popular style of accommodation offers the ultimate flexibility and
freedom. You can come and go as you please, get up when you like and
eat when you want. Most establishments offer short and long term lets
and some offer flexible daily rates.
Choice in style and price of self-catering accommodation
in South Africa is vast, with cottages sometimes also referred to as
chalets, bungalows or rondavel (if they are round and
Many of the game parks have luxurious, East
African-style safari tents with private outdoor kitchens, while farm
style cottages in the vast Karoo feature large, indoor hearths to
fend off the bitter cold on winter nights. Municipal chalets in
caravan parks may offer only the mere basics, while cottages in the
wine estates of the Cape, for example, may even be equipped with
microwaves and satellite television. The larger resorts and game
reserves will usually have a selection of cottages. These may be
self-contained units or have shared kitchen, laundry and bathroom
facilities. Self-catering cottages usually have well-equipped
kitchens, are comfortably furnished and may even include towels and
bedding, although it is always advisable to ask before hand.
Upon arrival, a member of staff may check to ensure that
all items on the inventory are supplied and intact. You could also
be asked to pay a small deposit (refundable at the end of your stay)
to cover potential loss or breakage.
It is advisable to approach individual tourist information offices of towns or regions for the addresses and contact numbers of self-catering cottages.
Cottages on farms and in peaceful villages are to be found in Mpumalanga and Kwazulu Natal, and in the wine- and fruit farming areas around Cape Town. A memorable aspect of a stay in the country is the hospitality and catering in true local style
Bed & Breakfasts provide a very different holiday experience from big hotels, and you're assured service with the truly personal touch. Whoever greets you at the door is likely to serve breakfast the next morning, and will be on hand with local knowledge, advice and assistance. B&B's are often located outside of the main city centre, giving you easy access to the city, countryside and beyond. Accommodation in private homes has become very popular. The hosts, who concentrate on a small number of guests staying only a night or two, take pride in being able to provide personal attention.
A guest house can be an existing home, a renovated home or a building that has been specifically designed to provide overnight accommodation. A guest house will have public areas for the exclusive use of its guests. A guest house is a commercial enterprise and as such the owner or manager may live on the property
These traditional pubs usually provide accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis. Many have fabulous restaurants. It is worth checking to see if you have to pre-book.
Relatively inexpensive outdoor family holidays are provided by guest- or holiday farms all around the country. Visitors stay in the farmhouse or in a nearby cottage. Sometimes meals are eaten with the resident family, otherwise there are equipped kitchens. Guests can also take part in daily activities such as collecting eggs and milking the cows.
Game Lodges in most private reserves cater for affluent visitors. They typically offer excellent cuisine, luxurious pseudo-rustic accommodation highly skilled staff and game rangers who ensure that guests see as much of the African wildlife as possible. National parks are much more basic, yet very comfortable.
The Hosteling Association provides accommodation in
several hostels. The YMCA and YWCA offer similar basic facilities.
No age limit is imposed on guests, although preference is usually
given to the younger travellers.
Backpackers' lodges are more suited to young people, as facilities and meals are few and privacy in non-existent. Staying in a youth hostel may be fairly accurately described as âroughing itâ.
You don't have to tow a caravan to qualify for
residence, as many caravan parks have caravans to let, along with
prefabricated or rustic cottages. Allocated sites are usually
connected to water mains and electricity supplies.
Larger caravan parks have a shop, restaurant and
swimming pool, and sometimes even tennis courts or a bowling green.
Most campers do their own cooking â the method of
choice is the South African braaivleis or barbecue. Cooking places
or âbraai sitesâ are provided â one per site â and good, dry
firewood is usually available from the park office.
Camping can be noisy at night so choose a spot well away from the entrance gate, which usually also serves as the exit point.
Rest camps are the âstandardâ version of the luxurious game lodge and are found in national parks and provisional game reserves. Most of them offer a variety of facilities such as swimming pools, shops and communal dining areas, with accommodation options ranging from bungalows to bigger chalets.
Numerous camping grounds are situated along South Africa's major rivers or at the sea. Sites are separated from each other by calico screens or hedges. Communal ablution blocks are provided. Many of the camp sites are run as part of a local caravan park.
These are resorts at most of South African hot springs. The attraction is the water itself, in swimming pools or in the form of medicinal baths. Accommodation is in hotels or at camp sites.
Source: Eyewitness Travel Guide: South Africa. P310 -313. Struik New Holland Publishing (Pty) Ltd. ISBN 0-7513-6878-4
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