Vol. 1 : Escape

Room with a view

Autumn / Winter ’21

Embrace local travel and escape to these wanderlust-worthy spots that are not (too) far off your doorstep. Take your pick of our favourite rooms that offer magnificent views from bed, bath and beyond… 

Compiled by Charl Edwards  Words by Ingrid Corbett

Photograph by Bliss and Stars

Photograph by Bliss and Stars

Bliss and Stars, Cedarberg, South Africa

Designed to nourish the mind and soothe the soul, visitors to the still slopes of this restorative retreat are encouraged to unplug (like, really unplug – you have to hike over a ridge to find a signal) and reconnect with self. Though located in close proximity to a mountain stream and a cluster of rock pools, the individual cabins are set far apart from each other to echo the wide open spaces that define this part of the Cederberg. Courses on sleep meditation and mindfulness are run on a regular basis as well as yoga retreats.

Amma Beach Cabin, Scarborough, South Africa

Pack a good book. Okay, maybe two or three. Because this tiny tumbleweed house on the tip of the Cape Peninsula is the perfect place to curl up and read and read – and read. The rustic finishes and comfy, quilted soft furnishings of this cute coastal cabin are as charming as its setting, which flanks a nature reserve and offers views of the untamed Atlantic beyond. This is comfy cardi country, where you can choose to break out the Bananagrams, board games or do nothing but chill.

Photograph by Murray King

Photograph by Murray King

Photograph by Donné Bullivant

Photograph by Donné Bullivant

Elandsberg Rest Camp, Tankwa Karoo National Park, South Africa

The occasional plume of dust swirls up in the wind but there’s little else that punctuates the peace of this enormous expanse of desolate desert landscape. The accommodation may be humble, but the setting is unarguably rich. Here, untainted by city lights, the night sky sparkles alluringly overhead while desert-adapted creatures scuttle off to rest. Tucked up in your bed, you’ll barely need to lift your head to watch the spectacular sunrise over the rim of your moerkoffie cup.

Elandsberg Rest Camp, Tankwa Karoo National Park, South Africa

The occasional plume of dust swirls up in the wind but there’s little else that punctuates the peace of this enormous expanse of desolate desert landscape. The accommodation may be humble, but the setting is unarguably rich. Here, untainted by city lights, the night sky sparkles alluringly overhead while desert-adapted creatures scuttle off to rest. Tucked up in your bed, you’ll barely need to lift your head to watch the spectacular sunrise over the rim of your moerkoffie cup.

Habitas, Windhoek, Namibia

Calling all glampers. The latest addition to the Habitas group of niche luxury landmarks, this tented camp feels beautifully compact amidst the expansive terrain of the conservation area it aims to serve and protect. Private terraces offer broad panoramic views of the savannah as it shimmers in the setting sun, inviting you to kick back and ruminate about the rewards of rest and relaxation.

Photograph by Seth Shezi

Photograph by Seth Shezi

Habitas, Windhoek, Namibia

Calling all glampers. The latest addition to the Habitas group of niche luxury landmarks, this tented camp feels beautifully compact amidst the expansive terrain of the conservation area it aims to serve and protect. Private terraces offer broad panoramic views of the savannah as it shimmers in the setting sun, inviting you to kick back and ruminate about the rewards of rest and relaxation.

Photograph by Michael Turek

Photograph by Michael Turek

Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast, Namibia

A moody mist marks every morning on this isolated stretch of the Skeleton Coast, sometimes blocking out the sun and creating a beautiful eerie atmosphere that allows you to imagine what life might be like on the moon. Packs of scraggly strandwolves roam freely between the wooden hulls of the aptly-named lodge, where the angular cabins rise up from the shifting sands. This is where you come to relish in solitude. Whether you become so lost in the moment you decide to spend 100 years here is entirely up to you…

Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast, Namibia

A moody mist marks every morning on this isolated stretch of the Skeleton Coast, sometimes blocking out the sun and creating a beautiful eerie atmosphere that allows you to imagine what life might be like on the moon. Packs of scraggly strandwolves roam freely between the wooden hulls of the aptly-named lodge, where the angular cabins rise up from the shifting sands. This is where you come to relish in solitude. Whether you become so lost in the moment you decide to spend 100 years here is entirely up to you…

Photograph by Gavin Kleinschmidt

Fazenda, Swellendam

Resting at the foot of the Langeberg mountains, this private forest estate offers fans of hiking, biking and foraging a European-style setting with a credible Alpine air. End the day with a plunge in your private pool or a dip in the dam, which attracts local buck and birds. Situated just outside Swellendam, you’ll have access to amenities, but we’d bet money that you’ll want to stay off grid. Yodelling is optional yet always amusing, so why not give it a go?

Photograph by Gavin Kleinschmidt

Photograph by The Highlands / Asilia

Photograph by The Highlands / Asilia

The Highlands, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Perched rather precipitously above the Ngorongoro Crater, the distinctive ‘moon domes’ of this unparalleled African camp are spread along the forest that skirts the Olmoti volcano. The light here is spectacular, and the clean Nordic aesthetic provides the perfect foil for the staggering natural appeal that extends to all cardinal points. This is a not-to-be-missed destination for game enthusiasts with an adventurous spirit and a hankering for the unusual.

The Highlands, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Perched rather precipitously above the Ngorongoro Crater, the distinctive ‘moon domes’ of this unparalleled African camp are spread along the forest that skirts the Olmoti volcano. The light here is spectacular, and the clean Nordic aesthetic provides the perfect foil for the staggering natural appeal that extends to all cardinal points. This is a not-to-be-missed destination for game enthusiasts with an adventurous spirit and a hankering for the unusual.

Photograph by Elsa Young / Frank Features

Fynbos Cottages, Babylonstoren Farm, South Africa

A visit to these cottages on the lauded farm is a fully immersive experience in appreciation of local fynbos and the varied vegetation of the Western Cape. Built in the Cape Dutch vernacular, each structure has been given a cool contemporary twist, including floor to ceiling glass that provide a perfect window from which to gaze out from the languid swing of a hanging chair. If you’re thinking of travelling in a bubble of besties, the latest addition to the estate, Fynbos Villa, can be hired out for exclusive use.

Fynbos Cottages, Babylonstoren Farm, South Africa

A visit to these cottages on the lauded farm is a fully immersive experience in appreciation of local fynbos and the varied vegetation of the Western Cape. Built in the Cape Dutch vernacular, each structure has been given a cool contemporary twist, including floor to ceiling glass that provide a perfect window from which to gaze out from the languid swing of a hanging chair. If you’re thinking of travelling in a bubble of besties, the latest addition to the estate, Fynbos Villa, can be hired out for exclusive use.

Photograph by Elsa Young / Frank Features

Photograph by Adriaan Louw

Kataza House, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

With elegant, layered interiors fashioned by Cécile & Boyd, this private African villa in the imposing Virunga Mountains is the last word in luxe. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live like the rich and famous, the two heated plunge pools, wine room, cinema and fitness centre will give you a good idea. But the real appeal of this destination lies in the lush setting and magnificent mountain vistas. Most visitors come for the gorillas, but we’d forgive you if you preferred to spend all day lazing in the bath.

Photograph by Elsa Young / Bureaux

Photograph by Elsa Young / Bureaux

The Nest, Sossusvlei, Namibia

Just a few years ago, conservationist Swen Bachran and artist Porky Hefer collaborated to weave together a spot that will delight both design fundis and nature enthusiasts. The sociable chambers of this idiosyncratic guest lodge are peppered with portholes that frame different captivating views of the Namibian landscape. The trimmed thatch offers a cool shelter from the harsh conditions, while the eclectic interiors delight with a collection of iconic pieces by celebrated South African designers.

The Nest, Sossusvlei, Namibia

Just a few years ago, conservationist Swen Bachran and artist Porky Hefer collaborated to weave together a spot that will delight both design fundis and nature enthusiasts. The sociable chambers of this idiosyncratic guest lodge are peppered with portholes that frame different captivating views of the Namibian landscape. The trimmed thatch offers a cool shelter from the harsh conditions, while the eclectic interiors delight with a collection of iconic pieces by celebrated South African designers.

To read more features from Vol. 1 : Escape, purchase your digital or print copy here.