adamant that I would not. Not before at least two brandies, I’d say. And four for the leopard, at least. Other than the life-threatening nature of the place it is incredibly relaxing to stay here, and I plan on coming again soon, with a romantic partner and not a camera though.

A built in fire, uninterrupted views (and the bath and shower enjoy them both), equipped kitchen, little lounge, and of course: peace and quiet. I doubt you would need more than a day or two to unwind here, and if you stayed too long then you’d probably find it hard to adjust to the city again, so don’t risk it. Key ingredients to a successful time include some nice food and snacks, a little drink for the evening (I’m a port man myself), a book to read, and close company that can keep you warm and close when you start getting worried about the vicious leopards you’ve told her about…

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