R250pp - R300pp
Budget Getaways Review
The name isn’t an exaggeration – both the setting and the gorgeous abodes, Backtrack, Glory Be, Base Huis, and Deck Plek are magical.
Set 300m from the river, Backtrack is an architecturally-styled stone, thatch and glass cottage in a tranquil milieu of open green and whispering papyrus.
Inside, the cottage has a sun-drenched central living and kitchen area, flanked by ensuite bedrooms. Skylight-type windows and glass French doors add to the ethereal quality – no sleeping late here. The finishes include terracotta and cork floors with shell inlays, cane furniture and an open fireplace.
River Magic’s second cottage, Glory Be, is an unqualified gem worth every cent. Listen to this. To get to the cottage guests are ferried 2km up the river, your car, your Nokia and your worries left behind on the other side.
Apart from the odd boat chugging by, Glory Be is totally private, and the elements of glass, thatch and wood, and the general floorplan of a central open living area with bedrooms on either side, are similar to Backtrack.
Moving downstream, Base Huis is a recent addition to the magical family Andrew collection. Sitting above the river (at times in!), this was the original family home, and features the same natural elements as the other cottages, as well as an indoor and outdoor braai, plus lovely balconies from which to survey the surrounding beauty.
Even newer is Deck Plek - with access again by boat. Decorated in light hues, with a mix of exposed timber, sash windows and loft bedrooms, Deck Plek is the ultimate family river cabin. It sleeps 12 total, with two twin rooms and a double downstairs, and a spacious four-bed loft room and semi-private double upstairs. The livingroom (with fireplace), dining and kitchen are open-plan and lead onto the patio and its soothing views over the river.
Idyllic, or what?
"The design of Back Track allows plenty of light into an otherwise suitably small and cosy stone cottage - complete with beautifully thatched roof. It's a pleasing aesthetic that blends in well with the surrounding papyrus reed, grass and river shrub. The open fireplace draws well and helped to keep the winter chill at bay. We found the cottage to be well equipped with just the necessaries and loved the uncluttered interior, leaving enough space for your own thoughts to wander under starlit sky and morning light. A perfect retreat for 2 people. Kyle was a welcoming host and went the extra mile to make our stay memorable."
(Malie Grutter, visited Aug 2018)
"Dek Plek house is very comfortable and well equipped. We all loved the upstairs deck, the braai area downstairs, the peacefulness, the remote location, the bird life, easy river access, the utter stillness; all making it an extremely pleasant long weekend away as a family. We had space, time, peace and quiet to unwind a bit and reconnect with each other as a family. Early morning and late afternoon fishing off the jetty in front of the house, a gentle pre-dawn paddle in the canoe up the river to watch the sun rising between the hills, the mirror like reflections on the very slow moving river, birds skimming low over the water. The evening braais, the huge fireplace to warm the open plan lounge - kitchen -dining area when it got chilly at night. Warm and comfy beds after a piping hot shower meant a solid nights sleep in the utter stillness and quiet. River Magic's residential manager Kyle is an outstanding host, and we appreciated his great personality, and sense of humour. Would we return? Of course ! Plans are already being made for a longer holiday next year."
(Mark Liprini, visited Jul 2018)
"Everything was excellent, we just could not find anybody when we checked in, but Robert popped in during the evening to say hi."
(Eric Saayman, visited May 2018)
(Norval Weichartd, visited Apr 2018)
"Our experience at Buis Huis was amazing. It was exactly what we hoped it to be, from the pristine nature and mirror-like stillness of the river to the rustic architecture and self sustainable environment. I'd also like to commend Kyle on his superb service, warm reception and friendly nature. Unfortunately the Kob did not bite but we managed to fish 3 Blacktail, 1 cape Stumpnose and a Barbel. We will definitely be back."
(Justin Richter, visited Feb 2018)
"Beautiful setting, relaxing atmosphere and comfortable with everything you need. "
(Carine Gagiano, visited Jan 2018)
"Awesome setting with beautiful clean fully equipped houses. Very friendly and helpful staff. Even the spiders were friendly, no biters!"
(Denise Anderson, visited Jan 2018)
"A very pretty cottage in a wonderful space. Relaxing and comfortable, in an interesting village. Perhaps a bit over priced."
(Simon Larsen, visited Jan 2018)
"Best, best, best. Deck Plek couldn't be better. We'll be back."
(Kate Lloyd, visited Dec 2017)
"Kyle was absolutely fantastic!"
(Tsepo Headbush, visited Jul 2017)
"Lovely, simple, peaceful, beautiful, tranquil, clean, modest, helpful on site staff, lots to do, see, experience in pure nature."
(Mea Lashbrooke, visited Jul 2017)
"I enjoyed my 40th out at Glory Be with a few friends (7 in total and 5 dogs). It was so great. Peaceful surroundings, plenty of space and everything else. There was a great view of river from your braai spot and if it gets too cold, you can always move to the fireplace inside. The place was clean, and Kyle who helps you getting there and back is super friendly and always willing to help. Try book for more than 1 weekend as time goes by very quickly as you are having so much fun. We will definitely be back."
(Giles Lord, visited May 2017)
"The most perfect getaway, far away from everything. No need for luxuries, just being "marooned" on the other side of the Duiwenshoks river was perfectly sufficient. We were fortunate to have the last blast of summer, so were treated to lots of river activities and swimming too. We can't wait to go back again."
(Kim Bowen, visited Apr 2017)
"The name of the cottages is not accidental - to stay in a secluded, welcoming cottage on the river for a few days is pure magic. Totally disconnected from the rest of the world, your biggest challenge is to row a canoe or go for a swim in the clean waters of the river. Then head to the cottage to start the braai and have a sundowner on the wide stoep to the accompaniment of bird songs and the murmur of the river all around you. When darkness descends you are cushioned by the stars. When life becomes hard - disconnect, spend a few nights at Glory Be and come back refreshed and at peace with the world. My favourite place!"
(Hilda de Villiers, visited Apr 2017)
"Great little gem - will be back for sure!"
(Adri Truter, visited Mar 2017)
"Loved it - the perfect getaway. The house was clean and neat, and situated right on the river. It was easy to book and easy to pay."
(Alan Woodcock, visited Feb 2017)
"We had a wonderful time at Deck Plek. The house is light and airy with a well equipped kitchen. Thank you to Kyle and everyone at River Magic, we'll be back!"
(Inge Van Reenen, visited Jan 2017)
"The time spent staying at Glory Be was truly amazing, from start to finish! From the comfortable and cosy setup to the welcoming spirit of it all, we all feel totally relaxed and well rested. A special thanks to Kyle who made our stay even better somehow. He was always on call to help out, show us around and was generally welcoming and generous. Thanks again, and will most definitely see you again."
(Matt Rosengarten, visited Oct 2016)
"We had a fantastic weekend away! This was a lovely setting with great amenities."
(Kirsten Clarence, visited Apr 2016)
"We had a wonderfully relaxing few days with extended family from the UK. The house is perfect for big groups - we were 11 people plus 2 dogs. It is far from anywhere else so we had no noisy neighbours. We spent our time canoeing, fishing, walking, playing cricket and boulle on the lawn, braai-ing and eating in this photographic paradise with its birdlife and deserted cottages. We took a boat trip to the sea where we spent the day on the beach and stopped to fish a few times on the way back. The kitchen facilities were minimal (one drying cloth for 3 days, no serving bowls, and the oven did not work) but we made a plan. Bathrooms were adequate and the outside shower was the family favourite - high pressure and very hot water - and a view!"
(Karon Wiercx, visited Mar 2016)
"Had a fantastic 40th Birthday getaway at this stunning place. We stayed at Glory Be cottages, loved the walks and swims down the river and generally had a wonderful time in this secluded place. The ferry boat drive down the river to the cottage really gives the feeling of being away from it all. Robert was also very friendly and accommodating with finalizing plans for the weekend and Kyle was a superstar getting us all up and down the river and sorting anything else we needed. Thank-you! Will definitely return here asap."
(Debra de Villiers, visited Mar 2016)
"We've come here quite a few times. You can't beat this for the most relaxing getaway (no cell signal). Spend your days swimming, reading a book going for a walk. We'll definitely be returning."
(Nicole Rasmussen, visited Feb 2016)
"Absolutely wonderful five days, and Kyle was a star host. We had a broken pipe but he fixed it as soon as reported."
(Suellen Shay, visited January 2015)
"This is a lovely rustic setting where one can thoroughly unwind. We had an excellent time, despite not being anglers."
(Zirkëa Leach, visited January 2015)
"A great place to get away from it all. It is beautiful and if you need to unwind for a holiday without the distractions of shopping centers and crowds this is the place to go. We stayed at Glory Be (the cottage that can only be reached by boat) It was fabulous as it was really isolated on on the river. We did however rent a little boat with an engine to motor us up river and down to the mouth which was fabulous. Would not have been the same if we were entirely housebound. If you are squeamish for creepy crawlies, it might not be the best place for you but that said the buck, eagles, bird life and even a wild hare we encountered was beautiful. And best of all it was pet-friendly so we brought the dogs along and they loved it. Kyle, managing the cottages was also an absolute star."
(Marisa Steyn, visited January 2015)
"It lives up to its name, River Magic is magic on a broad winding river. We swam, we swung on ropes and swings, we canoed, we SUPped on the new (thank you) surf skis and our own SUP, the kids covered themselves in mud and we read books, played board and card games, cooked and drank wine. A perfect respite from everyday life."
(Sue Raath, visited January 2015)
"Great place to go for a weekend away. Was nice and comfortable, enjoyed it. Kids loved having so much space."
(Michael Brooks, visited January 2015)
"Absolutely loved the location. None of us were ready to go home. Will definitely be back."
(Melissa Mackay, visited July 2015)
"We were greeted by a very helpful and accommodating Kyle on our arrival. He immediately carried our luggage to the boat that was to take us to 'Glory Be', our accommodation on the opposite side of the river, a little way upstream. When our other friends arrived and all was packed onto the boat Kyle took us to our cottage. Having no idea what to expect it was lovely to emerge from the boat, rush up the stairs & be welcomed by a very comfortable kitchen & living area. Since the weekend was rather cold we made use of the fireplace on a nr of occasions. It made for a very cozy atmosphere and kept us warm and relaxed. To be able to bring our dogs was a bonus. They are a part of our families and we enjoy having them where we go. We brought the dog beds and all was well, although initially our Golden Retriever was not too happy with the floating jetty but with a piece of biltong she soon overcame her angst. The fishing rods soon came out but only a catfish was caught and released (and nobody took fishing very seriously but it was a reason to lie/sit around the jetty when the sun was out) The beds proved to be very comfortable and the outside shower was best. We also enjoyed a walk into the hills behind Glory Be. Lovely. Kyle was very punctual at picking my little family up to take us back to our car a day earlier than our friends. We were not quite ready to go home yet but duty called. Thank you for a very enjoyable stay."
(Astrid Tworeck-Titley, visited July 2015)
"Not sure if there was a grid to Braai with. Also in the dark the dirt road was long. In directions put km on dirt road an we never actually knew where the village was and went straight on looking for a village. Not sure if it was load shedding that night but certainly very few lights and hard to tell that is a village and in the dark hard to see River Magic signs. Otherwise all great."
(Claire Walker, visited May 2015)
"The stay was great and we will be back. The Manager of River Magic Cottages, Kyle, is to be commended for going out of his way to ensure that we had a fantastic time. We had a friend from England with us and he echo's these sentiments."
(Joe Barnes, visited March 2015)
"We had a brilliant time at River Magic Cottages, we stayed in the house called Backtrack. There are boats and canoes for use, and a lovely big braai area. The river is amazing, great for swimming and spotting birds. the self catering facilities are really very good. It's really beautiful and the people are helpful and friendly and we would love to go back one day! Thank you very much."
(Kath Leone, visited March 2015)
"The setting was gorgeous. The hikes were great. The boating on the river was real fun. The management was really welcoming and helpful."
(Cath Croxton, visited March 2015)
"Brilliant recipe to rejuvenate ones soul in 3 glorious days: 1. Take a handful of really good chums and enough grub (and grog!) for the duration, and place all carefully in 4x4's, 2. Set dial on speaking map thingy to Glory Be, 3. Slow drift by boat to your final destination, far away from the Madding Crowd, 4. Roll in some beautiful magic - the majesty of the stars, the pristine conserved natural ecosystem; the never ending river. Paradise found, worth every cent."
(Celia Clucas, visited March 2015)
"We had a wonderful stay here for three days at Base Huis, great setup and oh so close to the river. Which is very swimmable. We explored 'the village', the river and even a trip to the coast. We'll be back."
(Steven Burnett, visited February 2015)
"BackTrack, one of the River Magic Cottages, was our home for 14 magical days. The main cottage sleeps four. My husband and two adult daughters were very comfortable. An added bonus was the self-contained, twin bed Wendy house, which was home to a number of visiting friends. Our three dogs were in heaven as the cottage is only 300m from the beautiful, warm, freshwater Duivenhoks River. We spent many hours swimming, paddling, swinging from the rope swings and putt-putting up and down. Most days started with either a cycle or run to Puntjie where we swam in the sea. The outdoor living area at BackTrack lends itself to long sociable evenings in front of the braai. Sleep is enhanced by the sounds of frogs croaking in the garden pond. It's truly a place to relax."
(Sue Manners-Wood, visited December 2014)
(Stuart Palmer, visited November 2014)
"We spent three nights at River Magic Cottages (Glory Be Cottage). We loved the remoteness and the uniqueness of the cottage. Everything we needed for self-catering was provided and much fun was had in the canoe and rowing boat. A good place to read, relax and spend quality time with family."
(Sue Wagner, visited September 2014)
"An absolutely brilliant location and wonderful place to get away form it all. There really aren't many places like this left that are so undisturbed and natural. We spent three nights at Glory Be and enjoyed every minute of it. A special mention and thank you to Kyle (the manager) who is so very helpful and friendly! Definitely returning."
(Chad Masters, visited August 2014)
"We had a fantastic weekend on the river, I really can recommend the place for people with children and dogs that enjoy nature and a quiet weekend. The house is absolutely beautiful and has such nice feel to it! Kyle, the manager, was super friendly and helpful and of course the swing over the river was the absolute highlight for the children (and adults!). We'll come again."
(Christine Collins, visited May 2014)
"The kids and dogs were wet and filthy by the end of the day but had a wonderful time. River Magic is a beautiful setting and Back Track Cottage was lovely, from the spacious outside area to cosy fireplace inside. We had a relaxing weekend and will definitely be back for more. The swing over river was, of course, the highlight of weekend for the kids."
(Nicola Le Roux, visited August 2013)
"We had a fantastic week end. We stayed in Back Track and Base House. The houses are well equipped, everything we needed was there. The setting of Base House is wonderful."
(Alna Lategan, visited July 2013)
"We will come back anytime! This place is true Heaven."
(Celine De Villiers, visited June 2013)
"Had a great weekend stay here. The cabin was very well equipped and comfortable and we felt like we had the river to ourselves! Our dog loved it too, although we must have pulled over 100 ticks off of her throughout our stay. Kyle took us up the river and was very helpful and professional. Thanks for a great stay.
(Karen Collins, visited May 2013)
"For those who truly want to get away from it all, this is the spot. No sight or sound of humanity for an entire week. Temperate evenings with soft cool breezes blowing over you through open doors, long sunny days on the stoep sipping G&Ts, overlooking the river, just us, the birds, the fish and our dogs, a true respite. Facilities are humble yet complete, appropriate for the setting and compliment the sense of mystique and adventure. Anything more contemporary would detract from the experience."
(Patrick Killick, visited March 2013)
"Wow - what a great surprise - a lovely light and bright, super clean cottage. We stayed at Back Track cottage with our two dogs (a labby and a german shepherd) and they loved it - especially the pond! They even enjoyed being in the row boat on the river. The kitchen is fully equipped with fridge/freezer and a chest freezer. If pushed - the only criticism - a free bundle of wood provided for the first night would have been nice but you can buy great wood from the manager, Kyle, who was super friendly and helpful. I will be recommending it to friends and colleagues."
(Barbara Henninger, visited March 2013)
"We had really fantastic weekend with friends visiting from the UK. The only noise was from the birds and the sound of our children squealing as they jumped into the river from the jetty. Even the dog enjoyed canoeing up the river to spend the morning on the little beach. The manager, Kyle was very helpful and hospitable, as was the ferry man, Justin. We also had a lovely welcome from the owners. The house was clean, well-equipped and comfortable. The architecture of the house gave each family their privacy and the kids loved having their own dorm to share. We really don't have any complaints - it was a near perfect weekend. If you bring your dog be warned that he may come back from walks in the bush with a lot of ticks on board, so a tick collar is recommended. We highly recommend 'Glory Be'."
(Sarah-Jane Knight, visited February 2013)
"One of the most special places on earth and one I will continue to visit and hopefully retire to one day ;-)"
(Claire Muzzelle, visited May 2012)
"Stunning setting for a magical break-away. First holiday with our dogs and they loved it as well. Will definitely be going back!"
(Nicolette Smith, visited March 2012)
"Watter belewenis. Ek en my vrou en dogter het vir 11 dae leeg gelê in Glory Be. Dit was sommer groot lekker kry met deure wat dag en nag oopstaan of jy nou tuis is of nie. Geen bekommernis van alarms, goed wat veilig wegpak moet word ens. nie. 'n Skelm viervoetige het een aand ons vars broodrolletjies gesteel seker omdat hy al moeg was vir insekte en veldkos. Voëls wat soggens in die takke voor 'n oop deur jou vroeg soggens wakker sing.'n Heerlike rivier om in te swem, visvang, roei en ons het krappe gevang wat groter as 'n eetbord is, selfs een wat meer as 2kg weeg. Daar is ook 'n lekker paadjie agter die huis wat teen die rante uitgaan om te stap en Turksvye wat in die veld gepluk kan word. Ons Persiese kat het gedink dit is die hemel waarin sy is. Om weg te kom van die stad se gejaag en TV en sulke goed is dit die regte plek om jou kop weer skoon te kry. Ek sal net aanbeveel wanneer langer as drie daar gebly word om 'n klein motorbootenjin saam te vat. Ons sê ook baie dankie aan die eienaar Paul en sy vrou vir die vriendelike ontvangs en lekker gesels."
(Iain van Schalkwyk, visited January 2012)
"River Magic Cottages are fantastic. My son and I spent five days at Glory Be and it was truly a special time. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
(Daniel Evans, visited June 2010)
"Magic: that's what Backtrack has in common with the River Magic cottages on the same property situated on the lovely Duiwenhoks river. Designed to offer relaxed living in total harmony with the unspoilt setting, so that the gentle swaying and swishing of the tall reeds outside and the sky with its clouds and stars are as it were brought right inside to make you forget of stress and exhaustion. The nearby river further offers water-related activities that will keep everyone busy to their heart's content. On top of all this: the people are friendly and helpful. Highly recommended!"
(Adriana Nuss, visited December 2009)
"Peaceful, tranquil, amazing, and relaxing - is what Glory Be offers. This place is a hidden gem and I am glad that we have discovered it. The boat row over was eventful, with neither one of us able to row in a straight line. We conquered the river by going in alternating left and right semi-circles. What a lovely, tranquil surprise awaited us. Just the two of us went, but we will certainly be back on our own and with many friends who have drooled over the photos."
(Geila Wills, visited February 2007)
"We took our three little boys and they had a ball. Swimming, fishing, paddling on the canoe and their favourite was the 'King Swing'. A very special place but pack light and bring a little engine so you can putter down to the sea."
(Christo and Meriel , visited January 2007)
"Vermaaklikheid seems like a second home now! You can't ask for a more tranquil setting and everything is very comfortable. The dogs loved the boat trip! We'll definitely be back."
(Anina Hicks, visited December 2006)
"I spent a part of my honeymoon at Glory Be, an absolutely magical setting, sundowners on the river every night - however, our stay was spoiled slightly by the presence of workmen who came to the cottage two days in a row to do different things - was horrible. But otherwise great accommodation and setting."
(Gillian Faichnie, visited December 2005)
"Well equipped and neat as a pin! A home away from home...we'll be back!"
(Lindi Broughton, visited April 2005)
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