Umsintsi is a little getaway tucked away from what seems like the rest of the world, in the picturesque Woody Cape section of Addo Elephant National Park.
Words by Taryn Arnott. Originally published in SANParks Times
The 2018 #BucketListZA Bonanza
This one-of-a-kind little hideaway is hidden on top of a hill in the Alexandria Forest, about one-and-half-hours’ drive from the Park’s main camp. With no cell phone reception, not a soul in sight, not a car to be heard and no television, this is the perfect getaway for anyone wishing to get away from anything and everything.
For those who choose to explore the area, there is the 7km Dassie Trail as well as the 16km hike to the sand dunes and beach. The Dassie Trail offers a wide variety of bird species, as well as the occasional sighting of the shy tree dassie. On the beach hike, sightings of common and bottlenose dolphins can be seen along the shoreline, with rare sightings of southern right and humpback whales.
“The getaway consists of a double story building, formerly an old fire lookout, and was converted into self-catering accommodation earlier this year.
The deck provides the perfect vantage point from which to take in extensive views of the forest, and from which birding enthusiasts can soak up all the sounds of the chattering birds down below. Stacking doors open up onto a crisp white bedroom with exposed beams, and beyond this the en-suite bathroom with shower.
And of course, what would a trip to the bush be without a good old South African braai? Braai facilities are available underneath the deck.
Romantic Umsintsi get its name from the isiXhosa word for coral tree. The coral tree is one of South Africa’s best-known trees, mostly for its dazzling red flowers when in bloom. In Spring, the canopy of trees below Umsintsi is covered in scarlet flowers. However, don’t let this stop you from visiting at any other time of the year – this kind of general beauty and solitude in nature is at its best all year round!
Cost: R965 per unit per night. Bookings are made through Camp Matyholweni on [email protected] or Tel: +27(0)41 468 0916/8.