Your Hosts: Ant and Fi Paton

Ant and Fi Paton, owners of Tree Spirit Cottages, two excellent cottages for rent, solar powered, eco catering, Gouna Forest, Knysna - hiking, biking, trail

Ant and Fi Paton, owners of Tree Spirit Cottages. Two lovely cottages for rent, solar powered, eco catering, hiking, biking trails Gouna Forest, Knysna

Our Story

We are extremely grateful to awaken each morning in a region blessed with extraordinary illustrations of nature’s bounty.  After attending a permaculture course a number of years back we were drawn to live a conscious life filled with happiness and joy, with an awareness of how our everyday choices impact our well-being, our communities and the earth. We set out to find a piece of land where we could enter into a symbiotic relationship with nature.

We moved here in 2010 and through lots of hard work, learning and never giving up we are getting closer to realising our dream of living a more sustainable life at one with nature.  We strive to work in harmony with our exquisite surroundings and the abundance of birds, bees, frogs and other wildlife is a testimony to the health and natural balance prevailing on our beautiful farm. 

  • The entire farm is now solar-powered
  • We harvest and filter rainwater for household and drinking use
  • We grow our own vegetables and irrigate the garden with dam water
  • We refrain from the use of chemicals in our household and gardens
  • All fresh produce grown originates from non GMO, chemical free, organic seed
  • Chickens assist in bed preparation and soil conditioning whilst giving us eggs
  • Beehives were introduced to assist with the pollination of plants. We provide them with a secure, happy environment with an abundance of flowers and fynbos to feast on.
  • Our donkeys and pigs assist us with providing manure for compost, maintaining the bush, creating pathways and keeping grass areas low
  • We are continuously working on clearing alien vegetation to restore the farm back to its original indigenous state whilst providing us with a abundance of firewood


Many people today seek out venues who strive to implement eco-friendly measures in their business practices and places that are aware of any possible impact they have on the environment within which they operate.  With this in mind we wanted to create a space where people could experience what it is like to live this lifestyle. Over the years we have increased our accommodation offerings to cater for 8-10 persons.  We have also added facilities such as a communal dining area and a covered work space so educational courses or activity based weekends such as Yoga can be enjoyed on a fully catered basis. 

It is a gift to live this life and everyone who visits Tree Spirit helps towards making it better by giving feedback, supporting our efforts and spreading the word.  We thank you for your support and your interest.

Ant & Fi


Review – Budget getaways

“The directions said the road was interesting and it certainly was. The sights out the window as we drove were reminiscent of the pictures conjured up by the stories we had read of Knysna, mostly courtesy of Daleen Matthee. The Gouna valley is breath taking, Knysna is so much more than the famous heads. Upon arriving at Tree Spirit we were greeted by Fiona and her entourage of animals. The sheep and their adopted pig pal, ”Bam Bam” the friendly lovable donkey who walked us to our cottage where he would visit often to the delight of the children. Fiona is an awesome friendly honest to goodness host, she even left us some delicious strawberries hand-picked from her organic garden. On occasion we were lucky enough to be visited by the resident Bush buck, when lily pads were on the breakfast menu. Mrs Bush buck headed for the hills when we came across her on our morning run. It was hot during our stay so the outside shower (with hot water!) was an awesome way to cool off. A lazy braai ended our evenings with a sunset second to none. The evening rivals that of Sutherland, we traced many a satellites path across the night sky. The lack of noise that we have become accustomed to was nowhere to be found, just pure tranquility and peacefulness aplenty,it was amazing, we loved it so much we stayed an extra night. We will definitely be going back.”

(Candy De Jager, visited December 2015)