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“The best mountain views by far”

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Thendele Hutted camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Thendele Hutted Camp in the Northern Drakensberg offers the most breathtaking view of the Amphitheater, which is in my opinion is the most beautiful view of the mountains of all the places I have visited in the Drakensberg, these include Alpine Heath, Didima, Cathedral Peak, Giants Castle, Mont-Aux-Sources, The Nest, Champagne Sports Resort, Drakensberg Sun and Little Switzerland to name but a few.

The reason for such a magnificent view is the fact that you cannot get any closer to the actual mountains as the Thendele Hutted Camp is part of the Royal Natal National Park and aptly graded a World Heritage Site. The accommodation is humble and well run by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Parks Board. Braai facilities and fire places in each chalet make it ideal as a great hiking base both during winter and summer months. You are provided with a Map of a vast number of hikes ranging from day trips to overnight proper hikes but be sure to remember to sign the hike register when setting off on longer trips.

We did the Cascades Walk with my wife, my nine month old and four year old sons which is a leisurely but very picturesque walk to the clear rock pools and cascading waterfalls. I highly recommend it as an easy hike with small children. Tougher hikes that are worthwhile, if you are fit, include Policeman's Helmet, The Gorge, The Chain Ladder, The Sunday Falls and The Tiger Falls.

The staff are all very friendly and helpful and a well stocked shop is available at the reception. Thendele Hutted Camp is a family favorite that we will return to again and again. If you are looking for luxury try the Cathedral Peak which has a restaurant, swimming pool etc.

Note: The R74 road from Harrismith to Thendele is awful and or should I say non-existent with car devouring potholes and never-ending roadworks for +-20KM. Unless you travel in a 4x4, rather carry on the N3 past Harrismith and take the Winterton off ramp. You have about 6km of smooth sand road and then a fantastic section of tarred road from Winterton to the Northern Drakensberg turn-off.

P.S. There is also a fantastic butcher in Winterton

Room Tip: If you are a small family get a honeymoon chalet with an extra bed in the living room. The honeymoon...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Swissfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 - 112 of 190 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2012

This camp has the best location with great views of the amphitheatre from your cottage. We could enjoy this view directly from our bed! The cottage we stayed in the Upper camp was well equipped and was really a little house. There was also an outside patio complete with braai stand and chairs and table. There is a little shop in the lower camp but no restaurant. We enjoyed the surroundings and could take many different walks right from the camp. Staff were friendly and overall we had an enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MKTTW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

We spent two nights at the Upper Camp during our recent trip to South Africa. The camp is about 6 kms into the park, and really is about as far as you can drive, situated right up on the hillside looking directly onto the Ampitheatre. The views are breathtaking, and all the chalets take advantage of this with big glass doors and outdoor seating areas. As well as just looking at the mountains, the camp is a great base for hikes in the area, with the popular Tugela Gorge walk starting right from the camp, as well as a few others. A short drive to the Visitor Centre leads to an even greater variety of hikes, all of which we tried led to stunning scenery.

The chalets themselves are well equipped, with lots of facilities in the kitchen including a proper oven and all of the utensils you'd need for self catering - very important when the nearest restaurant is quite a drive away! There is also a tv with satellite, and a fire if it gets really cold. The bedroom is also separate, so it felt very homely.

The only two downsides I would mention are: the chalets are quite expensive by South African standards, and are starting to show their age a little. Secondly, the Baboons were the most aggressive I saw in SA, and would actively try to get into people's chalets to get food, which could be quite intimidating if you're not used to wild animals!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BalhamWolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

We spent two nights in the camp enjoying a peaceful getaway into the mountains. The views are spectacular and you could spend all day just sitting at the camp. The hiking trails are all very good, although the ones into the Tugela gorge were closed when we were there due to burning in that direction. The rondavels are clean and comfortable, but certainly not five star. Our shower door was broken so water went everywhere in the bathroom. The kitchen was adequate. You only need to bring food with you as all utensils are provided to cook, make coffee or braai outside. There is no firewood or charcoal so bring what you need. There is a fridge to store perishables. You will definitely encounter baboons, but they will stay away from you. However, they will investigate/eat anything left unattended.

Room Tip: Some people say the rooms at the upper camp have better views, but you can just walk up there. You...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jonathan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2012

Thendele is dramatically situated and the chalets have beautiful views. It's a very peaceful place and you really feel like you are in the middle of nature. We were in the upper camp and while the views and layout may be somewhat superior to the lower camp, don't fret if the upper camp is fully booked, all the chalets face toward the magnificent amphitheater. Our 2 bedroom chalet was comfortable and spacious - definitely a notch above the rest camps we stayed at in Kruger, Imfolozi and Mlilwane. However, while there appears to have been a few updates (nice new window coverings) the chalet looks quite old, particularly the bathrooms. The windows are also old and drafty, and rattle during strong wind. With only a small space heater and a fireplace that didn't generate much warmth, the chalet got quite cold. Thankfully, there are plenty of thick blankets. Bring warm clothing if traveling in winter. We were surprised at how cold it gets at night (and we're from Canada). We didn't have any problems with baboons while using the braai -perhaps it was too cold for them!
The hiking is wonderful and we enjoyed our gorge hike (despite poor weather). There are lots of great hikes you can do right from the camp - a book with descriptions of the different hikes is supplied in the chalet.
If you like to hike and enjoy the peace and quiet, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank binderdundat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2012

You are right in the middle of a magnificent mountain landscape - think The Grand Canyon suddenly covered with lush vegetation. Many great hikes start right from your front yard, without getting into the car.
Very roomy and pretty huts.
I'm sorry to report they show age - it seems very little maintenance has ever been done since they were built. A broken switch here, a crooked window there, and it will get worse unless someone steps in.
At least in the summer, start your hike early, the conditions are perfect for afternoon t-storms.

Room Tip: Try to book a hut in the upper camp - a bit more money, a lot more view!
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank wind_n_water_01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2012

This camp is in the most beautiful setting with the Amphitheatre right in front of the accomodation. Standing watchind the sun rise and set over the mountains and looking at the night sky makes for beautiful memories. The accomodation was quite spacious and well equipped although our shower door was broken so the floor was absolutely soaked every time we used the shower. The only other gripe was that the tea and coffee was not replenished during our 3 nights there which seemed a bit mean. Unlike other visitors we didn't have any problem at all with baboons, they simply didn't go that high up the mountain.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Wiltshirewanderer77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thendele Hutted camp

Address: Royal Natal National Park, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
Number of rooms: 132
Also Known As:
Thendele Hutted Camp Hotel Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

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