Retreat to Knysna’s hidden gem – Higha...

Retreat to Knysna’s hidden gem – Highacre Forest Cottage

On your next visit to the Garden Route, I highly suggest you take a few days and and immerse yourself in the beautiful haven that is Highacre. This hideaway lies just outside Knysna at the end of a countryside road – with nothing surrounding you but expansive gardens and views of the Knysna Forest.


Highacre is one of a kind place and what makes it so special are the owners, Daniel & Hannes, who are both passionate about nature and incorporate this love into various artistic expressions. Their enthusiasm is evident in every detail of their own home, their garden and the two guest cottages (Forest & Garden Cottage).

Daniel is the multi-faceted creative director of Ecozest and dips into interiors, styling, floral art and event planning. He creates the most magical floral installations – there’s no other way to describe them. Full of colour and abundance, they are captivating.
Hannes is a garden and landscape designer who has the greenest fingers! His passion is to mimic nature and create gardens that look as though they’ve naturally evolved over time without the influence of human hands. Hannes has created an exceptional garden, cultivated with so much care and consideration yet still full of authentic and natural tendencies.

The garden has various nooks and pockets which blend perfectly together and there are plans to add more features to it when time allows. From aloes and succulents, to rambling roses and proteas, to the heady scented wisteria lining the walkway down to the pavilion – the garden is a total delight and guests are encouraged to enjoy all of it.

Now that the scene is set, let’s take a walk through Forest Cottage…
The cottage sleeps four and has two bedrooms, with an open plan kitchen/dining/living area that opens up onto a porch with uninterrupted views. The decor and style is quirky and textured with bold floral accents tying everything together. I loved the ornate William Morris wallpaper, the moody blue palette and the curated vignettes. 

Daniel's stunning floral arrangements are works of art.

Normally I wouldn’t have too much to say about a bathroom but Forest Cottage’s indoor/outdoor bathroom is an exception! Words or photos don’t actually do it justice, you’ll have to experience it for yourself…

Forest Cottage

A stay at Forest Cottage is an absolute feast for the senses and if you’re anything like me, you won’t want to leave. Whether you sit out on the front porch and take in the sounds of the early morning peace and quiet, or wander down to the pavilion and watch the weavers building their nests or simply sink into the sofa and put your feet up with the wood burner on the go – this is a place to slow down and truly savour the moment. 


High Acre garden pavilion

Another highlight is the stunning pavilion which has views all round and overlooks a small pond. Listening to their weaver birds chatter and watching them furiously build their nests while the sun goes down is such a meditative way to end the day. Thank you Daniel and Hannes for creating such wonderful place to retreat to, it truly is a hidden gem.
You can book your stay with Daniel and Hannes directly [email protected]

Hop over to Airbnb to view more details and view the availability calendar if needed.

High Acre garden pavilion

Photography: Lana Kenney 

  1. Daniel Ferreira

    15 October

    Wow Lana!!! LOVE this! All your gorgeous photos that really captures the right colours and mood of the cottage and garden and the well observed and great writing! Thank you so much!
    Love Daniel and Hannes.

  2. Rose McClement

    5 November

    Lana – so good to see you again. What a stunning article and I’m sure that it really does this venue proud. The images make this venue so inviting for one such as myself. The decor is definitely quirky, vintage but so utterly unique in its flavour. Which is what interiors should really be all about. wherever you look are splashes of floral arrangements, with the colours of the garden. Which adds so much of that seamless inside/ outside living context. Plus it looks so effortless from what I can see. These two people are really doing what should be done in good interiors – they are showcasing exactly who they are and what their values are. I am so very glad I took this tour with your. And to the owners – well done on all the natural beauty that your creativity give full expression to.

  3. Jean

    5 November

    Oh Lana ..thousand thanks for this fabulous visit to this amazing property and garden. I know about the talents of Daniel thru my fabulous Instagram friend Sue .. I was elated to visit here ..your photography and insight is appreciated..thank you Lana ..greetings from Sydney

  4. Gail

    7 November

    WOW!!! This is absolutely stunning – once there I really can’t see myself leaving! Amazing decor & all the beautiful flower arrangements everywhere. Thank you for sharing this hidden gem & captivating it all so magnificently 🙂

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