ROYAL NATAL SECTION OF THE MALOTI-DRAKENSBERG PARK WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Thendele must be one of the most scenically situated tourist facilities in the world. Cleverly placed to give every visitor staying there an unforgettable view of the iconic Amphitheatre, guarded by the great block of The Sentinel to one’s right and the Eastern Buttress to one’s left.
Taking its name from the isiZulu word for a francolin – ithendele (See the Birds and Birding article in this newsletter) – Thendele Resort has a great deal to offer. It’s accommodation units are all fully equipped, offering comfort and the promise of a relaxed stay away from the hustle of city life. The units offer a variety of configurations ranging from 2-bed to 8-bed units. A stay in the magnificent 8-bed Thendele Lodge is definitely an unforgettable experience.
Certainly the air is like sparkling wine – crisp and refreshing. Royal Natal as a whole offers the visitor a wide variety of activities that include gentle walks, rock-climbing, a range of hikes, camping, swimming in the crystal clear Mahai or Thukela Rivers, picnicking, camping and even trout fishing in the dam near the reception office.
Scenically Thendele is incomparable. Situated on a high ridge it commands sweeping views of the headwaters of the greatest of the KZN rivers – the Thukela, which rises above the lip of the Amphitheatre and plunges down one of the highest unbroken falls in the world as the Thukela Falls. The view from Thendele includes many of the ridges and valleys leading from the massive wall of the Amphitheatre – surely one of the most magnificent vistas ever. Directly in front of Thendele lies The Policeman’s Helmet and the Vemvaan Valley.
Linked to Thendele as part of the variety of available accommodation is the Mahai Campground. Situated on the western bank of the Mahai River, the campsite lies in a fairly sheltered part of the valley with a wonderful view upwards to the massive Ploughman’s Kop that overlooks the campground. The nearby Rugged Glen campground also caters for visitors to the area.
As Thendele does not boast a restaurant, visitors not wishing to self-cater may exit the Park and access good restaurants close by. Enquire at reception for details.
Royal Natal is easily and quickly accessible from many centres in KZN, and is a mere three hours from Johannesburg.
For full information on Thendele, Rugged Glen and Mahai follow the link: