Rockwood Forest Lodge

Location: South Africa » Kwazulu Natal » Natal Midlands » Karkloof Nature Rese

Rockwood Forest Lodge, accommodation in Karkloof Area

4 Star
Name of hostsCindy
Tel:+27 (0)31 303 5162
Cell+27 (0)84 602 9207

Rockwood Forest Lodge
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Situated in the privately owned Karkloof Nature Reserve, only accessible by residents of Rockwood and people partaking in the Karkloof Canopy Tours.
The Accommodation consists of two unique A-frame Oregon Pine and Yellowwood houses.   Each self-catering unit comprises three bedrooms and two bathrooms for six to eight guests in each.  Fully equipped kitchenettes with freezer/fridge, oven, microwave and cutlery and crockery. There is a fireplaces in each sitting room in Lodge 1 only with fire wood provided. Only unit 1 has a fireplace with fire wood provided. Heaters, insect repellents, soap and shampoo available in the rooms.

Lodge 1 is situated in the lower region of the Karkloof reserve and has a wooden deck outside looking onto the Godwini River surrounded by dense forest with fauna and flora as far as the eye can see.  
Lodge 4 is situated higher up in the reserve, also with a wooden deck and has view out across the grassland hills and indigenous forest.
Guided mountain biking tours and canopy tours available on request, walks, fishing and simply indulging in the wilderness prove to be the ultimate retreat.

Mountain Bike trail of 16km and guided trails.

Although not situated in the private, Karkloof Nature Reserve, it's location on a typical Midlands farm, called Spitzkop, allows you to still have access to the reserve and its hiking and mountain biking trails, fishing (bring your own rods), birding and the popular Karkloof Canopy Tours which offer guests of Rockwood Forest Lodge a 10% discount per person. All of this is within walking or driving distance from the Farm Cottage. The unit is fully electrified, has DSTV and consists of 1 x King and 1 x Twin room, with the main room having the bath, loo and outdoor shower for the adventurous!
Farm House:
The main property on Spitzkop farm, this is the last word in contemporary farm living! Consisting of 4 bedrooms (1 x king, 3 twin rooms), 3 bathrooms and 1 guest loo, this is ideal for the bigger family who want to experience rustic farm conditions, but not foregoing any creature comforts.



OK, so you appreciate the tranquility and the cute house. But now you’ve been here for 15 minutes and you’re bored. What else can you do…..


The Karkloof is excellent mountain biking country. Every year there are about 10 MTB races in the greater area with the main event being the Karkloof Classic held in May each year.

Feel free to explore the marked trails and plantation roads around Rockwood (while respecting the privacy of surrounding landowners).

Guided tours from 2 to 8 people can be organised. We have an extensive knowledge of the area and will customise the ride to suit your needs, with or without vehicle backup or catering.
  • Guide: morning – 7am to 11am R250.00
    full day – until after 11 am R400.00
  • Bicycles: per day R100.00
  • Vehicle back-up: per day R400.00
  • Picnic lunch: per person R 50.00

We require 72 hours notice to organise a fully catered tour. However, if you just want to do a ride, give us a call at the last minute and we will see what we can organise!

Tsitsikama Canopy Tours have set up a tour within the Karkloof Forest. As the tour commences within our reserve, we have been able to secure special rates for our guests.

The tour offers a thrilling way to learn more about our forests while hanging 40m above the ground, suspended from a cable. Takes about 3 hours. For further information, go to .

  • Guest rate (inc. meal) per person R355.50
    (Please note, this discounted rate applies only to guests who make reservations through us.)

Trout and bass fishing is possible in the Godwini Dam, which you passed on the way to the Lodge. In addition there are several fishing weirs within the Reserve. Follow the signs to Karkloof East (Lodge 4). Access with four-wheel-drive only. Please bring your own fishing equipment.

There are several splash pools in the river above and below the Lodge. The weirs at Leopards Bush are excellent for swimming.

We have marked many of the tree species in and around the Lodge. Utilize some of the books provided to test your knowledge. A short 2.5km trail has been set up in the Eastern side of the reserve. Follow the signs to Karkloof East (Lodge 4) and then look for the sign to Tree Trail.

Birding on the forest fringes can offer some excellent rewards to birders. Some of the more elusive species found are the Cape Parrot, Narina Trogon, Crested Guinea Fowl and the Crowned Eagle.

The list attached has been compiled over many years and we have decided to start it again with guest sightings. If you spot any of the birds on the list (or any other bird), let us know and we will include your name on the list. All we need for verification is three photographs (one from below, one from above and one nesting), a sworn affidavit, and a letter of good standing from your rabbi, priest, mullah etc.

There is limited game viewing within the Reserve. In the mornings you are likely to see bushbuck (nkonka) grazing around the lodge. These timid animals are found throughout the forest. Morning visitations from the gregarious Samango monkeys and blue duiker (impithi) are likely.

There are numerous self-guided trails in the reserve.
Plans are currently well advanced to extend the trails to the Karkloof Falls and ultimately through to the Howick Falls. Some of the trails are steep but all can be attempted by a moderately fit person.

The Karkloof area has numerous waterfalls. Some of the more spectacular falls are mentioned below:

  • Karkloof Falls
  • Howick Falls
  • Grey Mares Tail
  • Horseshoe Falls
  • Rockwood Falls 1 and 2
  • Godwinwi Falls
  • Joan’s Falls


There are currently only temporary signs to Rockwood Forest Lodge. We are awaiting for approvals for our signage from various authorities. In the interim, please follow these directions carefully. Driving time is about 1hr 15 min from Durban and 4hr from Johannesburg. Four-wheel-drive would be useful, but it is not essential. Rockwood Forest Lodge – Unit 1 * N3 to Howick from Durban or Johannesburg * From Durban, take Exit 103, Howick/Midmar and head into Howick central * From Johannesburg take Exit 107, Howick (North)/ Tweedie and head into Howick central * Take Karkloof/Rietvlei road from centre of Howick (near the BP) * After 13 kms, turn left to Currys Post * After 3.5 kms, right along D815. Follow signs to Rockwood Forest Lodge. * After 4.3 kms, take left fork and cross drift * After 2.3 kms, take right fork * Carry on for 1.5 kms * If gate is chained/locked, combination is "315" * To get to Karkloof Canopy Tour, return to tar road and turn left. Follow signs. (About 20 min.) Rockwood Forest Lodge – Unit 4 * N3 to Howick from Durban or Johannesburg * From Durban, take Exit 103, Howick/Midmar and head into Howick central * From Johannesburg take Exit 107, Howick (North)/ Tweedie and head into Howick central * Take Karkloof/Rietvlei road from centre of Howick (near the BP) * After about 17 kms, take turn to left to “Karkloof Canopy Tour” * Follow Karkloof Canopy Tour signs until you see signs to Leopards Bush. * Follow signs to Leopards Bush up steep hill for about 2km. * After passing through gate near top of hill, carry on for about 200m and then turn right at intersection. Wind your way for about 300m through forest and clearing to Lodge. * If gate is locked, combination is “315” * To get to “Karkloof Canopy Tour” go back down steep hill for 2 kms and turn left at the bottom. (About 5 min.) By Air The nearest airport is Pietermaritzburg (Oribi). There are regular scheduled flights between Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg. By road, Pietermaritzburg is approximately 35 minutes away. Alternatively, Durban International is about 1 hr 15 minutes by road. Airport transfers can be arranged on request. * Durban – Rockwood – Durban R500 for up to 3 people * Pmb – Rockwood – Pmb R250 for up to 3 people By Helicopter Heli transfers and scenic tours can be arranged on request.