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Why did we hand pick Wild Horses?

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  • Sandstone building blends seamlessly into breathtaking mountainous surroundings
  • Luxurious and elegantly decorated rooms make for a memorable stay
  • Numerous outdoor activities on offer, including spectacular hiking and flyfishing

Wild Horses

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 12 years and older

43km from Harrismith

 

-28.4991, 28.9909

About

Wild Horses is the only luxury boutique hotel to be found in the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve, occupying a stunning location overlooking the vast expanses of the dam, grasslands and mountains.

The sandstone mansion, built on grounds with colourful indigenous gardens and a rose garden, blends beautifully into the surroundings, while offering supreme luxury and gorgeous views at every turn. Containing only four individually decorated guest rooms, you can be assured of exclusivity and a feeling of having the nature reserve all to yourself. The rooms are privately located in a separate wing from the main house, with each very pretty on the eye and designed to reflect an element of the environment around Wild Horses.

Two suites, Zebra and Sunrise, are situated on the upper level of the lodge, showcasing spectacular views over the dam and mountains from the large windows and Juliette balconies.

The distinguishing feature of the light and airy Zebra is the zebra skin on the cherry wood floor and the King-size bed and slipper bath create a romantic atmosphere. Thanks to its beautifully carved, four poster Queen-size bed, the Sunset Suite has no shortage of romance either. Shades of subdued gold and vibrant red have been chosen to represent the sunsets that can be enjoyed from the balcony.

Downstairs, next to the rose garden, the Guinea Fowl Suite is the only one to feature rich mahogany floors and has a canopy bed and spa bath to go with the shower.

Although all of the rooms are ideally suited to couples looking for a special and romantic getaway, the Sunset Suite - featuring a panoramic vista over the dam - has been given honeymoon status. Warm colours, an extra-length King-size bed, stunning ribbon voile curtains and a spa bath make this room perfect for glowing couples or blushing brides. 

In addition to their attractiveness, the suites are exceedingly comfortable, featuring fireplaces, Egyptian cotton linen, fluffy bathrobes and slippers. Amenities include satellite televisions, hair dryers, fully stocked bar fridges, digital safes and writing desks. While enjoying a three-course gourmet dinner in the dining room, one of the highly professional staff members will unobtrusively sneak into your room to leave a nightcap on your bedside table.

To wash down the sumptuous cuisine, guests can choose from a variety of wines picked out of the well-stocked cellar. The decked terrace onto which the dining room opens is one of the lodge’s distinguishing features and a large breakfast can be eaten here while watching the soft morning light falling on the dam and the landscape.

In the grounds, the Koi pond, gardens and rim-flow pool surrounded by a manicured lawn paint a very pretty picture to accompany the views.

Wild Horses offers plenty of activities to keep you busy during the day. Guests can be taken on a boat cruise in the state of the art Sea Ray Bow Rider, which comes complete with a fridge, toilet, sound system and a table to enjoy some delicious snacks and cocktails.

Sterkfontein Dam is renowned for superb fly-fishing for yellowfish, while spectacular hiking and mountain-biking trails cater to outdoor lovers. Be on the lookout for a variety of bird species and small animals, or climb up onto one of the lodge’s horses to explore the reserve.

A spectacular setting for a wedding, Wild Horses also offers indulgent spa treatments for those looking for ultimate relaxation.

Rates & Summary


Zebra Suite

Upper level room
Sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite slipper bath and shower
Fireplace
Small balcony with views of the dam

Sunset Suite

Upper level room
Sleeps 2 in four poster Queen-size bed
En-suite slipper bath and shower
Fireplace
Small balcony with dam and mountain views

Guinea Fowl Suite

Ground floor room next to the rose garden
Sleeps 2 in Queen-size canopy bed
En-suite spa bath and shower
Next to the rose garden 
Limited views of the dam

Sunrise (Honeymoon) Suite

Ground floor room
Sleeps 2 in extra length King-size bed
En-suite spa bath and shower
Views of the dam and mountains

Pricing

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

Catering

Continental and English Breakfast included
Three course dinner included
Lunch and afternoon tea served on request

Kids

Children 12 years and older are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Wild Horses is on the edge of Sterkfontein Dam, in the heart of the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve close to the Drakensberg Mountains, and houses up to eight guests in four supremely luxurious rooms. The beautifully designed sandstone lodge blends perfectly into the breathtaking, unspoilt natural environment. Very secluded and intimate, Wild Horses offers plenty of activities that make full use of the unique azure waters of Sterkfontein Dam and its pristine surroundings.

Summary

  • Sandstone building blends seamlessly into breathtaking mountainous surroundings
  • Luxurious and elegantly decorated rooms make for a memorable stay
  • Numerous outdoor activities on offer, including spectacular hiking and flyfishing

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, fly fishing gear, mountain bike, binoculars for bird watching/game viewing.

Road Conditions

There are a few gravel stretches of road leading to the lodge, which are suitable for all vehicles.

Activities & Attractions

  • Rimflow pool
  • Spa treatments
  • Boat cruises
  • Fly fishing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Horse riding

Nearby: Drakensberg Mountains, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Clarens.

Details

Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Heater included
  • Fireplace
  • Under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast & dinner
  • No Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Fridge or minibar
  • No cleaning materials

Utilities

  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • No gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Library
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • Limited business centre
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops further than 10km
  • Nearest fuel further than 10km
  • No shuttle service available

Payment

  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted

Security

  • Personal safe
  • 24 hour security

Gallery

Map

Blog

Thabo Mofutsanyana

Free State

About

The northern and eastern sections of the Free State, commonly referred to as the “eastern Free State”, nudge up against the borders of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Officially the region is called Thabo Mofutsanayana.  Mofutsanyana, born in QwaQwa, was a leading light of both the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party until his death in 1995.

Geographically, this region bucks a trend. While most of the Free State is flat, the eastern reaches tower up as the Drakensberg and the Malotis come into play. The landscape climbs and soars, leaving impressive cliffs and buttresses of sandstone, and hidden caves in its wake.

Nowhere is the scene more striking that at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park near the village of Clarens. The maze of sculptured rock formations here is almost too much to absorb.  Sunset colours the cliffs in shades of ochre, hence the reference to gold in the name of the park.

These higher altitudes, of course, do wonders for the eastern Free State air, which is crisp, clean and bracing, conducive to a feeling of good health.

Clarens is one of the villages that lie in the foothills of the Malotis. With its mountainous surrounds, it is said to be reminiscent of the Swiss village of Clarens, where President Paul Kruger lived out his exile.

A town of sandstone buildings set amidst farmland, it has undergone something of a reincarnation in recent years as an artists’ colony. Just three hours or so from Gauteng’s big cities, weekenders come down to roam its galleries and craft shops.

The principal town in this region is Bethlehem. Once again sandstone buildings are characteristic of the town, which is the centre of a farming community that produces the lion’s share of South Africa’s wheat crop.

It has both built and natural attractions, including a flat-water slalom course for canoeists on the Ash River. Bethlehem is also the location of an annual national hot-air balloon championship.

Also set against an imposing Maloti backdrop is Ficksburg, renowned for its annual Cherry Festival in summer. A gateway to Lesotho and its Katse Dam, the town’s environs offer much in the way of adventure activity, such as 4x4 trails, quad-biking, abseiling, trout-fishing and game-viewing.

Other Thabo Mofutsanyane towns are Arlington, Clocolan, Fouriesburg, Harrismith, Kestell, Lindley, Marquard, Memel, Paul Roux, Petrus Steyn, Phuthaditjhaba, Reitz, Rosendal, Senekal, Vrede and Warden.

Look out for

Golden Gate Highlands National Park – This park is a theatre of natural, towering sandstone formations, named “golden” for their colour at sunset.  At that time of day, the best place to appreciate the beauty is the highest point in the park, Ribbokkop.  The former QwaQwa National Park was incorporated into Golden Gate in 2005.  Horseriding is a popular outdoor pursuit in the park, which is valued for its plant, animal and bird life.  A number of accommodation options are available.

Basotho Cultural Village –  South Sotho architecture, arts and crafts, herbal medicinal remedies and cuisine can be explored at the Basotho Cultural Village near Phuthaditjhaba.  Song and dance folklore shows can also be enjoyed.

The Sentinel – Also near Phuthaditjhaba, it is the access point for a series of trails that lead hikers to the rear of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre and some of the country’s most magnificent scenery.  Geographical features to view are The Sentinel, Devil’s Tooth, the Eastern Buttress and the Tugela Falls.

Discovering cherries, Ficksburg  - The annual Cherry Festival in Ficksburg takes place in November.  It is a three-day event that attracts thousands and entertains with fun activities such as horse- and camel-rides.  Cherry farm tours, however, take place throughout the cherry season, which is in October and November.  Locally made cherry liqueurs, brandies and schnapps should be tasted to complete the experience.

Clarens – A host of things to do and see in Clarens includes the Artist Amble, a route of galleries open to the public; rock art on Schaapplaats Farm; sandstone formations such as Mushroom Rock and Titanic Rock; dinosaur fossils at Sue’s Zoo; fly-fishing as well as bass- and river-fishing; hiking and horse-riding.

Sterkfontein Dam, Harrismith – The third largest dam in South Africa, the Sterkfontein Dam is a popular venue for water sports and angling.  Predating the Lesotho Highlands project, the water that fills the dam is pumped up from KwaZulu-Natal.  It is then released into the Wilge River, from where it flows into the Vaal Dam.    The Sterkfontein Dam’s banks are surrounded by a nature reserve where strange rock formations are just as interesting to view as buck and raptors.  Camping and chalet accommodation is available, as well as hiking trails.

Salpeterkrans – At Fouriesburg you will find Salpeterkrans, one of the largest sandstone overhangs in the southern hemisphere, shaped by wind erosion.  It not surprising that it is considered a sacred site where ancestral worship and fertility rites take place.

Rosendal – like the town of Clarens, Rosendal is known for its arty vibe. There are numerous art galleries in and around town, as well as quaint shops and restaurants. The Meerkatkolonie Art Gallery is a must. Rosendal is a popular weekend getaway destination for those who live in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

When to go

To Do

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Nightjar

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