Where To Stay in Magical Hogsback

Hogsback is a lovely, quaint and very under-appreciated little mountain village situated around two hours north of Grahamstown, at the start of the Amathole Mountain range. Best known for its association with Tolkein and his famous works: The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Hogsback (and it’s various accommodations) are just as mystical and magical as one might imagine.

One of the best parts of adventuring into this little town is that most tourist attractions are within a 5 minute drive. This means it’s a breeze to spend a couple of nights at a few different spots.

Keep in mind, however, that there is only one tarred road in Hogsback (the main road, and it’s hardly a tar road, at that). So, be sure to double-check any agreements you might have with insurance companies before you depart!

Top 4 Hogsback Accommodation Spots

These are the four best options for B&B, backpacking or self-catering accommodation in Hogsback. We tried to pick four of the best accommodations, with each one offering a little something different and catering to a slightly different kind of traveler.

Away with the Fairies – Hogsback Self Catering Accommodation

  • Self-catering Kitchens
  • Home to the famous Cliff Bath
  • Small, cozy pub and restaurant at the reception

If you’re looking for simple and beautiful accommodation where you’ll mostly be left to your own devices, then Away with the Fairies Backpackers is easily your first choice. It is situated right at the start of the town, as you enter from the south, and offers affordable accommodation with stunning views over the three Hog Mountains and valley.

Designed to look like something out of a Tolkein novel (complete with cottages named after all the main characters), Fairies backpackers offers a range of accommodation options from backpackers to camping to varyingly priced chalets.

It’s got a well-kitted self-catering facility, with some breakfasts and a nightly menu at the Wizard’s Sleeve, a small inn that doubles as a reception. This affords you a backup plan when braaing feels like too much work!

The famous Cliff Edge bath is also one of Hogsback’s main attractions, so it’s likely you’ll find yourself at Away with the Fairies no matter where you’re staying in the village.

Lastly, as a bonus, just before the Cliff Edge bath, lies one of the entrances to the Big Tree and Madonna & Child hikes. There are two of Hogsback’s great hikes, perfect for beginners and more experienced hikers.

The Edge Mountain Retreat – The Classiest Hogsback Accommodation

  • Wonderful Restaurant on the property
  • Labyrinth Garden
  • Hikes starting right at your doorstep

If you’re looking for something a little more classy and refined, then the Edge Mountain Retreat likely has everything you’re looking for. It’s a peaceful spot situated on the opposite edge of the mountain approach to Away with the Fairies. It looks over stunning crags and the rural town of Alice below.

The Edge offers both self-catering accommodation, and B&B en-suite rooms, all looking like a full-page spread from Garden and Home Magazine. The sprawling gardens (which are tended to with great care) offer a beautiful array of local flora, accompanied by the soft (and sometimes loud) sounds of the Samango Monkeys, Cape Parrots and Knysna Loeries who all love playing together in the treetops.

The restaurant and venue at The Edge have a fantastic menu, not to mention some great and rare vegan options like vegan pizza, and bean burgers. Here you can eat, relax, or even throw your birthday party! If you happen to find yourself here during one of Hogsback’s freezing winters, you can also find warm hot chocolate or gluhwein awaiting your arrival.

In short, if you’re looking for some mild luxury, peace, quiet and a mentally-cleansing labyrinth, then the Edge Mountain Retreat has got it all sorted and ready for you.

The King’s Lodge Hogsback Hotel

  • Buffet breakfast
  • Bowling Green
  • Honeymoon Suite Lodging options

Now, we’re stepping up a level. If you’re headed Hogs-ward, and you’re not the type to deal well with the odd bit of mud in your shoe or noisy neighbours – then this is the place for you. The King’s Lodge Hotel, aptly named, is one of the finest and most luxurious spots to stay up on the mountain. It offers all of this while still managing to retain an honest atmosphere that suits the quirky village.

With a bar, bowling green, a swimming pool (yes, those of you with kids read this correctly) and a restaurant on-site, you’ll almost be overwhelmed with things to do. So, don’t forget to plan your hikes in advance!

Their accommodation options range from self-catering to hotel rooms, and also include a special honeymoon suite which resembles something between a romantic log cabin and a charming treehouse.

All of these are top-notch with fantastic service, and of course, the restaurant’s breakfast buffet is to die for. The bar is also not to be missed, offering a range of cocktails, pints, wines or specialties – perfectly suited to the coldest winter evening, and hottest summer night.

If you’re simply looking to arrive, unwind, and relax with all your worries taken care of – then it sounds like you’re the king (or queen), thus your lodge awaits.

Terra Khaya Eco Village – Eco-Friendly Accommodation in Hogsback

  • Lots of farm animals
  • Self-catering or catered dinner options
  • Horse Rides available

If you’re looking for some new-age, electricity-free lodging where you can learn some things about the environment, then Terra Khaya Eco Village is the place for you.

It’s a small farm plot placed on a small stream with two hills on either side. It has space for camping and some beautiful pine shacks. home to some wonderful horses, goats, a pig (who is the grateful recipient of all your food waste) and thirteen dogs who are all equally charismatic and personable.

With the option of self-catering, or being served a fresh farm-made dinner with some of the fantastic produce grown on the plot, you’ll be equally as comfy either way. There is a big wood oven in the lapa, which is a large daub building with a great deck viewpoint. It also has a small library, firepit, an arts and crafts loft, and a self-service fridge where you can pick up a beverage, snack or some tea and coffee.

This is a great place to go for a tech detox, as there is no electricity in any of the cabins, and a simple small power strip in the main house for a desperate phone or laptop charge. This is, of course, weather permitting as it runs on solar energy. Also, be sure to note that outdoor showers and long-drop sawdust toilets are the vibes here – best avoided if that’s not your kind of thing.

Finally, if you’re lucky, the owners might offer to take you up on a trip to the ‘Microwave Tower’, a stunning viewpoint that rises out of deep pine plantations. It offers you stunning sunset views over the rolling Eastern Cape highlands, like nothing you have ever seen!

 

About the Author

Ciaran is a travel writer & musician known as Parabyl who embarked on a trip to Hogsback not only to marvel at the wonders of nature but also to record the sounds of the indigenous flora, fauna, and nature. 

He is currently working on writing songs using these bits and pieces of frogs croaking, monkeys crying, birds tweeting and more, to create a sonic experience reminiscent of a hike through the Amathole forest.

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