12 SA spots to get off the grid

2015-01-27 10:31
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Feeling the need for a digital detox? Or just want to get away… far away… from it all for a bit?

No need to feel weird about it, we all need to recharge our batteries by doing a healthy dose of nothing every now and then.

The good news is - there are loads of delightfully rustic spots to check out around South Africa. While some are 100% ‘off-the-grid’ in the true sense of the term (Eskom we're eyeballing you), others are just far removed enough from civilisation to give the sense of being back in a simpler place and time.

Here are 12 spots we’d love to check out and we’re pretty sure you would too:

KolKol, Bot River

Only about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, KolKol provides an amazing break from the city lights amid Cape Floral Kingdom fynbos. The Canadian style log cabins are what dreams are made of – with cozy fireplaces inside and wood-fired hot tubs outside, overlooking the expansive Overberg views.

Cell phone signal: Yes

Electricity: Yes

Internet: Nope

Moongazing Cabin, Mount Bain Private Nature Reserve

A wooden cabin, perched on a hilltop overlooking the Breede River Valley and Witzenberg Mountains – can it get any more tranquil?! The cabin is equipped with a gas stove, fridge and hot water and has solar panels installed for charging electric devices.

Cell phone signal: Yes

Electricity: Solar power

Internet: No wifi, but there should be some 3G

 Appelkooskop Cottage, Bredasdorp

A beautifully renovated stone cottage located on a farm in the Overberg – how does that sound for a secluded break? The cottage has two bedrooms – one downstairs with a queen-size bed and an en-suite bathroom, the other is a loft room with two single beds.

Cell phone signal: Not inside the cottage

Electricity: No, but there is a gas stove

Internet: No

Terra-Khaya, Hogsback, Eastern Cape

If you want to stay somewhere truly close to the heart of Mother Nature, Terra-Khaya is your spot! Situated high up in the hills of picturesque Hogsback, this backpackers is dedicated to practicing sustainable living, mindfulness and operates 100% off the grid. While they do offer self-catering options, it is highly recommended that you enjoy the full experience by joining in for communal meals that they prepare. And get this! If you help pull out alien wattles for two hours or plant 5 Greenpop indigenous trees, you get dinner for FREE!

Cell phone signal: Yes

Electricity: Nope

Internet: Yes, 3G

Mtentu Lodge, Wild Coast



This delightfully rustic lodge in Pondoland offers a truly memorable Wild Coast experience. There are a variety of accommodation options, including 4-sleeper wooden cabins, dorm rooms and catered as well as self-catered.

Cell phone signal: 300m away from the lodge on ‘signal hill’

Electricity: Only solar power. There is a communal charging facility for phones

Internet: Nope

Bride’s Veil Chalet, Drakensberg

Overlooking the delightful Bride’s Veil waterfall, the rustic red-roofed, double-storey cottage sleeps eight people – one master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and one large loft room with four single beds and one double. The living areas are spacious and inviting and a fireplace just begs to be gathered around for tales and chats. Wood is provided free of charge.

Cell phone signal: No

Electricity: No

Internet: No

Stone Haven Cottage at Shawswood Farm, KZN Midlands

Located in the heart of Karkloof, Shawswood Farm’s Stone Haven Cottage is a perfectly tranquil spot for nature lovers to immerse themselves in the surrounding beauty. The building itself dates back to 1880 and was once used as a stable and hay loft for the Shaw family. Nowadays the loft serves as a cosy bedroom with a double bed. There are also two fold-up chair beds for kids. But, we kind of think it’s a rather romantic spot and perfect for a weekend away with only the one you love.

Cell phone signal: Yes

Electricity: Yes

Internet: No

Kurisa Moya Forest Lodge Cabins, Magoebaskloof, Limpopo

Spend a weekend revelling in birdlife, tranquillity and fresh air three metres up in the treetop canopy of the Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge. Each wooden cabin is self-contained with a little kitchenette, en-suite bathroom and Weber braai. Cabins sleep between two and four people.

Cell phone signal: Patchy, but you can find some in various spots

Electricity: Nope, only gas and solar power

Internet: No

The Nest, Field and Stream, Dullstroom

Fly fishing and sundowners in #Dullstroom.

A photo posted by Kristen van Schie (@kristenvanschie) on


Cute, cozy and pet friendly! Very aptly named, The Nest is the ideal breakaway spot for those couples who never know what to do with their beloved pooches when they want to head away for the weekend. There is a sleeper couch in the lounge as well if you have kids, but why not just take a ‘just-the-two-of-us’ type break?

Cell phone signal: Not in the units

Electricity: Yes

Internet: No

The Elements, Magaliesburg, Gauteng

Beautifully rustic with patches of bright colour here and there, The Elements offers a welcome retreat to anyone who needs space, nature and lots of it. The house has one bedroom with a double bed and an en-suite bathroom. An additional single bed can be added on request. There is a basic kitchen area and outdoor seating with views for miles.

Cell phone signal: Patchy

Electricity: Only solar power

Internet: No

Amara Tomana, Free State

Located on a farm at the foot of Langberg on the South African side of the Lesotho border, Amara Tomana is a dream for anyone thirsting after the wide open spaces of the eastern Free State. There is no electricity, so enjoy spending the evening chatting away surrounded by lantern and candle light. The mountain cottage sleeps eight people – one main bedroom, slightly separate from the main house and then a second room with another double bed and 4 single beds.

Cell phone signal: Patchy

Electricity: No

Internet: No

De Zyfer Cottage, Tanqua Karoo National Park, Northern Cape

The Tankwa Karoo is about as far away from everything as you can get… or at least, it feels that way. The national park offers a wide array of accommodation, but if you’re looking for something cosy, comfy and rather romantic, De Zyfer cottage is definitely the option to go for. There are three bedrooms, each with a double and single bed, an open plan kitchen, outside braai facilities and, get this, a reservoir for swimming!

Cell phone signal: No

Electricity: No

Internet: No

Tell us where your favourite Off-the-Grid spots are by emailing info@traveller24.com and you could be featured on Traveller24. Or come join our travel community on FacebookTwitter or Instagram accounts.

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