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Things To Do In the Drakensberg

Visit The Golden Gate National Park, Just A One Hour Drive From Our Resort!

There is an abundance of activities available on offer at the Drakensberg Mountain retreat and its surroundings…there are plenty of day trips and excursions to enjoy within proximity to the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat. One of the favourites being a trip to the Golden Gate National Park. We have found that over the last few years, the majority of our guests (most being foreigners) like to take full advantage of the area and visit The Golden Gate National Park and enjoy all that is on offer there whilst staying with us. The Sandstone cliffs of the Golden Gate National Park lie 2200m above sea level and provide visitors with plenty to do and breathtaking views to soak in… MORE ABOUT THE AREA AND ITS SURROUNDS • Roughly 120 km south east of Bloemfontein and 15 km south of Wepenar on Route 701, lies the Golden Gate National Park, through which the Caledon River flows. • The park is also home to the Welbedacht Dam (southern parts of the reserve). • The Basotho Cultural Village which forms part of the park will take you back more than 400 years. Take note how European settlers influenced life and culture of these people today. • You may even have an opportunity to meet/consult a Sangoma (traditional medicine man)! Nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains of the North-Eastern Free State lies the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The park was named after the shades of gold that shoot from the sun onto the prominent sandstone cliffs in the afternoons. This magnificent highland habitat is home to several animals you will definitely want...

Christmas in the Drakensberg Mountains

A blog about Christmas in September? Well there are exactly 111 days until Christmas and if the rest of the year is anything to go by, then it will be here before we know it! Christmas time means something different for everyone; children enjoy Christmas for more obvious reasons but the adults may appreciate the time with family and friends and possibly  associate this time of the year with holidays and adventures too! A South African Christmas, in particular is a unique holiday for us all due to the fact that our country comprises of so many cultures, languages and landscapes. Some South African families prefer an intimate meal at home with family. Others make a large event and throw a party where all are welcome. Those that dare, choose to leave the comfort of their own home and take advantage of their time off by taking a trip away from their “home comforts”. Individuals may not even celebrate Christmas but use the time to give their bodies the rest and relaxation they deserve after a long year. If you are one of the families or individuals that choose to take a holiday or break away from the city and everyday life then the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat may be the answer! We remain open all the way through to 2018…(yes, 2018 is around the corner and its scaring us too – how time flies!). WHO WANTS TO SPEND CHRISTMAS IN THE DRAKENSBERG? A family needing a central venue to meet to chill out and celebrate (we’re approximately half way between Durban and Johannesburg). A couple in search of a...

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,...
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