“Set amidst the treetops of an age-old indigenous forest. Tsala is a lavish celebration of the spirit of Africa.” Tsala Treetop Lodge
Nestled high amongst the tree canopy, Tsala Treetop Lodge is a collection of elevated high-end suites and villas located in the forest. Offering breathtaking views, this secluded luxury lodge is situated opposite the Knysna Elephant Park in rural Harkerville. The small hamlet is on the N2 along the Garden Route between the towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
The suites and villas are connected by a series of suspended wooden walkways that in turn lead to the main restaurant and lobby area. Our elegant two-bedroom villa benefitted from a cantilevered private outdoor deck and a terrace with a small infinity pool and sun loungers. The bedrooms were separated by a spacious, stylish living room with a small kitchen, log fire and a well-stocked complimentary mini-bar.
The panoramic forest vista from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the open-plan master bedroom were stunning. The all-night symphony from the indigenous creatures who reside there was less enjoyable but incredible scenery to wake up to nonetheless. The huge, comfortable forest facing bed was on one side of the feature wall with the spacious bathroom and dressing area hidden on the other. Amenities include a central freestanding bath, double vanity, separate toilet and Charlotte Rhys toiletries. The indoor walk-in shower had a fully glazed door to enjoy the forest canopy views and access to the outdoor shower platform. Although there isn’t a spa on site massages can be organised in the rooms.
Tsala offers Euro-African fine fare that showcases South African game accompanied by fresh, organic produce grown in the lodge gardens. Other local ingredients are sourced from within a 500 km radius of the resort. All meals are served in Tsala’s glass walled dining room with its amazing forest views. Dine Alfresco dining on the restaurant’s outdoor suspended decks (open for daytime dining only) where cheeky monkeys may join you.
Breakfast options include a buffet with homemade baked goods, a selection of fresh fruit, cheese, cold meats and fresh breads. Hot food is made to order with everything from omelettes to a full cooked breakfast available. Dinner is described as ‘A journey of tastes and flavours’, a meat heavy menu with many South African delicacies. Vegetarian options were disappointing but some special dishes were created on request.
Set in the lodge grounds, Zinzi Restaurant is a modern, vibrant fine-dining restaurant offering international cuisine in an African inspired setting. Stylish interiors accessorised with tribal carvings, textiles and artwork. Definitely one to try, it’s intimate and atmospheric with top notch food and impeccable service. We also enjoyed a more traditional fine dining experience at Sage restaurant located at the neighbouring Hunters Country House, another Hunters Hotel property that shares the same grounds.
Tsala does not have a seperate bar but they do serve sundowners on the restaurant deck and welcome drinks in the lounge. There’s a well-stocked cellar offering an exquisite selection of regional wines to accompany dinner in all the restaurants. Alternatively enjoy the complimentary spirits and port provided in the room on your balcony.
Tsala is a special place, it may be pricey but as the old saying goes ‘You get what you pay for’. A secluded forest getaway in an incredible location, upscale and comfortable accommodation, impeccable service with exquisite cuisine and wines. Tsala Treetop Lodge is the definition of a unique, five-star experience.
The Nitty Gritty
Tsala Treetop Lodge, Harkerville, West of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Telephone: +27 (0) 44 501 1111
Fine dining options
Extensive wine collection
Free and fast wifi
The Not so Good…..
Limited dining choices for vegetarians at main restaurant
Remote location so you need a car to explore
The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved.