We recently had a little getaway to the picturesque town of Swellendam and spent a few nights at the EcoTreehouse – a spacious and fully equipped, self-catering cabin for the perfect retreat in nature.
Nestled in the lush green Hermitage Valley just outside the historic town of Swellendam, the EcoTreehouse was built by husband-wife duo, Johan and Jennie, who moved from the suburbs and into the valley where they built an off-grid sustainable living eco home and guest house. On the property itself, you will find horses, a sauna and wood-fired hot tub, a dam to swim in, a playground, a beautiful veggie garden, and cycling, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities to keep you entertained. Plus, it definitely was a treat to miss load shedding since the property is fueled by solar panels!
Perched amongst large pine trees, the EcoTreehouse sleeps two adults in a simple but stylish bedroom with a comfortable queen size bed fitted with cotton linen, where you wake up to magnificent mountain views. A third person (adult or child) can be accommodated on a comfortable built-in sofa bed in the lounge.
The open-plan kitchen is fully equipped with a gas stove, microwave, bar fridge, coffee plunger, good knives, and utensils. It also comes with a few basics like salt, pepper, olive oil, sugar, tea, coffee, rusks, milk, and dishwashing liquid. The only thing we took along with us were 2 extra pans to avoid any possible cross-contamination since we are halaal. I am also very thankful that we stopped at the Woolworths in Hermanus to get some microwaveable meals since the stores and restaurants in town are not halaal-friendly.
The sunny lounge, dining nook, and outside deck have breathtaking views of the land, duck pond, and mountains that surround the valley. While the treehouse also has a wood-fired hot tub and an infrared sauna, we never managed to make use of it due to the rising temperature (it was around 39 degrees during our stay). Instead, we spent some time exploring the town and going berry picking (which is a short drive away from the treehouse). You can also book a horse trail ride and even visit the golf course nearby. I also found great joy in enjoying the scenery around me and tried to paint as much as I could – an activity I don’t get to do much of at home. Johan provides and easle so if you are a budding artist, then I recommend requesting it on check-in!
“The setting is simply idyllic, with a serene natural pond, a swimming dam, horse paddocks, an indigenous garden, an organic vegetable garden, and stunning views of the Langeberg mountains. Located on the edge of Marloth Nature Reserve, this is a true Nature Lovers’ Paradise, whether for a relaxing break, an active outdoor adventure, or an out-of-the-ordinary business or remote work stay. Each season reveals its own secret beauty, making this a special place to visit year-round. Experience luxury off-the-grid living thanks to efficient design, modern technology and responsible use. Gas fuels our hot water and stove, while the sun’s energy powers all our lights and appliances with an ample 3000kW system. A grey water system and septic tank feed our beautiful land, with only biodegradable products to be used (all supplied)” – says Johan
Things to do (from the owners)
On the property:
– Relax with books and games provided
– Swim and cool down in the secluded farm dam with fresh, circulating natural water
– Wander and ponder through the indigenous garden and along the stream
– Take a picnic in the shade next to the pond and watch the ducks splash about
– Enjoy therapeutic sessions in the infrared sauna with full glass sides facing the mountain
– Relax and watch the stars in a private wood-fired hot tub
– Bird watching
– Meet and greet the horses, and join in their feeding and grooming
– Book a horse ride or simply an introduction to horse interaction on the ground (additional fee – please enquire when booking)
– Take a walk, run, or mountain bike ride from the property, either on the main dirt road or exploring the kilometers of newly designed tracks through the surrounding plantations.
– Visit Marloth Nature Reserve with its Afromontane fynbos, indigenous forests, rich birdlife, and small mammals, and cool down in mountain streams and waterfalls on walks of varying levels starting at the Marloth office.
– Guided walking tours with a hiking guide can be arranged
– 9-hole Golf course
– Large dams nearby for swimming and paddling – own kayak or canoe
– Visit the Berry Guest Farm and Wildebraam in our valley: have a liqueur tasting, pick your own fresh berries in season, buy fresh or frozen berries, and check out their day visitor adventure activities for families.
– Explore the historic town of Swellendam 5 minutes away, with the Drostdy Museum, Under the Oaks Saturday market, shops, and a multitude of restaurants.
– Bontebok National Park with fynbos walks, game viewing, and picnic or braai beside a beautiful part of the Breede River
– Visit nearby Buffeljagsrivier, Suurbraak, Barrydale, and the wine farms of the Bonnievale/Robertson valley
– 1 hour to the sea at Witsand, Arniston, or Infanta
Stay at EcoTreehous
Book your stay at the treehouse via AirBnb here