This was the most beautiful place that we have stayed throughout all of the Drakensberg. Ekuthuleni is made up of a handful of self catered, thatched roof chalets surrounded by the most stunning scenery. This is a place of quiet beauty. We had minimal contact with the hosts or any other tourists while we were there. Our cottage, Mvuleni, had a small porch were we could watch the sunset as we ate dinner. The uMzimkulu river runs through the property, and is ideal for a picnic and swim.
Despite its isolation, Ekuthuleni is accessible to many attractions in the Southern Drakensberg. It is a short drive to Garden Castle Park with is full of hiking; an easy day trip up the Sani Pass; and there are many good restaurants in Himeville, for the nights that you do not want to "self cater".
This beautifully situated B&B is made up of a few quiet, self catered little chalets, over looking the Northern Drakensberg. The individual chalets are very cozy and surrounded by fabulous gardens and blooming jacaranda trees. The main house has the most incredible lavender plants you have ever seen! The property was just breathtaking. We had quite the panoramic view, and we actually got up before dawn one day to hike up one of the local hill to watch the sunrise! The hosts were very friendly and provided a home made dinner for a nominal cost. We sat on our patio and ate by candle light as the sun set.
I booked into the Sani Pass Hotel with my husband, baby and my brother visiting from the UK. The place looked fantastic from the website and we booked what was described as a 'luxury'chalet. It took us most of the day to drive there and we arrived late and exhausted at around 6:20pm, looking forward to a shower and dinner. As soon as we walked in to the chalet I wanted to turn around and walk out. I don't mind 'dated', but this was just nasty. The carpets were worn, stained and had holes in them. The bedspreads were stained and the blankets didn't look as if they had been washed in ages. We asked for another room, but the second chalet we were offered was just as bad. We decided that we might feel better about things after dinner, but we were wrong. The food was so bad that although we were hungry, we just couldn't eat it. We ate the bread rolls and some cheese that was over on the cheese board and left the rest. After getting back to the room and looking at the cot that had been provided for the baby (more stained blankets), we just decided that we'd be better off driving home, which we did. Thankfully the very nice receptionist agreed that we would only be charged for dinner (R295!), so all in all we got off fairly lightly, if you exclude the fuel and time it took to drive all the way there and back. We finally got home at 1:30am and I've never been so glad to crawl into my own bed. I have since been told that this was once a lovely hotel (from people my age who went there as children) which is due to be refurbished soon. I don't know if that refurbishment will include improving the food but, until then, I would recommend avoiding it completely.
Great views, location
We stayed in a stunning glass and thatch 4-bed chalet. It had 2 en-suite bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge area, and a stunning fireplace. Didima also has many 2-bed chalets built into peak-cap shaped houses decorated as if they are San rock paintings under an overhang. Very cute. The "overhang houses" each have 2x2-bed chalets in them, that open up with an interleading door if you want to convert them to a 4-bed unit. In addition, there is also a 6-bed chalet and a honeymoon suite.
Unfortunately, there is satellite TV in the chalets too.
The camp has a swimming pool, tennis courts, a San Art museum, a central entertainment complex which contains a curio and grocery shop, a restaurant (if you don't want to self-cater), a bar, and a lounge.
- The stunning view of Cathedral Peak from almost everywhere that you sit, stand and walk! (Makes you forget that the road to the Cathedral Peak hotel runs right in front of Didima - it is never busy)
- Magnificent hiking - just 4 km along a contour path to scones and tea at Cathedral Peak hotel, 1 day hike up Cathedral Peak, or multi-day hikes up Mike's Pass.
- A chance to outwit the baboons who will steal from your chalet if you give them half a chance. (We lost our Thai-flavoured french loaf waiting to be put on the fire for a snack.)
Out in the wilds of the upper Drakensberg, you are on your own for shelter. There are no accommodations of any kind up here besides the occasional herdsmen’s hut or overhanging cave. The benefit is that you normally have the valley you camp in to yourself and with a good clear night, you have a whole lot of night sky to gaze up at. A whole lot of quiet to go along with that, as well.
The original thought had been to push a road up over the Escarpment into Lesotho from Phuthaditjhabab on the Free State side. That road ends at the Sentinel Car Park with the last chance for cold beer some 6-7 rough miles lower down at the Witzieschoek Mountain Resort. The road was never finished, but the Chain Ladders were built by the same man who was responsible for the Witzieschoek Mountain Resort, the Caterpillar and Catfish Cookhouse atop Oliviershoek on highway N74 and the Drakensberg Inn in Bergville - Otto Zunckel. Otto was also responsible for building this stone hut near the top of Thukela Falls. The original cabin had tables, chairs, beds with mattresses, a stove and a fireplace. The cabin had been open to all mountaineers. With time, the cabin had been ransacked and fell into disrepair. Lately, the cabin has been repaired - albeit minus the chairs, tables, beds and mattresses, but it was repaired to make room for rangers of the EZKZN (KZN Park rangers) as their home atop the rim. Luckily for most of us - I guess - the Park rangers are rarely out and about so there is usually no problem laying you sleeping bag out on one of the floors and keeping your tent folded away. It is much easier to endure that thunderstorm with pelting rain from inside these stone walls and metal roof, than from outside in a tent. Here, I speak from personal experience.
This is one of those possibilities for a quintessential South African/International experience. Situated high in the foothills of the Drakensberg, you have a grand view to the north with the Drakensberg Escarpment visible from Giant's Castle all the way to the Amphtitheatre at Royal Natal National Park. The setting is country rustic with chickens and the occasional grey rhebuck wandering about on the lawns. Eclectic and whimsy is evident throughout with the larger rooms enjoying jacuzzi tubs and lofts and the smaller rooms still very comfortable. There is a large central house containing the kitchen, a large dining room and a comfortable lounge replete with books and magazines and a large magical fireplace. Andrew and Connie are very amiable hosts with plenty of stories from their colorful lives. but it is not a one-way conversation around the breakfast/dinner table. This is where the guesthouse concept truly takes off. I spent four nights here and guests came and went from countries like Belgium, the US, South Africa, Germany and Denmark. Conversation takes the place of electronic media. Social intercourse making the World seem smaller. These are the moments when vacations can take on a bit of magic, sitting there under thatched rusticity. Conviviality in the extreme, I recommend staying here for several days to take advantage of the hospitality and the location - many places to see in the immediate vicinity (Kamberg, Giants Castle, Champagne Valley, the KwaZulu battlefields, Weenen Game Reserve, African Stork Reserve, etc). Check out Andrew's extensive website for lots more ideas!
After travelling for hours with traffic delays in the car with four hungry teenagers we arrived at Oak Tree Lodge only to discover that our hosts, Craig and Shelley had prepared an impromptu dinner for us knowing that we would not be willing to go out to a restaurant and still wait for our meal. Their warmth and hospitality was amazing and I would recommend that everyone visiting the Southern Drakensberg stay at Oak Tree Lodge.
After a hearty breakfast we filled our days with many activities like, horse riding, quad biking and river rafting. The highlight of our stay had to be the guided tour up Sani Pass with breathtaking views. Don't forget to pack extra warm clothing for that - it's chilly up there. We had lunch and sherry at the Highest Pub in Africa.
The locality of Oak Tree Lodge is ideal. Close to town, close to the mountains, it made our holiday very convenient.
The bathrooms in the lodge are gorgeous. The under floor heating was an added bonus.
The deck overlooking the dam and waterfall where the kids did some serious trout fishing was at it's best at sunset.
I loved it. This is my best Drakensberg experience so far. Every single aspect of the Antbear is different to what you would expect. There is a fireplace in the bedroom and a jacuzzi in the bathroom. Its spacious with artisticly designed wooden finishes and whereever you look there are little wooden catches and ingenoius mechanisms to close the windows, open the cuboards. But what really makes the Antbear stand out from every else I have ever been is the hospitable owners Andrew and Connie
The Antbear is a lovely destination perfectly situated to visit the different attractions in the Drakensberg. What makes the Antbear special is the personal attention the Conny and Andrew give to their guests. You will wish you had stayed longer
Great views, unique furniture, unbelievely friendly hospitality and excellent food. All in all the best place I vave been to in South Africa.
Oh Boy!! It is indescribable. An incredible beautiful drive that twists and turns through the hills and over a river, with villages and huts, eventually brings you up to this new Camp.
The Bungalows are spread out over a fairly large area of hill, each with a view of the mountains and Cathedral Peak.
It is a breath taking experience to just arrive and wander around, walk up the hills and see the wildlife in and around the camp (baboons, small buck and an assortment of birds).
The camp is new and extremely well designed with self catering and non-self catering accomodation.
We found the staff friendly and efficient and returned within 6 months to the camp. First stay we added a night too.
The site itself is very well looked after. It is located at the bottom of the Northern Drakensberg, with stunning view of the Berg. The ground is well-kept, green grass makes camping a pleasure. I would definately recommend this campsite. It is very inexpensive. Absolute value. We went during April month. This time of the year its not overcrowded at the campsite.
Green grass makes camping at Hlalanati a pleasure. Best of all is that there weren't any ants! The facilities were highly satisfying: Bathrooms were kept clean at all times. Also there was enough hot water for everyone!
Defintely a place I would vist again. We experiance a warm welcome. Amazing views. We were hoping for snow but instead we beautiful hot days.
The house has a pool, fire place, tennis courts, Conference room and quite a spacious attic.
Ok, just got back from spending the weekend at the campsite, and again i had the most fantstic time! The Self-catering chalets are top class, sleeping 6 very comfortably. The campsite is also very comfortable, with electricity and everything.
The views of the amphitheatre are awesome, there is a great little bar, with big screen TV (see "A quiet night out?" tip) They also have a wonderful 9 hole golf course. The Campsite communal bathrooms have lovely hot water, which comes at high pressure too!
My only issue with the Resort is that the shop and office close ridiculously early, at about 4pm every day.
Ok, technically i stayed here for three months, while i was working as a receptionist and entertainment manager. I hate saying it, but this hotel has gone to pot. It used to be one of the best in the Drakensberg, but now its lost its charm.
Maybe its cause the owners never want to spend money it, who knows. You can still have a pretty good stay here, dont get me wrong, its got lots to offer, but its not near as good as it used to be. Pity.
Ok, here is whats good, and not -
Decent golf course
Rubbish tennis courts (last time i checked)
Nice Bowling greens
Decent hiking trails
Decent Horse rides
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