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“Life Changing Experience -”
Review of Terra-Khaya

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Terra-Khaya
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Life Changing Experience -”
Reviewed November 13, 2013

I was lucky enough to join the team at Terra-Khaya for their first ever Permaculture Course hosted on Chillington Farm and Terra-Khaya. I won't say too much about the actual course on this forum - but it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Every day was a complete inspiration with Terra-Khaya owner Shane getting involved in every aspect. The Farm and backpackers proved the perfect venue for the course with mother nature acting as our teacher and events unfolded with amazing synchronicity as we covered our course material - That's enough about the course - if you ever have the opportunity should they be hosting another course in the future - just sign up - trust me :-)

More about Terra Khaya -

It is an excellent eco-retreat with a great ethos. Shane's positive energy and bond with mother nature can be felt everywhere you go on the property. It is a continuous work in progress and a fantastic example of how one can live in harmony with nature. Invasive Wattle hasn't just been cleared relentlessly and wiped out - Shane has taken a different approach using it as a precious resource continuously replacing removed wattles with indigenous and fruit bearing trees. The Off-the-grid lifestyle makes it hard coming back to city life.

Some of my highlights at Terra-Khaya included:
Waking to amazing sunrises over the Amatola mountains from my room,
Relaxing outdoor baths and showers,
AMAZING vegetarian food prepared by the ever joyful Simphiwe (of which many of the ingredients were grown organically on the farm),
The myriad of farm animals(horses, pigs, ducks, geese, dogs, cats, chickens - you name it) roaming freely always looking for a bit of attention
The proximity to the beautiful natural forests
I could really go on for days and days but will keep this sweet and short

Terra-Khaya won't be your kind of place if you prefer prantsing around in high heels and spending your night eating fast food in front of a flat screen tv - this place is the real deal - Shane and the Terra-Khaya team tread lightly on this piece of mother earth and invite guests to come and do the same and share their ethos and the amazing experiences they have out there

Highly recommended

*I marked fitness centre as Excellent below as we had the amazing Gervaise staying at Terra Khaya while I was there treating us to an our long yoga session every morning and if you really want to get fit the "Pulling Wattle Trees out Fitness Centre" is also great - and hey...for every two hours spent in that gym you get a free meal!! Bargain :-)

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Brasserie_Tokai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

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English first
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had the pleasure of spending one of the most relaxing, rejuvenating and enlightening weeks I have ever had in quite some time during my stay at Terra Khaya. If the setting of the beautiful Terra Khaya property, set in the forest surrounding the quant town of Hogsback, over looking the stunning and beautiful Hogsback mountains doesn't set your mind at ease, take a short tour with owner/operator Shane around the property for some insight on the "behind the scenes" operations. From the fruit forest, to the construction and design of the facilities, to the vegetable garden, to the composting toilets, every aspect of Terra Khaya has been carefully planned and orchestrated to provide an eco-friendly, comfortable, and in many instances a unique and memorable experience. However Terra Khaya is much much more than just accommodation. Used it as a base camp for the many surrounding hikes and activities that the area has to offer. What could be more relaxing after a long day spent exploring the areas plethora of beautiful waterfalls, mystical indigenous forests, and stunning mountain views, than a hot "wood-fired" bath under the open sky over looking the beautiful Amatole Mountain Range? Ever considered horseback riding? I cannot think of a better setting for a horseback ride than Hogsback. The Amatole Mountains provide a backdrop that will not only leave one's jaw on the floor, but when experienced from the back of Shane's extremely well trained family of horses, it is impossible to not enter a state of euphoria. Treat yourself, take an overnight ride, or a full moon ride, you may have a sore bottom, but it will be much more than worth it. All in all, Terra Khaya was an absolute blessing, having now had the opportunity to experience such a magical place, I would have been greatly disappointed had I left this beautiful country and not visited Terra Khaya and the village of Hogsback. Do yourself a favour and chalk it down as a "must" on your list of places to visit in South Africa.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Johnny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grahamstown, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed October 2, 2013

I've been to other eco-retreats, and they're all different. We live in a world of ever-changing transition, so no one can create a fully-formed ecologically-correct environment in a day or evne in ten years, but what's been done at Terra-Khaya in its short life is impressive.

Not only is it car-free, electronics-shy, solar- and wood-powered, but its little cottagettes (my word) are tasteful, creative, comfortable and well-stocked with duvets and artwork. The long-drop (actually a composting toilet) is spacious and smell-free, and the wood=fired shower may take time but is worth it. There's hearty food, instant comaraderie, beautiful views of the Hogsbacks, and a certain charm from landscaping, oddments, and the creative use of frugality. Plus dogs, cats, chickens and geese, all roaming freely...

One needn't be intrepid to enjoy this environment, though it is also not for everybody.

In addition, the energetic owner and his staff have cleared several hectares of alien trees and planted over a thousand indigenous ones. He's also chairperson of the local forest management committee and a major instigator of recycling in the general community. Guests are invited to contribute and receive compensation in the form of extra accomodation or supper, I believe. Though I wasn't able to take part in these opportunities, I plan a return to do so.

Room Tip: I chose on aesthetics...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Unsubscribe N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed August 26, 2013

My family has just had an amazing 4 day switch off at Terra Khaya - quite literally solar power and wood fired hot water and great great food. The experience was excellent with the owner Shane and his team really eco-conciously making a difference to the lives they touch. The girls loved every minute of their stay with lots of activities at the eco-family farm with wild horse rides through the forest and 2 hours of wattle clearing in exchange for a free dinner, plus indigenous tree planting for an extra night free!!! The outside bath under the crystal clear night sky was a dream come true and the family walks and bonding were magical. Although sad to leave Terra Khaya we look forward to returning very soon for another reconnecting break - thanks Shane, Rodger and Morton - family memories for a lifetime

Room Tip: The Great Outdoors - a Fitness Centre made in Heaven
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Andrew P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grahamstown, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Not a good two night stay.

It was sad and ironic to arrive a place claiming to be eco friendly only to find that its spread out in a wattle and pine forest with the car park and its various establishments joined by poorly-kept and eroded muddy pathways. When I remarked on the wattels, one of the managers responded by saying they actually appreciated them: their shade and the source of wood. I wondered if he realised that they are probably the most damaging invasive species in South Africa and are destroying our bio-diversity.

Although the shack we stayed had clean sheets, I found the R285 a night rather steep for the cheaply thown-together shanty-shack accommodation that not only leaked, but had only one long-drop loo and a single cold water tap to share with the occupants of more than five other shacks around us. The entire facility also has only one outside bath for all its campers, dormers and shack dwellers.

And be careful about the generous offer of "breakfast included". On the first morning we had to queue up with several others to get a slop of poorly cooked oats porridge and some apples cut into it. The second morning, although only shortly after the 9am breakfast time, the scrambled egg on toast had run out and we were offered bread and jam instead.

Also, the first morning I arrived in the kitchen to find that the owner had just made himself some coffee. I was about to make my own, when he offered to give me what was left in his perculator. He proceeded to pour about a centimeter of strong black coffee into my two mugs, which I supplemented with some hot water, thinking I will get a proper cup in town later on. On the day of our departure, we were informed that we owned them R30 for the "two coffees".

My overwhelming sense was that this is a rip off and an abuse of eco-sensitive travellers, many of whom may well be blinded by the "rustic" (cheap) and "leafy" (wattles and pine) feel of the place, which, it must be granted, has a beautiful view of the Hogs.

Hans-Peter Bakker

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Hans-Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed June 14, 2013

Terra Khaya is the most amazing place ever...... stayed for 2 nights here and one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We arrived at night after a long drive from Cape Town & Kysna and was greeted by Shane and his 7 dogs & 5 cats along with all the other wondering animals. Shane cooked up a great meal of home grown turkey with home grown veg and welcomed us to his "earth home".
The room we stayed in was very clean an comfortable and when we woke in the morning the scenery was truely amazing. After a walk in the enchanted Hogsback we decided on an overnight horse trail, not only is Shane a dog whisperer he is also a Horse whisperer, I had only been on a horse once or twice before and he gave me so much confidence in his energy controlling the horses and dogs with his amazing energy and tone. Each hill we ventured and each corner we turned took us through the most beautiful place in South Africa. Shane has so much passion for his animals and nature. We camped under the stars around the camp fire with the horses and dogs and had a great Braai and great conversation.
I'm used to 5 star hotels but this was the most amazing memorable experience I have had and would highly recommend this to anyone.
Thank you Shane xxxx Z&F

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Simone0801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimberley, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

Terra Khaya is must to visit. It is not only the place, but it is also the owner, Shane Eades which makes this place something extremely special. Shane has a tremendous love for Hogsback and respect for nature. This rubbed off the 12 schoolgirls from Kby Girls' High. His passion and going the extra mile for us, made the stay at Terra Khaya so special. None of us wanted to leave. We wanted to start a school and stay. Do not expect hotel anemnities. Do expect to breathe in the beauty of the mountains, the trees. Feel the freedom of bathing and showering with the sun basking on your skin. We loved leaving all trappings of normal life behind and enjoyed the candle and lamplight. We experienced simplicity, warmth and great hospitality.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank gruispad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Terra-Khaya

Property: Terra-Khaya
Address: Hogsback, Hogsback 5721, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Hogsback
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Hogsback
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Earth Home Project is a Backpackers, camping facility and eco-farm that celebrates a mindful, alternate way of living. This beautiful smallholding is situated way up in the hills of Hogsback. We practice conscious sustainable living, in simple, creative, comfortable structures & are 100% off the grid. If you dream of revitalizing and relaxing way up in magnificent clouds, we welcome you to Terra-Khaya. The Backpackers: Terra-Khaya offers a unique experience of sustainable living in stunning natural surroundings. We offer, comfy spacious double rooms, dorms, and a comfortable chill area, all built with recycled materials and natural recourses. Take a bath under the stars, enjoy delicious hearty food, relax in a hammock or give a hand on the farm. A sense of living guaranteed! Chillington Farm: The farm is set on 38 acres in the Amathole Mountain region, with a wide array of friendly farm animals and lovable horses. Our water comes from our stream, heating and cooking is wood-powered and minor electrical appliances are run off solar. We produce our own dairy and various foodstuffs from the garden for the kitchen. Amathole Horse Trails: Horses and riding is our passion and speciality; our 8 beautiful steeds and guide will take you on tailor-made excursions around the area. From short strolls into the village for lunch to overnight rides up into the surrounding mountains. Catering for all levels of rider, we endeavor to make your horseback fantasies come true! ... more   less 

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