Welcome to Star Dam Estate, one of the newest gems in the crown of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Tucked away in a quiet corner of the Dargle Valley, in close proximity to the iconic Inhlosane hill, Star Dam Estate offers guests a choice of three luxuriously appointed, self-catering lodges. Each lodge offers a sense of privacy, exclusivity and creature comforts with spectacular views over a unique, star-shaped dam. All lodges boast a private jetty facilitating access to the water so why not hire one of our fishing boats for the day or bring your canoe or ski along.
Escape from the world and enjoy our sanctuary at Star Dam Estate.
Horse riding: With 8 well-schooled horses and an abundance of scenic trails, our guide, Elliot will take you on a guided tour of Inhlosane Farm. R200 per person for a 90-minute ride.
Mountain biking: If you are an MTB enthusiast, your location at Star Dam Estate places you firmly in the heartland of some stunning riding territory.
Fishing/boating: For those who enjoy being on the water, there are three fishing boats fitted with sneaker motors available for hire. Perfect for fly fishing or as a fun way to explore the dam and get a different perspective of the estate. Rates range from R200 (4-person boat) – R250 per day (6 person boat). Please bring your own rods - only fly fishing rods permitted. Catch and release.
The Dargle can get pretty chilly in Winter and all units are therefore equipped with gas heaters and fireplaces.
All units are serviced daily.
Mobile phone reception: Please note that there is very poor 3G signal at Star Dam Estate. Our recommendation? Come prepared for a digital detox! If you absolutely have to keep in comms with the outside world, the complimentary Wi-Fi will enable you to send emails, check your social media or make WhatsApp calls.
The last few kilometers leading up to the estate gate and the drive from the estate gate to the lodges is on a rather bumpy dirt road, not suitable for city cars. You do not need a 4x4 to access the lodges but we definitely recommend a raised vehicle rather than a sports car!
Home to a variety of bird species and a major attraction to the fishing enthusiast - the area around Dargle, Fort Nottingham and Balgowan, is renowned for excellent fly-fishing. The Dargle Valley experiences dry, cold winters - sometimes with snow - and hot, wet summers with intermittent late afternoon thunderstorms.
In Room Facilities:
Some of the first things you’ll notice when stepping inside Safire Lodge are the generous proportions and seamless indoor-outdoor flow allowing guests to drink in the views from every room. This unit boasts four stylishly appointed en suite bedrooms, two with king size beds and two with twin beds. A spacious and well-equipped kitchen, open-plan dining room, fireside snug lounge, TV lounge (DStv included), expansive wooden deck and guest Wi-Fi offer all the modern conveniences you need to enjoy your stay in the country.
The imaginatively styled Waterford Lodge is open-plan living at its best. The easy flow between kitchen, lounge, dining room and deck ensures that in spite of the ample-sized rooms, guests still feel connected to one another. The living area of the main house is flanked by two double bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom offering both bath and shower. For maximum privacy whilst still offering spectacular views of the dam, a third en suite bedroom is situated on a raised platform between the main house and adjacent dormitory wing. The self-contained dormitory unit specially created for kids and teens includes two rooms with 3 single beds in each room (6 beds in total), two bathrooms, a kids’ lounge and eating area, making this the ideal choice for a fun family getaway. Extra mattresses available upon request. In true South African fashion this home includes a fantastic braai and entertainment area overlooking the dam and the heated plunge pool on the deck is so effective that it can be enjoyed right through Winter! Waterford is equipped with free Wi-Fi and DStv.
Stoneford Lodge is a style sensation that will leave you wanting for nothing. The main house includes an open plan kitchen, lounge and dining room and a front deck area that runs the full length of the house and completely opens up to take advantage of the stunning views of the dam. On either side of the main living area, you will find a luxurious double room with en suite bathroom offering both bath and shower. A separate guest cottage boasts an additional bedroom with king size bed, en suite shower and toilet. And to make this an even more fun option for kids and teens, Stoneford has a double-storey dormitory wing consisting of a lounge, eating area and two bathrooms downstairs, and an open-plan sleeping area with 8 single beds upstairs. The house is equipped with complementary WiFi but no TV.
Inhlosane Hill: An iconic hill visible from just about anywhere in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. At 1976 metres above sea level, it is one of the highest peaks before the Drakensberg and offers an enjoyable hiking challenge for those who are up to the task. The shape of the hill, viewed from the east, inspired its name which means the ‘developing breast of a young girl’.
Piggly Wiggly: What was once a humble farm stall has become one of KZN's most popular eat-shop-play destinations. Situated within Highgate Wine Estate, Piggly Wiggly includes over 25 unique, arty shops and loads of family entertainment options.
Il Postino: If delicious, thin-base pizzas enjoyed in a laid back environment sound like a good idea, then look no further than Il Postino!
Fort Nottingham Museum: In this fascinating museum, hidden inside an old fort, you will find interesting exhibits of the early settlers that came to the Natal Midlands around 1856 along with some interesting artifacts from the San bushman.
The Nelson Mandela Capture Site Museum is a cultural and historical exhibition situated at the site where Nelson Mandela was apprehended for his anti-Apartheid activism acts in August 1952. The iconic Madiba sculpture at the capture site was created by Marco Cianfanelli and Jeremy Rose and comprises 50 steel columns that are between six and 9.5 meters in height and cover a width of almost 30 meters. These have been cut by laser to form an image of the former president when viewed at the correct angle. So dramatic is the effect that it can be seen from 30 meters away.
Midmar Dam: Enjoy the well-maintained facilities and peaceful surrounds of one of KZN’s most popular dams, just a short drive from Howick and the start of the Midlands Meander.
Gowrie Golf Club: a superb 9-hole golf course in Nottingham Road.
Bosch Hoek Golf Club: one of the most picturesque & deceptively challenging parkland golf courses, with every hole presenting its own beauty and character. This Bob Grimsdell designed nine-hole, eighteen tee-box golf course guides you around a lake, dams, streams and beautiful trees, creating a wonderful golfing experience since 1963.
Fordoun Spa: For the ultimate in pampering luxury, a treatment at this five-star spa will deliver an overload of sensory bliss.
Brookdale Health Hydro provides an escape from the stresses of everyday life. Offering a quiet place where physical health & mental well-being can be restored.
The Karkloof Farmers’ Market in Howick is a fresh produce market offering high quality, choice, fresh produce from local farmers & producers in KZN Midlands. Open on Saturday mornings from 07h00.
Karkloof Canopy Tours takes you on an unforgettable adventure as you slide from one platform to the next along a series of steel cables set amongst magnificent natural surroundings. It is widely regarded as one of the best eco-adventure activities in the world and is something for people of all ages with the youngest being 3 and the oldest 90 so far to do the tour.
Blueberry Hill Café perched on top of a hill overlooking Nottingham Road offers visitors a mouth-watering menu of tasty treats with breathtaking views of the Drakensberg Mountains.
Linga Lapa restaurant is famous for its quality mature steaks sourced from local beef farms coupled with a relaxed atmosphere, warm hospitality, and cozy fires.
Flamme Rouge Cycle Café, situated in Gowrie Village in Nottingham Road is a meandering cyclists’ dream. Their barista-brewed coffee and fresh design ethic make this a worthwhile stop for motorists and cyclists alike.