A bowl of yellow and red fruit rests on a brown table in the lounge of our Bees Knees rental villa, in the Wilderness, South Africa, where you can enjoy a magnificent ocean view right from your lounge.


(video) The magical road to Ballots

I built my house at Ballots Nature Reserve 20 years ago and no one had ever heard of this gem on the cliffs near Victoria Bay. Occasionally people would say – "ahhh – those timber houses you sometimes fly over when coming in to George airport – they look amazing….". Two decades on and most locals still don't know about us.

Our best secret is "THE ROAD IN". The first time I drove here I was entranced and every time I drive in I still feel the magic. The strip paved road winds down, down over the old Tjoe Tjoe railway line, further down through indigenous forest thick with yellowwoods and lush ferns, over a small stream and then onto the bridge crossing the rushing Meulen river.

Stop for a moment to take in the forest, the river and the beautiful rustic timber bridge – and to change to low gear for the very steep and sharply winding road up, up, up through a narrow folded sandstone cutting and past vegetation that changes from forest to coastal thicket to fynbos. And then, round a final gentle curve and you will see the Ballots Nature Reserve reception and boom gate. You've arrived, and then it's easy to follow Beach road or Lands End road to find Cliff Top Houses - our very own Secret Escapes.

Name our 'tree house' & Win !
Longing for Lesvos