Isolated spots in SA's mountains for when you feel like being a hermit
Sometimes all you want to do is pack up everything, leave the city lights behind and become some mountain hermit that occasionally shouts at hikers.
That fantasy becomes especially more clear in the mind whenever you get gridlocked in Cape Town or Johannesburg traffic, and when the internet goes down on Mondays.
Luckily, South Africa has an abundance of mountainous escapes where you could pretend you're a hermit - if only for a few days.
Here are our quick top picks:
Landdroskop and Boesmanskloof, Hottentots Holland
This is the place for you if you have a special love for our country's one-of-a-kind fynbos. After an arduous hike into the massive green mountain range that is Hottentots Holland, you can overnight at either Landroskop or Boesmanskloof - rustic accommodation with no electricity or signal. Just you and the (scary) sounds of the mountains.
Stone Mountain Lodge, Winterhoek Mountains
If you're looking for something a little more luxurious, the Stone Mountain Lodge in Kleinrivier Wilderness Area is a stunning display of how to use what's around you, with spectacular views of Winterhoek Mountains. To get here, you're either going to need a tough 4x4, or you can use your legs and do a four to five hours hike via the Two Gorges hiking trail.
There's less of the hiking and 4x4ing, but you will still feel like you've retreated to a mountain hut with magical views of the Drakensberg. Dumbe is situated in the Retief Pass right on the escarpment and offers mountain biking, 4x4 routes and hiking - and there's no TV to distract you from your calming environment.
Thora Boloka, Magoebaskloof
Sometimes you just want to feel like you're completely off the grid, without the hassle of getting there. Thora Boloka Bushveld Cottage - situated inside the Kurisa Moya Nature Reserve - ticks all these boxes with its grassland views surrounded by bushbabies and other nocturnal wildlife.
Sas se Werf, Cederberg
The Cederberg Wilderness Area is one of nature's most perfect artworks, and its mountainous landscape has attracted climbers from all over the world. For an isolated stay, try out Sas se Werf which is surrounded by the Bosherberge on the banks of the Rondegat River.
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