Of owls and gypsies – vardos in the Wilderness

After a tough lockdown in 2020, we were feeling a need to escape and so it came to be that we discovered Treedom Villas & Vardos in Wilderness in August last year. At that stage, the Vardos part of the name was still just a pipe dream, but owners Debbie and Marc had spent a good few years slaving away to create a unique treehouse villa on their natural plot of land in the Garden Route.

more “Of owls and gypsies – vardos in the Wilderness”

Wine and all things fine at Rickety Bridge

Summer in Cape Town, means long lazy days spent in the sunshine. And, while many may choose to spend these glorious days at the beach, my inner compass takes me away from the sea and to a place where vineyards and mountains reign supreme. That’s why when greeted by one fantastic day at the beginning of summer I chose to pack up my suitcase and head to Franschhoek and Rickety Bridge winery for a weekend of food and fun in a Wineland wonderland…

more “Wine and all things fine at Rickety Bridge”

A trio of animal sanctuaries on the Garden Route

Every time we venture up that wild coastline where the forest meets the sea, known as South Africa’s Garden Route, we know there are three places we simply have to stop in at. This being Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, and Jukani.

Owned by the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA) and led by some of the most passionate animal people you will ever meet, each sanctuary offers a totally different experience. At Monkeyland you can meet a range of unique primates from around the world, while at Birds of Eden you have the opportunity to walk through a forest where birds abound and then Junkani offers the chance to get up close and personal with big cats.

Keep reading to discover more about each sanctuary and the highlights from our most recent visit:

more “A trio of animal sanctuaries on the Garden Route”

An overnight adventure in Elgin

After the lockdown was lifted, we couldn’t wait to get out and enjoy life beyond the confines of our four walls. Although budget and time constraints, unfortunately, meant, just like many others, that we couldn’t travel far. And so it came to be that we booked a weekend escape to the Elgin valley.

Located just under an hour from our home in Cape Town, Elgin held promises of lots of wine, good food, and plenty of adventure. Our overnight accommodation of choice – Trail’s End. more “An overnight adventure in Elgin”

A getaway to Gordon’s Bay

As Spring takes a firm hold over the Western Cape, we recently woke up to one fine Wednesday in Cape Town. The sun was out in force, the mercury was hitting 30ºC for the first time in months, and we were allowed out of the house for the first time in months too, being 2020 and all. The wind was also nowhere to be seen, a rarity for sunny days in Cape Town where our summer days are battered by blustering South Easters.

And so shunning those mid-week blues, we took the opportunity to take a break from it all, and escape down the coast to the beautiful seaside town of Gordon’s Bay. Drive further and further down the coast away from Cape Town, and False Bay seems to stretch into an endless away of blue. Then tucked deep in the corner is where you will find gorgeous Gordon’s Bay. more “A getaway to Gordon’s Bay”

Waking up in Wilderness

The gorgeous Garden Route is one of those special places that we just can’t get enough of. From Mossel Bay all the way through the beaches of Plett, there is so much to see and do. We personally love hiking through the lush forests, keeping an eye out for Knysna Louries, or stand up paddleboarding down the rivers in search of waterfalls.

We were recently lucky enough to spend a few days at the newly opened Treedom Villas and Vardos located just outside of Wilderness. This unique treehouse-style property is owned by a loving husband and wife team who provided us with a much-needed escape just after lockdown, with lots of smiles, laughter, and good cheer thrown in for good measure.

Check out our short video here to get a glimpse of what it is like to wake up in Wilderness:



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 5 Star Stories (@5starstories) on

Marketing, influencers and blogging – what is worth it?

With so many different methods of marketing out there, it is easy to get confused and overwhelmed. Determining who you are, who your audience is, where they hang out and determining what you want to get out of marketing, influencers and blogging will help you to determine which marketing activities are right for your business.

Download this short presentation on picking the right marketing channels for your business while delving deeper into the pros and cons of social media, blogging, emailers, Google ads etc..

Marketing, influencers and bloggers – what is worth it?


Recommended by CapeTownInsider.

5 Star Stories offers marketing support services for free

In this world of uncertainty when the travel industry is facing a global shutdown, we need to stand together to ensure we make it through. The travel business that will survive will no doubt be those that are agile, willing to think on their feet, act fast and dream outside of the box.

We know that in these troubling times, budgets are thin, if not non-existent and seeing beyond the day to day is difficult to do. That is why we are here to help. As we get through this time, 5 Star Stories is reaching out to anyone in the travel and lifestyle business that needs a helping hand to give us a call. We will provide marketing support services for free.

Whether its some social media support, blog writing, emailers, basic website development or even just to bounce an idea or two around, we are here to help. We will provide as much marketing support as are able to, helping your business to come up with new ideas to keep thriving in the next few months. The idea being that we work with your business and your team to help you implement marketing solutions with long-term sustainability that your team can easily implement.

Please contact us here to get started.

A very berry Christmas!

As 2019 draws to a close, here at 5 Star Stories things are busier than ever! There’s no sleep on social media and we’re racing into the New Year full steam ahead. Looking back at the past year we’re so lucky to have worked with a range of amazing clients in the travel and luxury lifestyle industries and our stories have been picked up far and wide! Thanks to you all for making it a year to remember! more “A very berry Christmas!”