Chalet accommodation situated in the Central Drakensberg’s Champagne Valley in close proximity to a World Heritage site and offering the best of what the Drakensberg has to offer.
Our family run resort is really close to the mountains, in fact, we are within the 2-kilometre buffer zone of the Okhahlamba world heritage site, and have 9 chalets all with magnificent mountain views. We have 2 by 4 sleeper 2 suite chalets (chalets with 2 en-suite bedrooms) , 2 by 6 sleeper 3 suite chalets ( chalets with 3 en-suite bedrooms), 2 by 6 sleeper family chalets (chalets with 3 bedrooms 1 bathroom) and 3 by and 8 sleeper group chalets ( chalets with 4 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms). These are available on a self-catering basis but we do offer B & B provided pre-arranged and will fully cater for groups if required.
The chalets can accommodate up to 60 people and we also have a purpose built weddings, functions & entertainment venue, which is reminiscent of an Old farmhouse with stone pillars, soaring ceilings, on site and a wide front veranda, which can comfortably seat 150 guests. We also have an on-site chapel for your special occasion.
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The Central Drakensberg is the hub of the Drakensberg area and is an easy drive on all-weather roads from the main centers of Johannesburg and Durban. This region is known less familiarly as the uKhahlamba Drakensberg park (a world heritage site) and its landscape is what one typically expects of the “Berg” with its vast contrasts of towering peaks and deep valleys.The Central Drakensberg has the highest and second highest peaks in the Drakensberg range , and yet the Champagne valley has milder winters, as the valleys below the peaks average only 1250 meters above sea level.
Map to Wits End
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Wits End has its own lake, which is one of the biggest in the area, offering canoeing and fly fishing for Natal yellowfish. All of our chalets have magnificent views of the Central Drakensberg range looking onto the twin peaks of Champagne Castle and Cathkin.
Wits End is a nature lover’s paradise with several private nature trails spread over 250 acres of pristine mountain landscape. These run through indigenous forests and mountain grassland providing an excellent example of local flora and fauna including many species of birds and mammals such as bushbuck, reedbuck, grey duiker, Cape otter and water mongoose to name but the most prolific.We have also introduced Wildebeest which although very shy and elusive, offer an exciting experience when viewed on foot.
The Central Drakensberg offers the convenience of numerous fine hotels and cosy family restaurants with many fine dining opportunities as well as several convenience stores for those who would rather self-cater.
The Champagne Valley boasts 2 golf courses. The Champagne Sports Resort’s 18 hole championship course is well known amongst the golfing fraternity and is rated one of the top golf courses in South Africa.
The gates to the Monks Cowl reserve are a short distance from Wits End and mark the entrance to a World Heritage site which was proclaimed here in 2000. Guests can escape into the wilderness on a long gruelling hike up the mountains, or take a leisurely stroll alongside a gurgling mountain stream to one of the magnificent waterfalls that abound in the area.
The uKhahlamba World Heritage site has been awarded world heritage status in 3 categories: archaeology, vegetation and geology. This is a status shared by only 7 sites worldwide. Naturally, the area abounds in indigenous flora and fauna and we are situated within the 2-kilometre buffer zone.
Visiting the local San rock art is an experience not to be missed and there are well-preserved examples only a short guided walk from our resort. The nearby Winterton Museum also offers a fine photographic display of the San people’s art and way of life and the Didima Rock art centre in the Cathedral Peak area, about 30 minutes drive away, is also worth a visit.
For the culturally inclined the Central Drakensberg has much to offer. One of Wits End’s neighbours is the internationally acclaimed Drakensberg Boys Choir School. Guests can attend their Wednesday afternoon concerts which are held during the school term when the boys are not on tour. Their annual music festival, usually held in April or May, and their year-end choral festival held early December, are major attractions to the area.
Many other attractions of the greater Drakensberg area are easily accessible from the Central Drakensberg. Visits to Giants Castle, The Amphitheatre and Tugela Falls, which is the second highest waterfall in the world, are all within an hours drive of us. Further afield is the Southern Drakensberg and the Sani Pass which is not recommended for a day drive as it is 3 hours away.
The Central Drakensberg is also close to The Battlefields area. The Spioenkop Battle site, in particular, is the site of one of the most infamous battles of the Anglo-Boer War (1899 to 1900) and offers a fascinating visit. Within an hours drive, one can visit the towns of Ladysmith and Colenso where many battles were conducted between the British and Boer armies. The surrounding area is also steeped in Zulu history.
Shaka and his far-reaching impis often attacked local Nguni settlements in the mid 1800’s and the Zulu battles of Blood River ( Zulu /Boer) and Rorkes drift ( Zulu/British) are also not too far a field.
The Central Drakensberg is often seen as the gateway to the Zulu Kingdom and the Midlands Meander, with its quaint country villages and famous annual Midmar mile swimming event, is an hour away en route to the multicultural city of Durban.
A poem by Phil Rooke
When I look out in the morning, for me no finer sight, than to see the peaks of the Drakensberg, with a covering of white. The cloudless blue of a winter sky, and air that’s crisp and clear, though I’ve seen fair sights around the world, in my view, the best is here.
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