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“Reluctant to leave”

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Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Stellenbosch
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Reluctant to leave”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

It began over the phone with an accommodating attitude; 'three's a bit of a crowd for Gum Tree Cottgae, but the bed is big!" So I made the reservation. Indeed the bed was enormous, but not quite as big as the view from the room out east across the forest, towards the mountains and the early morning sunrise my 8 year old daughter woke me to see. Her brother, who elected to sleep on a matress on the floor, slept on exhausted by an afternoon of exploring the forest, climbing trees and building tree-houses. It was only hunger that brought them back early evening to find me lazing on the deck, a cold beer in my hand. It was easy to russle up a quick meal for them in the well equipped back-packers' kitchen, but I ate dinner with the other guests out on the deck. Do not miss out on Jenny's cooking if you like real food. Breakfast too is a treat of home made muselis, breads, jams and if you have the appetite for it, eggs cooked to order. Tea and coffee is available anytime, free. But most of all, it was the hospitality that made us reluctant to leave. Cliche as it may sound, we felt like old friends.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 29, 2012

i loved the stay at willd spirit! we have been traveling south africa almost 2 months- and this place is something refreshingly different. It is in the middle of the forest, with many short walks leaving from the lodge- great for extra time in the evening/early morning/between other activities. This is deffinately the spot for eco- aware people- and staying here makes you feel part of an ecological farm: recyceling and more, horses, chicken, dogs and cats. good healthy very localy grown food and meals, and beatifull design from recycled and local material everywhere. they have this deck overlooking the forest where there is always great music and something nice to eat (dont miss out on the faboulous 70% chocolate treats that adrian makes)
the only con is being a bit farther from the beach- its a 15 min drive to the village of nature valley, but than agaun, its closer as a base to do stuff around tsitsikama. also- the farm stall down the road from them has excellant food- not to be missed.
all in all- staying there felt like being part of this friendly family that runs the place- and the whole setting and envirement is very relaxing and nicely designed.,

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank miryam g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabaster, Alabama
1 review
Reviewed September 27, 2012

This place is located in a beautiful, secluded area with various scenic hikes right out the door. The staff where extremely helpful and friendly. They were always happy to chat at the bar of go on a hike with you in their time off. The dorm accommodations were above average, but there is no reason to spend too much time in your room with all the fun things to do outside. Wildspirit is also very eco-friendly and is constantly looking for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Lastly, and most importantly, the home cooked meals are amazing(and healthy).
I would highly recommend wildspirit to anyone. Also anyone who may have given this establishment poor reviews most likely hates most things and should be ignored.

Room Tip: stay in the dorms and make a new friend
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank rick m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

Wild Spirit is one of the first places I have ever felt truly at home in an instant. Simply waltzing out onto the wooden balcony to see the stretching forest below and the mountainous horizon in the distance, made my knees weak. We were greeted with warmth, used their well equipped campers kitchen to our delight and had plenty of space to store our own things, partook in their delicious meals, became friendly with the horses, intimate with the forest and its waterfalls and enchanted by the owners, volunteers and other wild forest valley folk and fellow travellers!

Truly enchanted and glad to call the soulful people at Wild Spirit close friends and fellow life livers!

Carry on doing exactly what you are doing :) I will live my dream vicariously through you until such time that I am living in cabins like your own!

Room Tip: Camp beneath the tree with the wild arms for branches, she's great to sit in!
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank EarthWomyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
Reviewed September 27, 2012

I was traveling in SA on my own, ranted a car & drove from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, stopping in places along the way using the "Coast to Coast" guide.

On the way back I flipped a coin & Wild Spirit Backpackers was chosen for the night, it was getting dark, in June, winter in SA...
I arrived to a most beautiful drive way, parked in front of one of the buildings, all beautiful & very well matched to the nature around.
As I exited the car a sweet young woman came to me & asked if I'm staying, I said yes, I was planing to stay one night but I think I'm in love & I bet I'll stay longer, which was right :-)

I took a dorm bed, in an upstairs big rustic room, I loved it!
bed was comfy & clean, warm blankets were on a shelf in for guests to take & the bathroom was nice & clean.

In full disclosure I have to say I think Wild Spirit is not for everyone.
It as a place for happy, optimistic, fun loving, nature & people loving, open minded kind of people.

Yes, at nights I was cold- as in any other backpackers on my way [Iv'e been to 6] & the communal kitchen can use new dishes & utensils
But when you have a problem with ANYTHING all you have to do is ask one of the wonderful staff workers & they will give you what you need.

When I was there the place had a lot of guests as any other place I've been to was almost empty, even in more central places like Hermanos.
We even had a family with two small kids & every one was very happy, we had a lot of fun together.

I've been to the staff kitchen & I know they they keep a clean kitchen, all fresh ingredients & they make yummy breakfasts & dinners for a very fair price, meet & vegetarian.
Bar prices are also great & parties are awesome!!

I fell in love, I still am in love, with the place, the people, the vibe, everything about Wild Spirit was magical.
I can't wait to come back & stay longer, I miss it deeply =]

In conclusion-
Wild Spirit is wild spirited, it is a bit rustic, kind of hippy, full of charm, magic & love.
If you're looking for an ordinary run of the mill backpackers - this is not the place for you.

But if you want a beautiful magical forest or a waterfall dream hike this is the place for you
& if it the ocean you seek or the peaceful beach lagoons it is just a drive away & the Wild Spirit staff can give you a lift :-)

Enjoy & keep your spirit wild!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Ellie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed September 27, 2012

We spent 4 nights at Wild Spirit, it was my first holiday since 2008.
We went on the most amazing walks and met the most awesome people. I took over a thousand photos in our 4 day stay :)

We will be back for sure... Thanx Ola, Mikayla, Jenny and the rest of yous. X

Piet & Chanêlle

Room Tip: We had a double en-suite, very private and clean
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Piet_n_Chanelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Myself and my girlfriend, Lidiya, stayed at Wild Spirit in February 2012. We met Jenny, the warm and welcoming owner, just as I arrived and enjoyed an amazing night of fabulous food and music and conversation. :)

Our short stay at Wild Spirit really was the highlight of our travels in South Africa; I felt so good, comfortable and at home from the moment I arrived... free to just be me. :) What Jenny has created is so magical... so amazing... and I felt privileged to experience something that started from a dream she had

Guys, thank you so much and I know I'll be back to visit again. And as I mentioned, when you make it to Ireland, you're very welcome! :)
Paddy :)

Room Tip: (The pool I marked is a semi-joke, we went swimming at the foot of a beautiful waterfall, 20 mins wa...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank paddyohanlon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers

Property: Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers
Address: R102 Nature's Valley Road, Nature's Valley 6602, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Nature's Valley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Nature's Valley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wild Spirit Backpackers Lodge is a well-loved, laid-back and friendly family-run business situated on Khoinania farm in The Crags. Located right on the western tip of the Tsitsikamma National Park, it is literally in the heart of the Garden Route, between Plettenberg Bay and Storm's River. Close to Nature's Valley beach and lagoon this eco-friendly open-minded backpackers is surrounded by indigenous forests with blissful views over the valleys and mountains - the ultimate place to come and relax. Accommodation ranges from simple and lovely private en-suite family and double rooms, to ready-made Safari tents, bunk free dorms and simple off the grid camp sites for budget travellers looking for a quiet place to rest their souls. The beautifully sculpted Driftwood Boma and Tree-house deck are great places to soak up the sun and contemplate the peace of your surroundings whilst meeting new people, or cuddle up in the cosy Log cabin with the cats, dogs and a fire on rainy days. Everyday enjoy yummy nutritious dinners and breakfasts, lovingly prepared with fresh local ingredients. Alternative and sustainable energy designs, creative spaces and organic gardens are dotted around this magical 18-hectare farm. Activities on the farm include swimming in the rock pools of a private 80m Waterfall, or taking a short walk through the indigenous forest to visit the majestic Yellowwood tree. Alternatively, you can get your hands dirty in the gardens, learn a new craft from one of the many skilled staff members, or relax in a tree-house with horses grazing nearby. If you manage to tear yourself away from the beauty of the lodge then there are various animal sanctuaries nearby including elephants, big cats, birds and monkeys, as well as local horse-rides and a great farm stall to pick up some lunch. Nearby Nature's Valley is ideal for nature lovers with walks and hikes in all directions, and is one of the most pristine beaches on the Garden Route. The lagoon down there is also spectacular for swimming, kayaking, and bird-watching. Adrenaline and adventure activities such as the world's highest Bungy jump, Africanyon river adventures, and Tsitsikamma treetop canopy tours are nearby. The come home, relax with sun-downers on the deck, and spend an evening under the stars talking to interesting travellers around the fire whilst the team prepare a delicious home-made dinner with fresh produce from the organic gardens. See their website for more info on facilities, services and the wide range of activities in the area. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wild Spirit Lodge And Backpackers South Africa/Garden Route

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