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Why you should spend Easter in the Drakensberg

The beginning of the year “sprint” is starting to slow down to a mild jog (for most of us), you’ve just started getting into a routine and Easter is here which means you’ve made it to the first little break in the year! Easter brings along with it a promise of new life and nowhere is better to capture this spirit than in the Northern Drakensberg. Spend the Easter Weekend in the mountains, enjoy waking up to the sun breaking through the trees, plenty of outdoor activities and promises of days filled with family fun! EASTER WEEKEND March 25-28 2016 4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SPEND EASTER IN THE DRAKENSBERG; School holidays are here, which means the kids are probably bored and looking for something to do. Taking the whole family to the Drakensberg might just be the answer for your little break with the children before you continue with the rest of your busy year. There are plenty of activities to be enjoyed by everyone! ACTIVITIES IN THE DRAKENSBERG AND SURROUNDING AREAS ON THE FARM  EXCURSIONS o   Spectacular views of the entire Central and Northern Drakensberg o   Walks and hikes with stunning views and Bushmen paintings o   Mountain bike trails o   Birding, particularly raptors o   Indoor swimming pools o   Full size snooker table o   Photography opportunities o   Baby Grand piano o   Reading, relaxing, board games o   Visit the spectacular Royal National Park World Heritage Site with wonderful hikes and breath-taking views (¾ hour drive from the Lodge) o   Guided walks to the top of the Tugela falls, the second highest falls in the world o   Champagne Valley with...

THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING A BREAK WITH YOUR “SPECIAL PERSON”

Who doesn’t dream of a romantic weekend away with their special person? Seriously, what more could one want than a weekend alone, being pampered in the mountains and spending every minute with their partner? More often than not though, those thoughts become nothing but a distant dream because we get too busy, feel that our budgets are too tight or perhaps have some big bill or debt to pay off that takes priority! But a vacation doesn’t need to break the bank and you don’t need to be away for weeks on end to reap the benefits of a holiday. Drakensberg Mountain Retreat offer affordable and romantic weekends away for you and your partner to enjoy and unplug from the realities of life. There are countless benefits to taking a break and escaping work / everyday activities / chores… Recharge your body and mind by physically removing yourself from society, work and the stresses associated with it. Improve and strengthen your relationship by spending quality time together. You will not only be road tripping to the Drakensberg (by the way, road tripping has proven to be one of the most bonding experiences for couples) but you will also be enjoying the views, meals, relaxation and activities on offer once you arrive in the Drakensberg. Taking a break and clearing your head has been known to increase your productivity when you get back to work. Think of it as a detox for your brain which means you will have a clear and productive mind-set when you return from your trip. Improve your mood. Changing your environment and routine can influence...

THE IMPORTANCE OF RELAXATION

Some people live off stress and feel that the adrenaline that comes along with it can help one power through a long day at work, these “stressaholics” even claim that it helps boost their workouts! While it is important to remain active and its good for us all to keep our minds busy, it is imperative to relax too! Not making time to relax more often than not leaves you stressing and STRESS has been linked to many dangerous health complications, namely; heart problems and dementia. Yes, we do need to learn how to cope with life’s inevitable stresses and move on to the next issue without blinking an eyelid but relaxing at some point in the day is key for your health and longevity! What are the health benefits of relaxation? Relaxing more will help you to sleep better and sleeping helps our bodies function at their optimum level, it’s all part of a very significant cycle. Lose the one and the rest will follow, a kind of domino effect! Relaxing will help improve your mood. Feeling stressed and unrested can leave you feeling grumpy and cause you to be short tempered with the people around you. Your memory will improve and you’ll find it easier to concentrate because you would have given your mind to “detox” and sort through everything properly. You will reduce your risk of overall physical illness. Being stressed for long periods of time puts plenty of stress on our bodies, causing us to develop colds, flus and sometimes worse! Lowers your risk of stroke. A study done in 2007 at the University of...

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...
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