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Why did we hand pick SpionKop Lodge?

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Just three and a half hours from Johannesburg and two and a half hours from Durban, and only 15 minutes from the N3, Spionkop Lodge is a very special heritage property. Situated on an expansive 700 hectare game farm with the Drakensberg mountains as a backdrop, the lodge is the perfect base for exploring the berg, bush, birds, and battlefields of the region.

SpionKop Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

37km from Ladysmith KZN

 

-28.6958, 29.5359

About

SpionKop Lodge offers visitors an awesome sense of space and beauty, supreme comfort and warm hospitality. The turn of the century farmhouse has been restored in Natal colonial style, while the converted barn now forms a magnificent dining room that serves up fine cuisine and boasts views of the historic SpionKop battlefield and African landscapes. 

Colonial style chalets are located in the park-like grounds, each individually furnished and appointed to offer luxury en-suite accommodation in an out-of-Africa setting. The two self-catering cottages are delightful stone buildings which are fully-equipped to host families or groups.

SpionKop was the scene of a battle which saw Winston Churchill, stretcher-bearer Mahatma Gandhi and Boer General Louis Botha all fighting at the same time before they went on to shape history, and the farmstead on which the lodge is located was the headquarters of Commander-in-Chief of the British forces, Sir Redvers Buller. Guests can relive the memories of that day and walk in the footsteps of the three great leaders with Anglo-Boer raconteur Raymond Heron. Raymond paints a vivid picture of the personal trauma and military mindset that resulted in the slaughter of so many British and Boer soldiers. Tours to the various battlefields can be made on horseback or in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. 

At the lodge, guests can cool down in the natural rock pool surrounded by water features, enjoy a quiet drink at the pub or spend time in the historic library with its extraordinary collection of war books. Game drives though the 700ha farm will reveal rhino, giraffe and a variety of smaller game, while birding is also superb. Hiking, canoeing, fishing and a multitude of other outdoor activities are also on offer, so your visit can be as action-packed or relaxing as you wish to make it.

Rates & Summary


8 Lodge Rooms

Each sleeps 2 guests
En-suite bath and shower
Garden facing verandah

2 Self-Catering Cottages

Aloe sleeps 4, with 1 bathroom 
Acacia sleeps 5, with 2 bathrooms
Each has lounge with fireplace
Fully equipped kitchen
Braai facilities

Pricing

  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above

Catering

Full board includes full breakfast, lunch and dinner
Self-catering cottage option

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Built around the original farm and farmhouse that hosted both General Redvers Buller's camp, and the place from which the young war correspondent Winston Churchill viewed the battle, this gracious country lodge has superb views in all directions and offers the opportunity to explore the nearby battlefields as well as the lovely, gentle countryside.

Summary

Just three and a half hours from Johannesburg and two and a half hours from Durban, and only 15 minutes from the N3, Spionkop Lodge is a very special heritage property. Situated on an expansive 700 hectare game farm with the Drakensberg mountains as a backdrop, the lodge is the perfect base for exploring the berg, bush, birds, and battlefields of the region.

Privacy

The self-catering cottages provide privacy and exclusivity for families and small groups.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, fishing gear, hiking gear, golf clubs, binoculars for bird watching and game viewing. 

Road Conditions

The last short stretch of gravel road is suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Natural rock swimming pool
  • Historic library
  • Battlefield tours
  • Boat cruises
  • Game viewing
  • Birding
  • Horse riding
  • Canoeing
  • Walking trails, fishing and golf nearby

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Fan included
  • Heater included
  • Fireplace
  • Limited firewood provided
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Ironing service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Microwave oven
  • Electric stove
  • Hot Plates
  • Fridge and freezer
  • Basic cleaning materials

Utilities

  • Own water supply, showering and washing only
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Television
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • Limited business centre
  • Conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Limited wheelchair friendliness
  • Babysitting available
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel within 10km
  • Shuttle service available

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Office safe

Gallery

Map

Blog

Zululand & the Battlefields

KwaZulu Natal

About

It was from the bush and grassland of northern KwaZulu-Natal that the impis of King Shaka emerged, sweeping down onto the other tribes of the hinterland and eventually engaging the British forces and shaking the very roots of the Empire. At the height of its power, the Zulu nation covered 30 000km2, but 60 years after it was first formed, its reign was over. In those 60 years, the Zulus shaped the future of the country and were engaged in battles with the Boers and the British, but these were not the only bloody conflicts in the region. 

After the Zulu empire was broken, the English and the Boers fought for control of South Africa, with many battles taking place in Natal. While the best-known battles in the area are undoubtedly Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, as well as the siege of Ladysmith, there is fascinating history to be had at countless other ones. 

The beauty of the scenery clashes harshly with the devastating past, while the rough terrain makes one wonder how the machines of war were manhandled across the country, and how the Zulu impis managed to cover such vast distances in a single day, barefoot.

The regions of Zululand and the Battlefields merge together and are hard to separate, stretching from the northern and western KwaZulu-Natal borders to the towns of Ladysmith and Colenso in the south and towards the Elephant Coast in the east.

Zululand has managed to remain largely unaffected by industrial expansion and much of it remains farmland, timber plantations and rural wilderness, including beautiful Big-Five game reserves and grasslands. 

On the other hand there is the industrial hub of Richards Bay, the largest port in South Africa.

Tourism revolves around the natural beauty and diversity, as well as the haunting battlefields on which so many lost their lives and which are simply fascinating to visit, especially with a knowledgeable guide, of which there are a few.

Since this is the birthplace of the Zulu nation, it is also the place to come to grips with Zulu tradition, culture and history.

A number of cultural experiences exist, where tourists can become immersed in the local tradition and culture, learning a huge amount and enjoying themselves even more.

A few reserves in the region offer good game-viewing, from Weenen and Spioenkop in the south up to Ithala in the north. The diverse ecosystem means that hundreds of bird species are present, and a few notable bird-watching spots include the Dlinza and Ongoye forests, as well as the wetlands of Richards Bay.

An area as large and diverse will always have an almost endless array of attractions, and Zululand and the Battlefields are no different, from fishing in Richards Bay to horse-riding, mountain-biking, game-viewing and bird-watching. There is even a brewery to lighten the spirits when the history gets a little heavy.

Look out for

Zululand Brewery in Eshowe is a great place to pop in for a relaxing Zulu Blonde Export Ale, a beer that has won awards and rave reviews internationally. While you’re sitting at The Happy George Bar, ask around for recommendations on what’s new to do in the area.

The Dlinza and Ongoye Forests are serious birding hotspots and both are easily accessible. In fact, the Dlinza aerial boardwalk is something that even non-birders will enjoy and appreciate.

Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are the two seminal battlefields in the Battlefields tour and are both intensely fascinating and moving. A good guide is invaluable in bringing them to life. Ulundi and Blood River are also well worth visiting, giving different insights into the bloodshed that shaped this land.

Take a hike up Majuba or Spioenkop mountains, both of which offer sensational views in addition to stirring battlefield history. The historic O’Neills cottage, where a peace treaty was signed to end the first Anglo-War, lies at the base of Majuba.

The majestic Ithala Game Reserve in the very north of KwaZulu-Natal offers good game-viewing and bird-watching, as well as epic scenery of mountains and valleys. While there is a variety of accommodation, the pick of it is undoubtedly the bush camps that can be booked out for your group.

Every year the Zulu nation holds the Reed Ceremony near the eNyokeni Royal residence in Nongoma north of Melmoth, thousands of maidens gathering to pay their respect to their king. This happens in spring and visitors from all over the world come to watch the women dance and sing to King Goodwill Zwelithini in his ceremonial regalia.

The eMakhosini Ophate Heritage Park should not be missed by anyone with a sense of history. It is the birthplace of the Zulu clan and what is known as the Valley of the Kings. The Spirit of eMakhosini memorial and an educational multimedia centre are worth a visit, and there is also game, including the rare oribi antelope and black rhino.

Immerse yourself in the Zulu culture at a place like Shakaland and watch Zulu dancing, ask a sangoma (witch doctor) for his sage advice, sample traditional Zulu beer, listen to singing and perhaps try out a few simple phrases for yourself. Arts and crafts are also on sale and make wonderful gifts and souvenirs.

When to go

To Do

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