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Blogs About The Drakensberg & Surrounds

A Brief History Of Drakensberg Mountain Retreat

When Dave was about 50 years of age, he bought the farm known as “Vergezient” (the name dates back to the days of the “Voortrekkers” evident by the number of Historical sites and monuments in the nearby vicinity dedicated to these brave pioneers.) The farm was situated in the Northern Drakensberg area. Prior to this, Dave had speculated with cattle farming and had leased some grazing land for this purpose. However, when the lease was nearing the end of its term, he decided to acquire his own farm for this purpose. He had always wanted to own a farm as he and his siblings – sister’s Dorothy (Dolly) and Rosemarie and brother Charlie – had spent many happy holidays with relatives in the Bergville area. His paternal grandparents had also farmed in this part of KwaZulu-Natal which was another reason for wishing to acquire his own farm in this beautiful part of South Africa. When Dave was originally shown the property by the selling agent, he realised it was not ideal for cattle farming as it was covered in Wattle Trees with no buildings or other facilities provided. However, it was only when he and the agent walked to the end of the plateau from where incredibly beautiful views of a vast section of the Drakensberg are to be seen, that he decided to buy the farm even though it would be difficult to manage grazing on the top ridge and further grazing down below, which was difficult to get to. He started developing the property by building 4 sheds as cattle holding facilities. One of these sheds was...

San Art And Bushman Paintings In The Drakensberg

Above: Some of the rock art available to view at DMR The intriguing and history filled “San rock art”, or more commonly referred to as “bushman paintings” are one of the main reasons tourists choose to visit the Drakensberg Mountains. And rightly so, the art has revealed a great deal about the history of the “San people”, South Africa and European colonists, all dating back to 26 000 years ago. The rock art can be found in various locations all over the Drakensberg Mountains, including here at DMR. The “New Beginnings” hiking trail at the Drakensberg Mountain Retreat features examples of these incredible pieces of art history. Features in the San Art at DMR include; – 14 meters of rock art – 282 paintings (in orange, red, bichrome, polychrome, yellow and black) – 145 human figures are depicted in these paintings – 111 animals are illustrated here History The name “San” originates from the Khoi word “Sonqua” (meaning “those without cattle”). In 1652 Dutch settlers described these same men as “hunter gatherers” and genetic evidence suggests that they are amongst the oldest people in the world. The bushman paintings depict a range of stories that reveal a lot about their lifestyle and history. There are many paintings of these people hunting and dancing. Their “rain dance” in particular is known for its spiritual power – they believed that dancing, besides for rainfall purposes, could be used for healing, hunting and removing societal tensions. Viewing these paintings for yourself is something one has to do to be able to appreciate the significance and history. The tourism value of the San...

A Barnhouse in the Drakensberg Mountains

Dreaming of a rustic, relaxing Drakensberg mountain holiday? Or are you travelling in a large group and finding it difficult to find a suitable space for you all to stay? The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat offers two separate types of accommodation depending on the feel and style of holiday you are looking for. Our Barnhouse accommodation works extremely well for those travelling in large groups and wishing for more intimate spaces… ACCOMMODATION IDEAL FOR WHO?  Our Barnhouse in particular, provides guests with an open plan, rustic, barn-like space whilst still encompassing comfort and convenience as one searches for in a private holiday home. This accommodation is specifically well suited to catering to large groups (can sleep up to 25 people) for business trips, retreats or big family getaways. If you have a larger family or are bringing the extended family along, this accommodation allows you all to feel like you’re under one roof whilst still offering a degree of privacy. Our Barnhouse accommodation furthermore lends itself to creating a cozy and fun atmosphere, which bridal parties can enjoy for their destination weddings. WHAT ELSE TO EXPECT Views, views, views (the ones above are just a taste of what to expect)! Soak in the gorgeous panoramic views and allow yourself to relax in the great outdoors. Space for the whole family to explore, hike, bike relax and feast. Open spaces as far as you can see – surrounded by nature and all it has to offer, including our wild horses and birdlife. A relaxed atmosphere due to the complete lack of civilization (in a good way). No city hustle and bustle, no...

Highlights from the Drakensberg Mountains

We love the Drakensberg Mountains so much that we’re taking the opportunity to use the Month of Love to appreciate the mountains and share just what it is that makes the Drakensberg so special. If you and your loved one want to enjoy a romantic getaway to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you can visit the Drakensberg Mountains – you are guaranteed to love them as much as we do. 10 Reasons Why We’re in Love with the Drakensberg Mountains: The Drakensberg Mountain escarpment stretches over approximately 1000km’s and is situated an estimated 12000ft above sea level, giving you a majestic view that stretches for kilometres. Being this far above sea level means you get to enjoy entirely different scenery and diverse range of activities When you visit the Drakensberg Mountains, you’ll experience the mountains, grass, trees and beautiful nature scenes, as opposed to the conventional sand, salt and sea beach holiday. This makes for a refreshing change, and the perfect location for a romantic getaway. The highest peak, Thabana Ntlenyana, in the Drakensberg Mountains reaches 3,482m. That’s impressive and something to add to your bucket list. There are endless hiking trails available, making the Drakensberg Mountains a favourite for trail runners, cycling enthusiasts, and bird watchers. There is a wide variety of wildlife to observe. Animals that can be spotted include Reedbuck, Eland, Baboons, and a diverse array of bird life. The Northern, Central and Southern regions of the Drakensberg Mountains each has their own appeal, giving you plenty of entertainment and sites to explore. The Bushman paintings or rock arts are a site to see. Discovering the caves, eroded...

How To Pick The Right Holiday Accommodation At DMR? Which Suits You Best?

Nowadays we all seem to be in pursuit of Travel. Travelling has most definitely become a trendy culture and one that those that have the time and resources to do so, do! Whether you’re a family looking to get away from home for a few days to spend some real quality time outdoors. Or a couple that wish to celebrate their honeymoon or an anniversary. Or maybe a company that needs a retreat at which team members and colleagues can bond and discuss matters outside of the office environment. Drakensberg Mountain Retreat have tried to make it easier for you to decide on the right accommodation for your situation. Please see the below for appropriate accommodation options and contact DMR should you have any further questions. DMR OFFER TWO SEPARATE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS; Anyone may choose to stay at either of the buildings but we have outlined some more details on each to try and make it a little easier for you to decide. Having options is never a problem though! Zonderntwyfel Barnhouse, Drakensberg Mountain Retreat Regular en-suite bedrooms are available as well as 4 dormitory-style rooms. Ideal for groups as there is accommodation for 25 guests in all. Vergezient Lodge, Drakensberg Mountain Retreat The Lodge has regular rooms and offers a dinner, bed and breakfast rate. The rates vary per room and can be found here. A number of the rooms here have their own lounges should you be looking for more privacy. A COUPLE So, you’re looking for a romantic weekend away, want to celebrate an anniversary or just want to spoil the one you love with a...

Packing Essentials for your Berg Holiday

Is packing your least favourite part of your holiday? Do you stress over lists and what will fit and what is actually essential? Don’t sweat, we have outlined and categorized packing lists for you below so that you are organized and can do as little thinking as possible before your trip! All you need to do is place the items in your bag and car and book your stay…then it will be time to relax in the mountains. Packing for safety & survival Navigation – Map, compass and GPS. Sun protection – sunscreen (even in Winter), lip balm and sunglasses Warmth – Jacket, gloves and hat/cap (for Winter) First-aid supplies – First Aid kit (include plasters, nausea medication, bug repellent) Hydration – water bottle       Beyond the essentials Binoculars for bird watching and soaking in all our beautiful views (see our top bird watching tips) Journal and pen (Note down the birds you’ve spotted or journal your holiday) Backpack for hiking Hiking shoes (to take in the breathtaking scenery of the Drakensberg Mountains) Camera (here are some tips for taking some epic shots: http://loadedlandscapes.com/tips-for-mountain-photography/#) A book to read Bathing suit for swimming and relaxing by the indoor pool Yogi’s may enjoy a bit of yoga with a mountain view (bring your mat and tights along!) Electronics – Charger for camera, phones and go-pros If you are interested in doing activities at DMR or taking day excursions whilst staying with us you may have to consider other items you need to pack. Take a look at all the activities available and pack accordingly. So there you have it,...
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