This story was updated on 9 April 2019.
Pack up your pet and the bags and hit the road for some time out this weekend.
1. Lilla’s Landing, Paternoster
On the white-sand beach of Paternoster, Lilla’s Landing is a gorgeous getaway spot for the family, friends and faithful dogs.
It sleeps eight people and small- and medium-sized (house-trained) dogs are welcome too. Bigger dogs can also be accommodated with prior arrangement – just call ahead. Offloading our baggage from the car on a windy afternoon was easy through the inter-leading door between the garage and downstairs section of Lilla’s Landing – the exercise was weatherproof.
All settled, we lit a roaring fire and watched a classic pink Paternoster sunset with one eye and the four-legged family member with the other. Bebe the blonde Labrador was on the beach doing a spot of gull chasing before returning happy, sandy and tired for a good night’s sleep. We braaied and sat on the front stoep till late – enjoying the stillness and sounds of the sea very close by. Back in the house, there are two well-appointed bedrooms with a shared bathroom and a guest loo on the lower level.
The kitchen is well-equipped and user friendly, with everything needed at hand, and there are magnificent beach views from the dining table. With the huge stack doors folded back, there is not even glass between you and the beach. Upstairs has two large and comfortable en suite bedrooms with private balconies to enjoy 180 degree sea views. The house is ideal for beach and sea lovers whether human or canine.
Words Keri Harvey
2. Impangele Retreat, Worcester
So here’s the challenge: you want a wilderness experience but one close to civilisation where you can take your pets along. You want to stay on the wild side but with creature comforts and, of course, there must be a view and a pool. Impossible? No, not at the Impangele Mountain Resort spectacularly situated overlooking the Hex River Valley and Matroosberg range, with five quaint thatched cottages.
Each sleeps four, with air conditioning, kitchen, bathroom, private deck and braai. The club house for socialising and conferencing has a pool and DSTV making the resort a great place for a family get together. There are glorious trails through Karoo fynbos and the valley is close to Worcester. Take a scenic drive over the R318 to Montague and Route 62 through the Klein Karoo.
+27 (0) 83 522 3567; [email protected]
Words Marianne Heron
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3. Medolino Holiday Resort, Port Alfred
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find pet-friendly holiday accommodation, and that’s because many owners are as ill-disciplined as their ‘best friends’ – so I was told.
Fortunately, Medolino Holiday Resort still opens its doors to man and his furry companions in the camping section of this tranquil park, that also comprises self-catering chalets. The thoughtfully-positioned, grassy sites were lush and well shaded – and we slipped into the relaxed country ambience with ease. Three ablution blocks for the 22 stands meant showers and loos were always accessible – and they were spotless.
For the active, there is the Kowie River, picturesque swimming beaches and nature reserves that provide a variety of activities from fishing, pedal boating and water skiing, to trails and scenic walks.
For those in need of rest and recuperation, I recommend allowing lazy days to drift by on the back of birdsong while sitting under the trees at the small lake. It’s a gentle, happy place.
Words Olivia Schaffer
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4. Nuy Vallei Guesthouse, Worcester
This isn’t only a dog-friendly establishment – it also has a friendly dog.
Glipsie the attentive terrier is there to make guests feel at home in the old-world charm of this three-star guest house beside the gracious 1871 manor house owned by the Conradie family. If you are staying in a wine valley you might as well stay on a wine farm and the Conradie’s Penhill Winery is just across the road.
Many of the 12 luxurious en suite rooms with TV and WiFi have verandas overlooking lush gardens with views over the vineyards to the majestic Rooiberge.
This is a popular place for weddings and family stays. There are 4×4 routes, walks through the vineyards, a swimming pool and the whole Robertson Wine Valley to explore.
Words Marianne Heron
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5. The Habit, Worcester
Elegant and historical, enchanting and homely aptly describes The Habit. With guesthouse, B&B and pet-friendly self-cater accommodation in the historic heart of Worcester, this is arguably the town’s most beautiful place to stay.
The Habit is magnificently restored, and its front façade is edged in brookie lace with clouds of white roses in the front garden. Self-cater units are spacious and have gardens specially for canine visitors. Many of the rooms have original wooden floors and pressed ceilings, some have cosy private verandas, all have garden views. Knowing your vehicle is safely parked off-street and behind electric gates also promotes a good night’s sleep.
Starting the day with a steaming cup of coffee and rusks in the garden, we watched the sun rise over the rooftops. It was bliss enjoying the crack of dawn that started with birdsong. Breakfast was sumptuous, enjoyed with garden and pool views. After a full English version we were ready to explore the surrounds of Worcester. Knowing we could return at any time to the sanctuary of The Habit, as it’s so centrally located, ensured the day out was relaxed and enjoyable.
Words Keri Harvey