Giants Castle Slackpacking Trail

Giants Castle Slackpacking Trail

A 3 night luxury trail through the foothills of the Giants Castle Valley and Zulu Waters Private Game Reserve. Accommodation is in lodges, your luggage is transported and its fully catered.

Day 1:Antbear Lodge is about sustainability. Here you will even find homemade cheese from their own milk. Hiking starts heading up to the top of the mountain with spectacular views looking out over the Drakensberg Mountains towards Giants Castle.

Day 2: Leopards Lair is full of family atmosphere offering a real agri-tourism experience. Your walk from here starts off easy and then drops back down into the Mbogta Valley after which you enter the Zulu Waters Game Reserve

Day 3 Shaka Lodge offers the lapse of luxury including your own private chef. Almost your whole day will be hiking inside the reserve where you might see rhino, buffalo and so much more.

Other addon activities include the Giants Castle vulture hide, a star gazing hammock camp, horse trails, abseiling and game drives

Qambathi Mountain Lodge

Nadia and Stephen are excited to welcome you to Qambathi

We are a owner run adult only boutique lodge and nature reserve nestled in the heart of Kamberg Valley, part of the beautiful Midlands Meander.

Qambathi has a magical atmosphere and it is a truly romantic setting surrounded by Drakensberg mountains and valleys.  Excellent service supports the superb cuisine and is sure to turn any day into a fairytale experience. Great care has been taken to create unique and inspiring luxury accommodation, where you can sink into total comfort of meticulously designed rooms defined by a blend of nature’s colours and contemporary use of natural materials with luscious textures.

Enjoy the Qambathi forest trail taking you deep into one of the last remaining indigenous forests in the Kamberg valley or a casual walk on the existing game trails to enjoy the beautiful views where zebra and  blesbok keep you company.

Qambathi can accommodate up to 10 guests, and is perfect for a small groups such as family reunions, company retreats, or just  friends getting together. Please contact us to book Qambathi exclusively.

Giants Castle Camp

Giants Castle Camp

Giants Castle Game Reserve is home to the mighty eland as well as the rare bearded vulture and is situated within the Central Drakensberg region of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. Giants Castle camp is positioned on a plateau overlooking the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg. Giants Castle provides fantastic views for walkers, ramblers, hikers and enthusiastic mountain climbers. Giants Castle’s superb rock art is one of its many unique attractions. The popular vulture restaurant is open during winter for anyone wishing to observe the rare bearded vulture and other endangered species feeding. A visit to the Main Caves Museum at Giants Castle for an intriguing view of the past way of life of the San people is highly recommended.

Leopards Lair Lodge

Leopards Lair Lodge

Leopard’s Lair is a guest house located near the Drakensberg world heritage site near to Giant’s Castle and the Kwa Zulu Natal Midlands. The Buys family is the magic behind Leopard’s Lair. You aren’t just a guest, you’re family! Leopard’s Lair’s mission is to turn your stay into a memorable experience. This is a “real, working farm”, offering all kinds of agri tourism attractions. You can bottle feeding lambs. Meet Lallie the tame Eland. Collect eggs from the free range hens. Children delight in petting the animals and watching some of the farming activities. Life is lived at a gentler pace, take time to chat and to pick your own vegetables from their organic vegetable garden. Strawberries taste best eaten directly as you pick them.

Leopard’s Lair offers affordable family accommodation on a dinner bed and breakfast basis. Accommodation available for up to seven persons. Self Catering accommodation options available too.

Our two boys are our best ambassadors and can’t wait to share their fun and adventure with guests and maybe a little touch of naughtiness. Let your kids try their hand at fishing or canoeing. Outdoors is the best source for fun and your kids will be  entertained for hours while  you finish reading your book in peace.

The Midlands Meander, with its arts and crafts, breweries and cheese tasting starts right here. The Mandela Capture Site is also around the corner as is everything that the Drakensberg Mountains offer

Shaka Lodge

zulu waters - your own private game reserve

Zulu Waters Game Reserve offers you the exclusive use of its 3000 hectare estate, your time here is tailored to create the experience you want from South Africa. Situated in the peaceful malaria free foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain range in KwaZulu-Natal, Zulu Waters Game Reserve promises a uniquely intimate experience with the African wilderness. Whether you want to take a horse back ride up close and personal to the herds of wildebeest and buffalo or fish for wild brown trout in the 8km stretch of Bushman’s River, Zulu Water’s blend of exclusivity and adventure makes for an African experience unlike any other. Those who spend time at Zulu Waters Private Reserve are left with a sense that something in them has changed – they are perhaps a little more fulfilled – a little more inspired.

Based in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, making it a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg or a 2 hour drive from Durban – Zulu Waters is a perfect escape. Due to our stunning location summer days can go above 30°C whilst winter days reach 18°C. We are also in a malaria free area and incase of medical emergencies we have trained first aiders on site. The nearest hospital is an hour away but we do have access to helicopter emergency services nearby.

Sycamore Avenue Tree Houses

Tree house accommodation natal midlands

Sycamore Avenue Treehouses is a family business that started in 2000 and is now owned by Gary Els, of the next generation, who together with his team of hosts and staff will ensure that you enjoy the unique experience with us exploring your childhood fantasies!

Ever since Gary first saw Halley’s comet in 1986, he has been a keen amateur astronomer and member of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa. Sycamore’s location is blessed with clear, dark skies, with fantastic view of the Milky Way. When he is at Sycamore – and skies permitting – guests can be treated to a guided tour of the night sky, accompanied by eye-popping views of planets and the cosmos through his large telescope.

Enjoy the stunning star panoramas, as well as surrounding Drakensberg vistas and sunsets that can be photographed from Sycamore Avenue Tree House Lodge.

Our guest register at Reception pays tribute in almost every entry to wonderful hospitality – and to our legendary food. Florence, our resident (and genius) cook, conjures up the most delightful set meals, from starters to main courses, followed by mouthwatering desserts.

Stay a few days and you will experience a variety of starters: soups such as butternut, mushroom or pea to name but a few, or her rich quiches, stuffed eggs or a host of other delights.

The main course of the day is a set meat-of-the-day – you can anticipate roast lamb, roast chicken, beef curry or a favorite: ox-tail stew

The main dish is accompanied by three prepared vegetables, and usually by roast potatoes and gravy.

We can cater to your requirements if you are diet-restricted, fish, vegetarian or vegan eaters, provided that you give us advance notice when booking.

If you have room left, you can try to squeeze in the dessert of the day. This could be any of Florence’s many homemade delights: cheesecake, tipsy tart, apple pie, strawberry flan, milk tart, trifle, tiramisu, Crème brûlée or hot malva pudding and ice-cream. Yum !

In the morning, a full English breakfast is served. A selection of yogurts, fruit and cereals is available to begin with. We then serve a plated main course consisting of eggs prepared to your liking, and sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and beans. Alternatively, try an omelet. To top it off, enjoy some home-baked scones with your filter coffee, tea or fruit juice. After this start, you should have plenty of energy to do some Meandering!

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

Richard and Mouse Poynton would like to welcome you to Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse.

 

Having been one of the originators of the Country House movement in the 1980’s, we travelled overseas after our Granny Mouse’s Country House days, working and absorbing the international “foodie” world. We came back enthused and decided to use the family farm to start what we think of as our dream hotel – an intimate gourmet getaway.

Our family has been coming up to the farm since the 1940’s and we’ve always known this was something special with its breath-taking mountain views, crystal clear streams and ultimate peaceful solitude of the KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg mountains. We believe it is ideal for its intended purpose as a restful refuge and along with our professional yet understated service we hope this is most of all a gourmet experience to remember.

We are situated in the KwaZulu-Natal section of the Drakensberg, a range of mountains that run down the east side of South Africa. We are about 2 hours drive from Durban and 5 hours drive from Johannesburg.
 
Summer temperatures may range from 20°C during the day, often with dramatic afternoon thunderstorms. Winter daytime temperatures range from 10°C to 25°C and the night temperatures can drop to below 0°C.
 
Our menu changes every evening according to the seasons in our gardens and the availability of our  local produce.
 
We have a bountifully stocked underground cellar and we focus on local South African wines which we love to drink and know go well with food. (Although a few French champagnes have been known to sneak themselves in from time to time!)
 
We are a proud member of the Best of KZN – a group of luxury owner-run hotels based throughout KwaZulu-Natal, with great emphasis on the guest’s complete comfort. Please visit the site to see more on all the exceptional properties.

Qambathi Mountain Lodge

Qambathi Mountain Lodge

Luxury Accommodation

3 Superior Suites have private covered decks with hanging chairs from where you can enjoy the surroundings and views of the mountain
2 Luxury Suites are situated in the main building and are equally equipped and offer easy access to the dining and entertainment areas.

All rooms are non-smoking and have under floor heating, hairdryers, lodge stationery, a room safe, separate bath and shower with bath consumables and tea/coffee making facilities.

Our Services Include

The Chill Lounge and Pool Deck area offer panoramic views of the gardens and Kamberg mountain, ideal to enjoy a late afternoon sundowner or to simply relax in the sun in one of the amazing hanging chairs or loungers.

At night a Boma fire creates the perfect setting for star gazing. A well stocked wine cellar is on offer next to the dining and library area.

Own transport is recommended although transfers from anywhere in the country can be arranged.

Self-catering unit

Our self-catering unit offer sleeping for four persons in two rooms. It is situated close to the lodge yet private. Meals can be booked at the lodge. View on gallery page.

The Kamberg Mountain Reserve & Kamberg Rock and Art Centre is only a short distance away with the Midlands Meander only a few km down the road.

Enjoy wine tasting, cheese making, candle dipping and many more sight-seeing adventure tours available to visitors in the area. Whether you are looking for a wedding/honeymoon destination, luxury retreat or adventure, Qambathi Mountain Reserve offers tourists to KwaZulu Natal a holiday to remember. Sink into total comfort of the meticulously designed rooms defined by a blend of natural colours and contemporary use of natural materials with luscious textures. Local and renowned S.A artists such as Bron Stofberg, Hillary Grant Curry, Clive Hatton  and Franco Esposito to name a few.. have been commissioned to complete this stylish getaway.

Set in a wildlife reserve against the backdrop of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, Qambathi Mountain Lodge is not just a beautiful and unique honeymoon destination, but also offers fabulous wedding venue options. The boutique barn with its large fireplace, boma and stunning mountain views is perfect for summer and winter weddings. Another option is a forest wedding on the pretty timber deck tucked into the indigenous forest with a little river running through it, and then there is the main lodge, which has a gorgeous chill deck overlooking the gardens. Qambathi Mountain Lodge also offers you the opportunity to tailor make your wedding to include a special weekend of bush dinners, picnics, game drives in the mountains, fly fishing, hiking, horse riding and golf.

A maximum of 80 guests can be accommodated in the venue. An old sandstone church is situated less than 10 minutes from the lodge or the gardens offer many options for the ceremony. The entire lodge form part of our wedding packages, with fully catered or own caterer options.

 

Blue Haze Country Lodge

Blue Haze Country Lodge

Blue Haze Country Lodge is the Premier accommodation establishment in the Estcourt area and the only hotel offering a diverse range of accommodation, from self-catering units to luxurious suites, to suit the contractor market, families and the decerning business executive. We are the only hotel establishment in Estcourt offering the above as well as an al a carte restaurant, cozy pub and a dedicated conference and wedding center in a scenic, tranquil and safe environment.

Blue Haze Country Lodge is a charming lodge, set in spectacular mountain and lake scenery bordering the popular Wagendrift Dam in the picturesque foothills of the Drakensberg mountain range. Situated 3 minutes from the N3 highway, 450km from Johannesburg, 170km from Durban and 7km from the town of Estcourt. The expansive lawns, kikuyu horse paddocks, public service areas, kiddies play area, conference and wedding centre, rim-flow pool, hotel suites and chalets are superbly maintained and we pride ourselves in every meal and beverage we serve!

Blue Haze offers 32 accommodation units including standard en-suite rooms, deluxe, executive and 7 self-catering. We cater for up to 250 wedding guests and sleep a maximum of 76 people. Enjoy one of many activities or scenic day trips or chill at the pool before quenching your thirst and making new friends in the cosy Pheasant Plucker’s Pub and complete your evening with a superb meal prepared by our chefs. Guests and day visitors are offered warm and friendly hospitality by a happy Blue Haze team.

White Mountain Lodge

White Mountain Lodge

The whole idea of holidaying at White Mountain Lodge is relaxation, whether through enjoyable activities or lazy days in beautiful natural surroundings. In other words doing as you please at your leisure.

Being a country lodge, White Mountain Lodge offers rooms and chalets with self catering or full board facilities. Our chalets are tastefully decorated in a country style and set amidst vibrant indigenous gardens offering seclusion and privacy. Individual barbecue facilities are provided at most of the chalets for those outside catering urges.

Our chalets can accommodate from two to six occupants with well equipped kitchenettes which make self catering easy. Heaters and winter sheets provided ensure that even during those winter nights a cozy restful sleep is guaranteed. While a superette and laundry make for easy access to those essential requirements.

A comfortable and hassle free environment is what we at White Mountain Lodge strive to provide, not only through our service but also through our facilities.

When the season permits river rafting is always a particular favorite with visitors, and our experienced instructors guarantee an action packed fun day down the river.

Abseiling, cross- valley fuffi slide, river rafting, hiking, fishing, fantastic dining, historical sight- seeing or plain old relaxing are all provided for at White Mountain Lodge, our experienced instructors and helpful staff strive to make your holiday experience not only enjoyable but memorable too.

CARAVAN, CAMPING AND SELF CATERING CHALETS – DECEMBER/JANUARY SPECIAL! STAY FOUR NIGHTS AND RECEIVE AN EXTRA NIGHT FREE! OFFER VALID FROM 1ST DECEMBER UNTIL 14TH DECEMBER INCLUSIVE AND FROM 3RD JANUARY UNTIL 21ST JANUARY INCLUSIVE. FOR BOOKINGS, CALL OR EMAIL US!

Why travel once you are at your destination? At White Mountain Lodge, we offer much more than you will be able to take in during a relaxing stay. Our own dam provides hours of fascination for any bird lover, and our surroundings host some of South Africas endangered species of bird including the Cape Griffin Vulture and other indigenous animals including the majestic black eagle, black backed jackal and mountain reedbuck.

On-site Facilities:
A lockable safe at reception only (none in the chalets) DStv in the bar and in the TV lounge A fireplace in the bar (Toms Tavern) and another in the restaurant/lounge

Antbear Eco Lodge

Antbear Eco Lodge

The Antbear Lodge is situated in the Drakensberg Mountains and is a perfect base to explore the very best of what this region offers. The Drakensberg Mountains are renowned for their dramatic natural beauty spectacular mountain scapes, waterfalls and sunsets. And don’t forget about the bushman rock art paintings made by the San people over a period of 4000 years. Come and be inspired by their history and spirituality.

Essentially we are an accommodation provider offering 15 individually styled units as either en-suite doubles, family units or luxury suites. Our most unique accommodation is our luxury cave which blends into its environment to create an atmosphere of privacy and seclusion. Glass doors open onto a wooden deck with hammock chairs with an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Drakensberg Mountains. You could even consider a romantic private dining experience on the deck of your cave under the stars.

The natural setting is stunning and we have managed to make the accommodation fit in with ease. Each of the units are different and are separate from each other creating a feeling of generosity. The rooms are smartly appointed and individually designed for comfort. And have the features like fireplaces and jacuzzi spa baths. We have put a huge amount of effort into making our own wooden furniture which includes tables, chairs, headboards, windows, doors and light fittings. In fact you will discover unique and eccentric wooden furniture everywhere in the lodge. Artistic design is captured through wooden hinges, engraved glass and mosaics. If you feel like seeing how we make our furniture feel free to put your nose into our workshop.

We are one of those places where everyone dines together. It makes for great conversation is and is a perfect opportunity to plan your next day. We use our own organic vegetable garden. We have our own chickens for eggs, cows for milk, make own cheese, butter and yogurt and bake our own bread. Sustainability is a huge part of the ethos of our lodge.

 

We have used alternative materials like straw bales to build the place and use solar for heating water and a reed bed filter cleaning waste water.

There is plenty to do here besides relaxing. I have a pilots license and a microlight at the lodge. If the weather is good I love to take guests with me. To glide together with the vultures or fly along the Drakensberg escarpment is often considered as the highlight of a tour. We practice the softer horse whispering techniques to train our horses and offer out rides that are particularly suited to beginners and first timers.  There are hiking trails to fit every level of fitness, even guided. The vulture hides at Giants Castle are perhaps the best options available anywhere to see and photograph these birds. Or add a bit of adrenalin with a canopy tour. Visit the Nelson Mandela Capture site while you explore our local arts and craft route with cheese tastings, chocolate dipping and meeting some of the artists themselves.

So if your looking for a place where art, beauty and time away are important then Antbear Lodge is worth a second look. We invite you to came and share some of our dream, some of our alternative, sustainable and relaxed way of life. We look forward to welcoming you.

Zingela Safari & River Company

Zingela Safari & River Company

We offer Unique accommodation to complement our unique quests, every room has something different to offer and we are more then happy to accommodate you.

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