Dog Friendly Accommodation - Eco Karoo Lodge

Monday, 20 January 2020

If you follow me on Instagram you will know we went on our first family road trip across South Africa, from Durban to Cape Town. As Benji is a senior rescue, I wanted him to have the most incredible adventure and it was also our last family holiday as 3 before Baby Airey arrives so we took a slow drive over 2 weeks, stopping at little towns (including some we had never heard of!) and soaking in all the beauty that South Africa has to offer. This was hand’s down one of my favourite holidays I have ever been on! I will do more in depth blog posts about the route we took, tips for traveling with a dog, the hotels, AirbnBs and lodges we stayed at and all that jazz but I wanted to do a dedicated blog post about the Eco Karoo Lodge, as my DMs were filled with questions about where this was and what it was like when I shared where we were. 


A lot of man hours were put into finding the best dog friendly accommodation to stay at. Let me tell you, it was no easy task but all that research paid off as one of the gems we found was the Eco Karoo Lodge. Even though I am a dog owner, I don’t want to stay somewhere that smells like a dog, has dog hair everywhere or has any evidence that a dog before ours was there. Do you know what I mean? And the Eco Karoo Lodge exceeded all my expectations of what dog friendly accommodation can be.


Situated on a family owned farm, Knoffelfontein, is the new Eco Karoo Lodge which is self-catering, 100% off the grid and tucked away in the vast landscape of the Karoo surrounded by mountains and endless semi desert plains. There are only three lodges, each with two rooms and an en-suite bathroom. There is also a shared braai and entertainment area with a fully equipped kitchen and plunge pool. The rooms have been designed to echo the natural surroundings of the landscape with exposed bricks, wood and cement accents, an open fire and an outdoor shower. It is simply beautiful. At night the stars shine brighter here and seem to kiss the earth while all you can hear is the stillness of the night. We witnessed a storm rolling in while sitting on our patio one night and I cannot even describe in words how beautiful it was. There are some things that cannot be put into words, only experienced and there is something about being under the African sky, in the middle of nowhere that is so good for the soul.


WHEN TO GO

I would say anytime of the year as it must be so warm and cosy having the fire going during winter and curling up with a good book or making smores at the fire pit. This would also make an amazing Christmas / New Year group booking if you got a few close friends or family together and hired all 3 lodges.

DOG FRIENDLY

This was a 10/10 according to Benji. He had 4200 hectares of open space and loved going on the trail walks without a leash. He even met a tortoise for the first time. He really was living his best Jock of the Bushveld life here. However, just make sure your dog listens to basic commands and isn’t a roamer as you wouldn’t want them wondering off only to never be seen again so ensure you only stay here with a dog who listens, especially if they spot one of the local buck!


WHAT TO DO

  • Birdwatching
  • Stargazing
  • Mountain biking
  • Trail walks or hiking
  • Relax
Estee and Bert were the most welcoming hosts and one of them will meet you on arrival so you can always ask them if there is anything else you are interested in.


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

You are in the middle of nowhere so make sure you bring your own food and drinks. There isn’t much in Luckhoff that we found in terms of food supplies so I would suggest stocking up in one of the bigger towns on your way there.  There is an honesty jar for firewood you might need to use, and Henry is available on site. He is such a lovely chap and will help make a fire for you if needed. As mentioned, there is a fully equipped kitchen with plates, knifes, forks, a kettle etc. so no need to bring those.


TOP TIP

Take a good book, your swimsuit and your walking shoes as there are walking / hiking trails you can go on and if you would rather just relax and do nothing, this is the perfect spot to do that as well.

The Eco Karoo Lodge is now one of my favourite places to stay at and I cannot wait to return one day. Only next time, I will make sure we stay longer! 

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