We’ve been going up and down the Garden Route a fair amount recently – specifically between Wilderness and Knysna – to escape the intense heat of the Karoo summer and to cool down by the sea.
Duke, the dog, is our travelling companion and we now seek out pet friendly accommodation and restaurants, although he’s very good at being left in the car while we eat! On our travels we’ve discovered some exceptional places that are worth recommending for those of you travelling with pets.
Rondevlei – Wilderness/Sedgefield
The lovely Reflections Eco Reserve is a place that we’ve stayed at on more than one occasion although we’ve yet to try out their glamping option which looks large enough to accommodate the dog too! The wooden chalets are set amongst indigenous woodland with lovely bird watching areas over a lake. They do not advertise that they are pet friendly, but if you contact the owner and the place isn’t too busy they are more than happy to allow you to bring your pet.
Equleni Farm is a 21 hectare eco-estate with several charming guest cottages on the property. We stayed in The Cabin – a 2 bedroom unit which was beautifully decorated and equipped as well as having a gorgeous pool tucked away in the garden for all to use. The gardens are great for dogs but are not fenced around each unit, so you have to keep an eye on your pet. It is very dog friendly however and the owner even offers a dog sitting service for a small fee.
The Studio @ Mount View Lodge (15 mins outside Sedgefield) looks like it’s a fabulous place! We have wanted to stay there quite a few times, but unfortunately it’s always been booked, so that speaks for itself and why I wanted to include it! One day I’m sure, we will make it there to stay!
Woodcutters Forest Cottage has to be one of the most beautifully decorated places that we’ve stayed in! It’s very well equipped, with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom which is beyond fabulous and a lovely deck overlooking the forest. The gardens are also gorgeous and stocked full of indigenous plants and flowers – a lovely place for the dog to explore too. There is also a one bedroomed option – Mellow Wood Cottage – in the grounds as well. It is very much off the beaten track, down a gravel road, but worth the journey – just make sure you have all your supplies with you as it’s a bit of a trek to the nearest shop and once there you won’t want to leave!
Forest View Cottage also off the Rheenendal Road, but closer to the N2 and shops. This is a gorgeous cottage, spacious and well equipped and decorated. There is a lovely enclosed garden at the back with magnificent views over the forest and mountains beyond. There are short walks around the property and a wooden deck for sundowners with a view! The place was very pet friendly and Duke made friends with the owner’s dog which made the stay even better!
Knysna – Belvidere
Garden Road Cottage is a very comfortable place with a well equipped kitchen and a very big garden that is fully fenced so your pet will be safe at all times! It’s a stone’s throw from the Belvidere estate where you can find a pet friendly bistro (see below) and Belvidere Manor which has a pub and restaurant on site. There are also lovely walks (with or without your dog) inside the estate which are open to the public.
Not to stay, but to eat in Belvidere – Oak Leaf Brunch Café is a fabulous eatery set amongst the trees and offering delicious food. They also include a Furry Friends Menu – our dog is very partial to the Tail-Wagging brunch special, made up of small pieces of meat and biscuits! It is one of the few pet friendly restaurants that we’ve found around the area and the owners are really happy to see your pets and make a big fuss of them!
Gorgeous Garden Route
The Garden Route is a very pretty area to explore and we have really enjoyed staying in the above places with Duke, although you don’t need to be accompanied by a pet to appreciate these
There is still much of this beautiful coastline to discover and we will continue to find pet friendly places towards Plettenberg Bay and eastwards. We have also been seeking out pet friendly beaches and this will be the topic for a future post I’m sure.
All in all a lovely area and definitely worth visiting – with, or without, your dog(s).