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The Travelling Tortoise

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  • Off-grid eco retreat six and a half kilometres from De Rust
  • Set in the Klein Karoo area with spectacular views
  • Outdoor pool and modern shower and toilet block

A fan of the slow life? Make like its namesake and wind down gently at The Travelling Tortoise, an off-grid eco retreat six and a half kilometres from the village of De Rust in the Western Cape.

Nature fans are going to love this one: the retreat is in the Klein Karoo area of grassland and semi-desert, with the green pastures of the Middelplaas valley in front, the spectacular Red Stone Hills to the right and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Swartberg mountains behind. The area's also a wildlife and nature haven, where tortoises, hares, small game and colourful birds are frequently spotted around the site and among the surrounding bush made up of cacti, succulent plants and pink fynbos shrubland. The Travelling Tortoise is a level site at the foot of the mountains, with a short hike winding upwards for scenic views.

The pool is a good size for essential dips on hot South African days. Evenings can be spent in the blazing light of a campfire or huddled around the barbecue having a good old chinwag. And all this hot weather is sure to help you drum up an appetite… handily, De Rust has plenty of restaurants to pick from and Oudtshoorn is another good spot for grabbing a bite to eat.

Depart: (2 nights)

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Overall rating based on 1 review


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Anonymous user

Loved the eco-friendly vibe12/22/2020

Reviewer's country: South AfricaAnonymousMobile phone iconConfirmed

  • Non-electric forest floor pitch
  • Recommend to friends   Visit again
  • Liked: 

    Definitely the swimming pool as it was very warm


    That we didn't have our own braai area...we're private people and don't like to mingle when we're on holiday

From the manager...

Hi Elzette,

Thank you for your visit.
just a couple of things : Never have we said that we have wifi, you must have misread that.
We are an off the grid eco retreat - people want to get away from things that rule their lives,
We are a small camp site, we have a pool a small beach and a pond in progress. good walks and a short hike. In all our advertizments no particular activities are offered

Regarding individual braais. We must respect the bush, you could see that it was dangerously dry. It would be irrisponsible of me to allow campers to light fires just anywhere.The main braai is in a very safe spot.
Sorry that you felt letdown in these areas.

Value for money
Customer service
Child friendliness


Leisure on park

Bar or club house

Cycle hire

Evening entertainment


Fitness centre

Indoor swimming pool

Kids' club

On-site restaurant/cafe

Outdoor swimming pool


Recreation room/arcade

TV room




Amenities on park

Bath available

Car parking by site/unit

Composting toilet

Disabled facilities

Dog park

Drying room

Free wifi

Grocery store

Ice pack freezing

Internet access


Parent & baby washroom


Pick-up from public transport


Pub toilets


Shower available

Washing-up area


Groups welcome

Family friendly

Motorcycle friendly

Rallies welcome

Single-sex groups welcome

Student groups welcome


Barbecue grills allowed

Barbecue provided

Campfires allowed

Commercial vehicles allowed

Dogs allowed

Dogs allowed all year



Hikers’ paradise


Remote location

Spectacular scenery

Wild camping

Wildlife haven


Charging facilities

Dump station

Electric car charging point(s)

No drinkable water point

No hot water

No running water

Propane/gas cylinders available

Recycling available

Renewable energy

Nearby amenities

Bar nearby

Dog walk nearby


Small (11-25 sites)

Nearby leisure

Climbing nearby

Horseback riding nearby

Mountain biking nearby


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  • Tortoise Lane, Middleplaas, De Rust, Western Cape, South Africa, 6650
  • Timezone Africa/Johannesburg SAST (GMT+02:00)   GPS 33.5041°S 22.6218°E


Please note: All distances on this page are calculated "as the crow flies" - please check actual distance depending on your mode of travel using the Get directions button above.

Local attractions

Crazy about hiking? The Meiringspoort Pass – a cliff-lined path connecting the Little Karoo and the Great Karoo – is only a 20-minute drive away. If you’ve worked up a bit of a sweat you can also take a dip at the popular Meiringspoort Waterfall (25 minutes).

No South African trip would be complete without visiting an ostrich farm, and luckily Oudtshoorn (50 minutes from the site) is considered the ostrich capital of the world. You can feed the birds and take a guided tour from a tractor-pulled trailer before stopping off for a meal or a drink at the café and restaurant.

Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn has over 90 different species of animals and they're so well treated here that the ranch has been duly accredited; share some snap-worthy experiences here, such as meeting a cheetah and cage diving with crocodiles. The Cango Caves – still in the city but a little further out – turns any stalag-mights into stalag-definites, with its vast halls and illuminated dripstone caverns.

  • How much is payable upfront? A 15% transferable deposit is payable when you book, with the balance payable on arrival. Read more
  • Does The Travelling Tortoise have a swimming pool? Yes View all features
  • Is The Travelling Tortoise dog friendly? Yes View all features
  • What attractions are near The Travelling Tortoise? Crazy about hiking? The Meiringspoort Pass – a cliff-lined path connecting the Little Karoo and the Great Karoo – is only a 20-minute drive away. If you’ve worked up a bit of … Read more
  • When can I check in and check out of The Travelling Tortoise?
    Camping and touring
    Arrive:  Anytime –  Anytime
    Depart by:  Anytime
    Read more


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Terms and conditions

Please read the park terms and conditions below and the terms and conditions.

Admission is only permitted after registering at reception.
All guests spending the night at the park must present their ID at the reception desk and sign registration forms.

Discount cards and gift vouchers cannot be applied to bookings made via

Dogs must be kept on leashes and supervised at all times.

Arrivals and departures
Late arrivals must notify the park as soon as possible. Your booking will be held for 24 hours. After this period the management reserves the right to relet your unit.

Local city/eco tax is included in the rate.

Motorcycle(s) can be brought instead of the car(s) included.

Arrivals and departures
No refunds/discounts for inclement weather, late arrivals or early departures.

The management reserves the right to deny access or terminate the stay of those guests whose behavior is deemed unsuitable. No refunds will be offered.

Under 18s must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.