Hand-picked South African Places to Stay

Welcome to the Greenwood Guides website! Our chief (but not sole) purpose in life is to recommend great places to stay in South Africa. To this end we spend 5 months each year researching and visiting guest-houses, lodges, B&Bs, farm stays and self-catering accommodation across South Africa. We select only those places that excel in character, friendliness and the hostly arts and all the descriptions are written by us not the owners.

B&Bs, game lodges, farms, guesthouses, self-catering cottages and uncategorisable others

things we like…

…unstuffy, humorous hosts who treat their guests like friends, cherished gardens, good food, untouristy places, dirt roads, the lived-in look, the unusual, the artistic,the eco-friendly, creative interior design, historic buildings, modern architecture, big baths, powerful showers, imaginative breakfasts, open fires, real coffee, freshly-squeezed orange juice…

things we don't like…

…conference centres, identikit bedrooms, chain hotels; hosts who disappear irretrievably after your arrival… or never leave you alone; swirly, frilly, lacy décor; the smelly, the over-priced, the sickeningly cutesy; fake smiles, hatchet faces and steely eyes!

Greenwoood Guides on Classic FM

GG's Rebecca Axcell discusses The Greenwood Guide to South Africa with Tamara LePine Williams on Classic FM:
Our origins, our raison d'être and some great places to stay!

A backpacker enjoying the view during a mountain hike in South Africa

Rustic Routes

This brand-new feature has been designed with adventurous explorers in mind, the young at heart who enjoy rustic authenticity, but prefer a little more luxury than is usually to be found when backpacking. These places still fit the usual 'likes and dislikes' of the traditional Greenwood Guides model, having been personally visited and hand-picked by us.

View our rustic self-catering, glamping & slack packing recommendations


Redbourne Hilldrop

One of the happiest and most humorous guest houses in Cape Town, so it always seems to me. Many of Jonny and Sharon’s guests refuse to stay elsewhere and gifts arrive daily from overseas… well almost. It’s a small, intimate place and you are spoiled: free-standing baths, fluffy duvets, big white pillows, unflowery good taste in mirrors and wood floors, magazines, African artefacts, great showers.…

Read more

Find discounts and offers from our places across South Africa…

Search Greenwood Guides Specials

A blog of events
& things to do
in South Africa

Sitting on a Gold Mine

Sitting on a Gold Mine

There's gold in them thar hills, between the towns of Lydenburg and Sabie. You just have to know where to look. Read more…


Hard Pressed Café

Coffee. Food. Vinyl. A small bird told us recently of a new set-up called the Hard Pressed Café, …
Read more

Hard Pressed Café


Travel Information

Here's some more specific South Africa travel information: when to go, getting around (car hire, inter-island ferries, train journeys) and distances.