A Sustainable Stay at The Ecotreehouse in Swellendam.

Accurately described as a "picture-perfect countryside escape", The Ecotreehouse is a luxury self-catering cabin, perched among large pine trees and surrounded by the rolling hills of the Langeberg Mountain Range.

Set in the lush green Hermitage Valley, just a few minutes drive from the centre of Swellendam and an easy two and a half hour drive (220 km) from Cape Town CBD.

At the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, this off-the-grid smallholding is a sustainable living paradise shared with a few horses, hundreds of birds, clicking frogs, the odd tortoise, and a rescued pup named Lucy.

The story of owners, Johan and Jenni van Niekerk, is that of a young family who escaped the city to live their dream on this land they call The Well. They hope to create a perfect example of sustainable living and to share their breathtaking escape with everyone.

With a background in Industrial Design and a keen interest in sustainable, off-the-grid living, it's always been Johan's dream to someday raise his kids close to nature or, as he put it, "We wanted to give our kids the lives we had as kids."

Yet, before those kids ever came to be and with only four months of dating behind them, Johan and Jenni stumbled across this piece of land in Swellendam and fell deeply in love (on all accounts).

The property owner willingly offered the smallholding for half the market price and so, without hesitation, Johan sold his 80 square meter flat in Claremont to buy this 14 000 square meter piece of land, with its two dams and a stretch of river.

Now, guests get to experience luxury, off-the-grid living thanks to efficient design, modern technology, and responsible use. A grey water system and septic tank feeds back into the land, gas fuels the hot water and stove, while the sun’s energy powers all the lights and appliances with an ample 3000kW system (no paraffin lamps).

What It Offers

The treehouse itself is a spacious self-catering cabin. The single bedroom offers magnificent views of the surrounding hills. Watch the sunrise from a comfortable queen-sized bed, with linen and extra warm blankets provided. A third person (adult or child) can be accommodated on a comfortable built-in sleeper couch in the lounge.

The bathroom has a toilet, basin, and shower. The owners request that only biodegradable products should be used during your stay. These eco-friendly bathroom products are supplied, along with luxury bath towels.

The kitchen is equipped with a microwave, bar fridge, gas stove, cutlery, utensils, coffee plunger, as well as coffee, tea, salt, pepper, sugar, rusks, milk, and even a special little Lindt chocolate treat.

The open-plan lounge and dining area has comfortable furniture, board games and some books to browse through. The outdoor deck offers a seating area with breathtaking views of the mountains and the setting sun.

The entire cabin is fitted with fans for hot summer days and heaters to keep guests warm during the winter months. The complimentary wifi is fast, making this the perfect work-from-home escape. Guests also have private access to the Kol-Kol hot tub, private sauna and warm outdoor shower.

To Do On The Farm And Surrounds

On the land itself, there's a dam just behind the cabin for swimming or canoeing, with lilos and floaties provided. Aside from that. Johan will be more than happy to supply extras to make your stay more enjoyable, including a double hammock, braai, an artist’s easel, baby cot, and stroller. Pack out a picnic under the trees next to the lily pond, feed the friendly horses, or let the kids play on the outdoor swing and children's playground.

Accommodation in Swellendam

Marloth Nature Reserve, with its many hiking trails and picnic spots, is only a five-minute drive away and there are several other mountain-biking, running and walking trails.

When in season, go berry picking at one of the surrounding berry farms or improve your golf game at the 9 hole golf course.

Otherwise, simply wander around the town of Swellendam, pop into the Drostdy Museum and be sure to grab a bite to eat at any of the various eateries.

Good To Know

Email ecotreehouse@icloud.com for bookings or head on over to their Airbnb listing

Find them on Facebook and Instagram

R1 400 per night for the treehouse, for up to 3 guests

The property is not pet-friendly

Address: The WELL, Erf 7 4 2 1, Hermitage North Avenue, The Hermitage Valley, Swellendam, South Africa