Imagine a hidden paradise, with only a stone’s throw away from the city, rolling green hills and valleys adorned with waterfalls and lush vegetation. welcome to, Karkloof Safari Spa.
The Durbanite team were recently invited to experience Karkloof Safari Spa, where we got to stay overnight at Karkloof Safari Villas – a 5 star lodge.
Here’s what we had to say about their visit:
After getting lost along the way because we didn’t check the directions properly beforehand, we were finally at Karkloof Safari Spa. From the minute we drove in the main gate, we knew we were in paradise.
We drove up to the entrance where we were greeted by a friendly staff member. We filled in an arrival form and headed back to our car, only to find a game vehicle parked with all of our bags already packed in! My husband and I jumped in, and we were soon off to the main lodge.
Along the short drive to the lodge, I was ecstatic to spot a few animals roaming freely around us. I whipped out my phone to snap a few shots of zebra and warthogs!
We arrived at the main reception at the lodge where we were greeted by staff and taken on a short tour. With a wrap-around exterior deck for lounging that overlooks the breathtaking valley and cosy couches near the fireplace, we knew this would be a favourite spot of ours.
Linked to the lodge, were these wooden walkways which led you to your room for the night. We were escorted to our accommodation and walked in for the first time. I was blown away by how beautiful the place was! We had a luxurious king-sized bed, a connecting lounge, two bathrooms and a massive viewing deck with a breath-taking view.
Next up was the highlight of the day, our full day spa package. Karkloof Safari Spa is one of Africa’s largest and best spas, with 17 treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and Roman baths.
We opted for the Silk Package which is known for using pure organic ingredients that are blended with the healing properties of botanicals. We started off with a yummy continental breakfast before starting our spa experience. After we had eaten, we headed off to start the day. First up was a ceremonial foot bath cleanse and salt scrub followed by a 90 minute herbal thai poultice massage. After that, we had an incredible 75 minute authentic aromatic facial.
I’ve never felt so at peace and relaxed – I loved the different take on the massage, and had the most amazing Thai lady who made every effort to ensure I was comfortable!
We had a short break where we ate lunch and chatted over a delicious smoothie before continuing with the rest of our treatment.
What’s great about the spa is that with any package you choose, you get a light lunch, a luxury gown, full usage of the hydro area, unlimited smoothies, coffee, and tea. Oh, and let’s not forget the complimentary cake when you’re celebrating a special occasion! (A great idea for birthdays or anniversaries, that’s for sure!)
The Karkloof Spa area includes saunas, steam rooms, an open-air jacuzzi, an indoor roman bath and kneipp pools! Sounds like heaven, right?
Check out their full spa menu here.
Our spa day ended off with a 60 minute lanna hot oil hair and scalp massage, before heading back to shower and get ready for our next adventure: A game drive!
We hopped into a private game drive vehicle and were whisked away on what was truly the best game drive I’ve ever been on. I was surprised at the fact that Karkloof Safari Spa has over 3,000 hectares of terrain. Never would I have expected such a massive place to be situated in the Midlands!
The animals we spotted were, white rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, hippo, eland, nyala, biesbok, warthog, jackal, caracal and bushpig. My husband was so trigger-happy as he snapped photo after photo of everything we passed.
My favourite part of the game drive was when we stopped near a lake where the hippos were. Our game driver got out some snacks and drinks, and we were able to take in the views, with the sounds of the hippos in the background. It was truly an “this is Africa” moment. I’ve never felt so happy!
After the game drive, we had dinner. Not just any dinner though, but a 3-course meal where we were served prawn cocktails, biesbok steak followed by a chocolate fondant.
We headed back to our room with happy hearts and full tummies. We set our alarms for the morning to wake us up in time before our hike to the waterfall.
We woke up and got ready for the hike – where we met our game driver at the lodge. He drove us for about 20 mins until we arrived at the spot where we would be hiking from. Now, I’m not much of a hiker and dread any form of exercise, but this hike was absolutely perfect for novice hikers!
We climbed up beautiful wooden walkways for about 25 minutes until we reached the top where a gigantic waterfall was. We took a few moments to take it all in and snapped a few shots before heading back.
As we headed back, our driver stopped on the side of the road, and again, whipped out some snacks for us to enjoy while we had a beautiful view of the valley.
When we arrived back at the lodge, we were escorted to our breakfast table where we were served a yummy meal – all while a few buck made an appearance in the foreground!
We raised our glasses filled with orange juice and saluted Mother Nature -what a beautiful country we live in!
After our breakfast, we decided to take one more trip to the spa to make use of their heated pools – and what a treat that was!
For more information, visit www.karkloofsafarispa.co.za
Cell: +27 33 569 1321
Want to stay in the heart of Cape Town? Here’s why The Cape Milner should be your go-to.
For Durbanites, a trip to Cape Town is always enthralling. White-sand beaches, throngs of restaurants, and sea life sightings are just some of the things we look forward to when visiting our Mother City. Of course, the various accommodation on offer forms part of said hype – and can either make or break your experience!
Well, we’re here to tell you this: If you’re looking for a hotel that’s contemporary, comfy, central, quiet and not too costly, we’ve found the place for you. Not to mention its fascinating decor, great hospitality, and luxury charm that just wraps you up and keeps you snug throughout your entire stay.
The opulent Cape Milner building matches Cape Town’s Victorian aesthetic. But inside you’ll find a mix of art-deco, modern and African chic; much like the feel of modern Africa today.
As if wedged at the bottom of Table Mountain, the views from the rooms and lounges are spectacular. We particularly enjoyed dining out in the swanky Glass Lounge, where you can look up into the blue sky or night stars while you enjoy a hearty lamb shank below.
Our homely rooms overlooked the serene Milner Road, with its impressive avenues of trees. We were given complimentary macarons on arrival and enjoyed them with tea as we watched the rain pitter-patter on the tails of unbothered squirrels — how cute! The Milner Hotel really is a place you can enjoy come rain or shine.
The hotel was the absolute, perfect base from which to explore pretty much everything and anything. Just a few minutes drive away lies Bree and Kloof – two favourites, Metropolitan streets for tourists and locals alike. Over the few days of our stay we visited many great spots, all within 5-10 minutes away.
We sank our teeth into cheesy pizza at the much-hyped “I love the dough” and tried out “Mochi Mochi” for dessert; we ordered fizzing and steaming cocktails from “Cause and Effect” at the V&A; and of course, we spent a fun-filled evening at the cheeky and illustrious “Beefcakes” in Green Point.
After each jam-packed day, coming home to our state-of-the-art bathtub and luxurious linen was the cherry on top. It fitted in perfectly with our diverse range of activities we had planned, and matched the entire style of our trip.
We didn’t want to leave!
And of course, we can’t wait to stay again…
To book your stay at the Cape Milner, contact
Tel: +27 11 516 4367
Tugela River Lodge – A must for your bucket list!
Tugela River Lodge is a self-catering eco-lodge situated in Winterton. They are completely off the grid, using solar power and gas to run their lodge.
Being pet-friendly, Tugela is the perfect place to bring the entire family, literally! As well as for singles, couples or friends.
With 5 cottages to choose from, you can either book the Main Lodge which sleeps up to 14, The Hideaway which is a 6 sleeper and The Rapids, The River House and Kingfisher Cottage which are all 4 sleeper.
All of the cottages don’t have any TV sets. Tugela River Lodge wants to instead encourage visitors to experience nature – which we definitely agree with.
We stayed at the River House which was a double storey house, ensuring we each had privacy as a couple.
The Green family have been running the lodge for over 20 years. They have a passion for mountain biking, trail running and the outdoors in general. Every year, The Berg & Bush cycle ride and The Oxpecker trail run take place.
Upon arrival, check in was such a breeze – we found our accommodation easily and settled in for the night.
For dinner we opted to have a braai. The boys loved catching up while us girls chilled on the comfiest couches with a glass of red.
We were joined by two of the owner’s dogs, as well as a cat, making us feel right at home.
Our double storey house had more of a modern feel than the rest of the cottages. We had a spacious lounge all to ourselves which was part of an open plan kitchen. The main bedroom had a double bed with an open plan shower and toilet, while the upstairs room had a double bed with the most gorgeous outside view.
We were fully equipped with high speed WI-FI too. A bonus if you’re needing this feature while on your trip away. The River House is the only unit to have this functionality.
The River House is also ideal for bringing your pets as the property is well fenced off – You don’t have to worry about losing your fur-babies!
WHAT TO DO NEARBY
You don’t really need to leave Tugela. With plenty of walking trails available, one can find themselves walking along the beautiful Tugela River.
If you feel like a drive however, we would recommend Spioenkop Nature Reserve. A popular water sport destination, it also offers a serene game reserve environment. We saw rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and many different species of birds.
You can also take a drive through the Tugela game reserve with a cooler box and watch the sun go down with views of the Drakensberg on one side and the Freestate on the other.
ACTIVITIES AT TUGELA:
Other activities at Tugela include trails for walking/running, kayaking along the river, daily animal feeding and use of their farmstall for any fresh produce.
BOOK YOUR STAY AT TUGELA RIVER LODGE:
Cellphone/Whatsapp: +27 82 823 4746
REVIEW: Hilton Hotel Umhlanga Arch
Hilton Garden Inn is the first of its kind in South Africa, situated at the new Umhlanga Arch, welcoming both local and international guests. Durbanite recently experienced first hand what they have to offer.
From the moment you walk in, you experience a relaxed environment, making you feel right at home. The Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch is a technologically advanced hotel, allowing guests to check in, select and unlock your room, as well as access the guest lift, easily from your mobile phone. The hotel boasts a fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool with a great view of the upcoming developments in the area as well as the stunning sea Durban has to offer, as well as a laundry room and currency exchange for international guests.
The staff at the Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch are friendly and extremely helpful and have adopted a “Brightheartered Hospitality” approach.
“It was amazing, the staff remember your name, they learn more about why you are visiting and really go out of their way to make your experience a memorable one.” Commented Bianca Hauser, Durbanite contributor.
There are 203 rooms kitted out with coffee and tea brewers, a flat screen HDTV, a hairdryer, iron and ironing board (perfect for out of town guests), along with a mini refrigerator. Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch ensure to adhere to Covid-19 safety regulations by cleaning rooms before check in as well as after check out. They are currently participating in the Hilton CleanStay Program with Lysol Protection to deliver an even cleaner and safer experience for guests.
“I really felt comfortable during these times, as once staff clean a room, they have the Hilton CleanStay Room Seal that indicates to us that a room has not been accessed since it was cleaned and disinfected.”
The hotel ensures sufficient spacing in the dining hall and hand sanitizers can be found throughout the hotel. Guests are encouraged to use disposable gloves provided when dishing up salad for the meals and the Chefs are responsible for dishing up dinner, limiting exposure.
Together & Co aims to bring people together, “one meal, coffee and conversation at a time”. Those who are not guests at the hotel are also welcome to dine at the restaurant or have a drink at the bar. Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch also boasts a 24-hour self-service retail space, “The Shop”, which offers snacks, locally sourced food and beverages as well as essential personal items, should guests need anything.
To book your stay, visit their website.
Durban, 4320, South Africa
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