Spion Kop Lodge is a great find. The welcome is warm from the beginning and you feel right at home. I arrived at midday and immediately was ushered on to the terrace by Lynette where I had coffee, taking in the magnificent views over the Tugela Valley looking towards Spion Kop. After lunch I met Raymond who was to be my guide around the battlefields. If you really want to get your head around the battles in 1899 when General Buller was seeking to break through the Boer defences on the Tugela, Raymond is your man. He can go into as much or as little detail as you want, but I can certainly say that for the enthusiast, a day and a half will give you good coverage of Colenso, the Tugela Heights, the museum at Ladysmith, and of course Spion Kop itself. Raymond's farm includes Mount Alice from where Buller watched the battle of Spion Kop, and you get what must be one of the best views to understand the whole geography of this much fought-over landscape. I finished my second day with a game drive in the neighbouring reserve.
The accommodation is comfortable, well-appointed and clean. The food is well-prepared, nicely presented and spot on. Raymond said they aim for "homely". That's exactly right. I felt like a friend by the end of my stay, rather than just a guest. I am so glad I found the Lodge. I had an absolutely superb long weekend here (a nice break during a long business trip) and would recommend it unreservedly for a quiet get-away and the option of a good dose of history, if you want it. The Heron family are perfect hosts.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded by low hills that slope up to the towering peaks of the Drakensberg and Free State Mountains. Spion Kop Lodge is the ideal place from where to explore the battlefields, set on an echo farm in Kwazulu-Natal. General Buller’s headquarters during the relief of the Ladysmith campaign, Mount Alice, is located on the farm. The beautifully restored, 8 bedroomed colonial-style farmhouse, is set in tranquil, secure grounds with superb views. Added to this there are two cottages, offering self-catering accommodation in an out-of-Africa setting. There is a library with an excellent collection of historical books, a dining room, cozy pub and a swimming pool. The owner and registered guide, Raymond Heron (F.R.G.S), guides guests to the many historic Battlefield sites, as does his son Alastair. We have 250 different bird species, hiking on the property and Sunset Boat Cruises and horse riding amongst the rhino, giraffe and various other animals. "Arrive as guests, leave as friends." ... more less
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