Set in the Battlefields of Kwazulu Natal, against the magnificent backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa and overlooking the secluded malaria-free valley of Spioenkop Game Reserve, where aloes, acacias, giraffe, zebra and rhino create a truly African setting. Three Trees at Spioenkop offers stylish lodge accommodation and invites guests to relax and explore this spectacular area while learning about our young history.
This Eco-friendly lodge, which is Fair Trade in Tourism and Green Leaf accredited, places great emphasis on Responsible Tourism and offers spectacular scenery, locally grown farm-style country food with superb hospitality. It is the ideal environment in which to unwind and be rejuvenated. This intimate, luxury 18 bedded lodge is owner-managed by Simon & Cheryl Blackburn whose passion and enthusiasm for Africa’s wildlife, history and culture is immediately evident. You are welcomed into their home, and invited to experience the warm hospitality, and relaxed atmosphere in their four star family-run lodge. The lodge offers large Colonial style verandahs, spacious rooms, a secluded pool and sweeping views infuse the experience with a tangible sense of history.
The sundeck and wide verandah are an ideal place for sundowners, overlooking the hills and valleys. Enjoy guided walks, horse rides, superb food and warm family hospitality. Explore the history of the Anglo-Boer War in the surrounding Battlefields.
A 45-minute drive to Central Drakensberg close to the base of Van Reenens pass, the lodge is also the ideal half-way stop between Johannesburg & Durban, only 27km from the N3 highway. This lodge is the perfect location to base yourself for exploring the major Anglo-Boer War Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal (Battles of Spionkop and Colenso), the Northern Drakensberg Mountains (world heritage site), and within easy (2hrs) reach of the Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields (Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift)
The main living area has an open-plan design, with four sets of large double doors leading onto the verandah. The result is a flowing space, where you can relax on a comfy chair, read in the afternoon sun and enjoy convivial chatter. In the winter an open log fire and “Dover” coal stove create a warm, welcoming environment.
The rooms have been designed to capture the colonial feeling of the turn of the century. Antique sash windows, wood panel interior & corrugated iron cladding exteriors all add to this. Rooms are equipped with tea/coffee making facilities, overhead fans & wall panel heaters for your comfort. Hand-embroidered linen and South African made down duvets & pillows ensure a great nights’ sleep. The beds are 3/4 twins but doubles are available on request. Each room has its own deck, which offers unsurpassed views of the game-rich valley below and Spioenkop towering over the reserve. If luck is on your side you might see a rhino or giraffe wandering by. Each of the six twin cottages has its own shower and bath from where one can soak up the atmosphere of Spioenkop whilst gazing out over the valley. Guest amenities consist of a unique range of exquisite hand-made virgin olive-based African Botanical body care products. They are 100% natural, botanically active, ph-balanced, cruelty-free products with no harmful chemicals or parabens.
Three Trees Lodge also offers a fantastic family suite where the master bedroom has two spacious walk-in closets and a fireplace. Folding glass doors lead out onto the wide verandah. The children’s bedroom has a single bed and a set of bunk beds which can comfortably accommodate three children under 12 years old. It comes complete with a kist full of toys & cabinet full of books, which leads out onto the same verandah & play area with shady sand pit. The full Family Suite bathroom, with double basin, free-standing bath & separate shower en-suite to the master bedroom also looks out over Spioenkop. There is separate toilet & basin that services the children’s room. This is one of the best child friendly accommodations we have come across and can definitely recommend this as a true family destination in the Kwazulu Natal Battlefields.
Churchill’s is a beautiful stand-alone cottage-style villa with a spacious open plan kitchen and lounge, and double glass doors offer sweeping views of the Spioenkop Game Reserve. A large deck overlooks the private pool, braai and entertainment area below. The living space has a modern kitchen suitable for guests wishing to prepare their own meals. Ideal for honeymooners, families with teenagers or two couples travelling together. This cottage is not suitable for children under 8 yrs., because of its high balustrade. Churchill’s has two bedrooms, each with their own en-suite bathroom, hand embroidered linen, overhead fans and panel heaters. One room has twin extra length single beds and the second has an extra length queen size bed. It is also available to rent out as a self catering cottage which is fantastic for longer stays in the battlefield region and also allows you more time to explore the Drakensberg environs.
On Site activities
Nature Walking Trails
The lodge is situated on 1,300ha of naturally rolling Drakensberg foothills. Nature Walks are offered which follow along marked trails (ranging between 2 – 6km) on the estate which is a working cattle farm. These can be done self-guided or the company of a guide can also be requested free of charge. Joined by the dogs, and walking alongside the game reserve, a walk out in the hills is not to be missed.
A bird list of 300 species has been recorded in the area, with Cape Vultures, Lanner Falcons, White-bellied bustards, Buff Streaked Chats & Fairy Flycatchers all residing here. In the winter months (when the aloes are flowering) many mountain-dwelling species descend to the foothills to take advantage of the warmer climes, sweet nectar & insects that adorn these spectacular plants. The Malachite sunbird is a stunning example of this. In the summer months, Northern migrants arrive to fill the air with calls & twittering that will keep any “twitcher” on his toes.. Bird books are available in guests rooms, and resident guides are available to assist on site.
Mountain bikes are freely available for the use of guests. Three Trees offers a range of different mountain biking trails on the property, either with your own bikes or use of the bikes at the lodge. In close proximity are some more technical trails in the Drakensberg , which can be done with a guide on request. The famous 130km “Berg & Bush” mountain bike trail runs through the property in November each year.
Game Walks and Rhino Tracking
Game Walks with Rhino Tracking in the neighbouring Spioenkop Game Reserve can be arranged with resident guides. These are a little more strenuous than the Nature Trails on the farm, as the route follows paths worn by the game animals. During the summer months these can be very wet and muddy (average 1,5 – 2 hours long). A suitable pair of walking shoes with ankle support is recommended.
Horse Trail Riding
Guided Horse Trail Rides are arranged to suit the experience of the riders. There are numerous opportunities for horse riding at and around Three Trees. We offer rides on the property providing wonderful views of the Spioenkop Battlefield, the Game Reserve and the Drakensberg Mountains. They provide a wonderful opportunity to experience the spectacular countryside up close whether to view the flora and fauna, to gain insights into the difficulties of fighting a war with Victorian impedimenta on this terrain, or to view seldom visited parts of the Battlefield (for example the Boer trenches on the Tabamnyama heights). Pony rides can also be arranged for children on request.