‘Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.’ Edward Abbey

Occupying pride of place within the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve, a sandstone villa faces the breathtaking expanse of the Sterkfontein Dam and the Platberg Mountains. Tucked away in the Northern Drakensberg Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this gem of a hideaway mountain retreat offers five star sophistication, designed for true comfort as well as aesthetic appeal.

Bringing you tranquility, comfort and style. A place to rest and restore your spirit. This is like home ... only better.

The Lodge

The lodge is situated 43km from Harrismith, Free State, in the Northern Drakensberg. This five star lodge was built with living in mind. Kitchen, lounge, and bar area merge, and regardless of which room you choose to inhabit you are treated to the most magical view. The dining room opens out to an expansive terrace. A private library, wine cellar, Koi pond, rim-flow pool, rose garden and landscaped indigenous garden complete the picture.

True luxury is as much about subtle detail as it is about furniture and décor. You'll notice the night cap on the bedside table as you retire to your suite, and the freshly baked biscuits with the coffee. This mountain retreat has proudly earned each of its five stars.

Wild Horses Lodge should be penned on the map of any traveller who enjoys to drive and explore. Whether it be the Midlands Meander, The Drakensberg Mountains or the Clarens Route, the scenery will literally render you breathless. For a romantic Drakensberg getaway, a few days away from the kids, a place to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or a getaway with friends, Wild Horses Lodge accommodates up to 8 people.

Accommodation

Located in a separate wing to the main house, each of the four individually decorated suites has its own charm. Whether it be the vivid Persian rug on the cherry-wood floor, or the original art piece adorning the wall, the rooms are reflective of the rich environment which Wild Horses calls home. The rooms - two on the ground and two on the upper level - have been designed for true comfort as well as aesthetic appeal. Egyptian cotton linen; sumptuous bathrobes, towels and slippers make for a luxurious touch. Amenities include television with DSTV; hair drier; complimentary tea and coffee making facilities; a fully-stocked bar fridge; digital safe and writing desk.

The Sunrise Suite, Sunset Suite, Zebra Suite and Guinea Fowl Suite all share similar facilities, including showers and slipper or spa baths; separate WC; temperature control; and oil heater fireplaces for the chilly wintry months.

Food and Wine

The Wild Horses Dining Room offers a truly magnificent dining experience. Vast folding doors open onto the expansive terrace to showcase panoramic views of the Sterkfontein Dam beyond the Lodge's landscaped indigenous gardens.

Inside the dining room, a reeded ceiling and fireplace create a cosy, rustic ambiance. Meals are served in the Dining Room or on the viewing deck. Wake up to a delicious Continental or full English breakfast, laze over a light lunch and indulge in a gourmet 3-course dinner. Lunch or picnic baskets can be booked by prior arrangement. Guests are able to select their own bottle of wine from the Lodge's private wine cellar which is continually being added to as host Jon Hawkins is an avid collector.

Weddings

With its breath taking scenery Wild Horses is the ideal destination for small, intimate romantic weddings with a maximum of 30 guests that can be tailored to suit each guests requirements.

T&C's

The entire Lodge has to be reserved for both the night before the wedding and the night of the wedding. Tariffs for these 2 days include Bed and Breakfast. Please note that you may wish to take advantage of our mid-week special which offers a discount (on accommodation). The bridal couple will be accommodated free of charge on the wedding night.

Special Occasions

Parties by nature should be fun, and exciting. Host your next event in a venue that will really get your guests talking and leave a memorable impression.

Grand celebrations demand a venue that does justice to the event - somewhere with style, and blessed with superb views. That location is Wild Horses. We offer a very private, exclusive venue for those extra special occasions such as a wedding proposal, an engagement celebration dinner, an intimate birthday surprise or an anniversary. Whatever the event, we'll make sure your big day is captivating. Contact us to find out more.

Spa

A tailor-made menu specifically created to offer the most popular treatments enjoyed by Wild Horses guests.

For a more comprehensive list of treatments available at Cellubeauty Spa, based at the neighbouring Qwantani Resort, visit their website: www.cellubeauty.com

Booking is essential. Please Contact Us to make arrangements.

Activities

Those wanting to relax and savour the tranquility and beauty of the surrounds will not be disturbed. Bask in the sun at the rim-flow pool with its views over the expansive Sterkfontein Dam. Stroll around the indigenous garden or the extensive rose garden or watch the Koi glide through the cool waters of the pond.

Every care has been taken to make your stay at Wild Horses as comfortable as possible and to provide outstanding facilities and amenities.

Daily cruises are offered in Wild Horse's 29ft Sea Ray Bow Rider, which can comfortably accommodate up to 16 people. The biggest in its class, the boat is controlled by a state of the art computerised system, and has a fridge, toilet, sophisticated sound system, and tables for snacks and cocktails. Swimming from the boat is a popular past time. The boat can also be chartered for private sundowner cruises and romantic getaways to lesser-known sites on the dam. Charter rates are dependent on the nature and duration of the cruise. Delicious snacks and cocktails are prepared by our chef.

Explore the reserve on one of Wild Horse's specially bred horses. Well trained and sure-footed, these steeds are suitable for riders of all levels.

Guests are accompanied on outrides by a lodge groom. Personal preference dictates the pace of an easier or more rigorous outride, with the option of stopping at a picnic site to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by our chef.

Sterkfontein Dam is home to a many different species of fish, including the yellowfish. Fly-fishing for this species is internationally acclaimed, and hundreds of fish are caught in season (generally lasting from October to the end of March).

The clarity of the water is so exceptional that sight fishing is the order of the day. To cast a dry fly at a sighted fish in the shallow with a 5wt rod is the pinnacle of fresh water fly fishing.

Wild Horses is able to offer the services of an independent field guide if required. Rates are dependent on the specifics of the client's needs.

The 18,000 ha Sterkfontein Game Reserve is a birder's paradise, with a bird list of 195 species. There have been excellent sightings of both Cape Vulture and Bearded Vulture. In short grassland areas Yellow-breasted Pipit and Amur Falcon have been observed.

Local waterbird species include Little Grebe, Goliath Heron, Egyptian Goose, South African Shelduck, Caspian Tern, African Fish-Eagle and Osprey. In the grassland and open bush areas Common Quail, Grey-winged Francolin, White-bellied Korhaan, Ground Woodpecker, Mountain Wheatear, Buff-streaked Chat, Drakensberg Prinia and Yellow-crowned Bishop are spotted regularly.

The rocky slopes provide habitat for several species such as Red-winged Francolin, Cape Rock-Thrush and, during winter, Malachite Sunbird. Other raptors such as Verreauxs' Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Black Harrier and Rock Kestrel are common, while Southern Bald Ibis breeds on sandstone krantzes in the reserve and can be seen foraging in grassland. Look out for the rare Rudd's Lark which occurs in short grassland.

The Sterkfontein Nature Reserve is populated by a wide variety of game including zebra, springbok, blesbuck, eland, red hartebeest, duiker, reedbuck, springbuck, jackal and the endangered lechwe.

These animals can sometimes be spotted from the viewing deck of the lodge, but guests are more likely to see them on hikes, horse trails and boat cruises.

Explore the diversity of the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve on mountain bike. We are able to put you in touch with an adventure specialist for specific information on trails in the area.

Spend an entire day in the saddle. A sumptuous lunch can be packed by our chef for a private picnic in the setting of your choice.

* Own bikes required

Art Gallery