Bush Bling – Luxury Game Lodge Accommodation

 

When you think of going to a game reserve to go spot your favourite animals, you automatically assume that having to share your rooms with bugs is the norm. WRONG!

We have found some amazing accommodation that will ensure you not only get to see all the wildlife that is on your wishlist, but that you’ll also be staying in the most beautiful, upmarket establishments.

You’re welcome.

 

Raptor Retreat Game Lodge

Raptor Retreat Game Lodge is a little slice of luxury, situated on the Balule Parsons Nature Reserve in the Mopani region. Balule Parsons Nature Reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

At the heart of Raptor Retreat is the Main Lodge where guests can gather to either dine or catch up on their adventures. Relax with a drink on the deck or slump into one of the voluptuous leather couches. The Main Lodge features a huge deck that looks out over an open plain where herds come to graze or drink at the water hole and predators wait for an opportunity.

The accommodation at Raptor Retreat is some of the best the industry has to offer. There are two private lodges on offer: the Elephant Lodge and the Buffalo Lodge. Each air-conditioned room has high thatched ceilings and a huge, built-in king-size bed as well as a large sliding door that opens onto a private deck with double recliners. The deck is nestled in amongst the trees giving you the feeling of being right in the thick of the bush. One could expect an elephant or lion to stroll past any minute.

Slip into your own splash pool and cool off under the hot African sun whilst watching game graze nearby.

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Raptor Retreat Game Lodge

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Raptor Retreat Game Lodge

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Raptor Retreat Game Lodge

 

Pezulu Tree House Lodge

Pezulu is a small, exclusive, one of a kind, Tree House Game Lodge situated in the game rich area of the Limpopo province of South Africa, only forty minutes from the world famous Kruger National Park.

The thatched main building is entwined around a large Marula tree. It consists of a lounge, dining area, curio shop and a charming treetop bar. The magnificent rock swimming pool is the perfect place to cool off during hot summer days. After dark, dinner is served under the stars in the beautiful outdoor boma. The delicious food is typically South-African.

The Lodge comprises of eight unique thatch and reed Tree Houses, accommodating a maximum of twenty two people. Every unit is en-suite and has a private balcony where you can view herds of animals passing below, or view a giraffe eye to eye. Blending in beautifully with the African bush, solid wooden walkways lead high into the private tree houses. Each unit has been built to blend with the environment whilst maintaining an element of luxury. No nails have been knocked into the trees; rather the units have been built around the trees, resulting in huge branches (which are still growing) passing through the Tree Houses.

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Pezulu Tree House Lodge

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Pezulu Tree House Lodge

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Pezulu Tree House Lodge

 

Soul of Africa Lodge

Soul of Africa is a luxurious privately owned game lodge nestled in the idyllic Bushveld surrounds of the Waterberg Mountains, just outside the town of Thabazimbi, in the Limpopo Province.

The lodge comprises 6 very exclusive chalets which are scattered on the mountain ridge, and offers privacy to all guests. Guests can watch the sun set in a golden display over the distant mountain peaks, from the chalet’s private viewing deck, or watch a sky of scattered clouds, suffused with shades of purple and pink as dawn approaches.

Game and ample bird-life can be viewed whilst sipping cocktails in the beautiful swimming pool, or whilst enjoying a braai with friends at the lodge’s braai-area, both overlooking the scenic bushveld environment and Waterberg Mountains.

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Soul of Africa Lodge

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Soul of Africa Lodge

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Soul of Africa Lodge

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Farmers And Craft Markets – A South African Tradition

We love to browse market stalls looking for that special something, whether it be jewellery, art, clothing or local specialties like biltong, vetkoek or sweet, sticky koeksisters. The South African farmers and craft market cultural tradition is deeply ingrained. It’s not so much about the commercial exchange as it is the vibe, the meeting and greeting, and of course, the eating, with food stalls offering delightful treats, and the opportunity to sit down and spend quality time with family and friends.
After hours exploring a bustling market, we go home laden down with fresh organic produce, homemade treats and other absolute ‘musts’, but most of all, we’ve gathered memories! Flea marketing is where we come together to buy, sell, eat and be entertained – whether you’re a casual browser, farmer, crafter, butcher, baker or candlestick-maker, farmers and craft market’s are definitely a taste of the real South Africa.
There are probably thousands of markets in South Africa, so we have only featured a few to highlight the pleasures of this national pass time.

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Photo courtesy Wikimedia

 

Essenwood Craft Market

Berea Park, Essenwood Road (Stephen Dlamini Road), Berea, Durban, KwaZulu Natal

“Under a lush canopy of evergreen trees, the Essenwood Craft Market focuses on the entire family.  The kiddies play area is conveniently situated right next to our Food Court, enabling parents to keep a close eye on their children at play, while they enjoy a meal or ‘cuppa’ in a lively and sociable atmosphere, complimented by the music of one of our many buskers.  If you keep a keen eye open, on some days you might even catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two.
Come and join us every Saturday from 9am to 2pm. Come rain or shine we are there, with lots of fun and entertainment for all”.

For accommodation on the Berea, see the Where To Stay Berea, Durban, KwaZulu Natal Accommodation page.

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Photo courtesy Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market

 

Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market

Cnr Alvestone and Kassier Roads, Shongweni, KwaZulu Natal

“The Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market oozes with stereotypical country charm. It’s almost mandatory to pack up the family and dog, take a sturdy basket and arrive early. Treat yourself with breakfast and, from your vantage point on a hay bale, decide your method of attack. Peruse stalls at a leisurely pace, as hands-on producers passionately talk you through their wares – from traditional English sausages to decadent baked goods, handcrafted organic cheeses, breads and rustic French staples like terrines and rillettes. You’ll also find Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialities from baklava to falafel. If you’re shopping with a conscience, you can buy organic veg or a pre-installed, irrigated system to grow your own organic vegetables. The market is open every Saturday from 6.30am to 10.30am”.

Stay in nearby Assagay, Durban Metro & Durban, KwaZulu Natal Accommodation

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Photo courtesy Wikipedia

 

Tea in the Trees Market

Chintsa West, Eastern Cape

“Tea in the Trees is a quirky home produce market in Cintsa. Characterised by tea cups hanging in the trees, market-goers will soon find themselves immersed in this foody wonderland. It offers all sorts of quality art and craft items, big breakfasts, tasty cakes, as well as a jungle gym, forest walk, and activities for the kids. Tea in the Trees outdoor restaurant and cafe considers that good food is ‘slow food’, and freshly prepared to your order. Relax – take a stroll on our forest walk, enjoy a hot, fresh coffee under the trees, or just put your feet up and take in the surroundings. The market happens on the first Sunday of every month from 9am to 2pm.”

WhereToStay.co.za offers fabulous Cintsa (Chintsa) Accommodation

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Photo courtesy Pixabay

 

Lavender Blue Market

Beacon Bay – Old Gonubie Road R102, East London, Eastern Cape

“For organic and natural produce, jams, preserves, freshly baked bread and a selection of meats including Karoo lamb, the Lavender Blue Market is a firm favourite among locals and out-of-towners, where you will enjoy a day out in a charming country setting.  After shopping, have a wholesome meal at the coffee shop, which only prepares their food with the freshest organic ingredients produced locally. At the on-site nursery, you can find everything from veggie seedlings, succulents and saplings, to worm food! The Lavender Blue Market is open Tuesday to Friday from 8am to 3.30pm, Saturdays from 7.30am to 1pm, and Sundays and public holidays from 8am to 1pm.”

Find East London, Beacon Bay Accommodation

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Photo courtesy Pixabay

 

Nelspruit Farmers Market

Nelspruit Show Grounds, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

“The Nelspruit Farmers Market offers you the best, fresh produce from our local farmers, gardeners, cooks, bakers, artists and crafters. You will find anything from fresh vegetables and fruit, jams, preserves, biscuits, cakes, plants, jewellery and paintings, while we keep the kids entertained with pony rides, jumping castles and candyfloss. Join us once a month from 7am to 11pm for an unforgettable day of family fun”.

For the out-of-towner, find lodgings in Nelspruit, Kruger National Park & Lowveld, Mpumalanga Accommodation

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Photo courtesy Dan Foy @ flickr

 

Snipper Uurtjie Craft and Flea Market

Strydom Centre, 19 William Lynn Street, White River, Mpumalanga

“At Snipper Uurtjie Craft and Flea Market in White River, the stalls offer almost anything imaginable – such as embroidery and quilters, wooden crafts, beadwork, wicker work, ostrich eggs, biltong and nuts, spices, herbal medicines, kaftans, leather products, jewellery, clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and much much more. Then grab a bite to eat – try the ‘to die for’ Portuguese take-aways. We are open Mondays to Fridays 8.30am – 5.30pm, and Saturdays 9am – 2pm.”

Where To Stay White River Accommodation

Botswana … ‘Under The African Sky’

Teeming with wildlife and rich in ancient history and culture, Botswana is an unforgettable safari destination. Known as ‘Africa’s last Eden’, the Okavango Delta lying in the heart of Botswana is one of Africa’s truly great wildernesses. To the east, huge elephant herds roam the plains of Chobe National Park, bordered on the north by the Chobe River, which cuts a dazzling swathe through the sandy terrain. South of the Okavango Delta lies the majestic Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the remains of Africa’s largest inland sea, lying virtually untouched for the last 65 million years. South east of the Delta, the Tuli Block with its network of dry riverbeds, is referred to as the ‘Hardveld’, because of the massive rocky outcrops and abundance of rocks. Resting on the eastern side of the Okavango Delta is the Moremi Game Reserve, voted the best Game Reserve in Africa, and is renowned as a birdwatchers paradise. Ghanzi, also known as the capital of the Kalahari, was home to Africa’s first people – the San, and sits on a flat and featureless terrain strewn with bushes and thorn trees, which spring to life in the rainy season, making Botswana a remarkable contrast of dusty dry desert, rolling savannah, and evergreen oasis. An adventure into Botswana’s vast stretches of untouched wilderness is a life-changing experience, one which makes us realize that all people share the same ancestry.
Although Private Game Reserves abound in Botswana, we’ve chosen just a few safari lodges where you can experience all that Botswana has to offer.

Chobe Safari Lodge

Photo Courtesy Chobe Safari Lodge – Chobe National Park, Botswana

 

Chobe Safari Lodge
Private Game Reserve Accommodation in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Located on the banks of the Chobe River in northern Botswana, close to where the borders of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia meet, Chobe Safari Lodge guarantees you an experience of a lifetime. Luxuriate in superb value for money accommodation in the River Rooms, the new Safari Rooms, traditional thatched rondavels, or the established Chobe Safari Lodge campsite. The Sedudu Bar overlooking the Sedudu Island on the Chobe River is the place to unwind with a sundowner, then sample delicious indigenous African delicacies, as well as specialist game meats, stir-fries, a selection of mouth-watering vegetarian dishes and Indian cuisine at The Terrace Restaurant. For the serious game viewer, Chobe Safari Lodge is the place to be.

See more of Chobe Safari Lodge

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Photo Courtesy Gunn’s Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana

 

Gunn’s Camp
Private Game Reserve Accommodation in Okavango Delta, Botswana

Gunn’s Camp is one of the last few remaining luxury, vintage safari camps. Set under leafy palms and African Ebony to blend naturally with its unique surroundings, Gunn’s Camp achieves a fine balance of comfort without isolating guests from the sights and sounds of the wilderness.
For your African experience, you’ll stay in Kenya-style meru tents set on raised platforms overlooking the delta plains, with unsurpassed views of the meandering waterways, and enjoy delicious meals under the stars or around the campfire.

See more of Gunn’s Camp

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Photo Courtesy Pom Pom Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana

 

Pom Pom Camp
Private Game Reserve Accommodation in Okavango Delta, Botswana

Lying in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Pom Pom Camp is a jewel in Botswana’s crown. Here hippo grunt and frolic in front of a camp that is surrounded by miles of reeds. In a clear water oasis ‘makoro’s’ offer you a wonderful means of viewing wildlife, as you glide between palm fringed islands.
Camaraderie prevails around the camp fire each night as bushlore anecdotes are recounted, whilst a gracious meal is prepared and elegant wines uncorked. Over hot coffee and perhaps a fine cognac, you will re-live the day’s events and compare notes on fishing and photography – and of course plan for another day that will be remembered long after your return to civilization.

See more of Pom Pom Camp

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Photo Courtesy Sango Safari Camp – Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Botswana

 

Sango Safari Camp
Bush Lodge (Catered) in Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Botswana

Nestled in the shade of the trees overlooking the Khwai River, Sango Safari Camp is situated on the outskirts of the traditional village of Khwai on the border of Moremi Game Reserve, offering guests the perfect base from which to explore the wildlife and culture of this unique habitat. Successfully blending the rustic with the luxurious, Sango Safari Camp accommodates guests in meru tents, with open-air bucket showers, hand crafted furnishings and classic styling, rekindling the atmosphere of the classic tented safari camp of days gone by.

See more of Sango Safari Camp

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Photo Courtesy Limpopo River Lodge – Tuli Block, Botswana

 

Limpopo River Lodge
Private Game Reserve Accommodation in Tuli Block, Botswana

Limpopo River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Limpopo River in the Tuli Block, providing the perfect retreat for nature lovers. This vast rolling unspoiled land boasts over 80 exquisite Baobab trees in and amongst scattered koppies, thick Mopane bush and a variety of indigenous trees – the ideal setting to lose yourself in nature’s peace and tranquillity.

See more of Limpopo River Lodge

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Photo Courtesy Tuli Game Reserve – Pride Rock, Tuli Block, Botswana

 

Tuli Game Reserve – Pride Rock
Private Game Reserve Accommodation in Tuli Block, Botswana

With the Black Eagles’ nest perched along the rugged cliff faces above the Limpopo River, Pride Rock looks out regally across the landscape. Lying in the midst of beautiful riverine forests on the river banks and watercourses of the Limpopo, Pride Rock is surrounded with beautiful Sandstone, massive baobab trees, and many other breathtaking landscapes and scenes which makes it a photographers dream.

See more of Tuli Game Reserve – Pride Rock

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Photo Coutesy Pixabay

 

Thakadu Bush Camp
Bush Lodge (Catered) in Ghanzi, Botswana

Situated just South of Ghanzi, Thakadu Bush Camp overlooks a calcrete pan and floodlit waterhole of extraordinary beauty, surrounded by ancient leadwood trees and frequented by large numbers of indigenous wildlife, including a wonderful variety of both resident and migrant birds. Thakadu, which means ‘Aardvark’or ‘Anteater’ in the local language of Botswana, offers accommodation in thatched chalets, luxurious meru tents, and camping in wonderful leadwood shaded campsites.

See more of Thakadu Bush Camp

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Photo Courtesy Nata Lodge – Nata, Botswana

 

Nata Lodge
Private Game Reserve Accommodation in Nata, Botswana

Nata Lodge is an oasis set among the Mokolwane palms on the edge of the pans. When the Nata River floods the pan, the area becomes a paradise, dominated by water-loving birds such as pelicans and flamingo in their thousands, which transform the shore line into a pink haze that blends into the western sky. When the sun sets and the birds retire to their nests, you too can nestle into a luxury thatch chalet, or a designer safari tent under the Marula trees set against the Botswana night sky.

See more of Nata Lodge

The Sheer Magnificence of AfrikaBurn

And so AfrikaBurn 2015 has come to an end…

This year’s theme was “The Gift”, and it proved to be just as epic as any other year! The festival, which takes place on Stonehenge Farm in the Tankwa Karoo in the Northern Cape, is South Africa’s very own version of Burning Man.

Visitors get to leave the regular world behind as they enter a world of utopia and surrealism. AfrikaBurn is a Leave No Trace event, which means that once everyone has packed up and left, there is no trace that there was any recent human life there – the aim is to keep the Karoo semi-desert as pristine as it was before. Participants get dressed up to the nines in outfits that have been planned months ahead of time. Cars and bicycles are kitted out (all logos are to be hidden on cars, clothing etc.).

Money will do you no good here. Absolutely nothing is for sale, except for ice. Don’t expect to barter either – the community works on “gifting”; you give what you can to contribute to the event – whether it’s beer, your skills or a first aid kit, and when you need something, all you have to do is ask.

If you plan ahead, plan smart and do it right, AfrikaBurn may just be the most incredible event you will ever get to experience!

Below are some of the pictures from Afrikaburn 2015, just to get you excited for next year!

#Afrikaburn #desert #egg #wings A photo posted by Lolla (@carlottasabb) on

Nothing to see here #installation #desert #art #Afrikaburn #planking

A photo posted by Daniapea (@daniapea) on

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Great Escapes – Drakensberg Hideouts

First called ‘uKhahlamba’ by the Zulus, meaning ‘barrier of spears’, the Drakensberg or ‘Dragon Mountain’, is an imposing mountain range composed of dramatic contrasts of mighty, rugged peaks, cascading waterfalls, rolling green foothills, tumbling streams and yellowwood forests. Explore ancient caves, enjoy swirling morning mists while hiking along mountain footpaths, dip into crystal clear rock pools, then picnic in the heart of this amazing natural wonderland. The Drakensberg is endowed with the most beautiful scenery imaginable, and is undoubtedly the place that will get you back to nature, and restore your soul.
Although the Drakensberg & Surroundings is inundated with excellent accommodation, we’ve highlighted just a few ‘hideouts’, where you can experience sensational summer mountain storms, and snow-capped peaks in winter that will overwhelm you with the sheer majesty of it all. 

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Ambleside – Drakensberg Gardens

Ambleside 

Drakensberg Gardens Self Catering Accommodation

Nestled at the foot of the majestic Southern Drakensberg mountains, and surrounded by shady trees and meandering streams, Ambleside boasts an elevated position with amazing views of both Rhino Peak and Garden Castle, making it a truly magnificent ‘berg’ experience. Safe, comfortable and restful, Ambleside is a ‘picture postcard retreat’ – the essence of luxurious peace, where you can wander down pathways and discover mountain pools and bushman caves – this is the Drakensberg at it’s best.

See more Drakensberg Gardens Area accommodation

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Antbear Guest House – Hlatikulu Valley. Drakensberg

Antbear Guest House

Hlatikulu Valley Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

Built high on a natural platform overlooking Bushman’s River and Giants Castle, Antbear Guest House is a bit off the beaten track, and is more of an ‘insider tip’ than just another Bed and Breakfast. Antbear Guest House is a place for feeding your soul and rekindling your spirit, and invites you to come and share their dreams.

See more Central Drakensberg accommodation

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Drakensberg Mountain Retreat – Bergville

Drakensberg Mountain Retreat

Bergville Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

The Drakensberg Mountain Retreat with its numerous lounges and fireplaces, is comfortably furnished and has an elegant, old-fashioned feel, while maintaining that rustic farm-house charm. With stunning views of the Amphitheatre and Royal Natal National Park, the guesthouse is said to have one of the best views in the Northern Drakensberg.

See more Northern Drakensberg accommodation

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Inkungu Lodge – Champagne Valley, Drakensberg

Inkungu Lodge

Champagne Valley Hotel Accommodation

Inkungu Lodge lies against the backdrop of the majestic Champagne Valley, which provides an environment of unspoilt beauty, peace and tranquility. In harmony with the natural beauty, Inkungu Lodge offers a luxurious escape to the Drakensberg mountains, along with trout fishing, bird watching, hiking trails, horse rides and scenically placed picnic sites, giving adventurous visitors hours of pleasurable exploring.

See more Central Drakensberg accommodation

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Kingfisher Bed & Breakfast – Winterton, Drakensberg

Kingfisher Bed & Breakfast

Winterton Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

Ideally situated, Kingfisher Bed & Breakfast offers you access to all the attractions in the Central and Northern Drakensberg – the Drakensberg Boys Choir, the Natal Battlefields route and museum, art and craft centres, the Amphitheatre, Spioenkop Nature Reserve, hiking, golfing, trout fishing, abseiling, river rafting, and helicopter rides over the vast escarpment.

See more Northern Drakensberg accommodation

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Three Trees at Spioenkop – Spioenkop Dam, Drakensberg

Three Trees at Spioenkop

Spioenkop Dam Bush Lodge (Catered) Accommodation

Lying in the heart of the Natal Battlefields at the foot of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, Three Trees at Spioenkop is a family owned and run small luxury lodge where you can learn about the local history, soak up the breathtaking mountain views from horseback, or simply relax around the pool and enjoy the endless space and tranquility.

See more Northern Drakensberg accommodation

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Willowbrooke Cottage – Himeville, Drakensberg

Willowbrooke Cottage

Himeville Self Catering Cottage Accommodation

Home to Appaloosa horses and sheep, Willowbrooke Cottage is a country estate lying on the banks of an exclusive, well-stocked trout dam. Here you will enjoy the rustic feel of cypress and thatch in landscaped surrounds, while sacrificing none of your creature comforts – soak in the outdoor jacuzzi while your ‘braai’ fire crackles; snuggle under down duvets while a chorus of frogs, wild geese, ducks and the occasional trout-splash lulls you to sleep … the Willowbrooke experience is simply indescribable.

See more Southern Drakensberg accommodation

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Cedarberg Guest Farm – Cedarville, Drakensberg

Cedarberg Guest Farm

Cedarville Self Catering Accommodation

Become a weekend farmer at Cedarberg Farm, where you can experience farming activities such as dipping cattle, milking cows and counting sheep. Enjoy the hospitality, peace and tranquility of Cedarberg Guest Farm, situated in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, where you can sip on a sundowner as the sun sets behind the rugged Drakensberg skyline, whilst experiencing the breathtaking views from the top of Cedarberg Mountain.

See more Southern Drakensberg accommodation