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About Tsala

Experience the magic and enchantment of Tsala

A place to celebrate, unwind and share time within a unique architectural masterpiece, where the service is world class and the experience magical.

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Unique Tsala

A hideaway amongst the trees

Tsala is a place that fills your heart with warmth and steals your imagination with its design and breathtaking views, while the mystery and enchantment of the place enthrals you.

Staying in your own private elevated hideaway is romantic and adventurous, along with its perfect location in the heart of the Garden Route, makes Tsala the ideal place to have a holiday or corporate getaway.

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Location

Situated in the heart of the Garden Route

Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Tsala is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty the celebrated Garden Route or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge.

Only 10km from Plettenberg Bay and 22km from Knysna along the N2, our signboards are clearly visible at the entrance to our access road, which leads you to the security entrance to the Estate.

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History & the Property

A place of architectural genius

Tsala exudes a mysticism that makes made it a destination people wish to explore and experience – it is like no other found in Africa. It has a legendary rhythm and ambience that emulates from its spectacular architecture and history.

THE LEGEND OF TSALA

THE people of the north were hungry and thirsty as the great deserts were dry and arid, and dust rose in clouds to hide the sun as the animals migrated. Scribes wrote of the wonderful land of forests, rivers and the sea with snow-white beaches, and magnificent purple mountains; where the rains fell gently and the air was warm. The beautiful people decided to move to the land of promise, those of great wisdom came, and those skilled in woodwork, metalwork, stonework and pottery, weaving, hunting and many other skills. They reached the coast of Paradise, and found it as the scribes had predicted.

STONE was discovered and wood, and water in abundance, they built their villages with the stone from the boulders at Robberg above the sea, and with timber from the forests. Elephants were brought from the plains and trained to move the great logs of the towering forest giants. The women set to work weaving silk from the worms that fed on the leaves of the forest trees, gold was found in the stream beds and wrought into beautiful adornments, iron was smelted and beaten into spears and all manner of implements, clay was moulded into vessels. Vineyards were planted in the fertile valleys and wines of excellence filled the cellars. The beautiful people lived on the abundance of animals and fruit of the forest, and fish, mussels and oysters from the sea. The great flightless birds of the plains provided eggs and exotic feathers, honey was collected as it dripped golden from the comb, and grain was ground to flour. All was at peace in the land of EDEN.

WHAT happened to the Beautiful People is lost in the mists of time.

EONS later, the ruins of an ancient sacred village were discovered in the forest on the edge of a great valley. The collective memory of the people was re-awakened, descendants of those skilled and talented people began reworking the quarries at Robberg and masons dressed the stone as they had in ancient days. Invader trees were felled to preserve the verdant forests and to sculpt beams for buildings and furniture, the potters’ kilns were fired again and the anvils rang to the sound of metal being fashioned.

TSALA “the elevated resting place”, rose majestic above the tree tops like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Protected and secure in the great tree trunks holding it safely high above the forest floor, linked together by a web of elevated walkways.

PEOPLE come from far and wide to find this place of peace and plenty hidden in the forest where the air is clear and the sun shines brightly and the breeze blows softly. Once again the waters flow, wine is brought up from the cellars, and nature’s abundance is harvested and prepared. Joy and laughter is heard again in this place where the mountains and the forests of the great Tsitsikamma come down to meet the sea.

 

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Useful Information

What to bring for your stay

Whether you are planning to stay in summer or in winter at Tsala here is some useful information to ensure you have everything you need when you arrive.

What to Bring

Sunscreen and a cap is a must especially in summer when you head out on activities, go to the beach or laze at the pool. In winter, Tsala can be cool and there is a fireplace to warm you and umbrellas to keep you dry but we do suggest you bring a warm coat and rainwear for when you head out on activities. If you are a keen birder, we recommend bringing binoculars so you can do some bird watching from your balcony or within the grounds and hopefully catch sight of our indigenous Knysna Touraco.

What to Wear

During the summer months, light clothing is advisable with something to cover up in the evening when the sea breeze blows from the ocean through the forest. We suggest bringing comfortable walking shoes for the activities in the area. During winter, warm clothes are needed as early mornings and evening can get quite chilly.

For dinners on the Estate, or in the surrounding area, the dress code is normally casual; however there are some restaurants that don’t allow guest to wear shorts.

What will the Weather be?

A comfortably warm summer extends from October right through to April. In mid-summer the days are gloriously long with the sun setting around seven thirty in the evening and sunrise around five thirty am. Winter days are generally very mild but nights and evenings can be refreshingly cool. There is a possibility of a cold spell in winter from time to time, however it is normally only a day or two and the suites and villas at Tsala have under floor heating, fireplaces and heating to keep you warm.

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Conservation

Our contribution to the preservation of our natural environment

Hunter Hotels takes the threat to the environment very seriously. We play an active role in initiatives aimed at preserving the natural land and animals within and around our properties.

Between 1777 and 1939 the timber trade exploited much of our indigenous forest. Although it is the largest tract of natural forest in SA, only about 65000Ha of the original forest remains today. The Outeniqua yellowwood is a true forest giant reaching over 50m in height. Other magnificent specimens are the ironwood and stinkwood trees. Trees in our forest are often numbered to identify species. Our forests harbour many species of ferns including the prolific seven week fern.

At Tsala the joy of being surrounded by the forest and the creatures that inhabit it, is what we aim to protect and nurture every day through our conservation efforts.

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Community

Supporting our community

Hunter Hotels’ four properties – Hunters Country House, Tsala Treetop Lodge and Gorah – have each chosen to support a crèche or educare centre in the local community.

Tsala supports The Siyazama Child Nursery, brainchild of project organisers Thandekile Toyi and Lulamile Ralawe. It is for children between the ages of 6 months to 3 years and is a crucial part of the local community. The support given by Tsala in the form of food parcels each month, as well as other donations made by guests, goes a long way to ensuring the children in Siyazama’s care are well fed and have the facilities they need to be looked after each day in a safe and secure environment.

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Partners

Key relationships that form part of our business

Hunter Hotels and Tsala pride ourselves on the strategic partnerships we have forged over the years that have become pivotal to the success of our company and the growth of tourism in South Africa.

Plettenberg Bay and Knysna are tourism hotspots, It is the responsibility of every accommodation provider and activity-related company to actively get involved in promoting and growing tourism in our area. We want to ensure travellers to South African head down the Garden Route to explore and enjoy this beautiful part of the country. At Tsala we are actively involved in initiatives to increase tourism to this area through these partnerships.