Top 10 off-the-grid destinations across South Africa

Posted on 8 November 2019

Whether you’re concerned about the electricity going out while on holiday, or you are just looking for a digital detox, here are 10 places in South Africa which are not connected to Eskom’s grid.

1. Faraway Cottage

Tanagra Wine Farm, Western Cape
Recommended by Laurent Delveaux

The view from Faraway Cottage, Tanagra Wine Farm. Photo by Laurent Delveaux.

The view from Faraway Cottage, Tanagra Wine Farm.

Isolated in the vast Karoo landscape, this cosy two-bedroom cottage overlooks Robertson Valley and the Langeberg Mountains. There’s a large stoep with a plunge pool, two hammocks for ultimate relaxing and a huge glass bathroom with a freestanding bathtub from where you can watch the sun set.

Amenities: Signal, wind power and gas.
Cost: From R1950 (two) and R2500 (four), R300 for an extra bed.
Contact: Tel 0236251780,


2. Bakana Mountain Hut

Mountain Zebra National Park, Eastern Cape
Recommended by Debbie Cooper

Mountain Zebra

With the mountains of Cradock in the background and Mountain zebra grazing peacefully before them, this quintessential Karoo landscape never gets old! Photo by Melanie van Zyl

Bakana is tucked into a saddle between granite koppies in unspoiled bush. The landscape is home to kudu, mountain zebra, buffalo and lion. There’s a massive hearth for indoor braaiing. You need a 4×4 to get there, or a high-clearance 2×4.

Amenities: Solar power and gas.
Cost: R1,040 for two, R280 per person thereafter (max 10), kids R140 each (park fees apply).
Contact: Tel 0488812427,

Also read: Where to go cheetah tracking in the wild Karoo

3. Dream Lodge’s Agama Cottage

Magaliesberg, Gauteng
Recommended by Deborah Staphorst

Agama Cottage in the Magaliesberg.

Agama Cottage in the Magaliesberg.

This cosy two-sleeper cottage (one of three cottages available at Dream Lodge) is a perfect spot to unwind, surrounded by beautiful mountains, scenic walks and, best of all, silence. There are no self-catering facilities; food is delivered at the time requested. A beautiful big bath with views of the Magaliesberg is the highlight. The cottage has no power (the geyser is solar powered) but 30 candles, set in niches around the walls, provide light, plus there’s an indoor fireplace as well. You’ll need a high clearance vehicle or transfers can be arranged.

Amenities: Signal and solar power for the hot water geyser.
Cost: From R990 per person per night including dinner and breakfast that is served at the cottage at the time you prefer.
Contact: Tel 0826206369,


4. Bhanga Nek

Kosi Bay, KwaZulu-Natal
Recommended by Colleen Black

Bhanga Nek is just 30 metres away from the beach. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

Bhanga Nek is just 30 metres away from the beach. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

Surrounded by lush trees and shrubs, this camp is tucked away in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and just 30 metres away from a gorgeous long sandy beach. It’s very rustic: canvas tents on wooden platforms with a few showers and flushing toilets surrounded by reeds on a concrete floor, but that just adds to its charm. A 4×4 is required. The park emphasises that historically this is one of the safest spots in South Africa.

Amenities: Donkey boiler, hot water shower, flush toilets.
Cost: R530 per person sharing in a permanent tent, camping in own tent R230 per adult (kids half price), other tented camps R140 _ 160 per person.
Contact: Tel 0828573363, [email protected]

5. Sand River Bush Camp

Kruger National Park, Limpopo
Recommended by Marion Vlaming

Sand River Bush Camp. Photo by Marion Vlaming.

Sand River Bush Camp. Photo by Marion Vlaming.

What I loved most here was the total isolation: surrounded by bush, no cars, no connection. It’s only available as a four-night experience (guests are transferred by the camp vehicle). I had no clue where we were most of the time ‒ fabulous! The highlight was educated, friendly guides.

Amenities: Solar power and gas.
Cost: R5050 per person (max eight). R5,375  from January 2020. Fully catered and rate includes game drives too.
Contact: Tel 0727797728, [email protected]

6. Klipkraal Guest Farm

Heidelberg, Gauteng
Recommended by Melissa Tavira

Klipkraal Guest Farm.

Klipkraal Guest Farm.

With views over the Vaal Dam and the surrounding Suikerbos Hills, the cottages on Klipkraal Guest Farm are an easy-to-reach escape. Blinkblaar is my favourite ‒ cosy and neat with cane furniture, a fully equipped kitchen, braai facilities and a fireplace with a beautiful view. There are several lovely hiking trails in the area.

Amenities: Solar power and gas.
Cost: R880 for four. (120 per person thereafter, max seven).
Contact: Tel 0834125272, [email protected]

7. Rockwood Mountain Lodge

Karkloof Nature Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

At Rockwood you’re surrounded by nature. The mountain lodge is about a 10-minute drive from the start of the Karkloof Canopy Tours and is situated on the edge of a natural clearing in the forest. Due to its remote location, this eco-friendly lodge makes use of solar power for lighting and gas for all other requirements. A 4×4 (or high-clearance 2×4) is advised. Transfers can be requested prior to arrival.

Amenities: Gas and solar
Cost: From R1400 weekday (sleeps six). R2,895 weekend rate.
Contact: Tel 0315024043,

8. Waterkop Lodge

Prince Albert, Western Cape
Recommended by Erika Costa

The view from the comfortable beanbags at Waterkop Lodge.

The view from the comfortable beanbags at Waterkop Lodge.

This place feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, with views of barren Karoo landscape for miles. There’s an expansive stoep that runs along the front of the house and a plunge pool, perfect for those hot Karoo days. Big bean bags on the stoep ensure that once you sit down in them, there’s no getting back up!

Amenities: Signal and solar power.
Cost: R650 per person sharing, R325 for children under 12.
Contact: Tel 0731201243,

9. Die Hel

Swartberg Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Recommended by Anne Greening

One of Cape Nature's cottages in the Swartberg Nature Reserve.

One of Cape Nature’s cottages in the Swartberg Nature Reserve.

Renovated by CapeNature, these self-catering houses (built by settlers, who arrived here in 1830) are comfortably furnished and surrounded by hiking trails. Situated in the Gamkaskloof Valley, they overlook Swartberg Nature Reserve, where your alarm clock is a dawn chorus of birds. A 4×4 is required.

Amenities: Solar power and gas.
Cost: From R380 per person (conservation fees: adults R50, children R30).
Contact: Tel 0214830190,

Also read: The Road to Hell is impressive

10. Flintstones Mountain Cabin

Seekoevlei wetlands, Free State
Recommended by Caroline Bergh

Dogs are also welcome here at Flintstones Mountain Cabin.

Dogs are also welcome here at Flintstones Mountain Cabin.

This rustic cabin is halfway up a koppie with views across a small valley. There are lots of beautiful stars at night and paraffin lanterns light up a lovely big patio with a built-in braai and a lounge with fireplace. Pets are welcome. The 7km gravel road is not suitable for cars, a 4×4 (or high- clearance 2×4) is required.

Amenities: Gas.
Cost: R1,200 per night (four adults and two children) for the main cabin.
Contact: Tel 0798760406, [email protected]


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