Originally compiled for Getaway Magazine, these budget-friendly accommodation options along The Garden Route will be loved by both you and your furry best friend.

Pet-friendly accommodation options along The Garden Route can be few and far between. However, on assignment for Getaway Magazine, Valentino and I sniffed out 10 great spots, from Mossel Bay to Oudtshoorn, that will welcome both you and your furry best friend.

1. Blommekloof Country Cottages, Ruiterbos

Telephone 082-467-0419, www. blommekloof.co.za

Claude and Ali Coetzee have been welcoming pets to their 16-hectare farm just outside Mossel Bay for many years, and they’re fond of human guests too, so you’ll find fresh eggs waiting for you upon arrival.

The two off-the-grid cottages (one sleeps four, the other sleeps eight) have fenced gardens and you are welcome to walk around the farm, or while away the day fishing at catch-and-release dams. Valentino happily accompanied me on walks through the vegetable gardens and fruit trees, while keeping a wary eye on the chickens and geese because he’s had a run-in with fowl before! There are cows, sheep and more, so keep your dogs on a leash if they’re not good around farm animals.

Pet policy:
Well-behaved dogs (and cats, parrots and goldfish) are welcome. Contact them upfront to discuss your pet’s requirements.

2. The Funny Farm Shire, Wilderness

Telephone 082-829-4601, www.thefunnyfarmshire.co.za

There really is a gate to Middle Earth in Wilderness. Behind that gate you’ll enter the world of Lord of the Rings, complete with a wishing well, a marsh and forest trail.

Even if you aren’t into Tolkien, it’s still a magical place with vast areas for your dogs to run. The three self-catering cob cottages (sleep two to five) are fenced so pets can’t wander off while you braai. I was completely smitten with our Hobbit House and would’ve moved in permanently given half the chance! We were a bit disappointed that Gandalf didn’t pop in for tea, but we did manage to find Gollum on our walk through Mordor…

Pet policy:
All breeds and sizes of dogs are welcome, but keep them off the furniture and under control when walking on the farm.

3. The Old Trading Post, Wilderness

Telephone 044-882-1207, www.oldtradingpost.co.za

Passers-by used to stock up here in the days before the N2 existed and the only access to the area was by ox wagon. You’ll still find everything you need here for a comfortable break from your journey. There are three cosy rooms for couples and one self-catering cottage that sleeps four (good for larger dogs).

Valentino and I felt very at home in our garden cottage, and he gave the cooked breakfast a paws up! Book for the Friday night dinner – it’s popular with the locals.

Pet policy:
Dogs, cats and caged birds are welcome. There are resident dogs, so yours must be well-socialised.

4. The Studio at Mount View Lodge, Sedgefield

Telephone 082-921-9682, visit their Facebook page

This beautifully decorated, fully enclosed, modern cottage with pastoral views came with a bottle of wine – just in case the setting hadn’t already induced blissful relaxation! You can enjoy lazy afternoons reading in a hammock-chair, watch the local birdlife and forage for herbs for your dinner in the vegetable garden. It was raining so we didn’t go for a walk, but there’s a nice stroll down to the nearby dam.

The owners really love dogs and even provide dog beds and bowls if you forget yours at home.

Pet policy:
Well-behaved dogs are welcome if they stay off the furniture and beds. The owners do have dogs of their own and they are likely to visit.

5. Equleni Guest Farm, Sedgefield

Telephone 082-903-5170, visit their Facebook page

At Equleni it’s just you, 21 hectares of fynbos and a magnificent view over Rondevlei and the Outeniqua Mountains.

This bright, airy modern pad has every comfort for all creatures. I loved the uncapped Wi-Fi, Apple TV and the cupboard filled with condiments and treats, while Valentino chewed on a hoof that our hosts kindly left for him. We also joined owner, Dianne Simpson, and her two energetic retrievers for a walk (she’ll also pet sit at no extra charge if you need to nip away to the shop).

Note that this is tick country, so check your dogs after they’ve been frolicking in the fynbos.

Pet policy:
All well-socialised dogs are welcome, but not on the furniture or beds. The resident dogs will come visit.

6. Sabrage Guesthouse & Venue, Rheenendal

Telephone 073 885 4611, visit their Facebook page

A small herd of Nguni cows, chickens and a pot-bellied pig called Petunia greeted us at this farm!

With no Wi-Fi or TV, you reconnect with nature and the simple way of life, which for us included an afternoon nap, a braai under the stars and a walk to the large dam that water-loving hounds will love.

The four units (which sleep up to four) have kitchenettes and braais, with the pet-friendly ones enclosed to keep the farmyard gang safe. There’s a pool for humans, although I’m sure you and you furry friend can swim in the dam too.

Pet policy:
All breeds of dogs are welcome provided they adhere to the ‘petiquette’ rules.

When we visited, the farm was called Nieu_Wherry Meadow and is now under new ownership with a name change. The Nguni cows are no longer there, but you can still meet Petunia the pot-bellied pig and they have remained pet-friendly.

7. Fern Gully Forest Cabins, Rheenendal

Telephone 044-388-4757, www.fern-gully.com

The vervet monkeys came calling, thanks to me foolishly leaving fruit out for the Knysna turacos (which didn’t make an appearance)! Meddling monkeys aside, the five wooden cabins on stilts in the foliage make for a tranquil escape. Each has a novel outdoor shower – however, I was relieved the vervets didn’t run off with my towel!

Valentino and I went on a lovely walk through the fenced macadamia orchard to a dam. Ticks are around, so check your dog after walkies.

Note: The cabins have a gate to the stairs to keep dogs and children from wandering off into the forest, but there are no barriers on the deck and it’s quite a drop to the forest below.

Pet policy:
Well-behaved dogs are welcome, but must be socialised as the owners have dogs of their own.

8. Cornerway House B&B, Plettenberg Bay

Telephone 044-533-3190, www.cornerwayhouse.co.za

Being a gardener myself, I loved the manicured lawns, colourful flowers, trees and shrubs, while Valentino had a good time snooping about in a safe environment.

The seven rooms have been carefully thought-out, with small courtyards and gates (there’s also a self-catering unit, ideal for a large group). The guest house is available for you to rustle up something in the kitchen, have a braai, swim in the pool or read in one of the lounges.

Solar Beach, where dogs are allowed off the leash (look for pansy shells), is a short drive away.

Pet policy:
Proudly pet-friendly, with resident dogs keen to meet guests.

9. Pear Tree Cottage, Storms River

Telephone 082-427-5248, visit their Facebook page

Expect a resounding welcome from the pack that lives on the property when you arrive in at Pear Tree Cottage! They will follow you to your abode and regularly pop in for visits.

The self-catering cottage is nestled by a seasonal pond and is perfect for two, complete with a braai by the water’s edge. There is also a larger cottage that sleeps four.

Valentino happily mooched about on the walkways alongside streams, and in the evening we ambled down to a pet-friendly pizzeria in the village for dinner.

Pet policy:
Small dogs only (preferably one) and they must be kept off the furniture and bed.

10. Berluda Farmhouse and Cottages, Oudtshoorn

Telephone 044-272-8518, www.berluda.co.za

Berluda, in the Schoemanshoek Valley, is a fairly upmarket establishment on a working ostrich farm, so I was delighted to find it has a pet-friendly cottage! The ostriches are not on your doorstep so you won’t have to worry about run-ins involving large toes and beaks!

The family cottages are close to the swimming pool and have lovely stoeps with braai areas. You can self-cater or indulge in a three-course Karoo dinner in the dining room.

Pet policy:
Well-behaved dogs are welcome in the cottage but not in the dining room and there’s no fencing around any of the cottages.

Published January 2020 | Sponsored accommodation
Original article forGetaway Magazine