If you are looking for a unique hostelling experience and love spending time in nature while visiting South Africa’s Garden Route, you should book a night or two at the Wild Spirit Lodge in Nature’s Valley. This backpacker’s lodge offers a variety of ways to connect with nature and other guests.
Where is the Wild Spirit Lodge?
The Wild Spirit Lodge, also known as the Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers, is situated in the Garden Route of South Africa near the indigenous Tsitsikamma forest just outside Plettenberg Bay. This hotel’s location is perfect for exploring the Tsitsikamma, Plettenberg Bay and Crags area of the Garden Route in South Africa.
How to get to the Wild Spirit Lodge
You can easily get there by car. Some local tour companies offer transport to and from the Lodge if you book tickets. The reception staff explain transport options and make arrangements, where possible.
What is unique about the Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers?
The Lodge is located on an 18-hectare farm, and the same family has run it for many years. When you make your booking or check-in, the chances are that you will encounter one of the family members. They genuinely make your stay memorable by making everyone feel welcome from the moment you arrive. After meeting us for the first time, they remembered us and called us by our names throughout our visit!
It is a homely place where you can kick back and relax while surrounded by the beautiful Tsitsikamma forest. The focus at the Lodge is on green living and alternative travels, making it ideal for open-minded travellers and other explorers, as it is a little off the regular tourist track in South Africa.
The Lodge offers various accommodation options, from dorm rooms, twin rooms, and family rooms to safari or forest camping.
The dorm rooms have single beds – no bunks – for 8 people. Each dorm room has an en-suite bathroom and a sun deck overlooking the forest. Something to bear in mind is that there are no non-mixed dorm rooms.
The twin, double, and family rooms are private rooms with en-suite bathrooms overlooking the forest. The family rooms cater for between 4 and 8 people. We stayed in a family room, which was lovely – our window opened to a beautiful forest view. We loved watching the sunrise over the forest while hearing the horses graze and smelling the forest.
If you want to be a bit more adventurous, try one of the camping options. The Wild Spirit Backpackers offers pre-pitched safari tents for camping in the forest. Each tent caters for two people. When you stay here, you need to use the bathroom facilities in the main farmhouse on the property.
You can bring your own tent for pitching in the forest under the stars for a more rustic experience as you will be off-the-grid completely. Composting toilets are available.
As the Lodge is a little off the beaten track, and there are no restaurants or take-away places nearby. You can buy groceries in a farm shop nearby to cook in the self-catering kitchen or the communal fire-pits. Alternatively, you can pay a small amount to eat the food prepared by the Lodge. They offer breakfast with bread, rusks, coffee and tea each morning. You can sign-up for traditional South African food such as potjiekos (stew cooked in a large cast-iron pot) at night. The food is home-cooked and delicious. They cater for vegetarians as well.
The communal area
You can check in to your accommodation at the reception desk in the communal area, next to the kitchen. To get there, you walk through the communal living area, where there are several comfortable couches, books, and other reading materials. You can also find information on activities and attractions here.
Outside the living area, you will find a large sundeck, the reception area and Wild Spirit Lodge’s kitchen. Plenty of seating areas are available here, as this is a lovely place to get to know other guests and enjoy the fantastic view of the Tsitsikamma forest.
Below the sun deck is the communal kitchen area with fridges, stoves, and other kitchenware.
You can get complimentary tea and coffee, firewood, internet, a pool table and even a sunset drive to Bobbejaans Kloof. There is an eco swimming pool for cooling-off on the hot South African summer days.
You can access several hiking trails in the forest from the property. One is the Magic Forest Walk which ends at a waterfall and a rock pool. After the hike, dipping your feet in the cool water of the rock pool feels terrific.
You can also rent bikes and participate in other activities, ranging from yoga to music and dancing.
There are a couple of horses, cats and dogs on the property and a fun treehouse for kids to explore! Kids will enjoy staying here as they can run around safely while playing hide and seek between all the trees and buildings on the property.
Sometimes there is entertainment at night, ranging from a drumming circle to live music by a local artist. I highly recommend having dinner at the Lodge while enjoying the entertainment and meeting people from all over the world.
You will find an organic garden at the Lodge, and we were told that some guests stayed for free in return for their gardening services.
You won’t know which adventure activity to choose when you stay here, as the area offers many activities. The Lodge assists with arrangements, including booking tickets to some activities and attractions and transport there and back. Some of your choices for activities include bungee jumping, hikes, visiting animal sanctuaries, kayaking, river tubing and treetop canopy tours.