Tsala Treetops Lodge
Think Tarzan in mink, with a stilted suite and wraparound veranda
Tsala Treetops Lodge
Set amidst the treetops in a dense indigenous forest, Tsala Treetop Lodge is the perfect destination if you enjoy combining your wilderness experience with a bit of Garden Route pizzazz. Within the lodge, the atmosphere is hushed, tempting you to spend hours on the elevated decks listening to birdsong and gazing through your binoculars to identify the singers. The undeniable star of the show is the rare Knysna loerie, or Knysna turaco, which may visit your suite if your magic is working. If you need some high life, you're just 10 kilometres from the action in jet-set Plettenberg Bay.
At the lodge
You enter the main lodge via a huge foyer, its roof supported by blackwood columns. Outside, ornamental fountains and quiet ponds enhance the tranquil mood. Meals are served in three locations – the glass-walled dining room, the dining deck suspended above the forest floor, and Zinzi restaurant. The food is highly rated, with full-on breakfasts and dinners you could linger over for hours (enjoy wines from the well-stocked cellar). The glass-boxed lounge is a cosy retreat. Wedding facilities are available.
A well-lit wooden walkway leads from the main lodge to 10 luxury suites and six two-bedroom villas. All are secluded within the trees, with glass walls and private decks for those panoramic views (this is a truly beautiful part of the country) and infinity plunge pools, which may be visited by playful vervet monkeys. The bathrooms have deep stone tubs, twin sinks and al fresco showers. The two-bedroom villas have kitchenettes and dining rooms and other items vital for families and larger parties.
The activities at Tsala are certainly different. When you're ready to put down your binos and leave your recliner, swing through the trees on a canopy tour; go snorkelling among seals; visit the world's largest free-flight bird sanctuary set in a forested gorge that has been domed to protect more than 3,500 birds; get some primate action at Monkeyland; visit Tenikwa Wild Cat Sanctuary; or tgo sailing. There's more – you'll just have to see when you get there. Children aged 10-plus are welcome.