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6 Tips To Ensure You Are Properly Prepared For Your Summer Hiking Trip

Hiking in the Drakensberg, a task that so many take part in throughout the year. Although seemingly simple, hiking is not necessarily for the faint-hearted. Preparation for your next hiking trip is the first and most important aspect to remember. Being properly prepared for hiking will ensure that your summer hiking trip doesn’t turn into a life-threatening ordeal. Making sure you are properly prepared for unexpected situations such as getting lost, dehydration, weather-related issues, accidents and injury is a huge step towards assuring that your hike will live up to your expectations. With all of the above in mind we have decided to put together six tips to help prepare you for your hike over the summer season in the Drakensberg Prepare a Trip Plan This piece of advice is always a priority for us. Prepare your trip thoroughly! Making sure that you have a route marked out is a great way to keep yourself on track as well as to ensure that you are well prepared and essentially safer than if you weren’t to plan. Go old school with this, pull out a map and mark off the route you’d like to take – including the starting point as well as the finish point –  stops that you plan on making whether it be for food or just to have a rest; be sure to mark off any possible areas you may get lost or any detours you may find yourself on; lastly it is important to mark off possible areas for you to camp overnight should the need arise. (If you’re using a GPS device – more...

Top 5 Relaxing Things To Do At Drakensberg Mountain Retreat

Drakensberg Mountain Retreat, your home away from home, takes such pride in making sure our guests are relaxed and ensures that you get to enjoy the natural beauty of the Northern Drakensberg. As many of you will agree, the Drakensberg is a place that allows one to reset and relax, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy a nice relaxing break in the mountains – something we all love to do every now and again. What’s more, we have made sure that the activities on offer here at Drakensberg Mountain Retreat, somewhat support this relaxing and tranquil atmosphere – apart from the hiking of course – providing you with activities that are sure to accompany your relaxing stay quite well. With so many beautiful views and fresh landscapes, enjoying a relaxing and peaceful walk in the fresh air is one of our favourite relaxing things to do here at DMR. Not only does the scenery provide picturesque backgrounds for your getaway but the fresh air and crisp smell of nature has a way of detoxing and relaxing the mind, body and soul, helping rejuvenate the senses (For those of you who are a little more energetic, we have some phenomenal hiking trails for you to enjoy so not to worry.) Alongside this, we have a pool available to our guests that goes hand in hand with the above. Although a slow walk is not nearly as tiring or strenuous as a hike, that doesn’t mean your body wouldn’t appreciate a nice cool dip in the pool afterwards.  Not only will a dip in our pool...

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...

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...