Sycamore Avenue Treehouses in South Africa
Sycamore Avenue Treehouses in South Africa
We stayed in a treehouse at Sycamore Avenue during our honeymoon a few years ago. The location is in the ‘Midlands Meander’ – just to the east of the Drakensberg mountains and 2 hours drive (max) north of Durban.
The requirement for a honeymoon location was to be somewhere memorable, and when I stumbled upon treehouse accommodation as an idea I was immediately sold on it! It certainly didn’t fail to impress!
When we stayed, Bruce and Gloria were running the show, however from the website I can now see that another family member is continuing the business. Bruce built the treehouses and his passion is clear in the intricacy of each of the treehouses, each of which is different. They are stunning and each is individual.
We stayed in ‘faraway treehouse’ which is in its own paddock and is completely private. The room is actually a two story treehouse which is up some steps and is built onto the side of a big tree! On the ground floor is the bedroom (including a fridge) and the loo and sink. Also there is a balcony. On the floor above is the shower and the hot tub, as well as a little room with comfy seats and another balcony! There is full power and even a fire in the event of a cool evening. The only company will be deer/buck that graze wildly across the property. The design is so intricate, it really is beautiful. The balcony’s command astounding views across to the Drakensberg, it is even possible to make out Giant’s Castle and the sun sets are stunning (especially with a glass of something nice from Stellenbosch)! We slept incredibly well, not only was it comfortable and warm, but it was pitch black and silent at night – a real retreat!
The treehouses are serviced, but in a way they are self-catering in that they are well-away from the main house and so whilst they are cleaned and tidied daily, the team really do leave you to your own devices as much as possible. It really is so peaceful. Dining is easy going. There is a lovely spread for breakfast – I still remember just how good the warm scones were! The dining room is set out such that there are some separate tables, but also bench dining – so you have the option to be as sociable with other guests as you wish. We enjoyed our own company, but the family were very good at introducing people and sharing ideas between guests for day trip ideas! Evening meals are a similar set up – but the key difference is that there is a fridge and wine rack stacked with South African wine. This operates as a trust bar with a little notepad to write down what you take, it was all very reasonably priced too. Supper is a set menu, cooked on site and very homely – think casseroles and pies. If you have dietary requirements you’ll want to let them know in advance, but bear in mind this is a small and rural place and so there is no extensive gastro menu, just very enjoyable home cooking.
PROXIMITY AND ENVIRONMENT
Bruce and Gloria were incredibly friendly and helpful, I am sure their family running it now are just as warm. They were really helpful, pointing us towards a local store as well as arranging a tour for us up the Sani Pass and into Lesotho. The location is fairly remote but there are plenty of small towns near enough and the Drakensberg is a good drive away – but well worth it. We woke early on the day we went to Sani Pass and drove across to the base of the pass where we joined a 4×4 tour. A really enjoyable day, and it was great to have a beer at the highest pub in Africa! We used our stay here as a stop off en route up to a safari in KZN and then on to St Lucia for some warm sea and beaching!
FAVORITE TAKE AWAY
We really enjoyed the home-cooking that was inclusive of our room rate, and made the most of the trust bar. A few miles down the road was a small supermarket with plenty of salad and snacking treats – we picnicked on our balcony with food from here a few times – the fridge and kitchen utensils left in the room are perfect for this. At the same location there were a few other options as this was on the edge of a small town.
We really enjoyed our time here, I still love looking at the photos – it was incredibly relaxing and peaceful and quite unique.