Days 5-7: Spioenkop and The Battlefields in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa
Spioenkop, South African English and Afrikaans for the words “lookout” and “hill,” is about an hour’s drive from the Champagne Valley. The area is steeped in history with several battlefields from the Second Anglo-Boer War. The best place to stay is Three Trees Lodge. This stunning accommodation places great emphasis on responsible tourism, offers spectacular scenery, and serves locally grown, farm-style country food.
Once you have unpacked, head out on foot or mountain bike (free for guests) on one of the nature trails on the Three Trees estate. Don’t forget your binoculars—there are over 300 species of bird in this area including eagles, vultures, falcons, sunbirds and fly-catchers. In the evening, cool down with a swim in the stunning pool followed by pre-dinner drinks with the other guests at the lodge. Dinner is served family-style and includes three course of home-cooked, local food followed by port in front of the fire or outside under the stars.
On the sixth day, arrange a half-day tour to the breathtaking Spioenkop Battlefield which has a compelling story in which Winston Churchill and Mahatma Ghandi played a part. The Battle of Spioenkop took place in 1900 and is probably the most famous and bloodiest battle between the British and the Boers. The Three Trees guides will bring this dramatic period of South African history to life in their world-class, informative, and insightful tour. After your tour, spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool, listening to the sounds of the African bush.
Kathleen is a contributing editor to En Route Traveler. From a young age, Her parents took her and her sister on many adventures all over the world. Kathleen has lived in South Africa, London, and Paris. After five years of being a stressed corporate lawyer, she gave it all up to move to Nicaragua where she trained as a yoga teacher, learned to surf, and worked at the eco-lodge, Buena Vista Surf Club. Kathleen loves fitness, vegetarian cooking, contributing to the wellness blog, Hip and Healthy, and managing her own sites Yum Yoga and Super Fit and Super Food.
Have you ever visited the Spioenkop area? Share your recommendations below in the comments area.