But that is precisely what the owners of these quirky venues have done. Most people wouldn’t make the connection between a trailer, a treehouse, a shipwreck or a cave with luxury accommodation, but these venues have perfected the art of creating accommodation packing some serious charm, character and a touch of whimsy. Here are 5 of our favourite unusual places to stay in Southern Africa.
Are you considering staying in a trailer during your trip to Cape Town? No? While trailers, or caravans as they are known locally, are plentiful in the country's resorts and campsites, finding one on top of a building in Cape Town city centre is somewhat more unique. But then unique is probably the best way to describe any Grand Daddy property, and the Grand Daddy Hotel in Long Street is no exception. On its rooftop, you will find seven authentic Airstream trailers. Each has its own theme and distinct decor which collectively represent the sights and sounds of a typical South Africa road trip.
It's a treehouse, but not as you know it. Jaci’s Tree Lodge in the Madikwe Nature Reserve in the North West Province of South Africa takes your childhood dreams and drape them in a beautiful coat of indulgent materials. These custom-built tree suites are nestled high among the treetops and offer magnificent views of the surrounding riverine forest and the Marico river. Jaci’s Tree Lodge blends into the overarching canopy of the surrounding bush and foliage, making for fantastic birdwatching in a natural environment. Each tree house connects to the main lodge by elevated wooden walkways.
Namibia's Skeleton Coast Nature Reserve is one of the harshest and most unforgiving terrains you can imagine. Portuguese sailors circumventing Africa dubbed it the gates to hell, and even local tribes refer to it as the land that God made in anger. As the region's name suggests, the area is dotted with the remains of those unlucky ships and their souls that ended up stranded here. The Shipwreck Lodge embraces this landscape with a unique architectural style that pays homage to the many shipwrecks decorating the coastline. As is the case with much of the Namibian desert, there are many delights to be discovered in this seemingly desolate area, and the Shipwreck Lodge serves as the ideal base to track the elusive desert lions and elephants that roam this harsh landscape.
The Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve in the Western Cape of South Africa remains one of our favourite places. We've previously featured them for their stargazing and unusual outcrop beds, but they also boast ten cave suites. Each of these is skillfully constructed to integrate with the natural Sandstone formations. These suites blend in almost seamlessly with their environment. It does, however, feature a fair few creature comforts like ensuite bathrooms and airconditioning.
If you like to explore nature at a leisurely pace, then some time aboard the 5-star Zambezi Queen Houseboat is an unbeatable choice. With only 14 suites, it has the feel and exclusivity of a luxury lodge while offering a unique and adventurous river safari. Best of all you don't even need to leave your room, as your private balcony provides unobstructed views over the river banks of the river in the Chobe National Park. The Park boasts one of the densest populations of elephants on earth (120,000 at last count), offering an ideal opportunity to watch these gentle giants in a playful mood as they drink and bath at the river's edge.
Journeez is part of an exclusive network with preferred access to these, and nearly 1,000 more upmarket properties. We have access to pricing and availability that you won't find online so get in touch if you would like to know more or would like us to sense check an existing quote you've received.