Eco-friendly Accommodation Knysna – Western Cape; Garden Route | Country Stay, Family-friendly, Self-catering, Romantic, Retreat

From R800 per night per cottage *Self-catering *Seasonal

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Nestled in the forest high above Knysna in the Gouna area, a charming, secluded, romantic hideaway awaits you. Tree Spirit Cottages is situated on one of the original farms inhabited by Italian settlers, as featured in The Mulberry Forest by renowned author Dalene Matthee.

The farm dates back to the late 1800’s and boasts ruins from the original house and a well. This 8.5 hectare property combines the beauty of both fynbos and forest and hosts an abundance of birds and wildlife. The 2 cottages provide serenity and solitude to be at one with nature for the length of your stay.

Tree Spirit Cottages are perfect for:

  • couples seeking a peaceful, romantic retreat
  • a nature-loving family breakaway
  • hiking and biking groups


The two self-contained Tree Spirit Cottages are located in a private secluded corner of the farm, overlooking a beautiful dam, which is regularly frequented by buck, frogs, Egyptian Geese, cranes, duck and various other bird species.

Dragonfly Cottage
R800 for two people out of season

Dragonfly is open-plan, light and airy with two sets of double doors leading onto the spacious verandah. It has a comfortable double bed as well as a luxurious cabin bed, perfect for a couple with 2 small children.

The cottage is entirely solar-powered with a gas geyser to ensure hot water availability on cloudy days as well as a quaint indoor fireplace for those colder evenings. The fully-equipped kitchen has a small fridge, a gas stove and oven.

Relax in the large bath looking out of the picture window onto the indigenous fynbos. The bathroom also has a dressing area while the shower and toilet are in a separate room. For the brave nature lover there is an open outdoor shower!

Protea Cottage
R1200 for four people out of season

Protea cottage is also entirely solar-powered with a gas geyser to ensure hot water availability. It features two separate bedrooms both of which are spacious, en-suite with a toilet and shower. One of the bedrooms has a comfortable queen size bed and the other offers twin / king size bed.

The open-plan kitchen is fully equipped with gas stove/oven and small fridge. The lounge area offers two double couches and armchair, opening onto a large deck also over looking the dam.

There is a TV with a library of DVD’s and books in both cottages for your entertainment.

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Tree Spirit Cottages - activities

Things to do at Tree Spirit and surrounds:

  • Relax… cool down with a swim in the dam, fishing, kick back with a book in the row boat, explore the farm on foot, walk through the forest around to the well and ruins, meet the animals, check out the organic vegetable gardens.
  • Finish off the day at the communal unique braai seating area built of stone and mosaic. This area offers the perfect setting to enjoy alfresco dining. There is also a large fireplace that doubles as a pizza oven!
  • Your hosts can arrange daily yoga, meditation, reiki sessions and pottery classes for you to enjoy.
  • Tree Spirit have partnered with various hosts of residential retreats and corporate events and are able to facilitate groups of 8 – 10 people.
  • Enjoy a picnic before or after hiking the SANParks Terblanche Walk which is only 3.5km away!
  • Visit the San Ambroso Church which is now a museum with memorabilia from the Italian Settlers.

Related Post: The Spirit of Gouna


Tree Spirit Cottages can either be a self-catered experience or it can be fully/partly catered by your hostess, Fi, a qualified chef who previously ran her own restaurant, so providing you with delectable meals is an absolute pleasure for her.

Cooking on her beloved wood-burning stove and using fresh organic produce from the garden and neighboring farms, you will be delighted with the selection and quality of meals available, most of which are vegetarian although meat options can be provided on request.

Alternatively; fresh produce such as vegetables, bread, eggs, butter, cheese, jams, chutneys, milk and honey can be purchased from surrounding farms, thereby supporting their Gouna Green initiative to buy local produce.


At the Knysna Lagoon take Old Cape Road turning towards Simola Golf Course.  At the top of the hill turn left into the forest signposted Gouna. Tree Spirit is 6km from this point. Cross over the river, go up the mountain pass until you see a sign for San Ambros Church, turn left. Tree Spirit is the next left hand turn with a private sign at the top of the lane around 600m from the church. If you get to a big set of wooden gates you have gone too far. Follow the lane down, Tree Spirit is at the bottom.


Green cleaning
Local & Organic
Sustainable Energy Acumen
Water Wise practices
Land Rehabilitation

“We strive to live in harmony with our exquisite surroundings and the abundance of bees, frogs, birds and other wildlife is a testimony to the health and natural balance prevailing on our beautiful farm” – Ant & Fi, owners of Tree Spirit Cottages

Tree Spirit keep things natural and refrain from using any chemical products in the households and gardens.

All fresh produce grown on the farm originates from non-GMO, chemical free, organic seed and is grown according to permaculture principles.

Beehives have been introduced to assist with the pollination of plants. They provide their bees with a secure and happy environment, including an abundance of flowers and fynbos for them to feast upon.

Chickens on the farm assist in preparation of beds and soil conditioning for the growing of fresh fruit and vegetables. They also provide fresh eggs daily and are always a great source of entertainment.

Tree Spirit have disconnected from the Eskom power grid and the entire farm is now solar-powered.

The vegetable garden is irrigated using dam water and rain water is harvested and filter for household and drinking use.

Although there is still some alien vegetation on the farm, the owners are continuously working to rehabilitate both their own land and the rest of Gouna (in partnership with the Gouna Conservancy) back to its original indigenous state. They strive to use the alien vegetation as a resource in the form of wood for building, and chips for compost and mulching.

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Opening Hours















Check in: 13:00 ; Check out: 10:00