Tired of being cooped up through lockdown? Try spending some getaway time in an eco cabin. They're good for the earth... and great for your soul.
In 2020 we learned all about lockdowns and home confinement. At the start it felt novel and even entertaining (after all, many of us thought it'd all blow over in a couple of weeks), but before long cabin fever set in. You know the feeling: restlessness and irritability that comes from being stuck inside, no matter how many banana breads you bake.
But there's a cure for cabin fever: cabins!
Seriously. Eco cabins tick all the boxes when it comes to healthier living – both for you and for our precious planet. As the name suggests, eco cabins have minimal impact on the environment, and most often feature recycled or locally produced building materials and renewable energy systems.
What sets an eco cabin apart from regular sustainable lodgings, however, is the location: they're typically built in a natural off-the-grid spot and aim to educate visitors about environmental protection.
No wonder there's a growing trend towards these back-to-the-land destinations that get you out of your lockdown funk and into nature. After all those months at home, it's certainly food for the soul.
Here are five to consider for your next escape from the city.
Cederberg, Western Cape
Situated about 50km from Clanwilliam, the cottages of Oudrif have a unique rustic look from the outside. The walls and roofs were constructed using plastered straw bales, in a technique more than 200 years old. The cottages are powered by the sun and fed by water from a nearby river. You'll be tempted to relax on the stoep all day, but don't miss out on the host of activities in the area like swimming, flyfishing, hiking, spotting rock art and visiting local rooibos tea farms.
Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape
Situated in a remote part of the already remote Baviaanskloof valley, there's hardly a better place to find solitude than at Cob Cottage. It's equipped with solar power, paraffin lights and gas appliances, so loadshedding is never a threat. Nearby hiking trails and rock pools will keep you busy during the day, while an open-air bath will have you stargazing in style.
Wolwekrans features three self-catering cottages and two luxury safari tents perched on a hill on the Schoemanskloof escarpment, each with its own private angle of the sweeping mountain vista. The 120 hectares are an outdoor enthusiast's dream. You're free to explore the bushveld on foot or on a mountain bike while keeping an eye out for a host of wildlife, including kudu, duiker, bushbuck and warthog. At night you can reminisce around a braai fire in your own private boma, or cosy up in front of your indoor fireplace.
Overberg, Western Cape
An escape to nature doesn't necessarily mean an exodus from luxury. The bespoke Waterfall and Valley pods at Melozhori Game Reserve near Stormsvlei are architecturally stunning and equipped with everything you need for a stylish self-catering experience. The secluded solar-powered pods have their own wood-fired hot tub, indoor fireplace, air-conditioning, and a huge hammock built into the patio. There's even a pizza oven and Wi-Fi, so you can still Netflix and chill!
Luckhoff, Free State
If you're looking for an eco escape with enough room to bring your family and friends along, the Eco Karoo Mountain Lodge ticks all the boxes. Accommodating up to 12 people in three suites, the lodge is fully off-grid and equipped with everything you need for a comfortable self-catering stay. There's an open-air kitchen, braai and boma, an infinity pool, outdoor showers and Wi-Fi. The design and construction of the lodge utilised local skills and materials (like wood from a 60-year-old fallen tree), so when you look out over the vast Karoo plains you can see exactly where it all came from.
Inspired to head back to nature? Our comparison platform lets you compare insurance quotes.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.