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.

It’s safe to say that on that trip we discovered what it meant to find Freedom at Treedom as we enjoyed a much-needed escape surrounded by bush, birds, and free-roaming chickens at our house in the trees. In fact, this unique place will always hold a special place in our hearts as it was during our time there that we discovered we were expecting our first child.

Fast forward a year on, we received a call that Debbie and Marc had now finished construction on their first two Treedom vardos. And so off we were again to the Garden Route, this time with our three-month-old in tow!


I proudly presented our new family member to our gracious hosts who greeted us like long-lost family members. Then it was their turn to present their babies to us. Beaming with pride and joy, we were shown around the two vardos that Debbie and Marc had spent the past year building. And they have a right to be proud!


Each vardo stands in its own private spot, plucked as if from a children’s fairytale book. The two, which are now open for bookings, are called the Gypsy and the Owl, with the décor uniquely focussed around each theme.


Prior to arriving, I had been a bit trepidatious about staying in what is on paper a replica caravan but the experience was as far from camping as one could get. Although small, the vardos have been immaculately designed to maximise every inch of space and include enough room for a double bed, a full-sized kitchen with stove, oven, and fridge, as well as your own private bathroom.


And while utterly beautiful with intricately handcrafted designs, it wasn’t inside our vardo where we spent most of the time. For outside two antique chairs huddled around a braai, and a unique handmade swing bed called for lazy afternoon naps and stargazing evenings. When it became too chilly to stay outside, we retreated to the greenhouse where a romantic lounge and table for two was set up under twinkling lights.


With three more magical vardos in the making, we can’t wait to return to see what Debbie and Marc dream up next!


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