In Room Facilities:
Overhead fans, heaters, hot water bottles, tea/coffee making facilities, private verandah, natural botanical guest amenities & 100% cotton linen.
We recommend a combination of these for day trips out into the area with your own vehicle. Please enquire at the reception should you need maps, directions.
Northern Drakensberg Area (Royal Natal Park) - 60km away
Un-parallelled natural beauty in the mountains for hikes ranging between 1 hour - 7 hours.
(R40 per adult, R20 per child entrance)
Walk (or stroll with a push chair / wheelchair) to the Cascades waterfall in the Royal Natal Park (1 hour)(R40 per adult, R20 per child entrance)
Hike alongside the Tugela River until you reach the Tugela gorge (7km - 5 hours) , where the world's second highest waterfall tumbles down the sheer rock face. Route goes through alternative sections of protea veld & forest until the gorge is reached. (R40 per adult, R20 per child entrance)
All Out Adventure Centre provides entertainment for the whole family ranging from quad bike trails, cable tours, bridge swinging, paintball & mountain biking. (Various package deals)
Authentic Village Tour with a community guide from the Amazizi area neighbouring the National Park. (R800 for half day)
Visit a Bushman Rock Art panel with a community guide in the Sigubudu Valley in teh Royal Natal Park (R60 per person)
If you are feeling peckish & your picnic didn't fill you up, then why not try the Tower of Pizza for something fun with great outdoor lunch options with a secure childrens play area.
Central Drakensberg Area (Champagne Valley) - 60km away
Dragon Rock Reptile Centre
An amazing collection of invertebrates, arachnids, mammals & reptiles at this small reptile centre in the Drakensberg. Personalised tours with an enthusiastic, knowledgeable guide makes this a memorable experience for all ages. Opportunities to interact and touch these creatures are afforded where possible.
Falcon Ridge Raptor Show
Thrilling daily shows highlight the power, speed and intelligence of a varied selection of birds of prey. An insight into Falconry is included in the show and the public will learn how these birds of prey use their wings and sharp beaks and claws to their advantage.
Stone ground, locally grown flour from the region is transformed into delicious meals at this special spot in the valley.
The Drakensberg Canopy Tour® is a fun and safe eco-adventure for the whole family.. The tour typically lasts 3 hours after which you will return to the reception to enjoy a well-deserved light meal. Led by trained guides, as you glide between platforms perched in trees and on cliff faces, being inspired by the nature of the majestic Drakensberg, the ancient indigenous forest, waterfalls and the cascading stream make this an opportunity not to be missed.
Monks Cowl Hikes - The Blind Man's Corner loop is about 12km and takes approximately 4 hours. It goes up past the Sphynx then up the contour path and returns via Keethlands Pass. Its not a tough route, but the views of Cathkin and Sterkhorn are really good, you can also see Mafadi and others of the top 5 highest peaks in SA fairly clearly on a good day. Otherwise, the Sterkspruit Falls, which is a 2,5km (1.5 hour) round trip, with options of dipping in the cold mountain stream if you dare!
Hot Air Ballooning
An early morning start (04h30) to view the world from above in silence as your balloon travels through the sky. Breath taking scenery in this part of the world make for an unforgettable experience. Prior arrangements must be made for these trips.
Drakensberg Boys Choir
The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir is representative of the multi-faceted cultures that make up this wonderful country. They have created a new trend in the international choral scene that transcends the conventional, A unique style of diversity – Bach, Beethoven, Freddy Mercury, African, Jazz, Folk, etc. – whatever the style, they perform it with excellence and aplomb. Concerts are generally held on Wednesday afternoons during school term, so pre-booking is essential.
White Water Rafting (November - May only)
This is your typical one-day outing, five to six hours on the water. Although not on the sections of the Tugela River it is known for, this piece of river offers more than enough action for all levels of experience on whitewater. It is surprisingly big, fast, continuous and very safe (rapids from class 1 to 3+). You will be seeing parts of the Tugela few people do, and to ensure a quality river experience, group numbers are limited to six. It is well known that smaller group numbers in the outdoor context enhance quality of experience.
Golf at Champagne Sports Resort boasts 18 holes designed by Hugh Baiocchi set on perfectly manicured grounds and has spectacular scenery.
Sandra Lemmers Antiques & Museum takes you back in time to the 50's when a rand could stock your fridge.
Cathedral Peak Area - 65km away
Didima Rock Art Interpretive Centre
This centre offers a good insight into the life & history of these early hunter-gatherers that lived in the mounatins 8000 years ago.
A fair 2 hrs hike (5.5 kms)
This is probably one of the most picturesque hikes in the area. From the hotel skirt the base of Tryme Hill westwards, then eastwards on the path into the gorge. Once in the gorge itself the path follows the river.
Cathedral Peak Hike
An extreme 8/10 hour hike - 10km.
A long arduous hike requiring a high level of fitness. Starts from Cathedral Peak Hotel, up the path to the Cathedral Ridge. Rock scrambling is often necessary due to rock slides on the gully below the peak. Recommended to arrange a guide from the Cathedral Peak Hotel prior to arrival.
Experience a thrilling flight that will take you around the majestic Cathedral Peak, Horns, the Bell and Three Puddings amongst others. Upon return witness the beauty of the Little Berg as you sweep through valleys doing low level flying, passing several waterfalls (during summer).
Golf at Cathedral Peak Hotel offers a challenging 9 hole golf course, set against the magnifiscent backdrop of the Drakensberg and has been termed the “thinking golfers” course.
GOLDEN GATE AREA
Golden Gate National Park - 145km (1,45 hr)
Old Voortrekker Pass - 75km (1 hour)- A wonderful trip from the Lodge is to visit the old Voortrekker Pass, where in 1837 the Voortrekkers under Piet Retief and Gerhard Maritz crossed the Drakensberg Mountains. You can still see and read the graffiti at Kerkenberg where on Piet Retief’s 57th birthday his daughter painted his name. The old pass is still clearly visible and at the top of the pass is the statue of the ‘Barefoot Woman’. The views of the KwaZulu Natal Drakensberg are breathtaking! This is in the eastern Free State and not far from the Golden Gate National Park and the quaint town of Clarens.
Clarens - 165km (2 hours)
Sterkfontein Dam - 75km ( 1 hour)
Drakensberg Pump Storage Scheme - 55km (45 min)
The Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme was designed to generate electricity for 10 hours with all 4 units per day, pump water back to the top dam for 9 hours with all 4 units per day. A pumped storage scheme generates electricity during peak hours, which is everyday when the demand of electricity rises. During the off-peak periods Drakensberg will use its reversible turbines to pump the water back to the upper reservoir, readying the system for peak periods.
The power station is also a joint venture between Eskom and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (the Tugela-Vaal Scheme) in the transfer of water from the Thukela River to the Vaal dam.
A special feature of the station is that it is constructed entirely underground with only a dam wall, lift shaft buildings and transmission lines visible at the surface. The four reversible pump turbines are situated 52 storeys below ground level.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site - 145km (1,45hr)
A temporary exhibition, hosted in a converted shed, tells the story of
Nelson Mandela’s journey through life and how he
built a new nation from within a conflicted South Africa.
There is a unique sculpture at the site, which is a a collaboration between artist Marco Cianfanelli and Jeremy Rose, & significantly comprises 50 steel column constructions – each between 6.5 and 9.5 metres tall – set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads one down a path towards the sculpture where, at a distance of 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image.
Ardmore Ceramics - 135km (1,35 hr)
Ardmore Ceremics has grown into a vibrant art pottery making unique pieces of ceramic art. Since 1985, artist Fee Halsted has created modelers and painters from the local community and they have become renowned for their exuberant use of color and their distinctive modeling of African flora and fauna. The sale of these wonderful pieces of ceramic art uplifts and supports the Ardmore community and their families. There is also a unique range of homeware, handbags `& fabric to add to this stable.
Tsonga Shoes - 140km (1,45 hr)
Using the finest leather and their handcrafted promise, Tsonga bags and shoes are unique in style and comfort. 100% Made in Africa .
Blue Berry Hill Cafe - 125km (1,20 hr)
is a gallery for local artists and artisans, as well as a celebrated café, housed in large, barn-like structure that give sthe venue an understated appearance. Inside, there are large, open-plan areas filled with a rich tapestry of wares, ranging from furniture and household goods, to local artists' paintings and sculptures.
As famous as it is for its coffee, Blueberry Hill is revered for its blueberries, which are freshly picked on the farm and sold during the months of December to February.
Fordoun Spa - 125km (1,20 hr)
Fordoun Spa boasts a team of experts that include skilled masseurs, Reiki and Bio-energy specialists, a traditional African Healer and highly trained aestheticians.
Fordoun signature range of products, created in conjunction with Dr Elliot Ndlovu, herbalist and ethno botanist, who is a traditional African Healer and Inyanga, and a director of Fordoun Spa.
Under his guidance, a number of products have been carefully created from indigenous traditional healing plants, especially for Fordoun. The range includes soaps, shower gels, massage oils, bath salts, creams and sprays, based on the theme of the seven Chakras and the seven colours of the rainbow. A luxury Eau de Toilette range, Ma’Ndlovu for women and BabaNdlovu for men, has been designed for both the local and export markets.
EXPERIENCES ON SITE
GUIDED EXPERIENCES - All guided experiences should be pre-booked & are subject to guide availability.
Please allow yourself enough time to enjoy the lodge surroundings and facilities when making your reservation.
Recommended minimum stay is 3 nights. Please pre-book to avoid disappointment.
Anglo Boer War Battlefield Tours - Spioenkop & Colenso tours, with other battle sites by request. R695 per person per half day tour
Nature Walk Trails (ranging between 2 – 6km) on the farm can be arranged with a guide free of charge.
Mountain bikes & helmets are available for the use of guests at a nominal rental fee. Guides are always willing to
accompany guests for a more challenging off-road experience. (R395 per person)
Game Walks in the neighbouring Spioenkop Game Reserve can be arranged with our resident guides. These
are more strenuous than the Nature Trails on the farm, as the route does not follow a set trail. Uneven, rocky,
hilly terrain will be encountered and walks may last between 1.5 – 2 hours. Maximum number of people is 8. Minimum charge is 2 persons. (R395 per person) Unfortunately, no children under 12 years allowed.
Guided Horse Trail Riding can be arranged to suit the experience and pace of the riders. Inexperienced rides are approximately 30 - 45 minutes, while experienced rides 60 - 90 minutes. English-style saddles with snaffle bridles and hard helmets are compulsory. These are provided. Rides are taken on the working cattle farm, adjacent to the game reserve, where game may be seen from time to time.
(R395 per person)
Rangeworthy Cemetery Walk (or Bicycle Ride) Trips to Rangeworthy Cemetery 3km down the road (and back up again!) Walk - no charge, Bicycle - R395 per person
Hambrook Village Excursion (by Bicycle or Vehicle) A truly authentic experience with one of the Three Trees staff members takes you to the nearby village (8km down the road) for a look into the lives of the Hambrook residents. Pop into the pre-school & visit someones home. (R295 per person)
SELF-GUIDED EXPERIENCES- Who needs a guide when there are so many great things to do on your own!
Nature Walking Trails on marked routes (ranging between 2 – 9km) on the working cattle farm, adjacent to the reserve.
Mountain bikes are available for the use of guests at a nominal rental fee. (R395 per person) Cycling down the road & around through the village or tackling one of the more technical routes on the farm.
Birding This is rewarding in both the summer and winter months, with a bird list of 270 species, provided in your room.
Picnic at the Magic Faraway Tree (600m from the lodge) with a lunch provided by the lodge. Please arrange with reception or service staff evening before the picnic.
Sundowners at a beautiful look-out towards the Drakensberg Mountains & Spioenkop dam. Arrange at afternoon tea with service staff or reception.
Relax beside the pool, on your own room verandah or on the viewing deck under the large Acacia tree.
Read the multitude of Africana, Natural history, political & inspirational biographies in the library.
Play at the childrens adventure area - trampoline, jungle gym, swing ball, slide, swings, sand pit & Fantasy House
Drakensberg mountains, Spioenkop Game Reserve, Spioenkop Battlesite, Colenso Battlesite, Churchills Capture site