The Fernery Lodge
The magnificent Fernery Lodge is perched above a 30 meter waterfall in the Sanddrift River gorge, with stunning views of the river mouth, Indian Ocean and Tsitsikamma Mountains. It offers guests breathtaking views, beautifully appointed living areas, and 7 superbly furnished luxury suites which are tastefully and individually decorated. Every effort has been made to ensure our guests’ comfort, from crisp percale linen and large luxurious bathrooms to underfloor heating and satellite television. Other features include heated towel rails, tea and coffee making facilities, a bar fridge stocked on request, digital safes, hair-dryers and cosy bath robes. Open fire places in the lounge and dining room, a jacuzzi, sauna and swimming pool, are but some of the features that make the Lodge a really special destination.
Premium Suites with Ocean Views (Owners’ Suite, Aquarius & Toscana)
These luxurious and beautifully decorated suites offer guests stunning ocean views, great comfort and special features that make them extremely popular, particularly for those auspicious occasions and precious moments.
Situated within the lodge, with breathtaking sea views, the Owners’ Suite offers a true sense of calm and tranquility. The suite is newly decorated in soft gentle hues of blue to complement its surrounds and has an open-plan bedroom and spacious en-suite bathroom. A couple of stairs lead to a private lounge and kitchenette for our guests’ convenience. The lounge features a large fireplace for cosy, snug nights.
Guests can enjoy spectacular views from their private deck which is equipped with table, chairs, recliners and braai.
The Owners’ Suite is the prime unit in the Lodge and has been decorated with impeccable taste and style, making it the perfect spot for discerning guests seeking a luxurious retreat.
A romantic blend of old and new in cream and blue, this suite has its own private deck with a barbecue and loungers from where you can enjoy an endless view of the Indian Ocean and the bird life that abounds in the river gorge.
Decorated in gorgeous shades of beige and cream for pure luxury and relaxation guests can soak up the beauty of the river gorge, and enjoy an endless view of the Indian Ocean from the loungers on their private deck.
Premium Suite with Gorge View (Riverine)
A beautiful large suite with a balcony overlooking the river gorge which includes a view to the stunning Tsitsikamma mountains.
A beautiful large and airy room decorated in cream and shades of blue. The view down to the river itself has been impeded by the addition of a stretch tent to cover our cocktail bar and wifi deck, however this unit still offers wonderful views across the river gorge and up to the Tsitsikamma mountains. This room has the bonus of being within the range of our wifi hotspot on the deck below.
Garden Suites (Plantation, Victorian & Spice)
These garden suites are nestled into lush shrubbery and fynbos and have easy access into the beautiful gardens
A dramatic room with a touch of spice in its rich colouring. The en suite bathroom has a magnificent view of the river gorge which you can enjoy from the comfort of a large foam bath. As in the case of Riverine the view down to the river from this room has been impeded by the stretch tent, but has the advantage of being within range of our wifi hotspot on the deck below.
This lovely room has bay windows into the beautiful garden, and a spacious bathroom with a luxurious feel. Relax in style in your bath tub with a glass of wine, and marvel at the beauty of nature around you.
Pretty and cosy, this room captures the glorious afternoon sun and has a lovely bathroom with luxurious shrubbery and ferns tapping at the windows.
The Loerie, with its vivid green and red colouring and striking crest, gives this Chalet its bright and beautiful colour scheme and stunning headboard.
The Galjoen is South Africa’s national fish and frequents the Tsitsikamma coastal waters. This chalet is beautifully decorated in blue and cream and has a lovely view from its deck through the gorge mouth to the sea.
In the Forest
Tranquility itself – with a moss green and white colour scheme which really makes you feel as though you are in the shade of the beautiful cool forests which once covered this area.
This lovely silver and copper coloured shell which is found in the rock pools along the Tsitsikamma coast gives this Chalet its earthy brown and beige colour scheme. The headboard artistically depicts waving seaweed and driftwood.
An absolute must at Forest Ferns and decorated in hues of gentle greens. The prep bowl is hand painted with delicate fronds of coral fern which is one of the main export products of Forest Ferns.
The Oyster Catcher is one of South Africa’s endangered birds but frequents our Tsitsikamma coast. The Chalet which bears its name, is strikingly coloured in darker tones with splashes of red.
The theme of the Blue Lily (Agapanthus africanus) has been carried through this Chalet with its blue, cream and green colour scheme. The gardens are filled with agapanthus which bloom in midsummer. It is ideal for families with young children (under 16) and has a television.
Sunbirds abound in the fynbos surrounding the Chalets and with their bright colours are easy to spot in the trees and shrubs. This Chalet is decorated using the bright green and yellow of the double collard Sunbirds. It is ideal for families with young children (under 16) and has a television.
Luxury B&B Apartment Chalets
Porcupine / Francolin Chalet and Jacana / Otter Chalet
The luxurious apartment chalets are the perfect choice for couples travelling together or for families with older children. They offer guests absolute privacy within their own en-suite area that includes a sitting room with cosy fireplace and flat screen television. The two en-suite rooms are joined by a well equipped kitchen with dining table that is perfect for joint socialising. These modern units are beautifully decorated and open onto a deck with a plunge pool and a view over the river. Quoted prices depend on the number of people occupying the chalet and the rate is inclusive of breakfast.
A brief look at Forest Fern history.
What started as a simple farming enterprise evolved over 30 years into the wonderful Fernery Lodge & Chalets that now nestle above the Sandrift river waterfall.
In 1985 Frans and Meg Gerber and their three young sons, Johan, Peter and Andrew moved from Johannesburg down to the Tsitsikamma where they acquired an undeveloped farm that had belonged to Meg’s deceased father, Selwyn Tucker.
Frans had been working for a South African perishable airfreight company in London where he had a great deal of contact with flower importers who were keen to find new foliage products for the cut flower market. The Tsitsikamma, with its high annual rainfall and vast forests and plantations, is a good foliage producing area, and the idea was to export the much sought after rumohra adiantiformis (seven week fern) to Europe. Forest Ferns cc was established in 1986 and within a few years had become a large employer in the area with a staff of well over 100 people and exports of between 5 and 10 tons per week.
During the first few years the farm was tamed and infrastructure developed for the picking and packing of rumohra fern. It soon became evident however that extra products were needed in order to help cover the overheads, and within 5 years they had built up a product variety of 30 different ferns and restios.
Due to the interesting nature of the business many gardening clubs and other interest groups began visiting the farm in order to view the operation and enjoy the magnificent surroundings. This lead to the building of The Fernery – a unique eco-tourist attraction which consists of a vaulted construction containing a magnificent display of indigenous ferns and running water which was opened in February 2000. It is flanked by a restio and fern plant nursery for retail sales.
In 2001, as a result of their partnership in the luxury Dolphin Trail (a 3 day hiking route including meals and accommodation), beautiful 4 star chalets were built on the farm overlooking the Sandrift River. These proved to be so successful that Frans and Meg converted their stunning cliff side home into a luxury Lodge. The luxury B&B apartment chalets, each with 2 en-suite bedrooms and a plunge pool on the deck, were added later.
Local staff are employed and trained to 4 star service standards providing much needed employment in the area, and The Lodge Restaurant has become well known for its excellent cuisine.