We offer secluded self-catering accommodation in the Drakensberg in two cabins situated high in the Monk’s Cowl Reserve of the Central Drakensberg Mountains.
iKhaya la Mafu, which translates into House in the Clouds, offers unequalled beauty and tranquility with views to match.
For hiking enthusiasts, the Drakensberg offers unparalleled hiking trials.
‘We have two luxurious cabins – Inyoka and Ingwe – both of which have a large double bedroom/lounge, a fireplace, an equipped kitchenette (including a microwave oven), a lovely deck for outdoor dining, and a Weber braai (barbecue).’
Each cabin has a large double bedroom/lounge with fireplace, bathroom, and a kitchenette. Both cabins are equipped with Weber braais and a lovely deck for outdoor dining.
Where you will stay
Our property comprises 95 hectares (235 acres) of mountains, streams, waterfalls, indigenous forest, and peace; Crystal Falls, the Sphinx, Verkykerskop (which is the highest point of our property at 2021m, or 6 630 feet), and Breakfast Stream are situated on our land.
KZN Wildlife maintains an access trail through our land to the contour path in the Reserve, but no hikers are allowed to camp on our property.
For the duration of your stay you will have free access to both our property and the Parks Board trails (normal price of day walks: R20 per person).
Our property is bordered on three sides by the World Heritage Site and we are responsible for ensuring its environmental integrity.
All alien plant species have been removed, including pines and wattles, which in turn provide the wood for your fireplace; be liberal with it.
Water comes directly from the Breakfast Stream and is pure and fresh.
We source electricity from our own solar plant, so be sparing when using the electric blankets (turn them on only for the few minutes required to warm the bed) and hair-dryers (use the low-wattage ones provided in your cabin).
We use gas for heating water and for cooking, so there is no restriction on how long you spend in a hot shower.
Our experience suggests that young children, especially from urban areas, quickly tire of adventure, exploration, serenity, and quiet.
The cabins are luxuriantly comfortable, but have no television and are remote from ‘civilization’.
Although we are open to persuasion, we prefer not to accept children under the age of 12; children over the age of five will be charged the price for a person sharing. For groups and child-friendly accommodation
Walking and hiking
Always walk in boots or sturdy shoes, even for a short day walk. Bring a small day-pack and rainwear.
Depending on availability, we can send a guide with you on your walk or may even walk with you ourselves.
If you wish to camp overnight, we shall offer you advice, register your hike with the Parks Board on your behalf, and arrange for the safekeeping of your car and its contents.
The normal fee for overnight hiking is R30 per person per night and must be paid (part of the fee goes to a mountain-rescue fund).
Please contact Ricky to e-mail you a berg activities list for the period of your planned stay at iKhaya la Mafu.
We shall advise you about activities in the valley (such as the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir concerts, golf, and the Falcon Ridge raptor shows) upon your arrival.
For dinner, you can either make use of the braai facilities provided or choose from a number of restaurants in the area; we can book your table for you.
Don’t forget the unique birdlife, animals, and flora of our area; bring your books and binoculars.
DirectionsWe are situated 4 hours from JHB and 2½ hours from Durban. From Winterton, follow the R600 to the Central Berg – past Thokozisa, past Cedar wood Shopping Centre, past the Drakensberg Boys’ School, and past the Champagne Castle Hotel – until you reach the gate to the Monk’s Cowl Reserve. Phone us as you pass the school and we shall meet you at the gate and guide you to your cabin. You do not need to pay an entrance fee. The access road From the Monk’s Cowl car park, which is at an elevation of 1 480m (4 856 feet), to the cabins (1 567m or 5 140 feet) is a drive of 1,5km and an ascent of 87m (285 feet). The road is maintained and stoned regularly, but it is steep in parts and it is slippery in wet weather. Sedan motor cars can be used in dry conditions (leave your Porsche at home though), but an SUV is highly recommended. A 4x4 vehicle would be even better. Monk’s Cowl gate The gate to the Monk’s Cowl Reserve is locked at 18:00 or 19:00 in the evening (depending on the time of the year) and opened only at 06:00 in the morning. If you wish to go out at night, we shall give you a key to the gate and you will be expected to lock it behind you.