Tsala Treetop Lodge

Tsala Treetop Lodge: Our full report

16 rooms
Traveller's rating
Excellent (93%) From 3 reviews
Suitable for 10+
All year

Tsala Treetop Lodge is set on a private forested estate between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, on South Africa's scenic Garden Route. Tsala Treetop Lodge is a romantic and luxurious lodge, privately owned by the Hunter family.

Tsala Treetop Lodge stands in a lush forest setting within a large, gated estate, with stunning views across rolling valleys, towards the distant hills. Within the estate are also the main lodge, Hunter’s Country House and the top-notch, trendy restaurant, Zinzi.
The lavish, luxurious chalets at Tsala Treetop Lodge are particularly well set up for a romantic and exclusive honeymoon holiday in South Africa. Within the estate there is also the opportunity to organise weddings in the ‘Chapel in the Forest’, an intimate and beautiful chapel built in mid 1997, which can seat up to 50 guests.

The Tsala Treetop Lodge’s main entrance is built in stone supported by blackwood columns. A raised, wooden walkway through the forest leads to the 16 rooms, each with air-conditioning, a fireplace, a mini bar/fridge, a TV, a safe and a small desk with chairs.

  • The 10 suites were built in 2000 and are linked together via a raised wooden walkway. They are constructed using stone, wood and glass and are decorated using earthy colours reminiscent of the surrounding nature. The suites have high walls, large windows, making the most of the treetop views, and polished wooden floors. Each suite has a separate bedroom, en-suite bathroom and lounge. Each bathroom has a separate toilet and indoor and outdoor shower. All the suites have a private deck, extending over the forest, each with their own private infinity plunge pool.
  • The 6 villas were added later in 2007, and are similar in style and décor. The lavish villas, all above the forest floor, have two en-suite bedrooms. The bathroom comprises a double basin, a separate toilet as well as outdoor and indoor shower. Each villa has a dining room, a large lounge, which leads onto a little veranda, and a private deck with an infinity pool.

The main areas at Tsala Treetop Lodge include a cosy lounge with bookshelves, a fireplace, ethnic carpets and sofas in leather with colourful cushions. The adjacent dining area has glass walls and is decorated in wood, stone and leather, with tables and chairs both inside and outside.

Although we didn’t eat at Tsala on our recent visit (May 2014) we have been told that breakfast is a highlight of the day! Choose from a continental breakfast with homemade muffins and croissants and a selection of fresh fruit, cheese and cold meats. Follow this with a cooked breakfast of eggs to order, omelettes and their speciality coffee. Light lunches are also served here and a 24 hour room service menu is also available. On the estate is Zinzi, an exclusive restaurant, which is open to guests as well as the public.

In the area around Plettenberg Bay, there are lots of activities to enjoy, including horse riding through the forest and hills, mountain biking, a treetop canopy tour and bungee jumping as well as a variety of animal and bird reserves. (NB: It’s essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the ‘Health & Safety’ section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.)

As well as adventures activities, for those who simply want to relax, there are many beaches in the area to chose from. During the months of July to November you may also have the opportunity to spot whales, dolphins and seals from viewpoints along the coast.

Our view

Tsala Treetop Lodge offers high quality accommodation with lavish, luxurious suites and villas within a lush forested setting. The lodge caters particularly well for couples of all ages seeking privacy and tranquility. It’s great for exploring the Garden Route’s Plettenberg Bay and Knysna area with its many activities on offer.


Location: Plettenberg Bay | Garden Route, South Africa

Ideal length of stay: Typically 3 - 4 nights is ideal here, although it’d be a good spot to relax for longer.

Directions: 10km from Plettenberg Bay and 22km from Knysna along the N2

Accessible by: Self-drive

Key personnel

Owner: Tsala Treetop Lodge is owned by Hunter Hotels.

Food & drink

Usual board basis: B&B

Food quality: When we last visited Tsala Treetop Lodge in May 2014, we didn’t try the restaurant at the lodge, however we had dinner at Zinzi, the exclusive restaurant within the estate, which is also open to the public. Zinzi also has a bar, a great spot to have a drink before sitting down to your meal.

Here guests can choose from a la carte items, including different choices of South African dishes mixed with international trends. Food at Zinzi is of a high standard and dinner here was the best that we had during our two weeks in the Cape – though the service was slow, given the relatively small number of fellow diners.

The menu during our stay (May 2014) featured a couple of choices of starter, main and desert. Expect starters like smoked venison carpaccio served with slow-roasted tomatoes, toasted cashew nuts, caramelized onions in a balsamic reduction, or cream of butternut soup served with toasted ciabatta.

Main courses might include dishes like roasted chicken breast served with Mediterranean vegetables, olive tapenade and sun-drive tomatoes, or grilled line-fish served with roasted fenugreek and onion masala potatoes, pickled green beans and a spiced dressing. Sharing meze platters are also popular here.

Typical deserts are chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, or strawberry shortcake served with fresh berries, berry compote and Chantilly cream.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Special interests

Luxury: Set in the forest canopy of the Western Cape, Tsala Treetop offers unique and opulent accommodation with a bird’s eye view of the treetops. A luxurious choice for your holiday, the lavish offerings include wraparound decking and private infinity pools for each suite.

See more ideas for Luxury in South Africa


Attitude towards children: Tsala Treetop Lodge welcomes children 10 years and older. Younger children are welcome at neighbouring Hunters Country House which welcomes children of all ages.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There is Wi-Fi access throughout the lodge.

Water supply: Mains

Health & safety

Medical care:

Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from Tsala Treetop Lodge. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it’s vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: The estate is gated and manned by security guards 24-hours per day.


Laundry facilities: Pressing, mending and laundry are available. The laundry is off the premises and is not available on weekends or public holidays; all articles of clothing are collected before 10h00 in the morning and they will be ready the following day.

Money: At Tsala Treetop Lodge guests can pay in a foreign currency, but not change foreign currency.

Accepted payment on location: Tsala Treetop Lodge accepts Cash, Visa, Master, American Express and Diners card. An additional fee is charged for the use of traveller’s Cheques or foreign currency.

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