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Trail Runs in the Drakensberg…

In early February 2015 Drakensberg Mountain Retreat hosted its second Trail weekend and numbers were significantly up from the first Trail weekend held in October 2014! The longer distance trail runners set off in misty conditions on Saturday morning to do a 26km trail (550m of ascent) across the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat and neighboring farms. This was great run for those looking to get some serious training in for the AfricanX Race in March this year. The mist soon lifted as the morning wore on and the great weather that was promised on the forecast, arrived. A few of the historic sites were incorporated on the run to make it even more enjoyable, this included Retief’s Pass and the Kaalvoet Vrou Statue. The other runners set off on various shorter trails of 6km to 9km around the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. The rest of the day was spent admiring the views, going for shorter walks and enjoying a refreshing swim in the pools at DMR. The morning of Day 2 started early and a lot warmer than Day 1…with a few tender legs too. A number of the trails on the DMR farm were combined to make up a run of 15km. The going was extremely tough as the day went on to reach temperatures of 30°C. Runners were relieved to reach the waterfalls where they were able to stand underneath the cascading water and cool off before continuing with the second part of their run, back to the lodge. The shorter runs provided the groups with well-marked fun trails around the farm. For those who weren’t keen on running,...

Northern Drakensberg History – Places to Visit Whilst Staying at DMR

When visiting the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat, there are plenty of activities for you and your family to do and many beautiful heritage sites and berg views to visit and enjoy. One of the views you will want to experience is the view from the Piet Retief Pass. This is the pass through which Retief’s party of Voortrekkers descended the Drakensberg in their quest for freedom and a land (Natal) of their own. This group of men consisted of 66 wagons and these were the first ever wheeled vehicles to enter Natal. The trail carved by these wagons is known as Retief’s Pass and was declared a national monument in February 1977. Another Heritage site, which is a “must see” is the Kaalvoet Vrou statue (pictured below). The Afrikaans title given to the statue directly translates to “Barefoot Women” in English. This statue is situated near Bergville at the Voortrekker Pass and is just 1 ½ km from the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. This historic monument stands as if walking away from Natal and is in memory of Susanna Smit, who in 1837 declared that she would rather trek barefoot back over the Berg than live in Natal under British rule.                       Another site you will want to add to your list of sites to see is the location where Piet Retief’s’ followers camped while their leader went to Zululand to parlay with the Zulu Chief Dingaan for land. The Site is named Kerkenberg because the Voortrekker’s priest, Erasmus Smit, deemed the cluster of rocks at its base was worthy of...

Your Hiking Checklist for the Drakensberg…

Are you and your family planning a trip to the Drakensberg? Hiking is one of the most popular activities available for people staying in the Drakensberg and is a definite must do activity if you are visiting the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. We offer a range of adventures for you to choose from. Take an arduous hike or stroll through the hills observing the unforgettable views and beautiful surroundings. The trails at Drakensberg Mountain Retreat are well marked and cater for all abilities. Trail maps are available at the reception and we can always suggest a hike/walk based on the ability of you and your group. Should you wish to hike in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, declared a World Heritage Site in 2000 on account of its outstanding natural beauty and cultural significance, our team can assist in making bookings. Feeling apprehensive about what to pack when hiking? We have compiled a list for you so that figuring out what to pack becomes something you no longer need to worry about. Hiking checklist: Safety always comes first, you will need to pack a map of the area and possibly a compass and GPS A small first aid kit can come in handy for small cuts, thorns or headaches that may be experienced whilst on your hike. Sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen are a must in the hot African sun, you don’t want to burn and risk ruining the rest of your holiday because you are suffering from heatstroke and sunburn. Depending on the time of day you choose to take your hike, you will possibly need to pack a headlamp or...

Our Family of Wild Horses – Drakensberg Mountain Retreat

A seemingly long time ago, when the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat was in its’ infancy, being built brick by brick by late owner Dave and his nephew Judson…a little waif-like horse came into our lives. She wandered onto the farm, tiny and frail and if it was not for the care given to her by owner, Dave, she would not have survived. This foal was later named “Annie”. She made her home indoors in a bed of straw in what is now the lounge at the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. Slowly but surely, with care and dedication she built up her strength to become a robust, healthy mare. She ruled the roost and had free reign in the Lodge, swaggering in and out of the dining room to greet us all with a gentle nudge. Once Annie was big and strong enough, she was sent out into the great outdoors to join the other horses where she happily adjusted into a feisty, friendly filly. There was great excitement when she produced her first foal who was named “Charlie” after my husband (Dave’s brother).  In time she increased her brood and we were told that another foal, much to the delight of our children, had arrived. This foal was named Craig, after our son. Later, Annie produced one last foal, who was named “Kathryn”, after my daughter. Not many families can claim a family of horses as namesakes but we have that honour at the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. You cannot miss Annie; she’s the one with the soft gentle eyes and the jaunty gait of ownership over the whole place. When you...

4 things to do in the Northern Drakensberg

No matter what your idea of a holiday is, the Northern Drakensberg has an activity for you and your family to enjoy. Whether its romance, adventure or arts and culture you’re after, we have it covered! Find some activities to do whilst staying in the Northern Drakensberg below… 1 for the view… Visit the second highest waterfall on the planet, the Tugela Falls. The waterfall is situated in the Royal Natal National Park and the best time for viewing is during summer. Take one of the two hiking trails that lead to the Tugela Falls. The first of the hiking trails involves a full day of walking to the summit of Mount-Aux-Sources whilst the second trail offers a more gentle hike which leads to the foot of the falls (through the beautiful indigenous forest in the Tugela Gorge). Contact Drakensberg Mountain Retreat for more information on these trails as well as to book accommodation for your stay.     2 for Romance… Fancy something adventurous and romantic? Why not take a horse ride through the mountains and canter through the breath taking scenery. There are various trails offered by the Montusi Estate in the Northern Drakensberg, ranging from easy outrides on the Estate for the beginners to trickier trails for those who are more experienced and confident. Email info@montusi.co.za  to book your horse ride today. 3 for Adventure… If it’s an adrenalin rush you are after then look no further than the 900m forest cable tour. If it’s an adrenalin rush you are after then look no further than the 900m forest cable tour. This cable tour is the...
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