Just 200 km’s outside of Cape Town is a place called “Healing Holidays.” Healing Holidays is a family owned resort where you can stay in a tipi. It’s camping with the luxury of a bed and electricity.
Once we passed the turnoff for Montagu Springs and drove another 13km, we felt like we were driving into no man’s land. We saw the little house with the blue roof in the distance.
When we FINALLY arrived, we were greeted by Patrick who showed us to our tipi. The tipi we selected was the “honeymoon” tipi as it had electricity (note – the other tipis do not have electricity). The setup was not too bad. The tipi seemed very big and I noticed an outdoor shower and seating area for braais, etc. The accommodation includes utensils (pots, pans, knives, plates, cups, etc) and a bar fridge. The only thing you would need to take with is dish-washing liquid to wash the pans, etc, as well as your own drinks and snacks. Our package included meals.
It was very hot and when I looked down at the floor I saw ants as big as spiders. Slightly freaked! The tipi is elevated on a wooden platform which makes it great for staying off the ant-infested ground. I noticed there was no toilet. So Patrick showed us the toilets which were just down the path from out tipi. The bathroom was pretty standard with very creaky wooden doors and windows with no curtains. Outside the toilets were these solar jars which provided light at night.
The braai area had a “cooling system”. When I say cooling system, I mean pipes that squirt mist out to keep you cool. Innovative idea, but not good for the hair. There are a few cats and dogs that run around and it feels very homely, especially with the main house (owner – Felicity I think her name was) not too far from your tipi. The tipi itself feels very private which is a bonus considering the hot water shower is located outside!
The only issue we had was that the meals were not halaal or halaal-friendly. However, the owner was very accommodating in providing us with salads, etc to go with the meat we opted to bring ourselves.
In the morning, we were served plunger coffee and an English breakfast (without the bacon of course). The breakfast was okay – a bit too oily for my taste, so we opted not to have the breakfast on the second day. Montagu town is not too far from there and we wanted to explore some other breakfast options.
There are not many activities to do in the evening, so we visited the town of Montagu. We ended up having desserts at a place called “Katies” which served probably the best pecan nut white chocolate sponge cake I have ever tasted. When we got back to the tipi later that evening, the term “pitch dark” was an understatement. But I brought a solar jar from home that lit our path back to our tipi. The first night sleeping in the tipi was not too bad considering we were only visited by 2 praying mantis!
The first night sleeping in the tipi was not too bad considering we were only visited by 2 praying mantis! All in all, happy to report that there were no mosquito or spiders. The bed is quite small in length and my feet dangled over the bed (I’m quite short so it must be small). In the morning we were visited by a little frog that probably ate all the bugs the previous evening. Patrick came to open our tipi and managed to catch the frog and set it free.
In the afternoon, we were provided with a picnic basket filled with the following: sandwiches with way too much butter and cheese; cupcakes, fruit salad, juice, water and utensils. Not a glamorous picnic set, but a good idea. We were to have the picnic in the Montagu Gardens. I expected Kirstenbosch and got a rude awakening when I was greeted by what appeared to be a swamp with green patches. We spent our day swimming and relaxing. Which is expected considering its a “healing holiday”.
The last morning we opted to try out a breakfast place in Montagu called the “The Rambling Rose” which had really good reviews on TripAdvisor.
The reviews were spot on as this place was amazing. The food was gourmet and most of all – fresh. The coffee served was origin coffee (my fave!). We amended our order and he changed it no fuss. Our waiter, Ryan, was attentive as well as friendly. I would definitely go back there. Upon leaving the Rambling Rose, we walked through the little shop where they served herbal teas. So R700 later with a tea pot and 2 types of teas under my arm, I left. Ryan was very convincing in advising me on the greatness of herbal teas. I was sold! I don’t regret it as I am thoroughly enjoying my teas (cinnamon , ginger and lemon as well as a berry tea called “falling in love again”).
I am not one for camping but this experience was far from camping. It was “pretend”camp (LOL) and I loved it. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a few nights away to relax and heal the soul. This is definitely what I needed after a long year! In the wise words of Beavis and Butthead : “I need TIPI for my SOUL”
- Bring your own pillows and extra blankets
- Maybe a flashlight or solar jar to help you walk the paths at night
- Mountain Bike – there are lots of nice routes
- Towels (They don’t provide towels)
- Shampoo, hand soap, etc
- Your own meat if you need halaal food
- Your own grill for braaing, coal and blitz (wood is provided)
- Laptop if you want to watch some movies at night
Things to know :
Website : http://www.healingholidays.co.za/
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost : R400 a night and R420 for luxury tipi (this excludes meals)