Karkloof Spa

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

Ottos Bluff Rd, Pietermaritzburg, 3231, South Africa
Karkloof Safari Spa
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99%

Satisfaction Excellent
Excellent
97%
99
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2%
3
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Value Score Poor Value

Costs 631% more than similarly rated 5 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families100
  • Couples100
  • Solo100
  • Business100

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Travel Tips for Pietermaritzburg

Comrades marathon: mass lunacy on a national scale

by CatherineReichardt

Maritzburg hosts the world's largest (and arguably greatest) ultramarathon events - the legendary Comrades marathon.
I first witnessed Comrades a couple of days after I arrived in South Africa in 1987, and my considered (armchair) opinion at the time was that this was the greatest expression of mass national lunacy that I had ever witnessed! Over 20 years on, my opinion remains unchanged, but I am hooked, and, like most South Africans, spend most of the day watching the drama unfold! By the end of the race, I have bawled my eyes out at the human tragedy, and by the time that the official fires the gun to indicate the end of the 12 hour period (when they close the finish line), I am dehydrated! Firing the gun must surely be one of the worst jobs in the world, and so traumatic that the official actually turns his back to the desperate runners scrambling towards the line. Heartrending stuff that puts other reality TV to shame!
Comrades was first run in 1921 by 34 runners: by contrast, the race in 2000 (the 75th race), attracted 23, 961 entrants. Competitors have 12 hours to finish the 89km course (yes, you read right!) between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, and if they're mad enough to repeat this act of self abuse ten times (and finish each time), they are awarded a coveted green number. Doesn't seem much of an incentive to run 900km, but that's runners for you ...
Comrades now takes place on 16 June (the Children's Day public holiday) every year and alternates between an 'up' run (from Durban) and a 'down' run (from Maritzburg) each year. There is about a 700m height difference between start and finish, which is exacerbated by the fact that the route winds through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, which adds even more 'up and down' to the course. Counterintuitively, the 'down' run is considered by most to be harder, because of the pounding your knees get (as opposed to the rest of your body, which is presumably equally abused whatever direction you run it!)
Every January, huge numbers of ordinarily sane people abandon all semblance of common sense and start training for Comrades - clearly this is a New Year's resolution, fuelled no doubt by overindulgence over the festive season. They bash the pavements at ungodly hours of the morning, run qualifying marathons over weekends and effectively don't see their partners or families for six months (unless they too are mad enough to run, in which case they see a great deal of each other!). In literally every company, at least one person would run the race - many larger companies actually sponsor teams and mine gave one of our employees a cash bonus this year for running a mindbogglingly good time - and it adds to the nation's sense of involvement in the race to know that your colleagues are participating.
Every year, the local field is joined by some intrepid foreigners. Some of these are professional athletes in pursuit of the substantial winner's prizes (a pair of Russian twins have been taking it in turns to win the women's race for years), but most are ordinary runners looking to experience this extraordinary phenomenon. Should you be lunatic enough to consider this, then consult the website below for details on how to enter (including the qualifying requirements).
If you are sane enough to have no intention of running Comrades, might I respectfully suggest that you avoid visiting Durban or Maritzburg at this time, as flights and accommodation are fully booked, and the law of 'supply and demand' kicks in, which results in prices going through the roof!
Otherwise, if you're in KwaZulu Natal over this period, participate in the festive atmosphere: I wouldn't recommend going to the stadium where the race finishes (which is crowded with relatives waiting to collect the mortal remains of their loved ones as they collapse across the finish line), but otherwise you have 89km of route from which to pick your vantage point! Do as the locals do, and bring a deckchair, a coolbox and some refreshments (braais and beer are almost obligatory) and cheer supportively as the masses stumble past! My only warning is that you'll be awfully sick of the theme tune from "Chariots of Fire' by the end of 12 hours!

Darvill Nature Reserve

by CharleneP

If you visit Pietermaritzburg in summer, go to Darvill Nature Reserve in the morning and watch the sun coming up it is WOW!!
There is a lot of birds, particularly water birds. In Summer you can see the Warblers & the Cape Otter. An excellent hide has be been built over the water for viewing. There are marked paths. No accommodation is available.

To go there:
Midlands, Pietermaritzburg. Take New England Road from the city with Scottsville racecourse on the left. Cross the N3, pass the Pietermartizburg Golf Club.

Pietermaritzburg - My South African hometown

by GandalfOnTour

"Some very good years!!!!"

Pietermaritzburg was the 'big' city that I moved to from Grahamstown when I was 11 years old. I left when I was 27 when I moved to the UK. My Mom, Dad and two sisters currently live in PMB and I always enjoy going back to see them and the 'old place'.

PMB has changed remarkably over the past few years. The new shopping mall has helped to kick start the economy and with the famous Midland Meander on the doorstep, the city is once again flourishing. Its always interesting to spot the changes and developments that have occurred between visits.

For me the best thing about Pietermaritzburg is its location. To the south the beach,sea and diving locations are no more than an hours drive, to the North there is the majestic Drakensberg and the Natal Midlands. Basically there are many beautiful locations within a couple of hours drive of PMB.

For me the best thing about Pietermaritzburg is its location. To the south the beach,sea and diving locations are no more than an hours drive, to the North there is the majestic Drakensberg and the Natal Midlands. Basically there are many beautiful locations within a couple of hours drive of PMB.

"The Midlands Meander"

A must see!! Take a day and travel around, visiting the shops and restaurants in the spectacular Natal Midlands.

"The house that we bought!!!"

At the end of 2004 my Mom contacted me to say that she had found an old house in need of much repair but that she would love to be able to turn it into a beautiful family home. So I agreed to be a part owner of a large old farm house and boy is it beautiful now!!! Great work mother-dearest!!!

the Comrades Marathon start - endpoint

by kenHuocj

"An excellent example other than Cricket"

" " India in Gandhi tribute -
The Indian players were present when the plaque was unveiled
India's World Cup cricketers paid homage to the founder of modern day India when they visited the site where Mahatma Gandhi was evicted from a train in Pietermaritzburg in 1893. " "
Friday, 21 February, 2003 :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/cwc2003/hi/newsid_2780000/newsid_2784100/2784103.stm

KARKLOOF CANOPY TOUR

by GandalfOnTour

"This'll conquer your fear of heights!!!!"

As I mentioned in my tip, this is an unusual but spectacular way to view the natural forest canopy. The 8 slides vary in lenght but you are able to generate a lot of speed if you wish or you can choose to travel at a more sedate pace as you take in the amazing views. Great fun!!!

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 Karkloof Spa

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Karkloof Hotel Pietermaritzburg

Address: Ottos Bluff Rd, Pietermaritzburg, 3231, South Africa