- Lovingly crafted forest cabins
- Wilderness forest location
- Back to nature experience
- Self Catering
The name betrays the soul of this fantastic gem of a place. Moon Shine offers (quite literally) hand crafted self-catering forest cabins in a beautiful plot of indigenous forest in the Crags area outside Plettenberg Bay.
Wood-cabins and tree-houses are all very well on paper, but all too often can leave you feeling, well, a little wooden, with vast swathes of bare pine creating gloomy interior spaces. Moonshine avoids that trap and with aplomb. It exudes a genuine authenticity, the kind of place Kevin May (he of Grand Designs) would knowingly say has integrity. Each unit was hand-crafted by owners Albert and Sue, the wood is offset nicely by crisp plastered surfaces, wood-burning stoves and bright single tone furnishings. The piece-de-resistance are the out-of-this-world showers with intricate wall mosaics crafted from strikingly coloured glass that resemble something from Gaudi’s Park Guell. Don’t get us wrong, this is still very much mid-range, it is no temple of self-conscious design led glamping. This is a real passion project, and for the type of person who is happy to lose themselves in the forest and take in the cool mountain air, Moonshine is a fantastic value retreat on the Garden Route.
Set within the 14 hectares of indigenous forest are four wood cabins and one cottage. The Firefly and Bushpig Forest Cabins are perfect for couples, whilst the Treefrog and Vervet Forest cabins sleep 4 and 5 people respectively. The Butterfly Garden Cottage is the exception to the collection, a lovingly restored farm building sleeping 4/5 people. Our favourites are the Garden Cottage and Vervet forest Cabin, which are coincidentally, the two properties that boast the incredible showers. All units have fully equipped kitchens, comfortable beds, fireplaces and veranda, what more do you need? This is very much a self-catering, back to nature experience, don’t come expecting hotel service. For convenience, simple breakfasts can be arranged on request, solving that arrive late, nothing to eat for breakfast, next morning problem.
Facilities include a decent sized swimming pool, nicely designed (young and old) children’s play area and forest trails. The walk through the indigenous forest to the mountain pool is a must. We’d recommend staying for three days minimum and make sure at least one of those is spent on the property, exploring the trails and relaxing by the pool. Despite its sense of isolation Moon Shine is very conveniently located for the beaches around Nature’s Valley and Plett Bay, all of the high quality visitor attractions nearby and the stunning Tsitsikamma National Park.
For Families: It goes without saying that Moon Shine comes into its own as a destination for families. There is loads of space to explore, a swimming pool, nice play area, and of course private cabins with self-catering facilities. But the nice thing here is you get all that without sacrificing the ambience, the sense of being deep within the wild forest and mountains as you enjoy a sun downer on your veranda. And if you can muster yourself there is an embarrassment of superb attractions within 15-20 minutes’ drive, from Monkeyland to the award winning Storm’s River Canopy Tours and numerous beautiful wild beaches.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019