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Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2013

I have backpacked around many countries and this place is top of the list as far as budget accommodation goes. The staff are very welcoming and obviously care a lot about this place. The setting is beautiful and perfect if you want to get away from your hectic life for a while. The breakfast and home cooked food is fantastic and plentiful. All this combines to make a great and relaxed atmosphere. Would happily return here and recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 729dwines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 - 193 of 267 reviews

Reviewed December 16, 2012

+ very friendly staff (family business) that makes you feel home and is always willing to help you out with arranging trips and booking other accommodation
+ I slept in a dorm which unlike most other backpackers was very spacious and clean
+ beautiful terrace and braai area that offer a wonderful view over the tsitsikama national park
+ dinner (diverse meals, vegetarian option) and breakfast (bread and a wide variety of homemade jams, cereals, yoghurt+milk from a nearby farm) were delicious and not expensive
+ free and fast WiFi
+ several beautiful hiking tours (e.g. to a waterfall) are located on the wild farm property
+ baz bus stop
+ shuttle service

I don't really have anything to criticize but be aware that the wild spirit is about 5-10 minutes away by car from all the tourist attractions in the crags. Also, there is not really a Supermarket at the crags but you can buy groceries at a gas station (Ca. 10 minute drive) or a local store (15-20 minute walk) which offers nice local food but doesn't offer that much and is more expensive than a supermarket. The wild spirit offers a shuttle service for a few rand so you'll be able to get around even if you don't have a car.
In case you don't like animals, be aware that they have cats and dogs (very lovely).

Unfortunately, I stayed there for only one night but I'll definitely stay there again the next time I visit South Africa!

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank futzi7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

What a place... to much to tell!
Starting with the dining and bar area. Lodge style living room with fireplace, comfortable couches and free Wifi. The outside seating area has a great bar with several fireplaces all with a great view over the surrounding forest. Staff was very freindly and helpfull. Room(dorm) with ensuite badroom also had a great view and no bunkbeds. Several hikes leaving from the reception are worth doing. Loads off activities and things to see on the farm and everything very enviroment friendly. This would definately one of those places where you book for one night and get stuck. Nature's Valley is very good for hiking and has a beatifull lagoon.

Room Tip: One of the upstares dorm rooms
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank AndrevW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

We booked here for one night and ended up staying three. We are travelling as a young couple and booked one of the double en-suite rooms. This is a traditional family farm/home where they have built external buildings on their land to be the backpackers lodge and accommodation. Although the place is very basic and rustic, you cant help fall in love with the charm of the decor, surroundings and hosts. The rooms are very basic, but clean. If you dont like the bush coming indoors, maybe not the place for you. But if your willing to open your mind for a few nights and get into the 'wild spirit' of the place, you might be surprised. The communal lounge and backpackers area has copious amounts of charm and is very innovative. The family and friends of the owners truly believe in respecting and blending in with the environment, so even in the kitchen and dining area, the outside naturally becomes the inside, where plants and trellises from the outside intertwine into the kitchen and dining deck. Hard to explain but has such a nice, natural and 'at one with nature' charm about the place. We went on lots of the surrounding walks, and visited the local farm shop for food and snacks and this review wouldnt be complete without mentioning the home cooked dinners each night!! They were amazing. Personally i believe in natural, nutritious good food, unprocessed and hearty and was pleasently surprised that the family also believed in this. The food was all natural and fresh produce, lovingly prepared and tasted fantastic. We had various tasty vegetarian dishes, and meat stews, salads, and so on. Were meat eaters but can honesty say the two vegetarian days we had there were two of the best meals we had in South Africa. Veggie bakes, veggie salads with amazing nutritious sauces (unprocessed)...we loved it! Highlight of the stay! In fact we couldn't wait each night for the food! Bring out a recipe book and quick! :) We loved out stay here and met some lovely people both hosts and other travellers. All with the same nature and wildlife loving views. If your a traveller who doesnt mind opening up your mind and spirit to a different way of life, fitting into your surroundings from time(when in rome..), including letting the outdoors in (a little..), you enjoy good hearty unprocessed food and enjoy good friendly and nature loving company, then this is the place for you. If you like your creature comforts and are not happy to blend into the nature around you a little, then maybe a local B&B might be better. We loved out stay here and commend the owners for sticking to their own spirits and beliefs and providing an amazing and inspiring place for the open minded traveller. Loved it!

Room Tip: Ask for a room that doesnt have the porch, the porch as open gaps which can let the outside (spiders...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank XJJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Traveling along the Garden Route this is about the 8th hostel we stayed in and I must say we really enjoyed its rustic charm and earthy feel. It's not in the flash packer category but if you're looking for something that is definitely at one with nature, very chilled and has lots of hike routes then look no further. The service is great and the food there is locally grown, very fresh and in all honesty the best we've eaten in South Africa. You must try it.
After 6 weeks traveling in South Africa this is one of my best stays.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brett12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Although we stayed there for only one night, it was a really nice experience. We set up camp with our tent in one of the large open spaces available for camping. The people were friendly and the food was delicious. In the evening there was an drum masterclass around the campfire and later in the evening a staff member danced with fire lit ropes.
The area is filled with hiking trails, one of the trails takes you through three different biomes and ends up at the sea. Other things one can do in the area is visit the Birds of Eden, Monkey world (combi tickets are offered), a cat sanctuary as well as an elephant sanctuary. We only visited Birds of Eden, which was good value for money around R150 (14 euro). It is a lot bigger than one might assume. There is also a nice arts and craft centre located close by where they have a distinct type woollenproducts made from the mohair sheep.

There are dogs on the premises, all are really friendly except when it comes to baboons whom they chase away.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bram_van_der_Horst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

I unfortunately only spent one night at this magical hidden jewel. As we got off the Bazbus we were greeted by Ola who didn't treat us like guests but like long lost friends. She was so lovely and had great tips on things to do and tours in the area - The Elephant Sanctuary, Birds of Eden, Monkey World, Bungy Jumping, Zip Lining, Wild Cats, Wolf Sanctuary, Water Park and great beach town of Plett only 25 minutes away. In the evenings you read a book on the couch with the dogs and cats to keep you company or grab a drink at the bar and sit around the bonfire and chat to the other guests. Ola's dinner was delicious, healthy and wholesome and so was breakfast. Michaela was very helpful with booking tours and planning our schedules for the day. If you prefer 5 star hotels and room service *shockface* this is not the place for you but I highly recommend it if you enjoy the simple life, and you are a nature lover.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Jess P
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

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: $25 - $40 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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