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We’ve found the best weekend getaway in the Western Cape. Everyone can stop looking now. Photos by Chris Davies.

 

The Langeberg mountains turning pink at sunset. Photo by Chris Davies.

The Langeberg mountains turning pink at sunset.


If you’re based in Cape Town, you probably won’t struggle when it comes to finding beautiful places for a weekend break. Whether it’s renovated manor houses in Tulbagh, tucked-away cabins in Franschhoek, or cottages in the dusty Karoo, there are too many amazing breaks for us to keep track of – and here at Getaway, that’s our job. With all this natural wonder at our fingertips, it’s easy to get jaded. We are, in short, a hard bunch to impress.

 

The area surrounding Akasha is full of mimetes and other fynbos species. Photo by Chris Davies.

The area surrounding Akasha is full of mimetes and other fynbos species.


But when I arrived at Akasha Mountain Retreat with my colleague Chris Davies, I was impressed before I got out of the car. It’s a picture-perfect location, overlooking the wending Duiwenhoks Dam with the Langeberg mountains front and centre. The property could have contained nothing but a pit latrine and still be my favourite campsite of all time. As it happens, though, Akasha has got a lot more going for it than that.

 

The main house at Akasha Mountain Retreat, overlooking the Duiwenhoks Dam. Photo by Chris Davies.

The main house at Akasha Mountain Retreat, overlooking the Duiwenhoks Dam.


On the other side of the river is the Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, which is second only to Table Mountain in terms of biodiversity in the Cape Floral Kingdom. It borders Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve, which is home to almost 200 bird species – many of which frequent the pincushions and mimetes proteas that surround Akasha.

 

Awful view, really. Photo by Chris Davies.

Awful view, really.


The interior of the house is really committed to lanterns. Tiny embellished ones hang on delicate chains, tealights in blown glass line the windowsills, and a bronze-and-glass behemoth stands sentinel by the door. The Moroccan theme is continued everywhere, from the rough-hewn painted doors to the silver teapots: you’ll find that everything was personally imported from Morocco by the owners. There are also simple yet helpful touches like the numerous two-prong plugs, bluetooth music speakers, and a kitchen stocked with every utensil you could need, and many that you won’t. They’ve thought of everything.

 

The tiny Moroccan details run through every aspect of the house. Photo by Chris Davies.

The tiny Moroccan details run through every aspect of the house.


There’s a mulberry tree outside the front door, with an appropriately purple-blotched hammock that can be strung underneath it. Chris, the owner, tells me that the freshly fallen berries are the sweetest, before they get warmed by the sun – you can pick them out because they’re the glossiest.

 

Whiling away an afternoon in the hammock lazily eating fresh mulberries: not a bad Sunday. Photo by Chris Davies.

Whiling away an afternoon in the hammock lazily eating fresh mulberries: not a bad Sunday.


Akasha Mountain Retreat sleeps six, as well as two in the cottage 20m behind the main house (the two buildings are rented as a unit). A word of warning, though: the walls in the main house are very sound-porous. If you’re not enthusiastic about hearing your neighbour’s merest sniffle, best to sacrifice the view and stay in the cottage.

Contact: akasharetreat.co.za

 

Behind the Moroccan door? Shelves full of cushions and hammocks for lounging around on the outside patio. Photo by Chris Davies.

Behind the Moroccan door? Shelves full of cushions and hammocks for lounging around on the outside patio.

 

The little wood-burning fireplace means that this would also be a glorious winter getaway. Photo by Chris Davies.

The little wood-burning fireplace means that this would also be a glorious winter getaway.

 

Skylights let in natural light throughout the house. Photo by Chris Davies.

Skylights let in natural light throughout the house.

 

Goodbye Akasha. I'll be back soon. Photo by Chris Davies.

Goodbye Akasha. I’ll be back soon.

 



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