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Birding and Glamping

Well-Being Sanctuary

2024-07-21

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Birding and Glamping

Home of the Loerie and Fish Eagle

BIRD WATCHING: Swartvlei, Wilderness National Park

Swartvlei is the largest and deepest lake in the Wilderness National Park, Western Cape. It is connected to the sea for about 6 months of the year, before the mouth silts closed for the rest of the year. Birding enthusiasts will be in their element, with plenty of water and forrest birds to view. This offers a unique opportunity to walk the indiginous forrest paths, lakes, town and pristene beaches. 

More About Sedgefield

Sedgefield, or better known as Slow Town  is a special getaway -  When a town boasts "slow town status" it has real meaning. Sedgefield, Swartvlei and Well-Being are Sanctuaries, that share a common purpose:

Where you can take time for contemplation and reflection and appreciate simple pleasures often taken for granted. We invest less in things and more in experiences and relationships. We support local and encourage ethical business practices. We find humane, environmentally friendly and durable solutions. WE value local cultures and support local traditions. We promote stewardship of our natural environment and re-purpose and recycle wherever possible to reduce the carbon footprint. Where a sense of "tribe" is not only a concept of community, but we truly live it. We support development and infrastructure that reflects our area's unique character and quality of life whilst committing to sustainability.

On Swartvlei, close to Sedgefield we also have on our doorstep the world-class Wild Oats Community Farmers' Market that empathizes with this philosophy. And there's access to all the adventure sports and outdoor activities this great environment offers to pursue healthy living and exciting goals.

Birds of Eden

There are thousands of birds in this area and its really difficult to choose, but we would like to highlight the ten most common birds spotted at the Well-Being Sanctuary on Swartvlei spesifically. 

The Fish Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Pied Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Duck, Common Moorhen, Purple Swamphen and the Cape Shoveller. These birds are breathtaking to observe in their natural habitat. 

From the Well- Being Sanctuary you will hear the calls and see the African Fish Eagles pair patrol the lake, various kinds of dazzling Sun birds can be spotted, and we have many curious wild Loeries that you will spot on the indigenous forrest banks. It is essential to invest in a pair of binoculars and centre yourself in the silence of the forrest. 

Glamping Accommodation at the Well-Being Sanctuary

After a day of bird watching, swimming, and a visit to the town and local market - come back to the Well-Being Sanctuary to unwind and sleep soundly. It is so quiet at the Sanctuary that you can hear the call of every bird in the surrounding territory and if you listen closely you can hear the waves break on the beach some nights. It is truly special to be woken up by the tweets, calls, hums and buzz of birds and bees in the tall grass and trees.

Welcome to our hospitality haven, where glamping takes on a whole new level of comfort and luxury. Our cosy and comfortable beds are fit for royalty, offering a range of options including king, queen, and single beds. Each tent accommodates one to two people, allowing you to choose the perfect bed to suit your preference. For larger groups, our spacious tents comfortably accommodate three to four people, providing ample space to relax and unwind.

Whether you prefer a shady spot or basking in the sun, our boutique glamping village offers a gleaming array of tents with carpets, pillows, and soft cotton bedding that will envelop you in a cloud of relaxation. Our 5-meter bell tents are spacious enough to stand up in, allowing you to move freely and comfortably. From your tent, enjoy breathtaking views over the serene lake, lush grass fields, and the enchanting beauty of the fairy forest.

Immerse yourself in community and nature, where the only thing separating you from the twinkling stars at night is a canvas roof. Rest assured, your safety is paramount, and our well-lit surroundings provide a sense of security throughout your stay. Wi-Fi is available upon request should you need to connect, and you'll find good cell phone reception with various service providers.

Experience the next level of luxury in glamping as we invite you to unwind, relax, and create unforgettable memories. Our crisp and clean tents are designed with your utmost comfort in mind, ensuring that your stay with us is nothing short of extraordinary. Prepare to be captivated by the allure of our hospitality haven, where dreams become reality and every detail is meticulously crafted for your enjoyment.

For frequently asked questions click here


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What our friends say

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Well-Being Sanctuary and it exceeded all of my expectations. The glamping tents were luxurious and secluded, offering the perfect escape from the city. The views of the hills, forest, and lake were absolutely breathtaking, and the natural recreational activities available on the property were a highlight of my trip. I particularly enjoyed exploring the indigenous forest and spotting small buck tracks and other animals. The Sanctuary is also home to a wide variety of birds, including the beautiful Knysna Loeries. The lake provided the perfect spot for swimming and lounging on one of the four beaches. I also appreciated the option to bring my own kayak or stand-up paddle board to explore the lake at my leisure. The location of the sanctuary is also ideal, with easy access to the nearby towns of George and Knysna, as well as the Wild Oats Saturday Farmer's Market. The organic veggie garden and natural beekeeping walks were a nice bonus, and the clear shared hot showers were a welcome relief after a day of activities. Overall, I would highly recommend the Well-Being Sanctuary to anyone looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway. The staff was friendly and the glamping was very comfortable and beautiful. I can't wait to return!
Wonderful serene place to get away from it all and connect with nature - and yourself. Glamping accommodation that is clean and comfortable and caters for every need. Off the beaten path but close enough to civilisation. Beautiful walking paths through indigenous forest, breathtaking views and insane sunsets. Ideal for nature lovers and bird watchers. Enjoying fireside chats, SUP’ing on the river/ lake, horse riding and reading. Highly recommended!
The Wellbeing Sanctuary is a must visit for relaxing tranquility and restorative soul nourishment. One is immediately struck by the beautiful nature scenes, the abundant birds and their peaceful sounds - the fish eagle during the day, and the delicate nightjar in the evenings, their sounds remind one where you are, and forces your mind to acknowledge the peaceful setting with a soft smile and grateful heart. All you have to do is surrender to the beautiful surroundings and choose to experience all that the Wellbeing Sanctuary has to offer. I have been fortunate enough to visit the Wellbeing Sanctuary for a couple of festivals and retreats. Each time I feel the gratitude from my inner being for the restorative and relaxing medicine the land and its activities has to offer. From the most beautiful conversations to joyful fire dancing and energetic drumming, or a peaceful walk among the many forest and garden pathways, or even a swim in the beautiful lake - you are sure to feel yourself restored and energised to continue on your life path. Do yourself a favour, and visit the Wellbeing Sanctuary!
Amazing place to relax if you are looking for somewhere off the beaten track, peaceful , quiet and beautiful. Mariette is a most generous and responsive host - great communication and so informative about the land and all its magic. What really adds to your whole experience is that the it centres around sustainability with a fantastic glamping experience. The tents are spacious and the beds are super comfortable - had such a good sleep after all the day’s activities: Beautiful walk along the banks of the lagoon followed by the longest swim. Tip - try out all of the beaches - each has its own unique character!
Such an incredible wholesome space and place to unwind, rewind and refuel. Mariette and her team have created an incredible natural sanctuary that simply lets you exhale all the stresses that come with living and inhale much needed rest and restore. It is transformative in the most gentle of ways. The Well-Being Sanctuary is just that - a sanctuary to restore our senses and return to wellbeing. My advice if you are reading this - go!!!
Love this place. So very special! The serene beauty. I love the ethos and respect for the land. Thank you Mariette for being such a fantastic host.
A most magical destination, filled with loving and supportive facilitators. The combination of land, water, trees, energy and safe space of love and compassion. I cannot recommend this location enough, please do yourself a favour and visit the Well-Being Sanctuary.
Well Being sanctuary is exactly what the name describes, A sanctuary of sacred serenity and abundant simplicity where Mother Nature gifts a beautiful balance of Earth, water, fire and air. My soul is nourished, revived and inspired after being there every time.
What a piece of paradise. Beautiful nature with amazing energy. Loved my stay here and looking very much forward to the next visit.
I have been to the WBS many times. It feels like home. Tranquillity, nature, lake. Comfortable glamping. Peace.