Arrive with stress, leave with a higher level of consciousness

The Takeaway

man overlooking the valley on a hike

Situated in the northern region of The Drakensberg Mountains and nestled gracefully at the bottom of the expansive and stunning Amphitheatre, Montusi Mountain Lodge is a serene and alluring destination. The Carte Family who have owned and run the lodge since 2000 have established a village-like environment, with a traditional yet contemporary design that inspires a sense of comfort, well-being and peace.

Montusi Mountain Lodge is a brief 3hr30min drive from Johannesburg so I figured it would be an ideal weekend break for a little detachment and reset from our hectic everyday lives. Boy was I right…

We arrived on Friday around midday and after a brief introduction to the lodge and surrounding facilities, immediately changed into our hiking gear and set off on a 35 minute walk to discover the Bushman’s Cave. The cliff paintings are around 300 years old and consist of three individual drawings that include people and animals. What a privilege to see these primitive markings, left by someone that once inhabited this environment and lived directly off the land. A huge contrast to how we all live today.

Back at the lodge we settled into our room with a Cape Saint Blaze Gin and Fitch & Leeds tonic cocktail with fresh slices of grapefruit over ice. What a way to enjoy the breathtaking sunset from our private balcony.

Each of the 16 well-appointed suites are extremely spacious and designed with comfort and convenience in mind. While the pine furniture is not to my personal taste, the bedding and decor is contemporary and the bathrooms have a modern design as they were refurbished in 2018. Each suite also has a fireplace (excellent for those freezing Berg winter nights) and all the amenities we’ve come to enjoy, like free WiFi and DStv. I know this might sound a little frivolous, however in my opinion, the best way to tell if a proprietor understands their guests is to see what coffee they place in the rooms. In this case it was a packet of freshly ground Bean There Coffee with a French Press. Huge plus in my book!

When it comes to experiences, Montusi doesn’t leave you bored and uninspired. They offer a range of activities on the property, from hiking, horse riding and mountain bike trails to an onsite spa, tennis courts and a generously stocked pub with a wide selection of South African wines. If you’re feeling a little adventurous then head on over to All Out Adventures which is a 5 minute drive and offers a massive selection of actives, like Paint Ball, Cable Tour, Adventure Quad Trails and much more. I would also recommend making a pitstop at Tower of Pizza for lunch as they serve the best thin-based pizza I’ve ever had!

we left the lodge on Sunday morning with a heavy heart but much lighter shoulders and higher level of consciousness

#HelloRecommends visiting the Royal Natal National Park for a wide range of hikes for every fitness level. We did the Cascades and McKinlay’s Pool loop which is an 8km round trip and took us about 2 hours with stops and Insta ops along the way.

Sadly our weekend had come to an end and we left the lodge on Sunday morning with a heavy heart but much lighter shoulders and higher level of consciousness. There is nothing a little nature can’t cure!

Montusi are currently offering RSA residents up to 30% off on their bookings till the 29th of September 2021 so if you’re considering a weekend getaway then you better book now.

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