Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Montusi Mountain Lodge

Montusi Mountain Lodge is a venue in my favourite more scenic northern part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park that is a really delightful holiday destination. Ten years ago this farm was overgrown with wattle trees – with foresight and a great deal of hard work Anthony Carte and his family have transformed this into a beautiful retreat with lovely indigenous gardens and really comfortable cosy thatched chalets. Each of the 14 individual garden suites has their own patio and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and more distant Drakensberg Amphitheater. Each unit comfortably appointed with kingsized beds, a comfortable lounge with fireplace, TV, drinks fridge and a tea / coffee station. The bathrooms have both a bath and shower. Consideration for the oft frequent hail storms during summer are covered car-ports at each chalet.

Family run, with willing and most friendly staff we were soon ensconced in our rooms and ready for - a walk on the property - a hike from the Thendele Car Park in the Royal Natal Park to the base of the Tugela Falls - or for the really adventurous and fit , a drive around to Witsieshoek and a climb to the summit of the Amphitheater up the 2 chain ladders to the top. What a view!

There are a lot of activities – hiking on the many trails, (some San Rock Art sites here too) horse riding, fishing, swimming in the rock pools, tennis, mountain biking and adventure activities at the nearby centre where one can go on a canopy tour, bungee jumping or shooting paint balls. We took it easy and relaxed, gentle stroll enjoying the fresh mountain air.

The main lodge has a large comfortable lounge – fireplaces, a library and superb afternoon tea and cake. An intrigueing “painting” – sand glued to the base in varied colours of heavy metals – the ‘sand’ sourced from Richards Bay Minerals – all shimmery when lit is amazing, credit to the artist.

Dinner a splendid affair with a choice of starters, mains and desert , accompanied by a delightful bottle of wine. We returned to our chalets just before the rain came pouring down. What a lovely sound as I drifted off to sleep. With so much to do our time in the mountains was too short – Montusi Mountain Lodge is a place where one could spend a number of days, revitalizing and relaxing in peaceful, comfortable surroundings.

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