Nima lodges in Wilderness: a perfect stay for the perfect getaway

Posted on 13 October 2022 By Robyn Simpson

For those with an urge to drop off the grid, for at least a moment, Nima Lodge in Wilderness is the perfect, secluded escape.

Photo: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

The 5-hour drive from Cape Town is ample time to debrief from big city life. The unwinding begins before you arrive, as you hit the highway and travel along the Cape’s iconic Garden Route.

Travel through mountain passes and rockscapes towards warmer ocean waters. Renowned farmstalls like Peregrine, Dassiesfontein and Houw Hoek are located along the way – divine pitstops for lunch and gathering delicious goodies for your self-catering stay that awaits.

In the heart of Wilderness, off Zundorf Lane and across from the main beach, a well-marked dirt trail leads you from the ocean’s edge to higher ground. Because of the remoteness of the lodge, the final stretch of road has been maintained by the Nima team. An SUV or 4×4 is not necessary, just a touch of patience.

Overlooking tree-studded hills and valleys to the distant Outeniqua Mountains beyond, you’ll find yourself in the thick of Mother Nature’s finest offerings. You’ve arrived at Nima Lodge.

This boutique lodge comprises seven self-catering cabins. Each is unique, featuring warm yet contemporary decor and open-plan interiors, complete with bathtubs, private decks and the finest attention to detail. Consistent in each cabin is an emphasis on the elements, and experiencing the rawness of nature in the most comfortable way.

But before you notice the vast greenery, the smell of ocean air, and sounds of the forest’s permanent residents, you’ll be struck – in awe – by three Sand Cabins. They are architectural delights.

This trio is also the newest offering at Nima Lodge – standouts compared to anything else on offer, both at the lodge and beyond. Curved walls hugged by wooden slates melt into the hillside. The modern design doesn’t impose on the environment and is in absolute harmony with the natural landscape. Breathtaking.

Photo: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

Photo: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

The Sand Cabins are like walnuts waiting to be cracked open. You might find yourself running (charging) from the nearby parking bay to get a closer look – the exteriors are that thrilling.

Part of the Nima joy is that, from arrival to departure, you’re left to your own devices. There’s no laborious check-in process. Keys to your accommodation are left at the front door. Let yourself in and disconnect. Still, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome from Hila – the resident rescue kitty and most spectacular host.

Likely guided by your new four-pawed friend, turn the key to your cabin and enter another realm. The interiors are a continuation of the cabin’s majestic casing: understated yet complex. Magnificent in its simplicity.

Natural light floods in through large windows that form the mountain-facing side of the cabin. Behind this is a king-sized bed raised on a platform, set against a curved feature wall. A stage – if you will – to marvel at the view.

Picture: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

On the lower level, puzzled into the base of the bed, is a couch set directly in front of a fireplace. The space is all open plan, with a neat kitchen and dining space set off each side of the ‘stage’.

A compact, decked-out kitchen with a gas stove, Nespresso machine, oven and quirky crockery overlooks the deck and braai area… and then the seemingly endless forest. On the opposite side of the cabin is a breakfast nook for two, tucked in the corner and enrobed in light that flows through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Photo: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

In addition to being a visual feast, sound and smell have also been thoughtfully included. There’s a speaker in each cabin with a curated playlist. It’s transcendental. And there’s an air purifier that puffs lemongrass-scented steam throughout the space. All of these components equate to a somewhat out-of-body, and seriously meditative, experience.

Looking at the cabin from the outside, there’s an impressive cylinder-type structure that protrudes above the roof. This is the bathroom. It’s hidden behind a frosted sliding door, which once opened, reveals another diamond in this jewelled crown.

A skylight shoots sunbeams down the tall cylinder onto the loo. Directly ahead is a sink and mirror, and what’s become Nima’s iconic sunken bathtub and shower. Another hefty window opens up from the tub, allowing you to prune away with uninterrupted views of the valley (and enjoy a fresh breeze).

The window is genius. It offers the allure of an outdoor bath/shower without really roughing it. It’s another ode to being merged with nature – minus any unpleasantries that come with the territory.

Photo: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

But, if you do want to soak away under the sky, there’s a wood-fired hot tub on your private deck. When making your booking, you’ll be sent a simple set of instructions to get the water bubbling. Pro tip: make sure the tub’s pump is turned off or it won’t heat up. The switch is in the breakfast nook.

If you’re not getting granny fingers in the tub or enjoying a breakfast basket (delivered right to your door, if you fancy ordering it), Nima Lodge has direct access to the Wilderness National Park. The Kingfisher Waterfall hike is a must-do. It’s 40 minutes each way and guarantees a great swim. A Wilderness Picnic is also a great way to get out. Baskets must be ordered at least three hours in advance and will be delivered to your door.

Should you feel like leaving your cosy accommodation at all, Wilderness main beach is just a short drive away. The area also boasts an abundance of adventure-based activities, like canoeing and boating. And for foodies, some great restaurants. Salinas Beach Restaurant is lovely.

Photo: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

At Nima Lodge, you arrive and disappear. But if you need to step back into the real world for necessities – like a bottle of wine or slab of chocolate – there’s both an honesty shop on the premises and a couple of retail stores in the nearby town. But the call of your cabin will quickly lure you back.

Photo: Robyn_inthe_hood/Instagram

Nima Lodge’s Sand Cabins act as a thin film between you and the elements. It’s a place to experience the best of the wild, without getting too dirty. The concept of ‘bare necessities’ is achieved in the most beautiful way. It’s a deeply profound getaway.

Stay at Nima Lodge’s Sand Cabins:


  • Location: 10 Mile Lane, Hoekwil, Wilderness, Garden Route
  • Website:


  • King-size bed
  • Accommodates two people
  • Custom outdoor wood-fired hot tub
  • Deep soaking indoor tub
  • Indoor fireplace
  • Gas braai
  • Large deck
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Self-catering kitchen
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth speaker

On-site offerings:

  • Honesty shop/bar
  • Breakfast baskets (ordered in advance and delivered at 9am): R350 for two people
  • Wilderness picnics:
  • Kingfisher Waterfall hike
  • Massages
  • Honeymoon/special offerings: flowers/champagne


  • Two-night minimum stay
  • No pets
  • No children over the age of 1 year old and under the age of 13 years old. The cabins accommodate two people only
  • 50% deposit on booking


Rates may vary due to demand.

March 1st to October 31st:

  • R2900 self-catering
  • R3250 bed and breakfast

November 1st to February 28th:

  • R3200 self-catering
  • R3550 bed and breakfast

ALSO READ: 3 great places to take the kids near Stellenbosch

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