Top 4 Castles around South Africa
Though South Africa does not have the numerous castles that are prevalent in Europe, we do have a fair share of majestic manors and castle-esque accommodations.
- Noetzie Castles, Knysna
Hidden between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, is a small cove called Noetzie, on the border of the Sinclair Nature Reserve. The numerous well-spaced castles along the shoreline provide unforgettable ocean views, and you’ll often catch wildlife such as otters and bushbuck visiting the beachfront. The area is filled with outdoor orientated activities, such as fishing, forest picnics, hiking, swimming, as well as whale watching in season. At night time, the lack of lights and man-made noises enhance the starlit skies and crashing waves.
The castles are run by various owners, though some highly recommended ones include Lindsay Castle, and Craighross Castle. Common characteristics include interiors of smoothed stone, and the rounded, arrow-slit, and regular windows, which offer plenty of natural light during the daytime. Large baths are perfect to soak in by flickering candlelight, and the comfortable beds ensure a good night’s rest.
- Destiny Castle, Clarens
Situated along the mountainous slopes of the Eastern Free State this luxury 5-star castle, known as Destiny Castle, offers a great deal of comforts to its visitors. There are panoramic views of the Maluti Mountains and valleys, and the on-site King’s chapel can accommodate 22 guests for those who are looking for a unique wedding venue. The Warrior Cigar Bar is the perfect spot for guests to unwind and socialize, and there’s even a luxurious Jacuzzi to soak in after a long day of exploration. Step inside the sandstone walls, and marvel at the classy décor, before heading to your suite which has plenty of little touches that make it unique and cosy. All catering is taken care of, and they’re happy to serve you breakfast wherever you may desire, be it in your bedroom, or downstairs in the opulent dining area. As the castle can only accommodate eight people, you’re guaranteed an intimate experience. Also, you need not want for anything as you need only to ask, and what you require (within reason) will be produced.
- Stone Castle, Saldanha
Crafted from stone and mortar, this re-created medieval Stone Castle looks like something that King Arthur would have happily stayed in. When the sea mists roll inland, you could swear you’ve stepped back in time – though the modern luxuries will quickly snap you out of that fantasy. The large roof-top entertainment area is perfect for sunbathing in the morning, a braai in the afternoon, or star-gazing at night. The accommodation is located within the various towers, offering plush king-sized or twin beds, and en-suite bathrooms, all decorated with period pieces. For the bookworms among you, why not curl up in the library for a few hours and page through some wonderful novels.
- Dunn’s Castle, Piketberg
Though not based on a medieval design, Dunn’s castle heralds back to the Victorian period with its design and layout, and was completed in the latter half of the 1890s. It is in the centre of emerald vineyards, flowers, and wheat fields, lending a whimsical atmosphere to the picturesque property. The rooms are let on a bed and breakfast or self-catering basis, and dinner can be provided by prior arrangement. There are five rooms inside the castle that are decorated in a Victorian style, complete with unique period antiques, which is why children under 16 are regrettably not allowed. These rooms have double beds, a fireplace, bath and a charmingly old-fashioned atmosphere. There are also self-catering chalets on-site, and the Olde-World Chalet is over a hundred years old, with space for a maximum of three guests.
Roseanna McBain is a writer for TravelGround, a Knysna accommodation and booking website. She enjoys travelling around South Africa, discovering unique accommodations, and learning about cultures from around the world.
Stone Castle (C) TravelGround – http://www.travelground.com/accommodation/stone-castle
Dunn’s Castle (C) TravelGround – http://www.travelground.com/accommodation/dunns-castle-guesthouse-conferencing
Noetzie Castles. By Jan Tik (Flickr) – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jantik/4686433/