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Why did we hand pick Bramleigh Manor?

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  • Intimate venue tucked into a forest on the lower foothills of the magnificent Drakenberg
  • Nature lover's paradise with private walks through the forest and plenty of birdlife
  • Close enough to the Natal Midlands to explore, but remote enough for utter tranquility

Bramleigh Manor

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 16 years and older

21km from Nottingham Road

 

-29.4192, 29.8803

About

Bramleigh Manor is a secluded, privately-run country guesthouse situated on a 200 hectare eco-estate, and surrounded by the outskirts of the Drakensberg Mountains at an altitude of 1500m. It is about a 4½ hours drive from Johannesburg, about 1½ hours drive from Durban, and only 20 min from the N3 Nottingham Road off ramp. Very much off the beaten track, with a very quiet, peaceful  environment amidst indigenous forest and natural surroundings, this is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There are numerous short hiking options, from between 15 minutes and 1 - 2 hours through the spectacular forest on the property, where you can ascend to the height of the Little Berg for sweeping panoramic views towards the high mountains. A tree list is available for identifying the tree varieties. Apart from the indigenous wild flowers you might also be able to spot migrating buck, i.e. reedbuck, duiker, and oribi. A bird list is available for some excellent birding, with over 200 bird species recorded. Narina Trogon, Martial Eagle, Buffspotted Flufftail and Blue Crane are some of the less common bird species seen here.

A full English breakfast is served in the elegant dining room in the manor house. Weather permitting, a romantic breakfast for two in the forest can be requested. Guests choosing the dinner option are welcome to bring their own wine and liquors. Meals are also served on the large thatched deck area, which has braai facilities and a magnificent view of the beautiful garden and the indigenous forest.

A good day trip from Bramleigh Manor is a trip to the Sani Pass but you will need a 4X4. You can book a tour which takes tourists up in Land Rovers, or you can hire quad bikes or off-road bikes in Himeville to take you up. Remember to bring your passport as you will be crossing into Lesotho. The 70km sector from Bramleigh to Himeville/Underberg also offers a very scenic drive, though mainly on dirt road.

Rates & Summary


2 En-Suite Private Luxury Suites

At opposite ends of the manor house
Cottage Suite sleeps 2
Family Suite open plan sleeps 4-6 adults
Patio views of garden & forest

3 En-Suite Rustic Rondavel Rooms

Each sleeps 2
One is a separate rondavel
Spectacular views

All units are thatched and have a fireplace/ stove, kitchen and a private entrance

Pricing

  • R 400 - R 550 pp sharing B&B
  • R 450 - R 650 single B&B
  • R1 500 per unit for the Family Suite

Prices vary depending on room type
Longer stay & midweek specials
Pensioners specials also available

Catering

A hearty country breakfast is included
Breakfast in the forest on request
Self-catering facilities
Lunch and 3-course dinner on request

Kids

Children above 16 years are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Bramleigh Manor is a birders' and nature lovers' paradise and retreat. Enjoy the birdlife, forest walks in the indigenous forest or the grasslands up the hills. Or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings after a sumptuous country breakfast, with flowers, sunbirds and the forest as a backdrop. Bramleigh Manor is about relaxation and the enjoyment of being in this peaceful atmosphere surrounded by the most beautiful countryside and the outskirts of the Drakensberg mountains. Off the beaten track and nicely tucked away, this is the perfect getaway to recharge your batteries.

Summary

  • Intimate venue tucked into a forest on the lower foothills of the magnificent Drakenberg
  • Nature lover's paradise with private walks through the forest and plenty of birdlife
  • Close enough to the Natal Midlands to explore, but remote enough for utter tranquility

Privacy

Each of the units offers its own privacy and peace.

Things to consider Bringing

Remember to bring all supplies and provisions as the nearest shops are 21km away.
Torch, sunblock, hat, hiking boots, insect repellant, mountain bike, fishing gear, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

The last 4km is on dirt road which can be slippery in winter. During snow conditions, a 4X4 is recommended.

Activities & Attractions

  • Indigenous forest hikes
  • Birding with bird list
  • Tree identification with tree list
  • Trout fishing
  • Scenic mountain hikes
  • Mountain biking
  • Small game viewing
  • Midlands Meander daytrips

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Kitchenette
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Stove
  • Fridge or minibar

Utilities

  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Limited cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Not child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km

Payment

  • Credit cards not accepted
  • EFT accepted

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Map

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Midlands & Kamberg

KwaZulu Natal

About

The KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is undeniably one of the most beautiful parts of our spectacular country. It’s blessed with a little bit of everything.

Rolling hills, burbling brooks and surging rivers… history, game reserves and haunting battlefields. Not bad for only a section of one of our nine provinces. 

It’s pressed up against the Drakensberg-Ukahlamba mountains in the west, stretched along the coastal belt in the east and hemmed in by the mighty Tugela River in the north. The Midlands is a fertile area that is dominated by agriculture and wide open spaces.

For many, the Midlands has become synonymous with a small area around Nottingham Road. While this is indeed a cornerstone of the region, the Midlands encompasses a far greater and more diverse area than it is often credited with.

It begins in the south-east where the Umgeni River runs through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, with its crags and cliffs, aloes and thorn trees. Further west is the province’s capital city, Pietermaritzburg. 

This is a small part of Victorian England painstakingly recreated in Africa - complete with an ornate cricket pavilion and the largest red-brick building in the southern hemisphere as its city hall. 

It was after being thrown from a train here that Mahatma Ghandi was inspired to take the first steps of his peaceful protests against discrimination. A statue of the great man still stands in the city centre.

Another great man, South Africa’s iconic Nelson Mandela, also has a firm link to the region and its railways. Just outside Howick one can visit the spot where Madiba was finally arrested, while travelling by train. A plaque marks the otherwise nondescript spot.

The history continues to the north, where the English, Zulu and Afrikaner fought each other at various times in history. While the more famous battlefields are to be found further north and east in Zululand, there are fascinating places to visit in the Midlands, too. These are most notably around the towns of Colenso and Weenen.

In the more westerly parts of the Midlands, where it comes up against the buttresses of the Drakensberg, the Midlands offers some exceptional fly-fishing for trout in rivers and dams. 

Midmar Dam outside Howick is a popular venue for carp and bass fishing, as is Albert Falls Dam further east. There also are a number of excellent courses vying for golfers’ attentions.

Of course, no visit to the Midlands is complete without exploring the Midlands Meander for at least a day or two. The best way to do this is to head north from Howick on the R103, a good tar road that ambles and winds through forests and farmlands. This road is regularly dotted with interesting attractions. 

But don’t stick resolutely to this one road. Pick up a Meander map and explore. Head out to the Dargle, the Karkloof or Curry’s Post. It’ll be quieter, but is just as interesting and picturesque.

Look out for

The Midlands Meander – is what the majority of visitors think of when they hear ‘Midlands’. It deserves its reputation, too. It has become a successful, sustainable tourist attraction that focuses on quality, handmade products and local produce. A few of the highlights are Ardmore Ceramics, the Woodturner, Shuttleworth Weaving and the Zulu Quilt Centre.

Sports – are a major attraction in the Midlands. Every year the Duzi Canoe Marathon starts in Pietermaritzburg and, three days later, ends in Durban. The Midmar Mile is an open-water swim that takes place annually in Midmar Dam. The Comrades Marathon is the largest ultramarathon in the world, running from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, or vice versa in alternate years.

Howick Falls - are a big drawcard in the region, but don’t think that all one can do is gaze at them.  Take a walk into the gorge, through thick indigenous bush filled with bird calls. You’ll be rewarded with the best possible view of the falls, and with a refreshing swim. Adventurers can also abseil over the 107-metre drop, past precariously perching aloes, caressed by the waterfall’s drifting spray.

Hartford House - is a destination worth visiting just for the food. It is also worth spending a night in this historic, luxurious boutique hotel. Situated just outside Mooi River, this romantic getaway on a working horse stud farm is home to an award-winning restaurant. It offers splendid set-course dinners coupled with excellent wines.

Fly-fishing - the first trout to be imported into South Africa were brought to Balgowan in the Midlands. It’s hard to find better fly-fishing than in this region. The dams around Nottingham Road, in the Rosetta/Kamberg District and in the Dargle, are renowned for the trophy rainbow trout. The rivers that flow from the Drakensberg are similarly famed. Indigenous yellowfish are becoming increasingly targeted on fly. They can be fished for in the Tugela, Msunduzi and Umgeni Rivers, amongst others.

Mountain biking - A number of high-profile mountain biking events are held in the Midlands every year. Pietermaritzburg has even hosted the Mountain Bike World Cup. This should give some indication of the quality of the cycling available in the region.

When to go

To Do

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