Three Tree Hill Lodge
Against the magnificent backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, and overlooking the secluded Mfazimnyama Valley of the Spioenkop Game Reserve, lies Three Tree Hill Lodge. This Fair Trade certified lodge, places great emphasis on Sustainable Responsible Tourism and offers spectacular scenery, locally grown farm-style country food with superb hospitality.
It is the ideal position to explore the northern reaches of the Drakensberg mountains. This intimate, luxury 24 bedded lodge is owner-managed by Simon & Cheryl Blackburn whose passion and enthusiasm for Africa’s wildlife, history and culture is immediately evident when you visit. You are welcomed into their home, and invited to experience the warm hospitality, and relaxed atmosphere in their four star family-run lodge.
Your hosts, Simon and Cheryl Blackburn (ex Singita Private Game Reserve and ex Kwando Safari Experience) are both experienced safari & mountain guides. South African-born, they have spent their time together exploring remote parts of Africa. Their four children, Kei, Neo, Jos and Cas have joined them on many of these adventures. On one of their travels, they stumbled across Three Tree Hill Lodge and fell in love with it.
Three Tree Hill employs local Zulu staff from the nearby Hambrook Village, 8km down the road. Most have no previous work experience or formal education, but their great personalities & honest enthusiasm have made training an absolute pleasure. Over the years they have aquired extensive training and skills development through the lodge, with ongoing workshops that inform the staff on current events, technologies & service trends.
The lodge encourages open & honest communication through regular meetings. Staff provide input on various operational issues & suggestions on how to assist the community with upliftment projects. Staff are treated well & fairly, working together as a team. Annual staff appraisals are carried out, which assist the management team in channelling training programmes & team building sessions. This is evident when you are greeted by genuinely friendly, helpful staff.
Three Trees is a certified member of Fair Trade Tourism. Fair Trade certification is based on adherence to specific criteria’s including fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. The certification covering these criteria was chosen on a voluntary basis that is available to providers of tourist accommodation, activities and attractions.
This is a non-profit organisation that promotes responsible tourism in southern Africa and beyond. The aim of FTT is to make tourism more sustainable by ensuring that the people who contribute their land, resources, labour and knowledge to tourism are the ones who reap the benefits. This is done by growing awareness about responsible tourism to travellers; assisting tourism businesses to operate more sustainably; and by facilitating a Fair Trade Tourism certification programme across southern Africa.
Tourism businesses that adhere to the Fair Trade standard use the Fair Trade label as a way of signifying their commitment to fair and responsible tourism.
Three Tree Hill Lodge is a member of the Classic Safari Africa, which is an association of independent, privately owned lodges and camps in some of the most beautiful wildlife areas in East and Southern Africa. Each of these unique establishments offers genuine hospitality and an intimate knowledge of Africa’s environment, and is dedicated to conservation and the involvement of local communities sharing and conserving the spirit of Africa. We do not hesitate in recommending any one of these properties for your next holiday.
NY Times Columnist David Brooks wrote what we believe a vitally important article “The Haimish Line“. We believe that the principles of “Haimish” Travel that he writes about reflect the same principles that we have here at Three Trees. Haimish (heymish) Yiddish word = cozy; homey; familiar This is a measure not by our own hand but one reflected by our guests, and most easily viewed when looking at our Tripadvisor Ratings.
The Blackburns have woven their love and knowledge of nature with the history of the area, which offers guests an unparalleled, diverse, activity-rich experience in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. Being animal lovers, expect to encounter most of the four dogs, some of the seven horses, five cats and twelve chickens during your stay at Three Tree Hill Lodge.
The old-world charm of the lounge/dining area with its large verandahs creates an ideal environment in which to wind down and enjoy nature. Meals are often served outside where one can soak up the views while enjoying the exquisite local farm-style fare.
The main lounge & dining area is linked by a central fireplace. The lounge is adorned with historical memorabilia & collection of Africana for guests to enjoy. Communal dining is the norm, unless otherwise requested.
A buffet style breakfast & lunch is served either outside on the viewing deck or on the verandah. Dinners are a set menu with 3 homely farm-style courses followed by port or cognac in front of the fireplace or out under the stars around the boma fire. Dinner menu is displayed during afternoon tea, with only one choice for each course, so please do let us know if this choice is not to your liking, so we may have time to prepare an alternative. Fresh, farm ingredients sourced locally or grown on site. Vegans, coeliacs, omnivores all catered for provided we receive prior notification.
These 40sqm stand-alone cottages are clad in corrugated iron exterior & wood paneling interior. They have been elegantly designed to transport you back in time, although are all equipped with modern conveniences such as heated towel rails, overhead fans and panel room heaters. 100% cotton percale linen with hand-embroidery, cotton blankets, duck down duvets & pillows add to your comfort.
A private verandah is attached to each room. Beds can be extra length three-quarter or king size on request. Rooms accessed by fairly steep pathway to main lodge facility.
KIPLINGS FAMILY COTTAGE
This 100sqm stand-alone cottage is easily accessible to the main facilities (lounge/dining areas) for children or people with limited mobility.
Master bedroom has a fireplace & bathroom en-suite (with separate bath & shower). Children’s (2nd) bedroom has bunk beds and two single beds (sleeps 4 children under 12 years) This room has a fully functional bathroom adapted for people with limited mobility. Wheelchair access into the shower, with handrails & fold-away seat make this suitable. Lounge area opens to cozy kitchenette (microwave, wash basin & fridge) with tea/coffee making facility. Verandah leads out to shady sandpit under an Acacia tree. Maximum 2 adults with 4 children (under 12 years) sharing. Or, alternatively 4 adults sharing.
This 105 sqm self-contained luxury cottage sleeps 4 adults (or 2 adults, 2 children – 3rd child on request) in 2 separate bedrooms (with private en-suite bathrooms) No children under 8 yrs of age. Fully self contained kitchen with open plan living area, private pool, braai & entertainment area. Ideal for honeymooners, couples travelling together or families with teenagers.
With breath-taking views of the Spioenkop reserve, this 105 sqm self-contained luxury cottage set in the tree tops, embraces the naturalist-explorer theme after whom the cottage is named. Two en-suite bedrooms, suitable for families of 2 adults & 4 children, lounge, deck & fully equipped kitchen.
From OR Tambo International Airport - 374km – 4 hrs
Driving out of the airport complex head southwest on OR Tambo Airport Rd. Turn left towards exit 46. Take exit 46 on the right to merge onto R24 (Witbank Highway) westwards TOWARDS Johannesburg. After 8.5km there is a large interchange, take exit 113 for N 3 S/N12 towards M2/Kimberley/Germiston/Durban. Merge onto N12/N3 & then slight left to get onto N3. Travel for 329km till you reach the Exit 230 (Bergville/Ladysmith R616) Turn right here for 19km until you see the Three Tree Hill Lodge/Rangeworthy sign. Turn left onto this gravel road (D564) & keep going for 8km till you reach the lodge. Last turn signposted left over the cattle grid.
From Johannesburg - 374km – 4 hrs
Take the N3 out of Johannesburg towards Durban. Travel for 329km till you reach the Exit 230 (Bergville/Ladysmith R616) Turn right here for 19km until you see the Three Tree Hill Lodge/Rangeworthy sign. Turn left onto this gravel road (D564) & keep going for 8km till you reach the lodge. Last turn signposted left over the cattle grid.
From King Shaka International Airport – 277km – 3 hrs
Driving out of the airport complex take 1 st left onto Mdloti Street, then continue onto M65. Keep right at the fork to merge onto the N2. Go for 29km till you reach the interchange 165 – EB Cloete, keep left and follow signs for N3 Pietermaritzburg /Johannesburg (you need to be in the left lane for this and after taking the left off - ramp make sure you get into the right lane for Pietermaritzburg) Exit left on the N3, then head north on the N3 for 219km until you reach the Exit 230 (Bergville/Ladysmith R616) Turn left here for 19km until you see the Three Tree Hill Lodge/Rangeworthy sign. Turn left onto this gravel road (D564) & keep going for 8km till you reach the lodge. Last turn signpost ed left over the cattle grid.
From Durban – 240km – 2,5hrs
Leave the city on the N3, then head north on the N3 for 219km until you reach the Exit 230 (Bergville/Ladysmith R616) Turn left here for 19km until you see the Three Tree Hill Lodge/Rangeworthy sign. Turn left onto this gravel road (D564) & keep going for 8km till you reach the lodge. Last turn signposted left over the cattle grid.