As I’m struggling a bit with writing long-form articles at the moment, I have decided to experiment with mini stories from my travels. Each one of them will have one or more photos and a little story that goes along with it. Enjoy!
After picking up our hired car in Cape Town, we headed east through the Klein Karoo semi-desert and the adventurous town of Oudtshoorn and reached the town of Hogsback as the most eastern point of our trip. As we had a flight out from Cape Town, we headed back along the south coast, following the famous Garden Route.
As we mostly do, we were booking our accommodations during our travels. After staying at hippie hostel Away With The Fairies in Hogsback, a tip from a fellow traveler brought us to the equally hippie-style Wild Spirit Backpackers Lodge. The lodge is beautifully located on the tip of the Tsitsikamma National Park, and there is an abundance of viewpoints that look over this raw wilderness. There were many different accommodation options, from double rooms to safari tents and bunk beds. We set up our borrowed tent on the camping grounds, where the lodge’s semi-wild horses roamed free. There was an old school bus, a stationary old timer, and a tree house too!
It is practically impossible to get stressed at this place. Our day would start with a veggie or non-veggie breakfast (40 – 75 ZAR or 2 – 4 EUR) on the terrace, overlooking the National Park. Then we would explore the neighborhood through one of the trails, or head down to Nature’s Valley lagoon for some beach time. In the evenings there would be an organic and locally-sourced dinner (80 – 90 ZAR or 4 – 4 EUR) which, like every meal we had in South Africa, was delicious. in the evening there would sometimes be entertainment, in our case this was a traveling puppeteer that put up a great show.
There are a lot of cool things relatively nearby as well. About 50 km to the east there is the Stormsrivier, a scenic, powerful river that crosses the Tsitsikamma National Park. There are plenty of (single or multi-day) hikes and it’s an excellent location for adventure sports. A little bit further, about 250km to the east, is the excellent Addo Elephant National Park, which is a great alternative to the famous Kruger National Park. I can recommend doing a self-drive through the park.
South Africa is an amazing country with lots lots to offer. While most tourists visit the area around Johannesburg and Kruger National Park, the Western Cape remains relatively undiscovered. If you’re in the area, make sure you stay at least a night at Wild Spirit Backpackers Lodge.