Why search for weekend getaways within the Magaliesberg? For starters, Magaliesberg is a shape-shifting space – one minute you’re driving by means of the tasteless scrubby bush with tatty indicators of human detritus in all places, the subsequent you’re on a twisting dust monitor that rises up a rocky ridge to survey a virtually uninhabited valley.

Given its proximity to Gauteng’s metropolis, these pockets of untouched nature – a patchwork of conservancies and reserves with the purest-tasting springs and nonetheless providing shock encounters with a handful of fauna – provide a visible and psychological escape that’s fairly miraculous.

The Magaliesberg dwarf even the historical past of the Cradle Of Humankind (a really completely different expertise). The vary is the stays of a fossilized shoreline that dates again some 2000 million years, earlier than there was even sufficient oxygen for people to breathe. The Magaliesberg Mountains kind a 120-kilometre-long escarpment, however for the needs of this choice, I used to be on the lookout for a straightforward wilderness/rural weekend escape not more than 90 minutes from Joburg. Inspecting inside this radius it quickly grew to become clear that the world in and round Hekpoort, significantly these inside the Hartebeestfontein Conservancy, is the place most gems are discovered.

Many locations supplied pretty surrounds and/or hosts, however had the form of decor that may pressure me to drink much more than I often do. Others have been inside earshot of busy roads, or simply too far. I seemed for – and was most grateful to seek out – lodges and cottages that had actual particular person appeal, the place {couples} would possibly reignite romance, or mates or people might simply ‘chillax’, as my teenage daughters prefer to say.

Greatest lodge in a nature reserve

1. Steynshoop Mountain Lodge


weekend getaways in Magaliesberg

Steynshoop Mountain Lodge. This can be a good spot for nature lovers, plus the service is superb.

A transformed thatched home with 9 rooms, Steynshoop Mountain Lodge is situated inside the Magaliesberg Protected Space, and is value each bump alongside the dust monitor to get there. Intimate and unpretentious, with farm-style antiques, and each couch, desk and mattress wearing white – thank heavens for individuals like Peter Curle who make investments a lot in creating elegant hospitality merchandise that stay reasonably priced to South Africans. It’s not a full-service lodge however has the luxuries that depend – not least Elcid Mostert, the attentive chef, who provides real service that makes you’re feeling as if the lodge belongs to you. A small however wonderful wine listing; a 22-metre pool; large views, and actual proximity to nature – barking baboon, yipping jackals, and common visits from nyala, warthogs and monkeys – all make for a restorative weekend.

Room tip: The 4 upstairs rooms: 5, 7, 8 or 9. Room 6 can also be pretty however has a tiny rest room. Room 9 is the very best commonplace; room 7 the very best luxurious.
Contact: steynshoop.co.za

Greatest for funds or group of hikers

2. Rustig


weekend getaways in Magaliesberg

Rustig is nice for giant teams.

What a well-chosen identify for this lush farm deep inside the Hartebeestfontein Conservancy. The multiple-generation household is clearly as profitable at gardening as they’re at farming: towering bushes and flowering shrubs punctuate the rolling lawns neglected by a sprawling restaurant and veranda. There’s an inviting 25-metre pool and, given the posh of the grounds and amenities, the amiable service and nice location, Rustig is definitely the very best cut price within the berg. You could possibly spend the day on the pool after an early morning recreation drive (R250 per individual together with breakfast), however most come for the hikes of three (R65 per individual), 5 (R65 per individual) or 13 kilometres (R75 per individual), or to in a single day within the mountain hut, Karee.

Room tip: The Dormitory is a double-storey block with six rooms, best for a bunch (as much as 36), however three of the rooms will also be made up with simply two single beds – e-book an upstairs nook room. Close by fundamental Stone Home sleeps six and is a good funds household possibility. Heritage Home, the unique three-bedroom farmhouse, is furnished with antiques and shares one Victorian-style however fashionable rest room (plus an amazing bathe!). It’s not likely set as much as self-cater (meals will be served to you right here, or on the restaurant) however you may braai.
Contact: rustig.co.za

Greatest luxurious self-catering

3. Steynshoop Valley Lodge

weekend getaways in Magaliesberg

Steynshoop Valley Lodge. That is the self-catering possibility providing essentially the most amenities and actions by far.

Apparently primarily based on the design of an early Transvaal farmstead, however Cape Dutch in character, Valley Lodge contains a quadrangle of six self-catering buildings constructed round a big central courtyard. Each unit has Peter Curle’s trademark decor – white furnishings, Cape antiques – but it surely’s fairly a unique expertise to neighbouring Steynshoop Mountain Lodge (above): except for being self-catering, it’s fenced, so doesn’t present the identical connection to nature. Extra amenities embrace an all-weather, flood-lit tennis courtroom, volleyball, badminton and croquet, a billiard room and a shared out of doors leisure space with a small fenced pool, braai space and three thatched gazebos. Taken as an entire the lodge can sleep 20 comfortably, plus has three sleeper couches for teenagers. A reasonably chapel is being constructed.

Room tip: The Homestead – Curle’s private Magaliesberg five-bedroom bolthole – is well essentially the most luxurious self-catering possibility within the Magaliesberg, whereas the open-plan, one-bedroom The Valley Suite provides honeymoon-level luxurious and privateness for a cut price worth. The Nook Cottage is subsequent finest.
Contact: steynshoop.co.za


Greatest worth lodge and spa

4. Valley Lodge & Spa


weekend getaways in Magaliesberg

Valley Lodge & Spa.

There are a number of lodge choices within the space (extra choices beneath), however nobody else provides higher worth, a spa of this calibre, and an adjoining nature reserve with clearly marked strolling trails. As such it’s often bustling, with pleasant workers that goal to please and a alternative of 76 rooms (so pretty densely developed) in well-maintained grounds. Interiors are nice sufficient, however the fashion is extra bland city company than nation appeal. That mentioned, bag a Magalies River-facing room, and you actually have the very best of each worlds: a serene view out of your veranda, mixed with the pleasures of being in a big lodge. These embrace an unlimited resort-style pool, that fabulous spa (heated mineral pool, Jacuzzi, saunas, nice remedy menu), a really convivial pub, tennis courtroom, babysitting and some eating choices, together with wood-fired pizzas delivered to your room.

Room tip: If privateness and nature are necessary, e-book the very best river-facing Luxurious rooms: 64 to 74.
Value: Luxurious rooms from R2815 for 2 sharing B&B, R1070 additional for ages 6 to 12, below 6s keep at no cost. Test on-line for specials that embrace spa remedies – it’s value reserving these upfront.
Contact: valleylodge.co.za

Greatest for all-inclusive luxurious

5. Quiet Mountain Nation Home


weekend getaways in Magaliesberg

Quiet Mountain Home within the Hartebeestfontein Conservancy.

The pleasures are many at Quiet Mountain House, situated within the Hartebeestfontein Conservancy. There’s the meals, ready with high quality components, together with milk, cream and butter produced from resident cows, and eggs from their obliging hens; the rambling gardens; and the superb service that John and his associate Terence have given visitors for greater than 22 years. After which in fact there are the rooms: every completely different, however all richly textured with fascinating objets: Persian carpets, quilts and artworks collected throughout their a few years as artwork administrators within the movie trade. It’s peaceable – no TVs within the rooms, however there’s a video games room with a big TV, and a reasonably loft-library within the authentic thatched dwelling. Romance is inevitable, as are return visits – John not too long ago welcomed again a daily who proudly advised his girlfriend he’d been conceived right here.

Room tip: Room 9 – a separate cottage with its personal personal pool and backyard – (if you happen to’re 4, e-book together with Room 8). Room 7 (large, with a lounge and hearth, a personal little courtyard with exterior bathe) and Room 5 (two patios; lounge and hearth) are additionally prime selections. Greatest funds room is 4.
Contact: quietmountain.co.za

Greatest for canine lovers

6. Stone Hill

weekend getaways in Magaliesberg

Stone Hill.

This 75-hectare property has eight self-catering timber cottages, every freestanding and situated 20 metres or extra from the subsequent, so not fairly as personal as Saamrus (beneath), however nonetheless providing far more area than most. Every has a small fenced backyard with a personal out of doors bathe; ‘…and right here’, proprietor Caroline de Villiers grins as she picks up a further handheld showerhead, ‘is the one in your canine’. She and Mark Morgan love their canines, they usually perceive how tough it’s for individuals with four-legged youngsters to seek out neat-as-a-pin lodging that accepts and welcomes the prolonged household. The cottages aren’t significantly trendy or luxurious however they’re scrupulously maintained and really comfy, with considerate touches that embrace something from plasters and earbuds to easy-to-use recycling bins and well-lit, smoke-free braais. There’s a five-kilometre path for socialised canines (with benches for house owners to benefit from the views), a small shared pool, and the Magalies riverine space on the backside of the property is the place comfortable canines get muddy earlier than heading dwelling for that bathe.

Room tip: We favored Cabbage Tree Cottage for its extra personal location however all share the identical options:an open-plan lounge with a log fire, well-equipped kitchen, full rest room, shaded patio and Wi-Fi.
Contact: stone-hill.co.za

Total finest/most romantic self-catering cottages

7. Saamrus Visitor Farm

weekend getaways in Magaliesberg

Saamrus. Pleasure! One other pet-friendly tackle – and it’s romantic.

The web site does Saamrus no justice – this 500-hectare farm provides by far essentially the most personal and romantic assortment of self-catering cottages within the space, and the very best views. Homeowners Chris and Annatjie Geldenhuys have designed and furnished them with nice aptitude in a funds farm-house fashion; every has its personal fenced backyard (hurrah, one other pet-friendly institution!) with firepit and braai. Aside from the rondavels, every cottage is 50 metres or extra aside. Aside from Suikerbos and the rondavels, all cottages are open-plan with well-placed fireplaces; showers are over giant custom-built tub tubs. Walks embrace a riverine space, indigenous forest and grasslands, and there’s a shared (small) communal pool. The one downside is the 4×4 required to achieve hillside cottages, otherwise you’ll need to courageous it on foot: it’s a 200- to 400-metre trudge uphill, however two sturdy males are at all times on responsibility to assist carry for a tip – the workers are great right here.

Room tip: On the base of the hill, prime selections are Die Plaashuis, the unique farmhouse (circa 1945, sleeps 4 to 10) and has a stunning backyard, and the extra personal Hoephoep (sleeps two to 4). But it surely’s so value reserving one of many hillside cottages! Piet-my-vrou is the closest to base, and really romantic; Karee is the furthest and most personal.
Contact: saamrus.co.za

Greatest religious retreat

8. Melody Hill Retreat

Melody Hill.

Terry Franks, aka Tejbir Kaur, is a charismatic ladies who simply radiates religious and bodily wellness, and instantly makes you need to flip vegan and begin practising yoga. She and her associate, Laurence Brown (each educated architects, which reveals within the great proportions and simple move inside and between the buildings) constructed the retreat as a spot for family and friends, or strangers on the identical path, to regroup, calm down, create and/or study. Situated in a forested property on the banks of the Magalies River (close to the funky Blackhorse Brewery), it’s a tranquil place with a stunning swimming pool and huge wood-burning fireplaces in winter. E book the retreat as an entire and self cater, or attend an organised occasion and simply chip in – if you happen to’re fortunate Terry and her Zulu vegetarian chef Harai Kaur, additionally a sangoma and Kundalini yoga trainer, might be in cost, chopping greens whereas singing mantras. Try the web calendar for occasions akin to Fairy Godmother Coaching Retreat, Emotional Freedom or the 180-hour Stage 1 Instructor Coaching in Kundalini Yoga which guarantees to ‘fill your eager for the sacred’. Amen.

Room tip: The 2 upstairs rooms (2 and three) in the primary home are incredible, however you’ll probably get what you’re given – seven en-suite bedrooms sleep three to 4 individuals per room (no bunk beds).
Contact: melodyhillretreat.co.za


Additionally learn: Reptiles in the suburbs

Observe us on social media for extra journey information, inspiration, and guides. You too can tag us to be featured. 

TikTok | Instagram Facebook Twitter

This text was first revealed within the November 2015 difficulty of Getaway journal.


Photos: Teegan Cuniffe


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *