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Why did we hand pick Three Trees at Spioenkop?

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  • Incredibly beautiful and momentously historic location
  • Passionate hosts will delight in sharing this dramatic region with you
  • Massive variety of activities and interests in the area

Three Trees at Spioenkop

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

22km from Bergville


-28.6615, 29.4872


Your hosts, Simon and Cheryl Blackburn are both experienced safari and mountain guides, and saw an opportunity to build up a brand of small luxury lodges. Three Trees at Spioenkop was built with the main focus of bringing to life the vivid struggle between the powerful English empire and one of the smallest nations in the world at the time during the Anglo-Boer War. Captivating tours can be arranged at extra cost, to the most famous battle sites of the War, including the Battle of Spioenkop, where the bloodiest and most dramatic day of the war was played out, and the site of Winston Churchill’s capture.

The cosy, elegant lounge area and spacious rooms are adorned with historical memorabilia to reflect these defining moments in South African history. The main living area has an open-plan design, with four sets of large double doors leading onto the verandah. A viewing deck and heated swimming pool offer complete relaxation under the spreading canopy of an Acacia tree.

The elegant dining room is separated from the lounge area by a fireplace. With your Three Trees hosts, dining is a family-style affair at a communal table, unless otherwise preferred. Buffet style breakfasts and lunches are served either outside on the viewing deck or on the verandah. Dinners are a set menu with three homely farm-style courses followed by port or cognac in front of the fireplace or out under the stars.

Three Trees is the perfect destination for discerning parents wanting old-fashioned outdoors and nature-based entertainment for their children, and is a wonderful base from which to explore the Northern Drakensberg. Close to the foot of Van Reenens Pass, the lodge is also the ideal halfway stop between Johannesburg and Durban, only 27km from the N3 highway. 

The Lodge’s Responsible Tourism principles have seen it become Fair Trade and Green Leaf accredited, with an emphasis on employing and training local people, following ethical business practices, and maintaining a deep respect for culture and the environment.

Rates & Summary

6 Colonial Design Cottages

Each sleeps 2 in ¾, twin or double beds
En-suite bath and shower
Private deck with valley views

Family Suite

2 adults in main bedroom en-suite
Walk-in closets and fireplace
Single & Bunk bedroom for 3 kids
Spacious private deck

Churchills Cottage-Style Villa

Sleeps 4 in twin & Queen bedrooms 
Both bedrooms full en-suite 
Extra-length beds 
Open plan kitchen and lounge
Large deck overlooking private pool
Braai and entertainment area
Sweeping Reserve views
Not suitable for children under 8 years


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


Alfresco buffet breakfasts and lunches and set menu three course dinners included
Self-catering option at Churchills


Kids are very welcome. The Family Suite has toys and books and a play area with sandpit. Pony rides on request.

Why Stay Here?

This intimate, luxury lodge is owner managed and run by Simon and Cheryl Blackburn whose passion and enthusiasm for Africa’s wildlife, history and culture is immediately evident. You are welcomed into their home, and invited to experience the warm hospitality and relaxed atmosphere as you are transported to a bygone era steeped in history and tranquil surroundings. Against the backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains, overlooking a secluded valley in the Spioenkop Game Reserve and close to the historical battlefields of Kwazulu-Natal, lies Three Trees at Spioenkop.


  • Incredibly beautiful and momentously historic location
  • Passionate hosts will delight in sharing this dramatic region with you
  • Massive variety of activities and interests in the area


The cottage-style villa has a private pool, braai and entertainment area.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, mountain bike, binoculars for bird watching.

Road Conditions

The 6km gravel road approach is suitable for any vehicle. 

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Lawn croquet
  • Hiking 
  • Nature walking trails
  • Game walks with rhino tracking
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Birdwatching
  • Battlefield tours


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Ceiling fans
  • Heater included
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Full board
  • Full Kitchen
  • Braai area available
  • Fridge and freezer


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

Leisure Amenities

  • Heated swimming pool
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Good cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Babysitting available
  • Very child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted




uKhahlamba Drakensberg

KwaZulu Natal


The Drakensberg mountain range begins its rise in the Eastern Cape, running along the length of KwaZulu-Natal’s western border. It also extends in fits and starts into Mpumalanga and covers a vast area stretching into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

It is generally agreed that the ‘Dragon mountains’ got their name from their ragged, irregular silhouette that looks like a dragon’s back from a distance. It was so-named by Dutch settlers. Another, albeit less popular, explanation is that early settlers were told by the locals that dragons lived in the mountains. This theory was given a bit more credence when numerous dinosaur footprints were discovered in the Eastern Free State.

The Zulu tribe has given the mountains its own, equally descriptive name – Ukhahlamba, or ‘the barrier of spears’. Whatever the language and whatever the explanation, there is no argument that the Drakensberg mountains are evocative and mysterious. It is a wild and beautiful area that can change from sunny to snowy in mere moments.

In 2001 a park was established that encompasses a huge tract of the mountains. Known as the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area, it covers 13 000km² of Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal. It includes the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site that by itself covers some 2 400km² and is 150km long.

The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park is a place of immense beauty and enormous spaces. It is one of the few true remaining wildernesses where hikers can walk for days without encountering other people.

It is no surprise, then, that this place is as dangerous as it is beautiful, and one must be well-prepared if tackling it on foot.

In the very north of the park is Royal Natal National Park. It is one of the jewels in the crown of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the proud guardian of the world famous ‘Amphitheatre’. This can be easily viewed from the road to the main camp of the park. A short walk along the river gives amazing photographic opportunities. The attractions of this park are many, from pleasant walks to fly-fishing and swimming in clear mountain streams. It is also home to the 850m-high Tugela Falls, the highest waterfall in Africa and the second highest in the world.

Other notable parks within the greater Drakensberg Park are Giant’s Castle, Kamberg and Loteni Nature Reserves. Each has its own attractions, capable of keeping the tourist busy for days on end.

The Drakensberg was declared a World Heritage Site for a number of reasons. It is an area of incredible natural diversity with over 2 100 plant species, more than 200 of which are endemic to the area. It is also home to over 60 species of mammal, including the threatened oribi and herds of eland and black wildebeest. It has nearly 50 species of reptile and more than 300 bird species. The naturalist will definitely find a visit to the Drakensberg incredibly rewarding.

No less interesting is the human history of the area. A prime drawcard is the San rock art. Excellent examples can be seen in Giant’s Castle. There is also a recreation of how these people prospered in the mountains until they were ruthlessly hunted out of existence by both black and white settlers.

Look out for

The Bushmen paintings are a unique art form that shrouded in mystery and deserving of at least an afternoon’s attention. The fact that they are almost always to be found in remote, beautiful caves adds to their allure. And the walk there adds to the attraction.

Hiking is one of the most popular pastimes in the Drakensberg. Depending on fitness and time, hikers can choose from short but beautiful walks to multi-day hikes. On the latter one needs to be entirely self-sufficient and equipped for inclement weather - including snow - no matter what time of the year it is.

The Giants Cup Hiking Trail is the premier ‘Berg hike, totalling almost 60km and usually taking five days to complete. It runs from Sani Pass to Busman’s Nek in the south.

The Amphitheatre in the Royal Natal National Park is one of the first things that should be put on the ‘To Do’ list. You haven’t really been to the Drakensberg until you’ve viewed it from below - and then again from the top. Here you will encounter one of the most breathtaking views in South Africa.

Fly-fishing is another excellent reason to visit the Drakensberg. KZN-Ezemvelo has a collection of very good trout waters in their reserves. Other dams and rivers are privately owned, but many are accessible to fisherman for a day fee.

The Lammergeier Hide at Giant’s Castle is an amazing place from which to get incredible sightings and photographs of birds. Highlights are the bearded vulture, Verreaux’s eagle, white-necked raven, lanner falcon and Cape vulture. Many smaller species can also be spotted. Booking is essential.

Sani Pass is one of South Africa’s great drives. In winter the pass is often closed due to ice and snow and can be a very hazardous drive. Remember that a passport is necessary to get onto the pass and a 4x4 vehicle is required by law.

When to go

To Do

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