- Fair-trade certified owner-operated lodge
- Spectacular views over Spioenkop
- Walking and Mountain Biking on site
- Close to battlefield sites
Situated on 1,300 hectares of Drakensberg foothills, this eco-friendly lodge overlooks the secluded Mfazimnyama Valley of the Spioenkop Game reserve. As well as offering plenty of rest and relaxation, it’s also a great location for nature walks and mountain biking. Close to historic sites from the Anglo-Boer War and the world heritage site of Northern Drakensberg Mountains, it is halfway between Johannesburg and Durban, making it an ideal stopping-off point.
The four star, family-run, 18-bedded lodge is a great place for recharging batteries. The main lodge has an open plan, spacious lounge area with four double doors leading onto a verandah, perfect for relaxing with a pre-dinner drink with other guests. In winter, an open log fire and coal stove create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. A short walk down a shady path leads to a sundeck and swimming pool, which is kept warm at night by an insulated thermal blanket. Nature Walks are offered which follow along marked trails (ranging between 2 – 6km) on the estate which is a working cattle farm. These can be done self-guided or the company of a guide can also be requested free of charge. Mountain bikes are freely available for the use of guests. Three Trees offers a range of different mountain biking trails on the property.
Dining is a family-style affair at a communal table (unless otherwise requested) in elegant surroundings. Buffet-style breakfasts and lunches are served either on the outside viewing deck or the verandah, while dinners are a three course set menu, providing homely, locally sourced food.
The bedrooms have been designed to capture a colonial feel, with antique sash windows, wood panelling and hand-embroidered bed linen. Beds are three-quarter twins, with doubles on request. Each room has its own deck, offering views of the game-rich valley below with the occasional animal wandering through. The bathrooms each have a bath and shower, with views over the Spioenkop from the bath and handmade, virgin olive oil based body care products.
The Churchill standalone cottage-style villa, meanwhile, is ideal for honeymooners, families with teenagers or two couples travelling together (although it is not suitable for under 8s because of the high balustrade). It has two bedrooms, each with en suite and extra length beds, an open plan kitchen/lounge and double glass doors overlooking the Spioenkop Game Reserve.
The family suite can accommodate three children under 12, with toys, books, a play area on the verandah and shady sandpit to entertain the younger members of the party. They also have their own separate toilet and basin. Earlier meal times can be arranged, and babysitting services can be booked prior to arrival. Outside the lodge, children can enjoy spotting some 300 bird species recorded in the area on nature walks, as well as shrimping and pony rides.
Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.
Combine the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains, Safari and remote beaches in this perfect three centre family holiday in South Africa's KwuZulu Natal.
Tailor-made 12 days
Adults from $3,539 pp plus flights
'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.
Flights are typically an additional $1,059 per person economy class from London
Families from $2,500 pp plus flights
'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).
Flights are typically an additional $1,059 per person economy class from London
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019