All the Ways to Go Off the Grid in South Africa

<a href = " "> Solitude | © stevepb/Pixabay
<a href = " "> Solitude | © stevepb/Pixabay
Photo of Carina Claassens
13 July 2017

Hoping to escape the daily hustle and bustle, log off from the world, and spend some time among nature and the great outdoors? Here are some of the best ways to go off the grid in South Africa for those looking for places that offer some amazing spots to completely switch off and unwind.

Escape to Mountain Zebra National Park in the Eastern Cape

The Mountain Zebra National Park, is, as its name suggests, a haven for Cape Mountain Zebra. The accommodation options include cottages, a campsite and a guesthouse. The mountain cottages are the best option for totally escaping as they’re secluded, rustic and, best of all, can only be accessed by 4×4 or 2×4 vehicles. Check out Bakana and Umthombo Mountain Huts, there’s no electricity—only solar and gas—and no internet.

Spot zebra in the park | ©Fiverlocker/Flickr

Go on an Eco-Friendly Turtle Tour in Kosi Bay, KwaZulu Natal

Kosi Bay in KwaZulu Natal is the perfect spot to experience uninterrupted relaxation. The area is fairly remote, although it’s becoming increasingly popular due to its white beaches and warm climate. There are many accommodation options to choose from, one being Bhanga Nek Beach Camp—all proceeds from the camp are donated to the local community to support development. After arriving, make sure to go on an eco-friendly turtle tour. Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles are seen along the coastline as they trek the beaches to nest each year from November to February.

Kosi Bay boasts a pristine coastline | ©Andrew Ashton/Flickr

Go to Hell in the Western Cape

Travel through the Swartberg Pass and reach Die Hel (The Hell), an unspoiled part of the vast Karoo that offers visitors total peace and quiet. The area used to be home to a small community of Afrikaners and today, it’s more commonly known as Gamkaskloof. Die Hel lies within the Swartberg Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site with, and has much to explore. Those hoping to spend a few days here, check out Fossil Ridge Eco Lodge. There’s no electricity—only solar and gas amenities. From here, negotiate the land and find the San rock art and artifacts.

The Swartberg Nature Reserve is well worth a visit | ©Yakovlev Alexey/Flickr

Switch Phones Off in the Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape

The Baviaanskloof is renowned as one of the most breathtaking valleys in South Africa and is also a World Heritage site. The term Baviaanskloof means “valley of baboons”, and visitors will be overwhelmed by the utter vastness of the gorges. From hikes and 4×4 trails to many craft stores and rock-art spots, there’s much on offer in the Baviaanskloof. Looking for the ultimate escape? Book a spot at the Just for Two Cottage, there’s no mobile reception or electricity, so guests have to make use of the paraffin lamps and gas stoves.

Choose Between Mountains or the Ocean in the Cederberg, Western Cape

The Cederberg area is an approximately two-hour drive from Cape Town and offers an unspoiled, pristine landscape ideal for those who wish to escape the city over a weekend. Whether mountain or sea views, this far-stretching area has it all. There are also many hiking trails, birding opportunities, Bushman-rock art to discover, and mountain pools to cool off in. Stay in Heuningvlei Backpackers Lodge, situated in an outpost village of the Moravian Mission Church at Wupperthal.

Visitors to the Cederberg will experience absolute solitude, while surrounded by breathtaking scenery | ©Holmespj/Pixabay

Discover the Quaint Town of Prince Albert in the Western Cape

Prince Albert is a small village situated in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. There’s much to do in the area, so it’s ideal for those wishing to relax but who still need some luxuries. Prince Albert has a population of approximately 13,000 people, so the small town is home to quaint cafés, restaurants, and beautiful accommodation options. Check out the Karoo View Cottages as they’re family and pet friendly and have all the comforts of home discerning guests might be after.

Go into the Wild in the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s ultimate safari and wildlife destination, and spending time in a bush camp guarantees getting off the grid. The Bateleur Bushveld Camp is the park’s oldest and smallest of all the bush-veld camps. As it’s situated close to two watering holes, guests can expect to see plenty of game.

The best time to visit the Kruger National Park is during the South African winter, from June to September | ©Tobin Rogers/Unsplash

Go Horseback Riding in Hogsback, Eastern Cape

Whether an experienced rider or not, horseback riding in Hogsback is a must. Visitors will get close to nature as they travel through mountains and forests, experiencing all the beauty that this part of the country has to offer. Hogsback is situated approximately 1200 metres (3937.008 feet) above sea level. Although it has become one of the most appealing vacation spots in the country, the area has preserved its remote feel.

The Edge Mountain Retreat in Hogsback offers expansive views of the surrounding mountains | ©South African Tourism/Flickr

Soak in the Beauty of the Wild Coast and Coffee Bay

Feel like taking a walk on the wild side? Visit the Wild Coast. From 4×4 trails, horseback riding, hiking, diving, and fishing, the beautiful Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape offers all of that and more. The Wild Coast stretches from the Mtamvuna River to the Great Kei River and is perfect for those wishing to get close to nature. While along this beautiful stretch of the country, make sure to stop in Coffee Bay and overnight in Coffee Shack Backpackers or Nenga River Lodge.

The Wild Coast is the perfect way to escape and get close to nature | ©Sandra Petersen/Pixabay

Go to AfrikaBurn in the Tankwa Karoo National Park

The Tankwa Karoo National Park, within the Great Karoo, is at first sight nothing more than an arid, desert landscape. Visitors, however, soon notice the many different displays of life so evident in the park. From succulents to antelope and birds, there’s much to see during the day. At night, there’s a spectacular display of stars. The park is also host to the AfrikaBurn Festival, where locals and foreigners alike gather to create a temporary city free of monetary value, electricity, phones, and any pretension.

Attending AfricaBurn is the epitome of getting off the grid | ©Retinafunk/Flickr

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