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Things To Do In the Drakensberg

Trail Running In The Mountains

Exercise is most definitely a personal thing enjoyed by many across a wide variety of ages. Some of us prefer the outdoors, some would rather go to the gym and others prefer an exercise class. Trail running on the other hand offers the adventurous ones a unique experience of both exercising and being outdoors whilst taking in some beautiful views…every run will be different and as long as you have your shoes with you, you are able to enjoy a trail almost anywhere in the world! It’s a great sport to incorporate in your holidays and not only facilitates a healthy lifestyle but allows one to see the world in a different manner too. Most of us like to spend a great deal of our holidays dining on gorgeous meals (made by somebody else and served to us)…well if one spends the morning on the trail exploring the great outdoors, then the meals can be enjoyed “guilt free” – you would no doubt have earned those calories and can then enjoy a relaxing dip in the pool and a refreshing drink! WHY HAS TRAIL RUNNING BECOME SUCH A TREND? In the USA, trail running has recently been listed as one of the six most popular extreme sports, this amongst paintball and snowboarding. Although its interesting to note that it is considered an “extreme sport” this still doesn’t answer the question as to why it has become so popular? One of the main reasons we can think of is the financial benefits. If finances are down and the credit crunch is getting to you or your family, running is a...

Winter, Snow and Hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains

Winter…not always a South Africans most favorite season but most definitely a season that can be enjoyed by embracing the cold and taking on new activities in the Drakensberg Mountains. Besides the cold, the Drakensberg is lucky enough (most years) to experience a gentle white dusting of snow. See below some photographs taken of the magically snow-capped Drakensberg Mountains. At our Retreat, snow is not something we’re used to nor something we wish to experience all year round but something we embrace and love for the couple of days a year that we get to experience it. Every year people from the surrounding provinces take a drive to look at the snow, perhaps for them or their children, this could be an exciting first, or they’re just making the drive to attempt to build a snow man – snow brings fun for almost all. But what about the hikers? Hiking in the snow is dangerous due to slippery conditions and not highly recommended but luckily, for hikers, as mentioned above – snow is not a regular phenomenon! Thus hiking can be enjoyed almost all year round (and we personally prefer winter hikes). WHY WINTER (between May and August) IS BEST FOR HIKING? For the most part, the Drakensberg winters are fairly mild and only require some “extra gear” which may include jackets, scarves and possibly a pair of gloves but none of the above will negatively impact your hiking adventures. In fact, we would go as far as saying that the winter hiking conditions are more pleasurable for the hikers. The cooler temperatures mean that your stamina is greater...

Upcoming Activities and Events in the Drakensberg Mountains

Life in the city and the hustle and bustle of everyday life can get a bit much for most of us after a while. Therefore the appeal of taking a holiday and some time off is huge, taking a trip with a fun activity or event to attend is an added bonus. A holiday amongst the majestic Drakensberg Mountains is already a treat but its now time to take advantage of all the sport and cultural events on offer too. With the change of seasons from Summer to Autumn/Winter comes a slight variation in the activities on offer but overall this magical holiday destination is an all round win all-year round. We’ve collected a small list of activities for you to choose from for the next few months in the Drakensberg Mountains. Whether you’re the healthy type and want to spend your free time hiking or mountain biking or you’re simply looking for a chilled recreational activity such as a concert or market to unwind and relax outside of the city…there will definitely be something here for you and your family to enjoy together.   National MTB Series Ashburton Investments NATIONAL MTB SERIES #4 Champagne Valley Saturday 10 June 2017 http://www.drakensbergexperience.com/events/item/337-natmtb4-mountain-biking-event Ridetheberg 24-25 June 2017 www.ridetheberg.co.za Polar Bear Swim Challenge 24 June 2017 http://www.drakensbergexperience.com/events/item/347-polar-bear-swim-challenge Runtheberg 30 Sept – 1 Oct 2017 www.runtheberg.co.za Dumbe 2 Day Trail Run 3 – 5 November 2017 The Dumbe Trail Run is a 2-day event in the Northern Drakensberg, located on the escarp bordering the Free State and Kwa Zulu Natal near Oliviershoek Pass and Sterkfontein Dam. Enjoy country hospitality, unforgettable trails, spectacular views...

Your Summer Holiday In The Drakensberg…

December holidays are around the corner and this means 6 weeks of freedom for the kids and for some fortunate parents too! If you’re still unsure of what to do, why not book your Summer holiday with us in the mountains? The outdoor activities available for both families and couples are endless and the peace and quiet will leave you feeling super relaxed and ready for 2017. Within easy reach of Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein, The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat offers a stress free and easy to plan holiday for the December period. We offer great value and promise personal service and a lovely family atmosphere. Take a look  our accommodation online and read some of our other blogs for tips on traveling with children, reasons to do a mountain holiday and check out some of the menu! There is sure to be an activity for all members of the family to enjoy. The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat is situated in the gorgeous Northern Drakensberg region and has plenty of outdoors, peace, activities and space for the whole family to enjoy! Have a look at some of the activities available on the property, below… Summer activities at the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat: Relax and tan by the pool while the kids play in the sun Go hiking and explore the great outdoors. Teach your children the history of the Drakensberg when you show them the Bushman paintings Soak in the panoramic views Get some exercise in and get your endorphins going on one of our Mountain Bike trails Bird watching for mom and dad and possibly some younger wildlife enthusiasts Play snooker,...

Intimate Weddings with a View!

If you are looking for an intimate wedding venue with incredible views and photographic opportunities, then the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat is the place for you! Take your vows with a mountain backdrop, horses roaming around and complete quietness. Situated just 3 hours from Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Durban – this venue will make it easier for your guests to travel from different provinces. WHY CHOOSE DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAIN RETREAT AS YOUR WEDDING VENUE? We provide on-site, comfortable accommodation for your guests. The breathtaking scenery/venue is ideal for those all-important wedding photographs Catering on site instead of hiring an external catering company Central location for those traveling from Johannnesburg, Durban or Bloemfontein One night in the Honeymoon suite as a gift from the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat Option of an indoor or outdoor wedding Indoor pool Common lounge/entertainment area to enjoy time with your wedding party OUTDOOR CEREMONY VENUE Our rustic farm style décor, old wooden benches, covered straw bales and antique wooden chairs provide the perfect elements for your outdoor mountain wedding. INDOOR CEREMONY VENUE If the weather doesn’t come to the party then there are 2 indoor venue’s to choose from: Vergezient Lodge reception room  (30 max) Zonderntwyfel Barnhouse reception room (50 max) Guests will be seated on rustic vintage style benches or standard chairs if you wish.  You may choose to host your reception at either the Lodge or the Barnhouse. For pricing on venue hire and per head charges, please do not hesitate to contact the DMR team. OUR MARRIAGE CEREMONY HIRE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING: Plastic chairs, some wooden chairs, hay bales, benches Wooden podium/stage Arch, not draped or...

HIKING!

Amongst the many reasons people choose to visit South Africa every year are affordability, scenery, wildlife, weather, wine and food, and our outdoor lifestyle. One of the key elements to this outdoor lifestyle are the various hiking routes available to tourists. Many of our guests explore the hiking trails at Drakensberg Mountain Retreat whilst visiting us, so we decided to share some information on our hikes. Before setting out on a hike, always be mindful of the weather: Take water and a walking stick with you. Your safety is a top priority for us and we therefore insist that you take your cell phone as well as our maps and phone numbers along with you. We like to always be aware of where our guests are situated. Sunscreen is a must! A little more about our walking trails at Drakensberg Mountain Retreat… Our trails are well marked and cater for all abilities. Trail maps are available at reception and we can always suggest a hike/walk to suit your capabilities. We offer two longer hikes which take the better part of a day, two 3 hour rambles and 3 short strolls… Day Hikes.
 (These are strenuous hikes) Our Wingswept Trail is approximately 13km long. Starting from the Zonderntwyfel Barn house, the trail takes the hiker to the highest point of Vergezient and offers some incredible views of the surrounding mountains. From here a dragon-back dolerite ridge leads to Protea Pavement with close-up views of two landmarks: The Kerkenberg and Mpokelana Hill. Lower down an enormous rock, one of Wingswept’s photographic delights, marks the Place of the Hyena. The trail then descends through...
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