The Natal Midlands – FlashBack Friday

Woke up with a feeling of nostalgia to travel. Today, I particularly missed being able to travel to the Natal Midlands for a weekend recharge.

I miss the picturesque landscape characterised by rolling hills, valleys, farmland, forests, winding country roads, dams and rivers. The Midlands is far removed from the frantic pace of the modern world, it was our great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

IMG-20200301-WA0004Our base was always in Nottingham Road which has ample guests houses and hotels.   IMG_20180830_172707_417IMG_20190430_095517_370Today has been particularly hard, another long-weekend and we are unable to travel due to the Global Pandemic (Covid-19) that has affected all our lives. For now, it will be Flash-Back Friday and grateful that I have all these memories that I get to relive and share. Below are some of my favourite spots in the Midlands, I look forward to visiting when we can travel again.

 

 

  1. Flamme Rouge Café – They have the best coffee😊 Service, food and experience is great. Their cake display is the devil…I usually indulge on Sundays. (I like to say Sunday are for Good Coffee and Cake). PhotoGrid_1588339709478
  2. The Blueberry Café – Has great views of the Drakensberg mountain range, even the loos have views. The famous Blueberry Cheesecake is a must.PhotoGrid_1588339823248
  3. Café Bloom – This is our lunch spot, we love their harvest table. The food overall is good.

 

From a sightseeing perspective, you can meander on the scenic routes and explore the craft markets and art studios, a visit to the Country Market Shop is a must. You can go cheese tasting at the Swissland Cheese Farm, picnic at the Midmar Dam and visit the Howick Falls.

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Country Market
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Howick Falls

 

For first-timers in the area or people who have not done the touristy activities, a visit to the Mandela Capture Site is a must.

PhotoGrid_1588340032285The Natal Midlands is easy to get to for a quick weekend recharge. From Johannesburg, it’s a 4 and a half hours drive. Another option is to fly into Pietermaritzburg Airport and drive to your designed location.

We will travel again, for now all we have is our memories.

#SAWillTravelAgain #WeWillTravelAgain

Tree Natural Concepts

I stumbled upon Tree Natural Concept this morning in between meetings in Umhlanga. Tree Natural Concept is a wellness concept store combining tree yoga, a beautiful holistic yoga studio, and tree café, a café serving coffees, smoothies, juices and light meals.

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Decided to grab some brekkie and do some work while waiting for my next meeting. I had the Foundation (Mashed avo, poached eggs on toast) the food is clean, healthy and tastes really good. They have a great menu selection.

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Love the look, its clean, fresh and earthy. I will definitely be back here, it’s my type of meeting/working environment. I do hope I can fit it a bit of Yoga when back in Umhlanga.

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  • The shop location – Ground floor of the Protea Building, Corner of Lighthouse Road & Ridge Road, Umhlanga Village.

The staff are friendly, helpful and serve you with a smile.

I’m truly falling in love with Durban again and its great to see that they are adopting a healthy lifestyle and opening these amazing places.

Another Splendid Experience!

TS!

Sho’t Left Weekend in the Berg – Champagne Sports Resort

A friend of mine was hosting Umsebenzi(a thanks giving lunch) at her parents home in Phuthaditjhaba(Qwa-Qwa) and gave us this fantastic idea to take a Sho’t Left (a term used for a exploring South Africa and rediscovering the riches that our beautiful country has to offer –  http://shotleft.co.za/)

Two words sum up our Sho’t Left to the Drakensberg ‘BREATHTAKING VIEWS’

Room with a view

We stayed at Champagne Sports Resort which is situated in Central Drakensberg with beautiful views of Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peak. Termed as the ‘Ultimate destination for work and play’ the resort has something for everyone to enjoy and their 18 hole championship golf course has been rated as SA’s most beautiful golf course.

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Accommodation

We were booked in the Mountain facing executive suite which is very spacious with a full en-suite bathroom.

The hotel boast a total 152 rooms and 92 chalets.

Room facilities:

  • En-Suite Bathroom, Telephones (Direct Dialing), Television (SABC 1,2,3, M-Net, Movie Magic, Disney Channel, DMX & SuperSport), Tea / Coffee making facilities, hairdryer.

Hotel Facilities and Activities

The resort provides a perfect balance between the sport enthusiast guest and the guest seeking pure relaxation by providing a wide range of facilities and activities. The resort offers the following:- Swimming Pools, Basketball Court, Tennis Court, Bowls, Children play park, Gymnasium, Mountain Biking, Putt-Putt Course, Volley Ball, Hiking Trails, Running Route and Beauty Salon.

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Conferencing

With the completion of the new BUTTRESS Conference and Exhibition Centre as well as 4 new boardrooms, Champagne Sports Resort now offers a total of 16 conference venues. The Buttress Centre seats up to 1400 delegates and banquets 850 guests at round tables.

Other venues include:

  • The Sentinel Room which seats up to 1000 delegates,
  • The Monks Cowl Centre seating up to 550 delegates,
  • The Summit Room seating up to 400 delegates
  • and the more intimate venues ranging between 150 delegates down to the private boardrooms seating up to a maximum of 20 people.
    • **http://www.champagnesportsresort.com/**

Dining

Breakfast and Dinner are served in the Main Dining Area and there’s plenty to choose from. Light lunches are served on the Pool Terrace and there’s a coffee shop where one can indulge in some scones and muffins.

Inside the main dining room you will find Cathkin Arms Bar, a perfect drinks venue for Golfers and conference groups after a long day.

 Rates

Start from R950 per person sharing and Single starts from R1650 per person per night.

Verdict

A good resort holiday for families, golfers, conference groups and even couples wanting to escape the city life. Our room location was the only negative thing. We found ourselves in-between a couple that had a 6 months old baby and a group of golfers which resulted in our evenings being somewhat challenging – loud golfers at Midnight and a crying baby at 3am.

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TS!

Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa

Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa is situated along the banks of Lake Jozini, the hotel is well positioned overlooking the Jozini Dam with views of the Lebombo Mountains.

The Lodge is ideal for a weekend getaway, corporate offsite events and weddings. Some of the leisure activities available include fishing, game viewing, boat cruises, kayaking, hiking and birding trails – perfect for the outdoor enthusiast.

Jozini

Hotel Facilities

The lodge has a restaurant that offers – breakfast, lunch, supper. A lounge, bar, Boma, conference and wedding venue, pool, children’s playroom, Mangwanani spa, gymnasium and not so great WiFi – this seems to be a universal problem for most hotels.

Accommodation

The lodge has 70 Rooms

  • 44 Classic Rooms, 21 Family Lofts, 3 Deluxe Rooms and 2 Executive Suites.
    • All rooms at the lodge are fully air-conditioned and are en-suite, with both bath and shower facilities.

We stayed in the Executive Suite, which has a kitchen, a mini lounge and a large balcony. The room has ample space and extremely private.

The only negative thing about this room is the open plan bathroom/bedroom layout, I’m not a fan of a toilet that does not have a door. An element of privacy for the toilet is a must.

Hotel Rates start from R825-00 Per Person Sharing

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Conference

The iSilo Conference Centre is capable of accommodating up to 250 delegates and can be split into three smaller conference rooms.

The Lodge also has three smaller boardrooms – Nyawo, Gumede & Myeni, located above the Conference Centre. I later learned that the boardrooms are named after the tribal families governing the local area.

VERDICT:-

Great value for money, a great place to be at when you want to get away from the hectic hustle and bustle of urban living.

The hotel location is ideal for people wanting to explore the Elephant Coast (Zululand – KZN),it is surrounded by a host of World Heritage Sites and Nature Reserves.

    • If you travel south you will reach Isimangaliso Wetland Park (previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park ) and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve.
    • Travel North to Ndume Game Reserve, home to the last wild elephants of Southern Africa or view traditional fish kraals at Kosi Bay.
    • Travel East to Sodwana Bay, famous for diving and fishing – a nature lover’s paradise..

A 4×4 is a MUST especially if you want to fully explore the area.

www.jozinitigerlodge.co.za

www.threecities.co.za/hotel/jozinitigerlodge/

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TS!