South Africa Accommodation Criteria

Each accommodation entry offers a variety of extra reasons to book in and these are condensed into pictorial symbols, representing swimming pool, rock art sites etc etc (there are 30 in total). These symbols are defined below. You will need to ask the owners for more detail if any or some of these criteria are of interest to you.

Meals by prior arrangement

There is a restaurant on the premises or meals can be provided by prior arrangement.

Accommodation with meals by prior arrangement »

Full wheelchair facilities

This symbol is for places where doors and toilets and washbasins etc have been specially installed for use by wheelchair users. However, considering the variety of reasons that one might be in a wheelchair we do not have the space here to go into more detail. Those who need special facilities should always ask the owners for detail.

Accommodation with full wheelchair facilities »

Special wheelchair access

Basic flat/ramped access to guest facilities for wheelchair users, i.e. that is all that has been installed. Again those with disabilities or infirmity should make sure they ask for detail when booking.

Accommodation with wheelchair access »

Swimming in pool/sea/river

Swimming available in pool, dam, river or sea. It should be clear which from the description of the entry.

Accommodation with somewhere to swim »

Fully child-friendly

Places where children are particularly well looked after. This means such things as toys, outside jungle gyms, fences round water hazards, baby-sitting etc is provided although not necessarily all of these at one time.

Accommodation which is fully child-friendly »

Self-catering option

This is a more and more popular way to visit South Africa, especially for families who need independence. But some of the places in this guide are very off-the-beaten-track and wild and exciting places to be on your own.

Accommodation with optional self-catering »

Whale-watching from the property

If you visit the Western Cape between July and December you are almost certain to see southern right whales. In winter and spring they use the shallow coastal waters to mate and rear their calves. If you're there between August and October and you don't see any whales, you're seriously unlucky. The Overberg is the area everyone flocks to but you will spot whales from the KZN coastline all the way around to the Cape Peninsula and West Coast (we watched them every day from our flat in Kalk Bay).

Accommodation with whale-watching from the property »

Beach-house property

Beach houses range all along the 2500 km of SA coastline from the West Coast, through Cape Town, along the Overberg, the Garden Route, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal. The water just gets warmer the further east into the Indian Ocean you go!

Accommodation where property is a beach house »

Owners are garden enthusiasts

Although gardening is a form of punishment to some, it provides inspiration and immense pleasure to others. Their green fingers wave like magicians' wands and - with just a pinch of never-ending, back-breaking, callus-inducing spade and trowel work - out pop gardens of beauty, peace, grandeur, wilderness, efficiency, neatness, vibrancy. The possibilities are endless, especially in South Africa where so many different climates and rainfall patterns and soil types mean that most plants can grow here somewhere. If plants could book tickets and fly, this is surely where they would come on holiday. Anyway whether you love the business of gardening or hate it, there is one thing we can surely all agree on. The end results can be breathtaking and life affirming all at the same time!

Accommodation where the owners are garden enthusiasts »

Stocked wild game

There is wild game to be seen here from zebra up. (This does not include dassies, wild buck, porcupines, meerkats etc, which are found everywhere.)

Accommodation where you can see wild game »

Rock art sites

Rock art sites or tours. The San people lived in the Drakensberg and across other parts of South Africa from the Stone Age until the nineteenth century. Living under sandstone overhangs or in temporary grass shelters, they left some of the finest examples of rock art in the world.

Accommodation with rock art sites or tours »

Good hiking or walking

Good nature walks from the house. The idea behind this symbol is that you can really get out into the countryside or up a mountain or into a forest. It is not really for nice strolls round town.

Accommodation with great places to hike or walk »

Cultural experiences

Township visits can be organised by owners or cultural experiences (eg. Zulu dancing) available on site.

Accommodation with cultural experiences »


Wine is made on site. Clearly the Cape Winelands are the main wine-growing area of South Africa but if you venture away from Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch, there are wines being made along the Garden Route, the Klein Karoo, the West Coast (particularly round Darling), and up in the Northern Cape round Upington.

Accommodation where wine is made on site »

Gourmet cuisine available

Gourmet cooking was something almost anathema to South Africa twenty years ago. Now it forms part of the cultural revolution with fine dining on offer in a great many guest houses and lodges.

Accommodation with gourmet cuisine available »

Horses available

With so much wilderness to explore, horseback is a really exciting way to cover ground inaccessible by vehicle.

Accommodation with horses available »

Boats or charters

Owners owns boats or can organise charters. With such an enormous coastline, stretching more than 2 500km from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic coast, southwards around the tip of Africa, then north to the border with subtropical Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. So plenty of reasons to want to go boating: pelagic birdlife, whales, dolphins, the sardine run in KwaZulu Natal… or just to relax in the sun or battle with ropes in the wind.

Accommodation with boats or charters possible »


Owners can organise canoeing. South Africa contains myriad lagoons, dams, rivers and of course 2500km of coast where a canoe is a great asset in your explorations.

Accommodation with canoeing »

Historic house

Property is a historic house. Typically historic houses in South Africa include Cape Dutch manor houses built in the late 17th and 18th centuries; Victorian town houses; or homesteads in the verandah and iron roof style.

Accommodation in historic houses »

History tours

History tours can be organised here. These include visits to the Zulu War battlefields in KwaZulu Natal (Rorke's Drift, Isandlwana) and the Boer War battlefields such as Spionkop and Ladysmith.

Accommodation with history tours »

Bird-watching enthusiasts

Owners are birding enthusiasts. Birders are spoilt in South Africa. The country is astoundingly rich in birdlife. Of the incredible 900 species of bird that live here, 113 are endemic, including the splendid purple-crested loerie.

Accommodation where the owners are bird-watching enthusiasts »

White-water rafting

Can be arranged in-house.

Accommodation with white-water rafting »


Fishing can be arranged in-house. South Africa is a great place to fish whether it be deep-sea fishing (barracuda, sailfish and tuna), fly-fishing in mountains rivers, streams and dams (trout), bass and carp fishing or tigerfishing in Pongola.

Accommodation where fishing can be arranged »

Children welcome

Children are welcome without conditions. This does not mean that a place has great facilities for kids, only that the owners are positive towards having children to stay.


Working farm

The property is a working farm.

Accommodation on a working farm »

WIFI available

A WIFI internet service is available.

Accommodation with wifi available »

Off-street car parking

This is clearly of more importance in the cities and towns.

Accommodation with off-street parking »

TVs in all rooms

A TV is/can be provided in every room.

Accommodation with TVs in all rooms »

No smoking

No smoking anywhere inside the buildings.

Accommodation with no smoking anywhere inside »

No credit cards accepted

The owners only accept cash payments.

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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.