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The Kamberg Valley

Kamberg Valley
Kamberg Valley

The Kamberg Valley Nature Reserve is well known for it’s ancient and beautiful Bushman Rock Art, Fly fishing and for it’s breathtaking mountainous scenery.

If you fancy yourself a photographer some of the best places to take pictures are at Highmoor. There are plenty of opportunities for nature shots too, just by driving around the Kamberg Valley, there are so many treed lanes, wild flowers, vast open skies with their unique cloud shapes, Drakensberg views, the trout dams or at the Bushman Rock Art provides a awesome backdrop for that perfect picture.

The best time to visit the Kamberg Valley is during the summer months, because one can take full advantage of the great and wonderful outdoors. Not to undermine the winter months, when it comes to relaxation in amongst the beautiful creations of nature, there is little the Kamberg Valley can’t offer you, think glorious ever changing landscapes views from your plush suite accompanied by friendly staff and glorious food around the log fire with only the sweet sounds of nature to accompany you.

If you’d like a bit of entertainment while in the Kamberg Valley do try The Notties Hotel. If you’d like to hang out with some of the locals go to The Knackered Swan at the Kamberg Store. One of the best things to do with friends is to take a game drive up the mountain with a picnic and enjoy the sunset with some wine. If you are yearning for some culture the Midlands offers concerts show casing local talents.

The most relaxing and mind clearing thing I do is walk through the forest to the natural waterfall and let the fresh water wash over me. If you have an adventurous spirit Hot Air Ballooning is on offer in the valley.

If you find yourself in the Kamberg Valley in the month of May, expect the annual Kamberg Trout Festival and the Glengarry Mountain Bike Challenge.

One of the best hikes to do with the kids, is walking to the plateau of Highmoor, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the many dams and the waterfalls accompanied by stunning views perfect for those stunning holiday pictures. If your kids like horse back riding, the Drakensberg Excursions with Heidi and Patrick would be a pleasant activity too.

The one undeniable fact is that Kamberg Valley’s best kept secret is the secluded and underdeveloped natural beauty of the valley.

Sweat lodge to be held in Estcourt

We will be travelling to Estcourt in the Drakensberg foothills  over the long weekend in March to rebuild the Sweat Lodge on Jane and Shaun’s beautiful “Awakening Circles” Rietvlei Farm, after which we will be running a Shamanic Retreat to empower you to “Step into the Circle of your own Life”.

 

March 21st – Estcourt Sweat Lodge Building & Autumn Equinox Sweat Ceremony

Indigenous people from across the world have used sweat / purification lodges for thousands of years to maintain their health and well being on all levels. By coming together with the intent of building a lodge, we experience the power and beauty of what this unique communal gathering offers.

  • NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY – ONLY WILLING HANDS AND AN OPEN HEART
  • Immerse yourself in the Medicine Wheel Teachings of the Sweat Lodge
  • Step into a heightened state of awareness & understanding of the world around you and find an even deeper connection to yourself
  • Be a part of building the sweat lodge structure, which is created from saplings gathered with care and respect and fashioned into a dome shaped hut
  • Participate in the Dedication Sweat Lodge Ceremony to Bless and Awaken the Lodge and align to the Autumn Equinox
  • Venue:                          Rietvlei Farm, Estcourt
  • Time:                             10am to 6pm
  • Cost:                              R500 pp includes light refreshments
  • What to bring:          Lunch & Feast food to share after the sweat
  • BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL SO SEND US A MAIL NOW TO BOOK!

 

March 22 & 23rd – Shamanic Retreat in Estcourt “Stepping into the Circle of your Life”

We guide you through two days of Shamanic Teachings, Ceremonies and Experiences that will help you communicate with and listen to Nature using the Medicine Wheel.

  • Welcome the Powers and Worlds of the 4 directions into your life as teachers and guides in the Circle of your Life.
  • Learn to silence the inner voice by taking command of your inner world while listening to and learning from the outer world as you align to the Circle of all Life.
  • Participate in a Sweat Lodge Ceremony
  • Venue:                          Rietvlei Farm, Estcourt
  • Time:                             Saturday 9am to 7pm Sunday & 9am to 4pm
  • Cost:                              R2 000pp includes Teachings, Handouts, Ceremonies, Sweat Lodge & refreshments.
  • What to bring:          Lunch for both days and an evening meal or feast food to share after Sweat on Saturday evening
  • BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL SO SEND US A MAIL NOW TO BOOK YOUR SPOT!

 

In Beauty, Lou & Laurel

082 571 3306082 571 3306

www.sacredjourneys.co.za

Mindful Living through Shamanic Wisdom

The Drakensberg Grand Traverse new record attempt

Drakensberg Grand Traverse
Drakensberg Grand Traverse

So towards the end of march Ryno Griesel and Ryan Sandes will attempt a new record time for the Drakensberg Grand Traverse.  The Drakensberg Grand Traverse is the ultimate Drakensberg hiking trails that starts in the Northern Drakensberg at Sentinel Peak and ends in the Southern Drakensberg at Bushmans Nek. Yes its a long way and takes a normal person 12 days to hike. But there are those super heros that walk amongst us that take on the elements at high speed and run the traill. So what makes this attempt of the Drakensberg Grand Traverse different? Ryno Griesel and Ryan Sandes are approaching it with a pure running mentality. Over the years the record has been set by traditional hiking, then speed hiking (faster and lighter) and then it moved into adventure racing. They’re taking small 12-litre packs with only essential gear – no sleeping bags or tents… So the biggest differences are lighter loads and less sleep.There’re going to run where they can, rather than push with power hiking. Of course, the risk level is going to go up. Follow Ryno Griesel and Ryan Sandes as they attempt to break the Drakensberg Grand Traverse record. We’re supporting you guys and wish you every success.

Knackered Swan pub and B+B in the Kamberg Valley

Nestled in the heart of the Kamberg Valley you will find the “Hidden Jewel in th Kamberg known as the Knackered Swan pub and B+B. John and Joan are the hosts. Joan makes homemade Pies and Pizzas while John is your friendly barman. The Kamberg Valley store is run and owned by John and Joan., carrying necessities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.The B+B is close to all the amenities in the valley, namely the Kamberg and Highmoor nature reserves as well as the the Giants Castle Reserve all offer splendid Rock Ark and scenery as well as hiking and is well known for its superb trout fishing and bird watching. The Knackered Swan offers restaurant facilities and upmarket B+B and self-catering and camping facilities. Joan also has an art gallery and ceramics for sale and also can give ceramic lessons.Hikes and leave their vehicles on the premises with John transporting them to their start points and collect that the completion of their hikes.

Hiking trails in the Natal Midlands

Hiking trails in the Natal Midlands
Hiking trails in the Natal Midlands

Yes the Natal Mildands also has a few locations for day hiking trails. Here are a few examples of hiking trails on the Midlands Meander. Day walks are the best way to experience the Natal Mildands country side. Embrace the slower pace of the Midlands Meander. Some Midlands Meander members offer unique hiking opportunities to guests staying at their accommodation – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy top class hospitality and cuisine while enjoying the best that walking in nature can offer.

Day hiking trails available on the Midlands Meander

  • Antbear Lodge offers spectacular views of the Natal Midlands as well as the Drakensberg Mountains.Here you will find day hiking trails that will take 3 or 4 hours and a shorter trail that will take 1 hour to walk. There is also the option to take part in a horse trail if you dont feel like walking
    Picklepot Café is the tranquil “middle of nowhere” destination that travel-weary drivers look for around each corner whilst traveling the R617 between Howick and Bulwer. The legendary scones and cream complete the mountainous omelettes and sublime salads – outside you will find a bubbling stream and wetland, and a rambling hike through indigenous mistbelt forest!
    At Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, situated in the heart of the KZN Midlands, just outside Howick, you will find a beautiful reserve comprising natural bush and grasslands with giraffe, zebra, a variety of antelope and 270 bird species.  Maps may be obtained from the reception office. Six walking trails are marked on the map, with items of interest, e.g. tree trail, fly fishing, swimming in the river, and an auto trail. You may picnic anywhere along the trails, and braais are only allowed at designated braai areas.
    Kamberg Resort offers something special for the discerning visitor, with an exclusive sense of peace and quiet, and the feeling of really being away from it all. The Mooi River which flows through the reserve, adds significantly to the Kamberg experience. Wildlife species in the reserve include, eland, oribi, reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, blesbok, black wildebeest, grey rhebok and duiker. Small mammals such as Cape clawless otter, genet, dassie and serval others may be spotted. Kamberg has access to several scenic and interesting self-guided trails. A booklet with full details of these is available from the reception office. Three pleasant picnic sites near the river allow quiet rest and relaxation in a beautiful and scenic setting.

Best things about the Natal Midlands and Mooi River

Mooi River is part of the Natal Mildands and there is plenty to do to keep your days occupied.

  • Get married country style by celebrating your wedding at one of the many great wedding venues in the Natal Midlands.
  • The wine Cellar. You are spoilt for choice with over 2 000 different labels to choose from and over 1 000 000 backup bottles in stock. Even though the 2 000 labels is only a third of what is available in the Cape, it is one of the biggest selections in Natal. The Wine Cellar also boasts labels that they are the exclusive sellers of, aside from the farm, in South Africa.
  • The Courtyard Cafe is a Bistro set in the Courtyard of The Wine Cellar serving Mediterranean fare complimented by daily specials. they use local and seasonal produce to serve you deliciously fresh and affordable meals and platters.
  • Visit Chocolate Heaven for the ultimate chocolate eating experience. Its a fun place for everyone. You will be introduced to the original Chocolate Dippingz experience at your Chocolate Fantasy Land… ‘where fun comes standard’. Indulge in a fine selection of hand moulded Belgian Chocolate. This Heavenly experience is for old and young alike.
  • Ant Archery is based at The Junction in the heart of The Midlands Meander in Nottingham Road. They run an Indoor Archery Range specifically designed to encourage safe shooting skills for young and old.
  • Linga Lapa Enjoy warm fires, warm hospitality and a relaxed atmosphere! The best Biltong . Cosy restaurant . Farm Style Butchery . Delicious steaks . Local cheese . Character Bar . Woven Rugs . Nguni Skins . Home products . Indigenous Nursery
  • Chase your beer down with some amazing German Sausages at Gunthers A Taste of Germany and Switzerland. High on a hill overlooking the beautiful Caversham Valley is a little piece of Switzerland and “Gunther’s hospitality”. Enjoy a light meal of German / Swiss sausages plus draught and wind. Vacuum packs also available for home grilling. Your hosts Carmen & Gunther look forward to welcoming you.
  • Romesco is an innovative company run by a bunch of food lovers. They specialise in marinating kalamata and green olives in extra virgin olive oil to different recipes infact 26 of them. Firm favourites are the tangy kalamata, smoked campfire, herby greek moussaka, lemony tajine and the wonderful stuffed olives with feta, garlic, almond and lemon. They also make the amazing Catalonia pepper sauce called Romesco that gave its name to the business.
  • Karkloof canopy Tours. There’s something deeply special about indigenous forests. The lush luminosity of life played out in near-perpetual shade, the warm dank scent of sweaty growth and languorous decay. Everyday from 08h00 – 15h00 the second largest indigenous forest in South Africa situated at Karkloof 18 kms inland Howick comes alive with people of all ages and sizes experiencing a true “Tarzan and Jane Adventure”, on slides of up to 175m long which takes them amongst the birds, monkeys, trees and plants of this magnificent forest. Should you wish, the option to go tandem with one of your qualified guides as an option open to all, he then becomes your “ABS” brakes and all you do is enjoy the ride. After briefing you will be taken up the mountain in a 4×4 with a short 30m walk to the first platform.
  • Bergtrails offer horse trails. Their horses are Appaloosas – bred for their friendliness and hardiness. The trails go into the mountains, across streams and through forest. See the Drakensberg at its best!
  • The Highmoor Nature Reserve is situated in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park’s Central Region and is bordered by Giants Castle and Kamberg. Highmoor forms part of the Mkhomazi Wilderness Area and is approximately 15 000 hectares in size and boasts a huge array of rare, endemic and endangered species. Highmoor also boasts excellent rock art sites, which can be visited by arrangement, accompanied by a guide. Fultons Rock is about a 5 hour return hike and displays some incredibly well preserved bushman rock art. +/- 40 Minutes away.
  • Kamberg Nature Reserve forms part of the uKhahlamba-Drakensburg Park and is situated centrally in the foothills of the mountains. The reserve was proclaimed in 1951 and is 2 232 It is ideally placed for visitors wishing to visit the many other access points in the Drakensburg. +/- 40 Minutes away.
  • Sani Pass is located in the western end of KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa on the road between Underberg and Mokhotlong, Lesotho it is a route that connects Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho. It is a notoriously dangerous road, which requires the use of a 4×4 vehicle. This pass lies between the border controls of both countries and is approximately 9 km in length.

Mooi River links

Natal Midlands – Giants Castle The Natal Midlands is a tourism region of South Africa.
Mooi River – Natal Midlands – Your Guide to the Drakensberg and Natal Midlands Stretches of the Mooi River offer boating facilities whilst the upper reaches of the Mooi are a fly fisherman’s paradise

Natal Midlands – Drakensberg tourist map Natal Midlands. … The Natal Midlands lies between the Drakensberg and Natal Ea. The Natal Midlands … The Mooi River is known for it’s trout fishing. Estcourt …

Mooi River – Natal Midlands – Drakensberg Mooi River is a Natal Midlands town set in a panorama of natural beauty. Mooi … Mooi River offers visits to stud farms, game, fly fishing, Drakensberg, Midlands …

Natal Midlands The Natal Midlands lies between the Drakensberg and Pietermaritsburg. The Mooi River is known for it’s trout fishing.

Fun for everyone near Mooi River, KwaZulu Natal Sierra Ranch focuses on family fun weekend getaways, offering activities for the … on 935ha of open land amidst the beautiful mountains of the Natal midlands.

Mooi River South Africa – Sycamore Avenue Treehouse Lodge Stretches of the river offer boating facilities whilst the upper reaches are a fly fisherman’s paradise. … Romantic treehouse accommodation in the Natal Midlands.

Mooi river – Scatterhub.com – Mooiriver. … Offers a variety of local history exhibits depicting activities of the area such as dairy farming and polo. Visit us in the heart of the Natal midlands for the warmest of welcomes and the most unforgettable stay.

Dunroamin Country Guest House – Midlands Meander  on the Midlands Meander between Mooi River and Rosetta, KwaZulu Natal South … coffee making facilities and a selection of reading matter, for your comfort.

Gaints Castle to Weenen and the Midlands Meander. Explore our accommodation in the KwaZulu Natal Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa … Explore the activities of the Drakensberg and Natal Midlands … Location: Between Estcourt and Mooi River towards Giants Castle in the Central Drakensberg.

Golfing in the Drakensberg and Natal Midlands – Drakensberg .Net The Drakensberg and Natal Midlands in KwaZulu-Natal, a region with a … the province is superb and opportunities for activities other than golf abound, and the golf … Mooi River Country Club, is set in the hills with a panoramic view of the Drakensberg

Featuring Wild Berry Guest Farm

Wild Berry Guest Farm

‘Come, head for the hills beneath the Giant!’

Wild Berry provides an attractive, relaxed environment and facilities in which guests are reassured that their needs will be met, ensuring excellent value for money.
The small, 3 star-rated Guest Farm is set in typically beautiful Natal Midlands countryside, with a view of Giants Castle, about 8 km from Mooi River central along the Giants Castle Road, and 7 km from the turnoff to the N3. We are located along the Midlands Meander route, in close proximity to Art Galleries, Crafters, a Vineyard, the local Brewery and much, much more.

The area is particularly rich in indigenous wild bird life, and we share the property with geese,  horses, donkeys, rabbits and chickens – which enthrall most of our visitors.

Our unpretentious yet well-appointed facilities provide wheelchair-friendly options, family room options, double rooms, and twin accommodation.  Our rooms are fitted with fans, panel heaters, en-suite bathrooms, verandahs and private braai areas, and all but one of the several cottages is self-catering. We employ a very small staff who are well-organized and perform their duties unobtrusively.

We have extended the property, adding most of the cottages, a social center with TV, games and an honesty bar stocked with drinks and snacks and an Education/Conference venue where 20 delegates could be comfortably seated (though our maximum guest capacity is 14 – should all beds and bunks be taken in to account).  A full English breakfast is available on request serving only the best locally produced products with home-made jams and marmalade.

On the Giants Castle Rd., Wild Berry is set in the heart of the Drakensberg and is a birdwatchers dream. An ideal base to discover the local attractions, explore the farm, enjoy a game of chess or have a quiet (romantic) break. A unique experience!  Set in lovely established and extensive gardens. Take time to relax and enjoy the country atmosphere filled with tranquility and typical sounds from the surrounding farming community.

Wild Berry is ideally positioned as a base from which to visit several Internationally Renowned attractions. These include the Drakensberg, which is a World Heritage site as well as the unique Lammergeyer Vulture hide, where you can see the extremely rare Bearded Vulture (Lammergeyer). You can also visit the Hlatikulu Crane Sanctuary, a rescue and breeding sanctuary for all three of the crane species found in Southern Africa. It should be noted that the Blue Crane is the national bird of South Africa.

In addition we are only a 20 minutes drive from the start of the Historic Battlefields along which many sites of the conflicts between Anglo-Boer, Anglo-Zulu and Boer-Zulu can be visited.