Digital-detox destinations

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published May 21, 2019

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We live in an age where technology is king. Everyone is so reliant on electronic devices that finding time for a little digital detox is virtually impossible. If you want a few days away from the digital space, here are some places to add to your list:

Bakkrans Nature Reserve, Cederberg

Described as one of the most remote and pristine parts of South Africa, Bakkrans Nature Reserve offers four stone cottages and two reed houses. The 6 000-hectare wilderness is one of those places where peace prevails.

Owner Johan van der Westhuizen, who acquired the property in 1998, said the reserve was intended for solace, a place to clear your mind and free yourself from everything digital.

Switch off your cellphone (there’s limited signal), put your feet up and marvel at nature. For the adventurous, travellers can go for a geology and rock art trail that provides insight on the first trees that grew in the area about 360 million years ago and the different rock art. There’s also a leopard trail where you may encounter the big cat.

Self-guided game drives, hiking and mountain biking are available. Rates start from R1 100 per person per night.

Call 021 433 0201 or 083 261 1934.

Tankwa Karoo National Park

There’s great news for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Tankwa Karoo National Park has no cellphone reception or wi-fi. The park, located just four hours from Cape Town, makes for a perfect road trip.

Once at the park, make sure to fill up as the nearest petrol station is 50km away in the small town of Middlepos in the Northern Cape.

Travellers can choose to stay at one of 10 self-catering cottages at Elandsberg Wilderness Camp or at the restored farmhouses, while camping is perfect for those wanting a rustic experience. During self-guided game drives, see eland, kudu, mountain zebra, ostriches, springbok and a range of birdlife.

The adventurous can dabble in mountain biking and hikes while those in search of some serenity will appreciate the mountainous landscapes. Rates start from R800 per night.

Call 027 341 1927.

Elandskloof Trout Farm, Mpumalanga

Elandskloof Trout Farm offers immersive experiences for the whole family. Limited cellphone reception allows travellers to bask in nature, take in the clean air and participate in unconventional activities.

The farm was started in the 1960s and has since become a haven for travellers hoping to get away from it all, even for a few days.

There are 26 accommodation offerings on the farm, ranging from cottages and bungalows to chalets.

The farm allows guests to learn about the workings of the farm - from herding cattle and tending to sheep to planting vegetables. The farm also offers horse riding, fly fishing and hiking. During the game drives, travellers can see aardvark, black-backed jackal, fallow deer and black wildebeest. Rates start from R650pp.

Call 071 698 7845, 082 875 8851 or visit

Rockwood Mountain Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal

This eco-friendly self-catering lodge is an off-the-grid destination that operates on solar power. Located at Karkloof Nature Reserve, the lodge offers four units with amenities including a fully equipped open-plan kitchen, dining room, lounge with iPod docking station, viewing deck and complimentary cooking essentials and charcoal.

The units are only accessible by 4x4 high-clearance vehicles, but special transfers can be arranged for guests. The property offers hiking, mountain biking trails, birding spots and a private children’s play area.

Rates start from R1 484 a night for up to 6 people.

Call 031 502 4043 or email [email protected]

Mtentu Lodge, Eastern Cape

Mtentu Lodge is one of Eastern Cape’s best-kept secrets. Nestled on the edge of the Mkambati Nature Reserve, there are three accommodation types - cabins, safari tents and camping.

There’s no cellphone reception at the lodge, but there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Spend a day at one of its unspoilt beaches, go for a hike or paddle at the Mtentu Estuary. There is something for everyone. Rates include three meals a day and unlimited tea and coffee.

Call 083 805 3356 or email [email protected]

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