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Three Tree Hill

Spioenkop, South Africa
  • The charm of Three Tree Hill is twofold. First, you have the location – the astounding backdrop of South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountains standing over the site, while the lodge itself peers into the Mfazimnyama Valley of the Spioenkop Game Reserve: bustling with the country’s exciting wildlife and Spioenkop itself, setting for some of the fiercest fighting in the Boer conflicts. Secondly, is the Lodge’s eco-friendly mantra – placing strong emphasis on responsible tourism, with its fair trade policies and locally grown farm foods.

    • View of Spioenkop from ChurchillsThree Trees
      View of Spioenkop from Churchills
    • A truly eco lodgeThree Trees
      A truly eco lodge
    • Rhinos abound in the adjoining reserveThree Trees
      Rhinos abound in the adjoining reserve
    • A typical cottage roomThree Trees
      A typical cottage room
    • The poolThree Trees
      The pool
    • Relax by the fireThree Trees
      Relax by the fire
    • Rhino tracking with SimonThree Trees
      Rhino tracking with Simon
    • Home grown delicious cuisineThree Trees
      Home grown delicious cuisine
    • Friendly residentsThree Trees
      Friendly residents
    • Trekking in the DrakensbergThree Trees
      Trekking in the Drakensberg
    • Seek and you shall findThree Trees
      Seek and you shall find
    • Stunning scenery all year aroundThree Trees
      Stunning scenery all year around
    • Morning inspirationThree Trees
      Morning inspiration
    • Explore the region on horse backThree Trees
      Explore the region on horse back
    • Experience African skiesThree Trees
      Experience African skies
    • The master in the family suiteThree Trees
      The master in the family suite
    • Champagne sundownersThree Trees
      Champagne sundowners
    • Feel at one with the landThree Trees
      Feel at one with the land

    What to love

    What to know

    • The heart of the lodge is its cosy lounge and dining areas, adorned with African artifacts and trinkets gathered from the reserve and the battlefield. It’s the perfect place to relax with a book or socialise with the resort’s other guests over a pre-dinner drink.
    • Located down a quiet path away from the main lodge and with a viewing deck across the Spioenkop Game Reserve, the resort’s swimming pool area is the ideal spot to zen out and cool down in the South African sun.
    • Three Tree Hill is an eco-friendly lodge – and Fair Trade in Tourism accredited – putting great emphasis on responsible tourism and choosing greener options wherever possible.
    • With such proximity to the Spioenkop Game Reserve and with the stunning backdrop of the Drakensberg, the resort provides ample opportunity to go exploring the South African bush and come face-to-face with some of the country’s captivating wildlife, especially Rhinos on game walks.
    • Situated near to the base of Van Reenens pass, Three Tree Hill is the perfect stop-off point for anyone travelling between Johannesburg and Durban.
    • Owned and run by experienced safari and mountain guides, the resort are committed to local community projects and also employs local staff from a nearby village.
    • Three Tree Hill holds the opinion that there’s no need for the safari atmosphere to end once you step into your room. As such, each room and suite has been decorated in a turn-of-the-century colonial style with a definite nod to the history of the area, antique sash windows, wood-paneled interiors and hand-embroidered linen sheets.

    About this property

    • Three Tree Hill (formerly known as Three Trees at Spioenkop) is the perfect stop-off for any would-be adventurer. Choose to go rhino tracking with a game expert, submerge yourself in the hour by hour history of the battlefield at Spioenkop, head out for a hike along the winding paths of the Drakensberg Mountains or take a horseback ride across the grassy plains.

      And for those moments when you’re not feeling like Indiana Jones, Three Tree Hill provides all the comforts of home, in a traditional African setting: whether you’re unwinding with a pre-dinner aperitif in the memorabilia-adorned lounge, taking an afternoon dip in the outdoor swimming pool or tucking in to the exceptional country-style food and local South African wines on offer in the comforting setting of the family-style communal dining room.

      The home-from-home feeling continues with the lodge’s accommodation. Guests have the choice of a standard room, a slightly larger family suite or ‘Churchills’ – a stand-alone villa fitted with a private veranda and pool area. Attention and care has gone into the design of all of the lodge’s 18-bed accommodation, with an authentic colonial style décor featured throughout the rooms. Wood-paneled interiors, antique sash windows and hand-embroidered linen sheets go some way to creating a truly African experience. Each bathroom has its own bath and shower, while each room has its own private deck, to enjoy incredible views of the valley – and any passing wildlife – below. Children are welcomed throughout the Lodge accommodation, while the Churchills is not suitable for children under eight years of age, due to its high balustrade.

    • There are eight rooms at Three Tree Hill, all of which have been designed to capture the colonial feeling of the turn of the century. Period features include antique sash windows, wood panel interiors & corrugated iron cladding exteriors. All rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, overhead fans & wall panel heaters.

      In-keeping with the lodge’s Eco-friendly aims, guest amenities in the bathrooms 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.

      Twin Cottage: There are six Twin Cottages which each has its own deck offering 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. The beds are 3/4 twins but doubles are available on request. Each cottage has its own shower and bath from where one can soak up the atmosphere of Spioenkop whilst gazing out over the valley. The cottages sleep two adults and can fit an extra bed for a child under 12 years on request.

      Family Room: The Family Room boasts a master bedroom which has two spacious walk-in wardrobes and a fireplace and folding glass doors which lead out onto the wide verandah. There is a children’s bedroom with a single bed and a set of bunk beds which comes complete with a box of toys & cabinet full of books. The children’s room leads out onto the same verandah and a play area with a shady sand pit. The full bathroom is en suite to the master bedroom and features a double basin, bath and separate shower and also looks out over Spioenkop. There is a separate toilet & basin that services the children’s room. The family room sleeps two adults and up to three children under 12 years.

      Churchills: This beautiful stand-alone cottage-style villa with a spacious open plan kitchen and lounge, and double glass doors, offers 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, Churchills has two bedrooms, each with their own en suite bathroom with bath and shower. One room has twin extra length single beds and the second room has an extra length queen size bed. Churchills sleeps up to four adults or two adults and two children. Please note that Churchills is not suitable for children under 8 years due to the high balustrade.

    • Children of all ages are most welcome at Three Tree Hill where the emphasis is on outdoors and nature based entertainment. There is a wide range of family activities on offer such as croquet, nature walks, shrimping and pony rides.

      Earlier meal times: Are arranged for children with tasty, simple farm meals to enjoy after a day exploring.

      Baby Sitting and Childcare: Baby sitters are available on request and competent first-aid trained staff at the lodge can look after children whilst adults are on a tour or enjoying a meal.

      Please note that children under the age of 12 years are not permitted on the battlefield tours.

    • 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.

      Dining: The elegant  dining room is separated from the lounge area by a fireplace. Dining at the lodge is with your hosts and is an informal family-style communal affair, unless otherwise requested. Buffet style breakfasts and lunches are served either outside on the viewing deck or on the breezy verandah. Dinners are a set menu with three homely farm-style courses followed by port or cognac in front of the fireplace or out under the stars.

      Lounge: The lounge is adorned with historical memorabilia and a collection of Africana for guests to enjoy. Puzzles, board games and a variety of books provide entertainment on a rainy day. Pre-dinner drinks are served in this cosy atmosphere, whilst mingling with the other guests and sharing travel tales from around the world.

      Swimming Pool: A viewing deck and swimming pool offer complete relaxation under the spreading canopy of an Acacia tree. The pool is kept warm by an insulated thermal blanket at night and the water temperature ranges between 18 to 24 degrees Celsius.

       

    • Mountain Biking and trekking: For an unforgettable way to experience the adjacent Drakensberg Mountains, Three Tree Hill provides mountain bikes, which guests are free to use to explore the technical trails and tracks. Trekking can also be arranged should guides be required.

      Horse Trail Riding: There are plenty of horse trails at Three Tree Hill, offering a unique way to experience the flora and fauna that inhabits the Mfazimnyama Valley and the Spioenkop Game Reserve.

      Battlefield Tours: Aside from Spioenkop itself, the area abounds with key historical battlefield sites from the Boer wars (Colenso, Ladysmith, Talana & Blood River amongst them) and is also within an easy drive from battlefield sites from the Zulu wars (Isandlwana & Rorke’s drift).

      Bird Watching: Any avid birdwatcher, or even those with a passing experience, will want to take up an afternoon of birding – with a reported 300 different species spotted in the area, including Lanner Falcons, White-bellied bustards and Cape Vultures.

      Drakensberg Canopy Tours: A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see South Africa from treetop advantage. Led by trained guides, these canopy tours allow visitors to glide from tree and cliff vantage points. An unforgettable family day out.

      Reptile Centre: This reptile centre in the Drakensberg may be small, but it’s packed with an array of invertebrates, arachnids, mammals and reptiles that inhabit this thriving ecosystem. The centre offers guided talks and tours.

    • When to Travel

      Three Tree Hill is open all year round. Summer (September to April) is the rainy season and the Drakensberg region often experiences afternoon thunderstorms.  The days are hot (average 77F/25C), but by nightfall it cools down (average 65F/18C). However visitors should always be prepared for the occasional cold snap. The winter months (May to August) are generally mild and dry with warm days (average 60F/ 16C) and chilly mornings and evenings (average 41F/5C) and winter is a wonderful time for visiting KwaZulu-Natal. Interestingly snow has been recorded on top of the Drakensberg every month of the year!

      Location and Directions

      Three Tree Hill is situated in Spioenkop in the northern Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal. The closest town is Bergville which is 24km away, Ladysmith is 45km away.  Close to the base of Van Reenens pass, Three Tree Hill is almost half way between Johannesburg and Durban, only 27km from the N3 highway and makes a perfect stop off for anyone journeying between these two cities.

      The lodge is the perfect location to base yourself for exploring the major Anglo-Boer War Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal (Battles of Spioenkop and Colenso), the Northern Drakensberg Mountains – a World Heritage Site, and is only a two hours drive from the Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields (Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift).

      How to get there:

      British Airways and South African Airways have daily flights to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport from London which take approx. 11 hours. From Johannesburg the lodge is approx. four hours drive. Alternatively Durban King Shaka International Airport is a three hour drive.  The nearest airstrip is in Ladysmith, approx. one hour drive.

      Most guests travel independently by hire car to the lodge, but transfers can be arranged on request. From the N3 highway there is 18km of subsidiary road and the last 8km is a good gravel road. 4 x 4 vehicles are not necessary.

       

  • Please contact us on +44 (0)1753 463 400 if you would like a tailor made quote.