Montusi Mountain Lodge

KwaZulu Natal

Rooms: 16 cottages: 4 kings en-s bath & 1 twin with en-s shower next door; 10 kings with shower & bath; 2 new Mountain Suites with kings, en-s bath/shower.

Prices: R1,715 to R2,060 per person sharing. Singles R2,144 to R4,288.
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Meals: Full breakfast and 4-course dinner included (wine extra).

Directions: From south head north thro Pietermaritzburg, Estcourt & turn L signed Northern Drakensberg. Continue for 80km thro Winterton & Bergville on R74. Follow signs (some small) to Montusi. From north use Harrismith & R74.

The Carte Family
Off D119, Near Alpine Heath, Bergville, KwaZulu Natal

Tel: (0)36-438-6243
Fax: (0)36-438-6566
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Montusi feels a bit like a hotel, which just happens to be run by your extended family. You know… you haven’t seen them for years, but no sooner have you stepped from the car than they’ve got your bed sorted (in your own thatched, country cottage no less!) and are fixing you a sundowner on the patio. Ant and Jean bought wattle-strangled Montusi Farm in the early 1990s. Being a man of X-ray vision, Ant saw through the undergrowth to a lodge perfectly positioned to catch the surrounding view, he saw fields of galloping horses and he saw lakes to fish in. So he did away with the wattles and a new Montusi emerged. Meals are superb, incorporating a wide variety of styles and ingredients in comfortable portions. "Unpretentious gourmet", the Cartes call it! And there are many ways to burn off the calories with limitless Drakensberg hiking on your doorstep (Tugela Gorge is stunning, but the Cartes can help with suggestions). There's also horse-riding (all levels of experience), mountain-biking (bikes can be rented), swimming and fishing. And just ten minutes down the road is daughter Loretta's Adventure Centre with high-adrenaline activities ranging from cable tour to quad biking. Ant and Jean's other daughters, Lindsay and Catherine, have taken the reins in recent years and this is what impressed me most - it’s a happy, family-run place with plenty of style. Relaxation massages are offered by local ladies as part of a successful community project. Picnics at waterfalls can be arranged.

More photos…

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Montusi Mountain Lodge
A garden suite bedroom
Bird-watching and sundowners at the dam: a wonderful way to end the day
Lovely large swimming pool - a great reprieve on a hot summer's day
Storm clouds above the main building
1000 hectares for great hiking and adventuring
The main lodge dining room - a cosy atmosphere under a stunning thatched roof
Al fresco dining on a summer evening
Each suite has its own lounge and patio with great mountain views
Hardy Berg horses and ponies are ready to take guests over the mountains and far away
A peaceful afternoon spent fly fishing at the dams
Cosy winter evenings by the fire in the main Guests' Lounge