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Why did we hand pick Dune Ridge Country House?

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  • Environmentally friendly guesthouse located in pristine natural surrounds
  • Dunes, wetlands and coastal walks to explore
  • Private spa to add a relaxing touch

Dune Ridge Country House

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

6km from Cape St Francis

 

-34.1733, 24.7972

About

Although only built in 2000, Dune Ridge Country House has succeeded in capturing the romantic ambience of a colonial farmhouse, merged with modern sophistication, while making the most of an exquisite setting.

Under the loving guidance of owner Sarah Swanepoel, the was house built with local and recycled materials, with charming traits including reed patio ceilings, Oregon pine flooring and fixtures that still bear the mark of well-worn floors from an old school.

The guest house is surrounded by thick coastal fynbos, and large dune fields are found at the back of the property, providing two unique natural environments for guests to explore.

Located in the main house, the Garden Suites are close to the country house’s facilities, which include a swimming pool surrounded by palm trees, and are attached to a small splash pool that is perfect for children. Individually decorated, classically styled and fitted with dark-hued furniture, rich fabrics and four-poster beds, the suites have opulent ball-and-claw baths and marble-topped counters.

For honeymooners and couples who value complete privacy, the Garden Cottages are a perfect choice. Isolated in the peace of the indigenous garden, the cottages have exceptionally spacious bedrooms with plush carpets, and decorated in romantic, understated tones of green, gold and pink. The classic feel of the entire country house is captured by a dark wood cupboard and writing desk, along with the ball-and-claw bath in the black and white en-suite bathroom.

Two spacious bedrooms in the Family Cottage comfortably sleep a family of four. Families will not fight for space in the extra-large bathroom either – it features twin basins, a shower and, of course, that beautifully crafted ball-and-claw bath. 

Guests can relax in the comfort of the fire-warmed lounge, or outdoors on the patio, overlooking a spacious garden with a swing that the kids will love. Indeed, all the accommodation options at Dune Ridge have outdoor patios with seating areas suitable for outdoor dining.

Breakfast is as hearty as can be expected from an establishment that has the words ‘country house’ in its name, and the homemade cuisine is served either in the sun-drenched breakfast room or on the front patio. Overlooking the garden, the front patio is also a wonderful setting from which to enjoy a sundowner, and the possibility of seeing antelope, or even the resident caracal, adds an exciting dimension to your sunset drink. In summer, dinners using ingredients sourced from the vegetable garden and local farms are served here too, surrounded by the romantic glow of lanterns.

Preservation of the environment plays a large role in the functions of the country house. The environmental footprint is kept to a minimum, with all rubbish separated and recycled, and wet matter going into the vermicomposter to be broken down into organic fertiliser. Alien vegetation has been removed and a scenic natural wetland revitalised.

Guests can easily venture into the untouched forests and dunes for very pretty walks, while the more adventurous can don gumboots and headlamps to partake in a night-time frog safari in the wetland, which highlights the fragile existence of these little-seen amphibians.

For those looking for a bit of pampering, the bush spa offers a variety of extravagant spa treatments in a gorgeous setting of fynbos and dunes. Visit the prestigious village of St Francis Bay if you wish to experience a unique South African Venice or enjoy the delights of the picturesque seaside.

Rates & Summary


4 Garden Suites

Attached to the main house
Each sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
One child can be accommodated on stretcher bed
En-suite bath and shower

2 Garden Cottages

Each faces the coastal thicket
Each sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite bath and shower
Private verandah

Family Cottage

Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms
Main bedroom with King-size bed
Second bedroom with twin beds
Bathroom with bath, shower and twin basins
Lounge area leading onto patio

Pricing

  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above

Catering

Continental and English breakfast included
Dinner and light lunches available

Kids

Children of all ages welcome.
The family cottage has a large garden with a swing, within view of the patio.

Why Stay Here?

Dune Ridge Country House is located in pristine natural surrounds on the outskirts of the upmarket village of St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape. With large, secure gardens fringed by coastal forest and myriad fun activities within touching distance, this environmentally friendly guest house is a beautiful retreat for families and couples alike. Coastal and forest walks, along with frog safaris and a private bush spa, make for an absorbing and peaceful stay.

Summary

  • Environmentally friendly guesthouse located in pristine natural surrounds
  • Dunes, wetlands and coastal walks to explore
  • Private spa to add a relaxing touch

Privacy

The Garden Cottages are privately positioned in the indigenous garden.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, golf clubs, binoculars for bird/whale watching and dolphin spotting.

Road Conditions

The roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Dune and forest walks
  • Frog safaris
  • Spa treatments

Nearby: beaches, surfing, whale watching, sunset cruises, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking, hiking trails, golf courses, nature reserves, shopping in St Francis Bay.

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Verandah / patio
  • Ceiling fans
  • Heater included
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Braai area available
  • Fridge or minibar

Utilities

  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • No gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • Full business centre
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Babysitting available
  • Very child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 5km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Personal safe

Gallery

Map

Blog

Tsitsikamma

Eastern Cape

About

The Tsitsikamma region embraces a large swathe of Afromontane forest and rugged coastline within the Tsitsikamma National Park, which is interspersed with tracts of fynbos and commercial tree plantations.

It’s situated on the eastern edge of the Garden Route, between Nature’s Valley and Eerste Rivier, and is accessed along the N2 which runs through the area. Tsitsikamma is a Khoi word meaning ‘place of abundant (or sparkling) water’, and refers to the Indian Ocean to the south and the many rivers and streams in the area.

To the north, it’s bordered by the Tsitsikamma Mountains that spill their verdant cloak of thickly knitted trees and woven vines across hill and dale as they descend towards the sea. In the plunging gorges, rivers of dark water splash and tumble through secret places where creatures of the forest cavort and flutter in a timeless ritual of natural life.

Along the coast the forest pushes onto the white sandy beaches and rocky shore to greet the foaming breakers of the ocean.

Settlement in the area is on a small scale - even the main centre of Storms River Village is just a small clearing in the trees. 

From a visitor’s perspective there’s plenty to do here. The Tsitsikamma National Park is well known for its wild coastline, the Storms River Mouth, and its many hikes, which include the popular Otter Trail. 

Other multi-day hikes in the region are the Tsitsikamma Trail, through the mountains inland, and the Dolphin Trail, along the coastal cliffs. The area in general, with its deep gorges and towering trees, is a treasure trove of adrenaline pursuits that include bungee-jumping from Bloukrans Bridge, gliding through the tree tops or above waterfalls on a series of ziplines (cable slides), abseiling the steep cliffs, and tubing through the Storms River Gorge.

It’s the forests themselves that add that extra touch of magic to the region. The tracks and paths offer a unique opportunity to enter the realm of an enchanted natural world. The large Outeniqua Yellowwoods are the pillars of the forest, towering above any other living thing by far.

Some of these majestic trees are over 800 years old and standing next to one is a humbling experience. Bird watching here is rewarding and a flash of green or crimson may announce the sighting of a narina trogon or Knysna turaco.

Closer to the spongy forest floor, the smaller creatures are no less spellbinding. Butterflies bob in the pillars of sunlight that penetrate the canopy, chorister robin-chats rustle through the leaf litter, and the Knysna dwarf chameleon makes its way hesitantly through the vegetation.

Throughout the undergrowth chortling streams and still ponds reflect the delicate fronds of tree ferns. Here frogs breaststroke beneath a surface stained the colour of bourbon by the tannins and humic acid leached from the fallen leaves.

All around, wisps of old man’s beard drape the wrinkled bark and conjure up faces of wizards, and the patchwork mosses and lichens combine to form their cloaks. On fallen branches and leaning stumps, bracket fungi are natural receptacles filled with fallen rain where insects quench their thirst. The scene is embraced by an eternal peace that even the cicadas seem reluctant to disturb, their characteristic incessant screech curtailed to short periods of intermittent chirring.

With mountains, forests, rivers, and a coastline alternating between glinting beaches and rocky outcrops, Tsitsikamma is a diverse natural playground.   

Look out for

Tsitsikamma National Park - is the number one reason to visit the region and is situated off the N2, 10-minutes drive west of the Storms River Village. It’s a spectacular marine reserve where the indigenous forest grows right onto the rocky coastline. The coastal portion of the park stretches 80km along the shore and 5km out to sea protecting not only life in the inter-tidal zone but that of the deep sea too, while the inland expanse protects the forests, fynbos, and mountain catchment areas. There are various short hikes, a boardwalk to the famous suspension bridge over the Storms River Mouth, snorkelling, scuba diving, a boat trip up the Storms River, a restaurant, and a curio shop. For people wanting to spend more than a day there are campsites and chalets positioned along the shore. 

Hiking trails - a few well-known hiking trails start and finish in this area. The Otter Trail, which starts at Storms River Mouth and ends on the beach at Nature’s Valley, is one of South Africa’s most popular trails. The Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail starts at the Nature’s Valley Rest camp and ends at either Storms River Bridge or Storms River Village. The Dolphin Trail is a guided and portered hike with upmarket accommodation.

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours - is exactly that - a tour of the forest canopy near the Storms River Village. It’s a combination of an adrenalin activity plus incredible views of the forest from a unique tree top perspective usually reserved for birds and monkeys. There are 10 slides that allow tourists to glide from tree to tree, stopping on platforms attached high up the trunks of giant Yellowwoods. Distances above the forest floor reach 30 metres. The guides are fun and informative. Booking is essential.

Bloukrans Bridge - this is Africa’s highest road bridge, and the world’s highest single-span arch bridge, with a central span of 272m, and a total bridge length of 451m. Statistics aside, the single reason it’s popular with visitors is because it’s home to the highest bungee jump in the world (216 metres). If the bungee is too much to contemplate there’s also a 200m zipline called the "Flying Fox" and a 400m bridge walk out onto the central arch. For the meek there’s a restaurant with a fabulous view. They’re open 7-days-a-week from 09h00-17h00.

Storms River Adventures - offer a 3 hour ‘Woodcutters Journey’ in an open vehicle down the Storms River Pass where oxwagons outspanned more than a century ago. Qualified guides enlighten passengers about the history and flora and fauna of the area. There are 3 trips daily and require a minimum of 6 people.

Tsitsikamma Falls Adventures - offer a thrilling zipline (cable slide) over waterfalls, with the longest glide being 211m. Those into adrenalin activities will love this adventure, and can also abseil 30m down a cliff into a fern cove. They take all ages, from 3 years up, and do tours 365-days-a-year in all weather conditions. Tours start at 08h00 and depart every 30 minutes, with the last tour leaving at 16h00.

Blackwater Tubing - depending on the water level, adventurers may be kloofing on low water, or white-water tubing on high water. Kloofing entails about 50% walking and 50% paddling, carrying the tube over shallow sections and leaping off rock faces that may be as high as 8 metres into pools below. It’s offered by Tube 'n Axe Backpackers from October to April and is a 5-hour trip that includes a lunch braai.

Storms River Village - is where all the adventure companies operate from and walks and mountain biking routes in the Plaatbos Nature Reserve start here.

When to go

To Do

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