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DRAKENSBERG EXCURSIONS

If you are visiting the Drakensberg, you will most certainly always be spoilt for choice on where to go and what to do! The activities available for both families and couples are endless in variety. The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat team thought we would help you narrow down your list of things to do in the Drakensberg. If time however, is not a limiting factor, why not try them all! Excursions in the Northern Drakensberg Visit the historical Kerkenberg (This is the site where Piet Retief and the Voortrekkers camped out during the discussions with Dingaan for land) Pose for a photograph next to the Kaalvoet Vrou Monument Go horse riding at The Northern Horse Trails in Montusi If you are into adventure type sports, you will want to visit All Out Adventures Excursions in the Central Drakensberg Spionkop Battle site and nature reserve is a great place to learn some South African history. Drakensberg Canopy Tours provides those adrenalin junkies with a bird’s eye view of the forest in an exhilarating zip line experience. If you are going to the Champagne Valley, you will need to visit the Raptor Centre and listen to the magnificent Drakensberg Boys Choir Hot Air Ballooning is becoming more and more popular and what better place to try it than overlooking the South African Drakensberg Mountains! Excursions in the Eastern Free State The quaint town of Clarens is a charming village that offers art galleries, trendy restaurants and curio shops for the tourists that pass through and is only a one and a half hour drive from the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. Golden Gate National...

Stargazing in the Drakensberg

What is stargazing? Stargazing is, by definition the act or practice of looking at or studying the stars but has become a hobby for some, much like hiking or bird watching. Star gazing has not always been viewed as a tourist attraction but is slowly becoming more popular and therefore something that people are willing to travel to see. When stargazing or studying astrology of any kind, it is obviously advantageous to be in a more remote area or one with little or no access to electricity. The Northern Drakensberg is ideal because of the wide open spaces and lack of lighting available. The Drakensberg Mountains also makes for an incredible and picturesque backdrop for star gazing enthusiasts. So, why is the Drakensberg ideal for stargazing? According to Wilma den Hartigh of Media Club South Africa, South Africa is fast gaining a reputation as a leading stargazing destination in the world! One of the main reasons for this is because there are two thirds more stars in the Southern hemisphere than in the Northern hemisphere. Another reason, as mentioned above, is that there is very little man made lighting in the more remote Drakensberg regions and certainly less lighting than in the major cities. Not only is the lack of artificial light beneficial for star gazing but the quiet atmosphere and natural environment make the Drakensberg perfect for stargazing too! After a long week in the office or a tiring hike through the Drakensberg Mountains…PICTURE THIS – a picnic blanket, a few snacks, a glass of wine, your loved one, surrounded by the mountains, the sounds of nature and...

Surviving a road trip to the Drakensberg with kids

Family holidays are fun once you arrive at your destination but sometimes the road trip to get there can be a bit of a nightmare, especially when travelling with children! Traveling with kids is all about being organised because keeping children busy in a confined space for any length of time is very difficult if one has not planned sufficiently. So, no matter how long your road trip to the Drakensberg is or where you are travelling from, we have some tips for you to keep the kids entertained along the way! Tip 1. Make a list Make a list of everything you and the children will need, this includes snacks or “padkos” and clothing, try get the children to pack their own things or to help you compile a list of what they will need. This will help make them feel part of the trip planning. Tip 2. Make an exact time to leave and stick to it It is important to make a time and stick to it so that you reach your chosen destination on time and preferably while it’s still light out. Depending on how your children sleep or how old they are, you might be able to get away with lifting them straight from their beds into the car (at some obscene hour in the morning) to get an early start on the road and allow them to kill some of the time by sleeping (don’t forget to pack breakfast to avoid stopping when they wake up). If your kids are a little older, try to get them to eat at home before you...

HOW TO CHOOSE A FAMILY HOLIDAY

Choosing where to go for your annual holiday with an entire family involved in the decision-making process is not always an easy task. With the youngsters wanting to go somewhere close to the beach; your oldest daughter insisting she would rather be in the mall shopping with her friends and you and your spouse most likely leaning towards a quaint, quite little resort in the Drakensberg, away from the hustle and bustle of work and the city life, how does one make the right decision? Although decision making in this respect may be an intimidating task we have identified a few tips and pointers for you to consider when choosing your next family holiday that may make the process a bit easier. Companions: Considering your companions is the best place to start. Family holidays can often include family friends or granny and grandad who may have a few preferences of their own. It is important to consider each of your travelling companions and their lifestyle as individuals before deciding on the destination, after all taking granny Sue camping in the bush at 89 may not be the most viable choice for the next family holiday. Past holidays: Take a step back and look into past holidays that you have taken as a family. There are bound to be many successful trips in your memory bank and possibly some not so successful but using these past holidays as a guideline will help to make the decision-making process a lot easier and will allow you to narrow your choices down according to what’s worked and what hasn’t worked in the past...

3 Reasons you will want to be in the Drakensberg

Life is stressful, if you do not prioritise time away or find reasons to go away, you will never get time to relax and unwind. So we’re giving you 3 reasons you will want to be in the Drakensberg… 1. Peace and Quiet Starting your day minus the sound of traffic and the stress of work, starting your day in the berg, amongst the fresh air, wildlife, mountains and natural light is really good for the soul and your sleep cycle. But that’s not all, being outdoors balances your body’s melatonin and cortisol levels too. Researchers from the University of Michigan recently did an experiment on some stressed people and tested them after the effects of an outdoor based holiday. The effects of the trip improved psychological well-being, social functioning, and life outlook, these effects lasted for up to a month after their camping excursion. You do not get much more peaceful than the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat, book with us online now. 2. Endless views The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat is framed by the majestic Drakensberg Mountains and therefore offers endless views for you to sit back and enjoy with a glass of wine and if you’re a keen photographer, this is your playground too! Endless views and endless photo opportunities! These views offer your mind time to rest and stop thinking or stressing. Be surrounded by nature and greenery rather than buildings, computer screens and paperwork! 3. The stunning walks / hikes If you are into exercise, the never-ending mountains and hiking trails are ideal! If exercise isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities available for all...
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