Thursday, March 31, 2011

Drakensville Resort - Drakensberg

During our December / January holiday trip to the Drakensberg we spent 10 days at the Mahai campsite right in the mountains with another 4 at the Drakensville resort about 30 kilometers away from Mahai.  The reason we chose to do this is because Drakensville is a family resort with a number of family entertainment activities and we felt that after 10 days in the mountains we needed to "give back" to the kids and allow them to do more than walk in the mountains and swim in the river.

Drakensville is divided into a campsite as well as self catering units.  The camping area is quite big and set on an expansive piece of land with nice grassy camp sites.  The sites on the one side of the resort has wonderful views towards the mountains and Amphitheatre in the distance.  Unfortunately covered in clouds in the photo.

My mouth hung open when I saw the ablution facilities.  A lot of caravan parks have ablution facilities that aren't new but in acceptable condition and kept clean while others are in desperate need of an upgrade.  The Drakensville ablution blocks look like they were revamped recently and are in stunning condition.  There is also somebody about all the time to make sure its clean.  I give their ablution facilities 10 out of 10. 

The resort is layed out like a small village as it was originally constructed as a construction village for the nearby dam and hydro electrical plant before being turned into a holiday resort.  The self catering units are all full houses with all the necessary facilities and fully kitted out.  The gardens in the resort are also in stunning condition and well maintained.

One of the benchmarks of all the holiday resorts under the ATKV banner is that they have super swimming pool facilities.  Drakensville has both a heated indoor as well as outdoor swimming pool.  The indoor pool is open till quite late in the evenings and a lot of people head back there after dinner to just relax in the warm water.  Personally I would have liked the outdoor pool to be a normal cold pool cause with the hot and humid days of Natal in summer you often need to cool down and a warm pool doesn't then help much.

The kids' favorite was the super tube.  Its a "friendly" water worm and not as fast as some I have encountered which made it safe for small kids to use.  Drama Princess even attempted it without her waterwings.  Just a side note.  Up to this holiday neither the Rugrats have ever attempted to swim without they waterwings, but 4 days at Drakensville was enough for them to take them off and learn to swim.  I am so proud of them.

Family resorts like Drakensville organise a lot of activities and entertainment for visitors.  The one day we were there they had box car racing which the kids loved while adults were taken on abseiling and hiking trips.  Before our arrival they also had a number of well known South African singers that performed at the resort as well as theme evenings.  I recommend Drakensville to anybody who wants to have a great family holiday resort to go to, but in my opinion if you want to be in the Drakensberg and don't want the family resort thing then Mahai is still the way to go. 

I have one or two things to criticise though.  But believe me, there is more right than wrong, so I'm just saying and not running them down.
  • We were there the last week of the peak holiday season and my it seemed that the staff was getting tired and not really in the mood to do all the activities anymore.  Most of the activities were also fully booked by the time we checked in and they weren't willing to organise extra outings for people who still wanted to go either. 
  • I asked at reception if they had information about attractions in the area.  The lady told me that they had run out of brochures and nothing more.  I had to literally pull information out of here. She then told me I won't be able to get to Retief Rock or Die Kaalvoet Vrou due to washed away roads.  I have the posts to prove I was there and I drive a Chev Aveo, so quite clearly her information was wrong.  Luckily my spirit of adventure overcame the (wrong) advice and I went to see it.

3 comments:

  1. I'm sure you've also experienced burn out as a guide.

    I was very impressed with the abultion facilities at the places I camped.

    This does look like a great family place.

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  2. Great place for families - lots to keep the kiddies (and not so 'kiddies' busy!)

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  3. All in all though, it looks like a wonderful place for a vacation!

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