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Our History

"Boardwalk Lodge reflects the symbiosis of traditional timber architecture and the indigenous environment." 

Boardwalk Lodge heralds a new concept in luxury lodge design, featuring contemporary Knysna timber architecture in a beautiful Garden Route location.

The Wilderness region comprises the unique wetlands ecosystem of the Garden Route National Park. Five striking kingfisher species, together with many other species of birds and animals, frequent the forests, four lakes and rivers of the area. This peaceful environment and a dream of a luxury lodge prompted lifelong friends and business partners Chris Boshoff and Alex Smith to begin purchasing plots along the steep Wilderness Heights mountainside, eventually ending up with a total of two hectares of lush indigenous forested land.

In 1999, the main Boardwalk Lodge four-bedroom guest house and a brick self-catering unit were opened to the public. Great care had to be taken in the construction of these two buildings and a full environmental impact study had to be approved before construction could start.

The real challenge came when five additional timber units were completed in 2002. It was a mammoth task to ensure that the surrounding indigenous forest was not damaged and that the environmental authorities were completely satisfied with the construction techniques used in building these beautiful structures.

In December 2016 we completed another two additional Luxury timber units, taking our total up to seven breath taking timber units. 

The Boardwalk Lodge owners and staff pride themselves in the sustainable development and management of the lodge and the surrounding area. Boardwalk Lodge is part of a conservancy of about 40 properties that aim to enhance the environment we live in by eliminating alien vegetation and conserving indigenous flora.

Building analyst Jonathan Kingwill states, “Boardwalk Resort, situated within the indigenous coastal forest, is a prime example of appropriate tourism development in the Garden Route. The timber structures allow for the least possible impact to the forest floor. The ‘minimal disturbance’ policy that was followed during planning and construction, has allowed for natural regrowth of existing plant life. This, together with the indigenous species that were planted on the disturbed areas, constitutes the rehabilitation efforts to restore the forest back to its original condition.”

Today, a few years later, Boardwalk Lodge is a unique holiday lodge with exquisite views and surroundings.

A few interesting facts:

  • All service pipes (water, sewerage) had to be laid on the surface, since excavation was not permitted for environmental reasons. Special consideration had to be given to the type and anchorage of pipes used. Finally, a special pipe called HDPE was chosen because it is highly flexible and came in long lengths. Sewer manholes had to be precast and only three were used in the entire project.
  • The laying of the pipes was a great challenge due to the dense bush and steep slopes of the terrain. The exact position of the pipes could not be shown on a building plan and the contractor had to determine the pipe routes on site.
  • Boardwalk Lodge is built on very steep slopes. The timber substructures of these buildings are in some places up to ten metres above the ground.
  • Construction poles were anchored to concrete bases, but had an additional galvanised steel rod epoxied in the centre of each pole. This method of construction is relatively new and is but one of the many new techniques utilised in building the lodge.