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 are very helpful in explaining transport options and making 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 special 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 truly 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, ranging from dorm rooms, twin rooms, family rooms to safari or forest camping.
Bring a flashlight – the property can be dark at night if you need to walk between the main building and your room.
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, also overlooking the forest. The family rooms cater for between 4 and 8 people. We stayed in a family room, and it 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 slightly 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 a basic 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, which is in the communal area, next to the kitchen. To get there, you walk through the communal living area where there are several comfortable couches and lots of books and other reading material. You can also find information on activities and attractions here.
If you want a luxury experience, then the Wild Spirit Lodge is not for you as it is a more rustic experience focusing on connecting with nature and other visitors. For a luxury experience in South Africa, consider a hotel at the Sun City Resort.
Just outside the living area, you will find a large sundeck, the reception area and Wild Spirit Lodge’s kitchen. There are plenty of seating areas available here as this is a lovely place to spend some time getting 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 free 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 in on the hot South African summer’s days.
You can access several hiking trails in the forest from the property. One of these 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 some other activities available, which can vary from yoga to music and dancing.
The Wild Spirit Lodge is perfect if you want to spend time in nature to relax and reassess your life. You will find beautiful views all over the property, and finding a quiet spot to meditate is easy.
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, which could vary from a drumming circle to live music by a local artist. I highly recommend having dinner at the Lodge while enjoying the entertainment on offer 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 so many activities to choose from. The Lodge assists with arrangements, including booking tickets to some of the 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.