Cathedral Peak Hotel

The Drakensberg

Days 1 - 3: The Drakensberg

Cathedral Peak Hotel Location Map

The first European settlers called them 'Dragon Mountains'; the Zulus call them 'Barrier of Spears' - whatever you know them as, the Drakensberg mountain range is one of the most spectacular natural features of Africa. It is also the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, and stretches the entire length of the western boundary of KwaZulu-Natal, forming a natural boundary between the province and Lesotho.

With over 200 kilometers of unspoiled escarpment awaiting the tourist, it is an ideal place for those who want to get away from it all for a few days. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, and nature lovers will enjoy the many hiking and walking trails available for all levels of ability. There are easier walks through lush meadows and across clear streams, or more strenuous hikes up and across rugged mountain terrain. In addition there are countless other activities including bird watching, horse riding, fly-fishing, and art-courses to be enjoyed.

The Drakensberg has between 35,000 and 40,000 works of bushman art, which is the largest collection of such work in the world. San rock art paintings found here date back thousands of years, and are still clearly visible on the walls and the ceilings in the caves.

Nestled amongst the beautiful Drakensberg Mountain range lies Cathedral Peak Hotel. Since the hotel first opened to guests in 1939, the hotel has been renowned for its warm hospitality and exceptional service.

Surrounded by some of the world's most stunning scenery, this KwaZulu-Natal hotel resort also enjoys the privilege of an abundance of birdlife, plants and rock art.

The rooms offer views of the surrounding mountains and includes an en-suite bathroom with a bath and shower.  

The hotel features a 9-hole golf course, swimming pool and gym facilities. Guests can also enjoy guided hikes, bird watching and guided horse rides. 

These natural treasures, combined with the hotel's own facilities, lure guests to this award-winning hotel time and time again.

Example Details For Cathedral Peak Hotel

Nights: 3 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Standard Room
Includes: Al meals and afternoon tea are included.
 
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Cathedral Peak Hotel Location.

Address

Cathedral Peak Hotel,Winterton / Bergville, Central Drakensberg

Directions

From Johannesburg: Take the N5 from Harrismith toward the Free State. Not far out of the town turn left onto the R712, and after about 8 km, turn left again onto the R74. This route will take you past the Sterkfontein Dam, and down the scenic Oliviershoek Pass. Continue to Bergville. Just beyond Bergville, on the R74 to Winterton, turn right at the Cathedral Peak Hotel sign. After about 16 km turn right to Emmaus/Cathedral Peak. It is approximately 31 km from here to Cathedral Peak Hotel.

From Durban: On the N3, about 26 km beyond the Estcourt glide-off from the N3 freeway (and beyond the turnoff to the Central Berg Resorts) take the Bergville/Colenso off-ramp. Turn left onto the R74 to Winterton/Bergville (ignore the apparently shorter route from Estcourt through Loskop - a section of this road is currently rough gravel. Marked with a red arrow on the map.) Turn left onto the R600 in Winterton, and turn right after approximately 1 km to Cathedral Peak. After 11 km there is a T-junction. Turn right and almost immediately left to Emmaus/Cathedral Peak. It is about 31 km from here to Cathedral Peak Hotel.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may normally be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must please be vacated by 11:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome.

Each en-suite room has a television, telephone, fan, heater, tea/coffee making facilities, a mini-bar fridge (stocked on request) and a private veranda.

Cathedral Peak Hotel's many indoor facilities include table tennis, a games room, a fully equipped gym with steam bath. The Peak Performance Vitality Centre is available nearby.

After dinner, enjoy a game of pool, darts or sport on the big screen in the well-known Harry's Bar or relax in the comfort of Albert's Cocktail Bar with the ambience of a roaring log fire complete with separate smokers' lounge. The stylish Hotel Lounge offers a quiet refuge from the day's activities.

Cathedral Peak Hotel guests enjoy free daily guided hikes (including walks to Bushman paintings and beautiful waterfalls). There are a choice of 18 different walks and hikes, ranging from gentle river-side ambles suitable for the whole family to the challenging hike and climb to the summit of Cathedral Peak itself. Bird-spotting enthusiasts can tick off some of the 121 resident species recorded.

In addition there is archery, horse and pony rides, mountain bike trails, a marked jogging route, tennis, squash, bowls, outdoor chess, beach volleyball, badminton, floodlit mini-adventure golf, a 10m climbing tower, heated and cold outdoor swimming pools and fly fishing.

The immaculate 9 hole golf course situated on the hotel property offers alternate tees for an 18 hole game. The club house boasts rest rooms, a lounge area, pub (Philip's Pholy) and a terrace with panoramic Drakensberg mountain views - the perfect 19th hole. The length of the course is 5542m and the course is graded a par 70.

Cathedral Peak Hotel is also a welcome family retreat with a host of children's facilities including pony rides, a children's playground, jumping castle, heated paddling pool and trampoline.

Southern Sun Elangeni

Durban

Days 4 - 5: Durban

Southern Sun Elangeni Location Map

With over 320 days of sunshine per year, Durban is a holidaymakers paradise. The 6 km 'Golden Mile' of beaches are packed with sun worshippers throughout the year, while the warm waters of the Indian Ocean entice swimmers, surfers and other water sport and diving enthusiasts.

For those looking for attractions away from the sand and sea, Durban offers a bustling cosmopolitan city with excellent restaurants, museums, live music and theatre. Durban is also home to the largest population of Indian descendents in South Africa, so it is not surprising, therefore, that the city is renowned for its aromatic spice markets and delicious curries - reputed to be some of the best in the world outside of India itself.

Some of the best diving in South Africa can be found at Aliwal Shoal, just 50 km south of Durban. Aliwal is voted as being one of the top 10 dive sites in the world.  Besides being able to dive and swim alongside the many tropical fish species and loggerhead turtles, the major attraction at Aliwal is the ragged tooth shark, or 'Raggy' as it is fondly known within the local dive community.  From July to November the ragged tooth sharks visit Aliwal Shoal in their annual migration from the Cape to the St Lucia Marine Reserve, and the docile nature of this species means that divers can get extremely close to the sharks without the need for a diving cage.

One of Durban's premier hotels, the Southern Sun Elangeni has breathtaking views of Durban's Golden Mile and warm Indian Ocean.

All the air-conditioned rooms are well furnished and offer every amenity. There are also 3 outdoor pools (one of which is heated), beauty salons, Camelot spa and a gymnasium.

The hotel is home to several of Durban's most exciting restaurants and bars. Guests are presented with a wide range of dining options, from generous buffets to traditional Japanese and exotic curries. Visitors looking to experience glamour and stunning views of the Indian Ocean and vibrant cocktails head to Sky, the hotel's exclusive Durban venue at the top of the Maharani Tower.

Example Details For Southern Sun Elangeni

Nights: 2 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Standard Room
Includes: Breakfast is included.
 
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Southern Sun Elangeni Location.

Address

Southern Sun Elangeni,63 Snell Parade, North Beach, Durban

Directions

From King Shaka International Airport: drive towards the Outer Ring Road towards Durban. Drive through the Toll Road and join up with the N2. Follow the N2 until you reach the Umdloti Link/ Jabu Ngcobo Dr turnoff. Turn left at the turnoff and drive towards the Leo Boyd Highway and turn right onto the M4 towards Durban.

This will take you past the Sibaya Casino off-ramp. Keep travelling past Umhlanga Rocks turn-off, past La Lucia Mall turnoff. Continue past Durban Virginia Airport the Riverside Road turnoff and the Durban Country Club. The M4 becomes the Ruth First.

At the set of traffic lights, turn left into Sandile Thusi Road (Argyle Road). Turn right at the next set of traffic lights into Sylvester Ntuli Road (Brickhill Road). At the next set of traffic lights, turn left into Somtseu Road and continue over the next set of traffic lights and turn right into Snell Parade.

Go around the roundabout and Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani is on the right-hand side before the next roundabout.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must please be vacated by 11:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests. There is an express check-in / check-out service available. Early check-in and late check-out is available on request.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome.

The rooms are all en-suite and include a TV with DSTV and selected channels, air conditioning, hair dryer, tea/coffee making facilities, a mini bar (stocked on request) and a safe.

There is complimentary Wi-Fi in all the rooms (500 MB per day).

Breakfast is served at Elangeni Tower in the Ocean Breeze Restaurant. To order breakfast in bed, just fill out the breakfast door hanger in your room and make sure it’s on the outside of your door before 02:00.

Accepted credit cards for any additional items on your room bill are American Express, Diners/Carte Blanche, JCV, MasterCard and Visa.

There are 3 outdoor pools, a beauty salon, a sauna and a gymnasium. Other hotel facilities include 24 hour room service, air-conditioning in public areas, concierge services, gift shop/newsstand, coffee shop, curio shop, laundry/valet, turndown service, wake-up calls, guest relations desk, doctor/dentist on call, and a hospitality lounge.

Both the Maharani Tower and Elangeni Tower feature a quiet area with an internet connected PC and printer should you need this service.

Pool towels are available at the concierge desk.

There is covered parking, which is charged at a daily rate - available on request.

The distance from the airport to the hotel is approximately 16 km.

Kosi Forest Lodge

St Lucia Wetland Park

Days 6 - 8: St Lucia Wetland Park

Kosi Forest Lodge Location Map

Kosi Forest Lodge is located in a private nature reserve in a tranquil sand forest alongside one of the lakes in the Kosi system, which forms part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (also now known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park), an internationally recognised World Heritage Site.

The 11,000 hectare, 30 km long nature reserve is a tropical paradise of crystal clear water, marshland, swamp and coastal forests that is home to about 250 species of bird. Kosi Forest Lodge is the only private lodge in the nature reserve.

Activities include guided canoeing on the lakes, walks in the Raffia Forest, boat trips, and snorkelling.

A massive Zulu Podberry tree is the focal point of the main lodge with the lounge, dining room and bar all opening onto a large, wooden deck around the tree.

Kosi Forest Lodge takes full advantage of Maputuland's sultry weather with most meals served alfresco - on the deck or under large Albizia trees. Candles light the area at night giving it a warm, romantic ambience reminiscent of wild African adventures of long ago.

The thatched bush suites are raised on a wooden deck with a beautifully appointed bedroom, and are carefully positioned to provide guests with privacy and an intimacy with the peaceful surroundings.

The romantic en-suite bathrooms are open-air, giving guests a truly unique experience.

A swimming pool, built into the deck at the lake's edge is a wonderful way to spend a few relaxing hours in the sunshine.

Example Details For Kosi Forest Lodge

Nights: 3 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Forest Room - Stay 3 / Pay 2 (applicable to certain periods only)
Includes: All meals; tea/coffee; a guided canoe trip, guided walk in the Raffia Forest, the Isibindi Foundation Levy; and the Conservation fee are included.

Children under the age of 12 years are not permitted on forest walks.

 
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Kosi Forest Lodge Location.

Directions

From Johannesburg (Recommended Route): Head to Piet Retief on the N2, pass through Pongola and proceed south towards Hluhluwe (approximately 113 km from Pongola).  Turn left into the town of Hluhluwe. Proceed through the town until you reach the last roundabout.  Turn left towards Mbazwana/Sodwana Bay and proceed for 0.7 km and turn right again towards Sodwana Bay/Mbazwana.  Shortly after turning right you will cross over a railway line.  Proceed for 87 km bypassing Mbazwana on your right.  Proceed straight through the roundabouts following the signs to 'Coastal Forest Reserve'. Proceed for 46 km after Mbazwana (passing the Mseleni turn-off) and turn right at the roundabout signposted Kosi Bay/KwaNgwanase. 

From Johannesburg (Alternative Route): Head to Piet Retief and  Pongola on the N2 and proceed south towards Mkuze.  Approximately 45 km from Pongola and 10 km before Mkuze turn left towards Jozini.  On leaving Jozini take a left turn towards the 'Coastal Forest Reserve and KwaNgwanase' (signposted), ensuring that you are proceeding over the Pongola dam wall.  After 45 km at a T-junction turn right towards KwaNgwanase.  Proceed for another 47 km past Tembe Elephant Park towards the town of Manguzi (KwaNgwanase). Please note that this route often has cattle wandering across it, some of the signs have fallen down and so caution and slower driving speeds are necessary.  Also particularly around the area of Tembe Elephant Park, the road has quite a few large potholes which have caused damage to some cars.  Although this route may appear shorter in distance, it takes almost as much time as the Hluhluwe Recommended Route above, but without all the hazards!

From Durban: Proceed on the N2 North out of Durban bypassing Richards Bay, Empangeni and Mtubatuba and head towards the town of Hluhluwe. Turn off the N2 towards Hluhluwe, proceeding through the town until you reach the last roundabout, and turn left towards Mbazwana/Sodwana Bay. Proceed for 0.7 km and turn right again towards Sodwana Bay/Mbazwana.  Shortly after turning right you will cross over a railway line.  Proceed for 87 km bypassing Mbazwana on your right.  Proceed straight through the roundabouts following the signs to 'Coastal Forest Reserve'. Proceed for 46 km after Mbazwana (passing the Mseleni turn-off) and turn right at the roundabout signposted Kosi Bay/KwaNgwanase.

ALL GUESTS NOW FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS:

For non 4x4 guests: drive into KwaNgwanase/Manguzi, through the town and near the end, look out for the Total Garage on your left-hand side. On your arrival here, you will be met by a Kosi representative and taken to a secure car park where you leave your car.  You will then be transferred to the lodge which takes approximately 25 minutes.  Please note that there are 2 transfers per day: midday and 16:00. These transfers have to be pre-booked when confirming your stay.  Please note that there will be an extra charge per person per transfer (payable to the lodge) for all late/early arrivals and departures. If guests are running late/early it is of the utmost importance to contact the lodge and notify them asap by calling +27 (0) 87 808 5151 or +27 (0) 82 873 8874.

4x4 guests: you can drive yourselves to the lodge. Just before the town of KwaNgwanase/Manguzi, turn right onto the D1843 which is marked by a small green signpost and a police station sign (a police badge emblem) - both signs are quite small so do watch carefully for them.  Follow this road as it bends right and just before the police station turn left onto a gravel road and follow the signs straight through to Kosi Forest Lodge (approximately 9 km).

 

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may be occupied from midday on the day of arrival for guests arriving in their own 4x4. Please advise Travel Butlers if you would like to arrive at the lodge in time for lunch.

Please note that for non 4x4 vehicles, there are scheduled transfers to the lodge at 12:00 or 16:00 - please confirm with Travel Butlers which time you will require as these need to be pre-booked.

All rooms must please be vacated by 10:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome. Children under 6 are requested to have dinner half an hour earlier than adults. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted on canoeing trips.

All the rooms are en-suite with an outside bath/boma and indoor/outdoor showers. They also include a private deck, tea/coffee making facilities, 24/7 electricity, mosquito nets, a wall mounted fan and a safe.

The main lodge consists of the lounge, dining room, bar and deck area. There is also a swimming pool.

There is Wi-Fi in the main lounge area, but it can be slow and intermittent due to satellite connection. There is limited mobile phone coverage.

Activities include guided canoeing trips, boat trips, Raffia forest walks, day trips to Kosi Bay mouth (additional cost), snorkelling, fishing, turtle tracking (15 November-15 January, additional cost) and birdwatching.

All credit cards are accepted. No debit cards.

There is a limited laundry service (additional cost).

A babysitting service is also available - 24 hours notice required (additional cost).

Your rate includes a contribution towards the Isibindi Foundation, which does significant work in the impoverished communities living alongside this protected area, as well as supporting conservation initiatives too within the area. The lodge can arrange on request a free tour to view the projects they are supporting in the neighbouring communities.


Bush Walks / Walking Safaris

Children under the age of 12 years are not permitted on forest walks. The final decision on whether a guest can join a forest walk remains with the guide and lodge manager.

Ghost Mountain Inn

KwaZulu-Natal

Days 9 - 10: KwaZulu-Natal

Ghost Mountain Inn Location Map

At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain, 300 km north of Durban, lies the privately owned 4* Ghost Mountain Inn, a perfect setting for taking time out to relax and experience the charms of Africa in comfort and style.

For those travelling to southern Mozambique, or between Kruger Park, Swaziland and Durban, Ghost Mountain Inn makes an excellent stopover or memorable getaway.

A variety of guided tours can be arranged for guests, including game drives, hikes, tiger fishing, boat rides and Zulu cultural trips.

Hike up Ghost Mountain and take in the heart stopping view of the Lebombo Mountain Range and the plains beyond. Nature lovers will enjoy the Mkhuze Game Reserve, where the range of wildlife includes both black and white rhino.

The area is also a bird watcher's paradise, and birding walks can be arranged.

Relax in one of the tastefully appointed, en-suite bedrooms or suites or take in the golden African sunset from your very own garden patio.

Guests can choose to dine in the restaurant or on the terrace overlooking the expansive grounds and swimming pools.

Indulge your senses with a skin or body treatment in the Health Spa, which also includes an indoor gym and steam room.

Example Details For Ghost Mountain Inn

Nights: 2 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Standard Room
Includes: Breakfast is included.
 
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Ghost Mountain Inn Location.

Address

Ghost Mountain Inn,8 kms from Mkuze, Mkuze

Directions

Directions from Johannesburg (approximately 5 hours): Take the N4 or N12 towards Witbank and Middleburg. Take the N11 to Hendrina and Ermelo, then take the N2 to Piet Retief, onto Pongola, and Mkuze.

At Mkuze, turn left off the N2. Continue straight past the town to a T-junction and turn left. After 400 m the hotel will be on the right hand side.

Directions from Durban (approximately 3 hours): Take the N2 northwards past Emgangeni, Mtubatuba, Hluhluwe and Mkuze. Be careful not to take the first brown sign which is a dirt road leading to the Mkhuze Game Reserve. Take the large green sign which is about 15 km further north.

At Mkuze, turn right off the N2 and follow the directions as above.

From Mbabane: Follow the MR3 passing Lobamba and Manzini. Keep to the MR3 and you will see a gas station (Galp) on your right hand side. turn right onto the MR8. Follow the MR8 all the way to Lavumisa. As you are approaching Lavumisa you will you will take the 2nd exit at the roundabout and follow the road to the eSwatini/South African border. Cross the border, drive on and turn left onto the N2 following directions to Mkuze.

At Mkuze, turn left off the N2 and follow the directions as above.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must please be vacated by 10:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome.

All rooms are en-suite with a bath, shower and have views of the mountains, gardens or courtyard. They also have air conditioning, a hairdryer, mini bar, satellite television, telephone, a safe, tea/coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi.

The spa offers a range of skin and body treatments and healthy lunches in a tranquil environment.

The hotel has 2 pools. The larger pool is situated in the garden in front of the hotel surrounded by umbrellas and loungers. The second, a rock pool, is in a more secluded area of the spa.

Roy's Bar has a variety of drinks on offer from cocktails, gin and tonic or glass of wine from their award winning wine list. The bar is open from 09:00 until late.

Meals are served in the dining room, outdoors on the terrace or at the traditional Boma.

Breakfast is served from 06:30 to 09:30.

Lunch is served from 11:00 to 17:00.

Dinner is served from 19:00 to 21:00.

Room service is available from 06:30 to 21:00.

The gift shop offers a variety of curios from beaded artefacts, carvings to Nguni cow hides and clothing. The gift shop also offers toiletries and other sundries you may have left at home. It is located in the reception area and is open all day.

Wi-Fi is also available in the lounge area.

A laundry service is available.

A babysitting service is also available.

The following credit cards are accepted: American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa.

Thanda Safari Tented Camp

Thanda Private Game Reserve

Days 11 - 12: Thanda Private Game Reserve

Ghost Mountain Inn Location Map

Thanda Private Game Reserve is situated approximately 300 km north of Durban, and invites you to experience ultimate luxury and world-class service. A full suite of animal species, including the Big 5, which roamed the area in the past have been reintroduced to the 14,000 hectare reserve, and guests can enjoy game drives in open game viewing vehicles, and bush walks guided by knowledgeable and experienced game rangers and trackers.

Thanda Safari Tented Camp has no electricity, and without compromising luxury or service offers guests an opportunity to get closer to nature in style.

The main area includes a large rim-flow pool, atmospheric Hemingway-style lounge and dining area featuring authentic African artworks.

The wellness centre offers a variety of therapies and beauty treatments to ease the effects of life's daily stresses on your body and mind.

Qualified health and skin care therapists will ensure that your soothing full body aromatherapy massage or healing reflexology, to name just a few, will aid you to unwind and relax in the beautiful surroundings of Thanda Private Game Reserve.

Private safaris vehicles are available at an additional cost.

Situated on the slope of a hill, and with spectacular views of the reserve, each of the 15 luxury tents at Thanda Safari Tented Camp has a viewing deck and a spacious bathroom with a shower.

Jabula Tent within Tanda Tented Camp is a beautifully spacious private tent and is ideal for honeymooners and families. The tent features a king-sized bed and separate lounge, en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, splash pool and spectacular views of the reserve making it ideal for honeymooners and families.

Guests can dine on an exquisite variation of Western and traditional Zulu cuisine, and can choose to have their meals in the dining tent or around the boma fire.

Example Details For Thanda Safari Tented Camp

Nights: 2 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Luxury Tent
Includes: All meals and game activities are included.

Please Note: As the animals are wild, it is not possible to guarantee what you will see during your safari.

 
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Thanda Safari Tented Camp Location.

Address

Thanda Safari Tented Camp,Off the N2, Thanda Private Game Reserve

Directions

From Johannesburg: Take the N17 via Springs to Ermelo. From Ermelo, take the N2, past Piet Retief. Continue on the N2 towards Hluhluwe - approx 25 km past Mkhuze (before Hluhluwe), turn right into the D242, continue for approx 5 km on the gravel road to the Thanda gate on the right.

From Durban: Take the N2 towards Hluhluwe. Approx 20 km past the turn-off for Hluhluwe, turn left into the D242, continue for approx 5 km on the gravel road to the Thanda gate on the right.

Please note that you drive through the reserve to get to the lodge - do not get out of your car until you reach the lodge. You may see some wildlife on your way - if you do, slow down and maintain a good distance. Do not drive off-road in any circumstances.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may normally be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival. If possible, aim to arrive at the lodge around this time, so you can check into your room and relax before your first afternoon game drive, but if you don't think you can arrive by this time, you should aim to arrive by 15:00 at the very latest, or else you may miss the afternoon drive.

Rooms must normally please be vacated by 11:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome. Children under 6 are not allowed on game drives. Babysitting services are available.