A clear starry night at Tides River Lodge (Image: Supplied - Tom Falck)
Cape Town - If you need a relaxing and quiet escape deep into farmland valleys alongside a beautiful river of the Western Cape - Tides River Lodge in Malgas, situated alongside the Breede River has got you covered.
About the lodge
Nestled in the Malgas Valley right against the flowing Breede River, the lodge sits a comfy three-hour drive from Cape Town and only about half an hour from Swellendam, on the way to the Garden Route. The route also offers multi-coloured farmland scenery leading up to its hidden-dip location.
Tides River Lodge complex consists of five self-catering accommodation options: The Boat House, Zebra Lodge, Cob Cottage, Heron House and Kingfisher accommodation with rates ranging between R850 and R4 500 per night depending on which accommodation you choose, how many rooms you book and which seasonal period you book for.
Some of the accommodation offers provide DSTV services and all offer wifi for guests to use and plug back into the digital world - even if only to briefly post envy-inducing aesthetic river pics.
The Tides River Lodge accommodation sitting snugly along the edge of Breede River in Malgas. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
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Tides provides a refreshing drop from the surrounding dry wheatlands of the Overberg. The sheltered cove location offers a variety of activities.
For those looking to kick back and chill - you can spend your time relaxing on verandas and decks overlooking the silk-like river, braaiing, roasting marshmallows or chestnuts on the open fire and playing board games while listening to the soothing sounds of nature.
A roaring braai fire and a night-cap of Sijnn wine or your beverage of choice rounds off a relaxing and fun day at Tides River Lodge. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
Get toasty and enjoy some chocolate and marshmallows roasted on the dying braai flame. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
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On clear sky nights you can be sure to witness a velvet sky full of unobstructed stars and spectacular views for both sunrise and sunset.
A clear and downright mystical starry night at Tides River Lodge. (Photo: Supplied)
For those wanting to become one with the river: the lodge has kayaks that you are free to take out as you please, it's ideal for some quiet reflection as you drift along or a good work-out if you want to paddle up stream. You can also hone your fishing skills, go on a boat ride (driven by a member of the lodge management) or BYOB (bring your own boat).
The pair of kayaks sitting ready outside of The Boat House complex on the jetty at Tides River Lodge in Breede River. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
During low tide following our boat ride, Tides River Lodge manager, Courtney had to pull the motorboat into the jetty area at Tides River Lodge. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
For the adrenaline junkies: there are cliffs suited for jumping into the water that the lodge management can direct you to, or you could fuel your adrenaline fix in the Overberg mountains powering through some challenging 4X4 trails.
A dedicated demonstration: Tides River Lodge manager, Courtney, took a leap of faith from the rock cliff - that's about 4 to 6 metres high - into the Breede River water below. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
Pro tip: be sure to have a buddy while out on the water in case of a failed dismount from a kayak that ends in you being unexpectedly sodden.
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Activities around the lodge
If you find yourself running dry on water activities, a short walk or hike (or an even shorter drive) from the lodge will take you to one of two of the closest activities. You can either visit the Breede River Trading Post and Dop Shop (which features a small petting zoo holding on the farm edge with a few farm animals).
One of the cute and furry goat kids grazing at the petting zoo at Breede River Trading Post in Malgas. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
Or you could visit the Sjinn, which is pronounced as 'sane', to sip up some sanity on the wine farm which faces an incredible vista of the multicoloured Malgas farmland ranges and the Breede River valley.
JaredinCPT and Dhanusha enjoy the view of the Breede River valley while sipping on wine and await one of the decadent cheese platter offers at Sijnn Wines in Malgas. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
You can even take a stroll along the many neighbouring farms and pet some adorable donkeys and snap pics of camera-crazy ostriches against a backdrop of red, earthy toned palette of the surrounding hills.
Some friendly donkeys standing and shaking off pesky flies along a farm fence in Malgas. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
Slightly farther out - about a 15 to 20 minute drive from the lodge, you can also visit the Malagas hotel and dine at the restaurant or grab drinks at its bar. Alternatively you could pop in at the popular Bush Pub also located around 15 to 20 minutes from the lodge for a more funky bar experience - granted they're open - so be sure to call and check their trading hours for when they're open.
A Breede River standstill: a water feature statue in the courtyard at the Malagas Hotel. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
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If you drive out a bit further, just 30 minutes from the lodge is the wilderness haven of De Hoop Collection which makes for a fun family, group or solo day visit.
De Hoop does not just have barrels lined up outside of De Hoop Nature Reserve's reception building, but a line up of plenty of fun family activities too. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
Whether you wish to indulge in a luxury spa treatment, swim in the pool that edges over the Vlei or take a self-guided or tour-guided nature drive and marine walk, De Hoop Collection offers a range of options for guests to enjoy.
Take a dip in the almost-infinity pool at De Hoop Collection overlooking the mesmerising view of the Vlei. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
Take a guided or self-guided stroll along the marine coast at De Hoop Collecion and spot an array of coral sea life hidden in the nooks and crannies of its rocky coastline. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
You might get lucky enough to capture shots of the various game roaming the grounds!
There are a range of ostriches, baboons, elands, bontebok (pictured) and other mammals that roam the open fields of endangered fynbos at De Hoop Collection. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
After whichever activity to decide to take on, you are welcome to enjoy a tasty lunch at their restaurant and buy some souvenirs and merch from their gift shop.
Some pretty protea flowers, framed pictures, a game of chess and pretty outdoor seating set the scene and decorate the restaurant at De Hoop Collection. (Photo: Saara Mowlana)
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