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What the Psithurism?

Ha, well we got you there!  Pour a glass of wine and listen to the whispering of the trees.

“Psithurism comes from the Greek word psithuros, which means whispering, the sound the wind makes when it blows through leaves — and a phenomenon that has inspired many writers and poets over the ages.”

Elaine King from The Weekend Post has written this amazing article about Teniqua Treetops and just when you think you know everything, here it is …. interesting and informative.

We have copied the article here for you to read but will also leave a .pdf link here for you to download. 

The Teniqua Treetop motto is, “And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul” (famous conservationist John Muir’s words), and that’s exactly how it is. But the most incredible part of this story is the location of Teniqua Treetops from any- where on the Garden Route.

We came from Knysna and the whole trip of 36km from the centre of Knysna was just more than half an hour. I admit I was skeptical that anywhere which is so easy to access could ever deliver on a promise of being in the bush, in the trees and just totally off the grid.

About 16km off the N2, just before the little town of Sedgefield, on good dirt (tar would ruin the feeling) and a
proper farm gate you need to get out to open, and you are at a destination that could be anywhere in the world … well in the trees.

Beatrice is the cheerful host who beckons you to follow her quad bike to your spot.
We drive through forested area and come to Tranquility, one of the deluxe couples’ suites — and there is no stretch of the imagination needed here; we are literally in the forest with not a sight of anything other than the trees that embrace us.

Beatrice shows us the ropes, warns us about monkeys taking food, and demonstrates the spider-catcher.

First time I have ever seen one of these brilliant inventions — a kind of a bristle brush on a stick which enables you to catch spiders and harmlessly move them.

I hardly listen to her, I am so excited to just be. Be quiet, lose my mind, lose worrying about Ukraine, lose frustration with load-shedding.

Pour a glass of wine, sit still and listen to the whispering. Find my soul, in Muir’s words. All Teniqua Treetop suites are nestled within the magnificent indigenous Knysna Forest.

The suites are built in a gorge, so access is from ground level and the front of the suites are built on stilts ranging from 2m to 6m above ground, giving you breathtaking views of the Karatara Gorge or the majestic Knysna Forest.

No effort has been spared to enhance this experience. From the well-appointed kitchen, to the bedroom, from everywhere you look, including from the generous glass bathroom and bathtub, you are drawn into nature. Each suite is a combination of tent canvas, wood and glass with its own quirks and character.

There are two deluxe couples’ suites appropriately named Eyrie and Tranquility, four standard treetop suites named Louries Nest, Moon over Milkwood, Gorge View (this is apparently the most popular one) and Greenbeard, named after the green lichen that flourishes here in the pure air.

Then there are two family suites called Philosopher’s Perch and Forest Elders. Each and every suite has its own charm and I would be hard-pressed to choose one above the other — and there is also a wheelchair-friendly option.

This three-star rated exclusive resort goes way and beyond when it comes to the personal touches.

All beds are dressed with romantic but also practical mosquito netting, the towels are folded into swans on the bed and there are even petals on the bed. The kitchen is so well appointed I couldn’t think of any home comfort missing from a microwave, to cutlery and crockery, wine glasses, you name it.

It is important to keep the windows closed and the grocery cupboard locked in the event of monkeys.
All suites provide tea and coffee and there is even a small milk in the fridge, there is shampoo, body lotion and
bath salts — all extra efforts here.

All suites have an outside decked patio area and a Weberbraai — don’t forget charcoal and briquettes, no wood permitted .

What really impressed me were the electric fireplaces for winter and fans for the summer. And electric blankets!

Drinking water comes from the river and is treated — it’s got that soft taste, unlike the chlorine-treated water we
drink in towns.

The Teniqua Treetops brochure states, “It ’s more than a one-night stay”, and even if you just lolled around in the luxury of your suite and never wandered much further than your nest, this would be true. I am so disappointed that I can only spend one night because we have cats to feed!

There are some great walks for various levels of fitness, so get your map at reception of the forest trails.

We walk down to the Karatara river rock pools which are that gorgeous dap-pled brown, perfect for skinny dipping.

The way back up is quite steep, so a degree of fitness is required. Should you wish to leave your perch, there is a licensed pub at reception with a darts board and tennis table, there is a swimming pool, and to children’s delight, there is even a little petting zoo. On its website Teniqua Treetops says it is most suited to nature lovers, those wanting something a little unique, quirky and adventurous, especially when the winds pick up and the odd thunderstorm hits.

They warn guests they are going to be in the bush and that “this is not a manicured environment, it is part of the forest which cannot be fumigated.

“So, if you are someone who doesn’t have phobias about flora or fauna; trees, plants, birds, wild animals, insects, spiders, snakes, butterflies, moths, tame animals … Teniqua Treetops is the holiday destination for you .”

They say 98% of their guests love their stay, while 2% do not get on with the forest. I totally, utterly hate snakes.
Within half an hour of getting there, I climbed up onto the viewing deck that is part of the Tranquility suite.

I had the most amazing vista from the top canopy of the trees, but there was a bloody big boomslang suntanning on the topmost branches, way, way too close to me.

Right then and there I had to make a decision — go home or go big.

The snake slithered away, liking me even less than I liked it. I chose to stay. It ’s just a snake and I am
South African after all!

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