It’s a little-known fact that the first ever container building was constructed in 1996 right here in South Africa, in Simon’s Town to be specific.
Way before container homes became fashionable and sought-after around the world, a South African shipping company donated 40 containers to Simon’s Town High School, which it used to build a hostel accommodating 120 boarders.
The project revolutionised how people view and use shipping containers, which often lie idle at harbours. As global populations expand, the demand for more housing increases and of course, the time and effort it takes to build houses exacerbates the process of owning a home for millions of people.
Just like the shipping container (invented in 1956 by an American named Malcolm McLean) changed the shape of the global import and export industry, container homes are beginning to change the way we build homes. During the Gulf War, the US army used shipping containers as emergency shelters because they could be quickly converted and easily fortified.
Container homes cost a lot less than building a house with a foundation. It’s estimated that they cost on average R200 000, depending on the finishes and style. Their modular shape means you could use two or more containers to build a home that is uniquely designed for the space of land you need.
If you’re a little uncertain about living in a container and worried you might feel like a zoo animal in transit, maybe start by spending a weekend in one to get a taste of the experience.
One container home in McGregor proved to be an ideal getaway, especially if you’re in the mood for isolation and being disconnected from the rat race. Available through McGregor Country Getaways, Easy 4 Dayz is a comfortable rectangular-shaped nest, perfect for an average family and fitted with all the comforts of home, and then some.
You probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a container home and a normal brick and mortar home, mainly because the container has been so deftly adapted, with a massive veranda with built-in braai area, and a quaint swimming pool. The glass sliding doors open out completely and add to the open spacious feel.
It’s worth noting at this point that my 4-year-old daughter – who has been lucky enough to stay at the most luxurious hotels in the province in the past – still prefers to go back to the “container house”.
With Wi-Fi, fully-fitted kitchen including a dishwasher, spacious bathrooms and a large lounge and dining area, the house quickly turns into a home you don’t want to leave in a hurry. It’s stylish and modern, without being pretentious.
I was unsure of what to expect when we arrived. But it is nothing like I expected. It is comfortable and spacious and the outdoor area gives you the feel of a real country vibe.
Venture into the sleepy town of McGregor, which is curious for all the right reasons. Being home to many artists, the town has plenty of arts and crafts shops along the one main road. The locals are friendly and so helpful – true country hospitality. The pub that was once used to shoot that well-known Bell’s TV advert is situated in McGregor. If you’re in the mood for something a little more refined take a short drive to Lord’s Wines. Their exquisite MCC is a stand out and consistent performer, and the newly-renovated restaurant and venue section has a captivating view for guests to enjoy.
McGregor encourages simple living. Why drive when you can walk to any shop or restaurant you choose? Why watch TV when you can inhale the silence and serenity, or read a book? Either way, a fun and relaxing weekend away in McGregor can be self-contained – in the nicest possible way.
They have fabulous winter specials which makes a getaway to this warm little country town that much more appealing.
Contact: 023 625 1409
You can also try any one of these holiday packages and experiences:
- The Royal Livingstone Hotel 5 | From R10 290 per person sharing
- Coin de Mire Attitude Mauritius 3 | From R13 990 per person sharing
- Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, Okavango Delta | From R26 740 per person sharing
- Tarangire Treetops & Zanzibar Combo 5 | From 41 490 per person sharing
- Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar Combo 4 | From R43 990 per person sharing