Eco-friendly Accommodation Giants Castle – KwaZulu-Natal; Drakensberg | Bed & Breakfast, Country Stay, Eco Lodge, Retreat, Guesthouse, Family-friendly, Pet-friendly, Romantic, Weddings & Events, Wheelchair-friendly, Business & Conferencing.
From R1250 per person per night which includes Dinner, Bed & Breakfast.
The Drakensberg is renowned for its dramatic natural beauty, spectacular mountain-scapes, waterfalls and sunsets. Antbear Lodge is situated in the Drakensberg Mountains, a perfect base to explore the very best of what this region has to offer.
Antbear Lodge lies in the middle of a network of dirt roads where the traditional way of life is, for the time being, preserved. A place where your soul can find peace and spirit become recharged. That rustic country feeling has been kept without losing any comfort. Candles are used extensively for atmosphere, as are the fireplaces, and the views are spectacular looking out onto White Mountain, the Natal Midlands and the Drakensberg.
The Lodge has a spacious dining room with a wood-burning fireplace, comfortable lounge with a fireplace and spectacular views, a breakaway meeting room, large veranda and a large meeting room for retreat, team building or training activities. They provide excellent meals and will fit their menu to your expectations.
Located in a uniquely safe area, approximately 15km from the N3, the Lodge is close to many activities as well as some of the most scenic sites and walks in the world. There is also a 750 meter landing strip if anyone wants to fly in.
Antbear Lodge is passionate about what they do and is one of those smaller intimate, kind places that has been lovingly put together. The natural setting of accommodation is stunning and they have managed to encase all this beauty with an atmosphere of comfort and ease.
ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATION GIANTS CASTLE
Antbear Lodge offers 15 individually styled units as either en-suite doubles, family units or luxury suites. Each unit is different and separate from the other, creating a feeling of generosity. The rooms are smartly appointed and individually designed for comfort with features like fireplaces and jacuzzi spa baths.
The Cottages are smartly appointed and individually designed, decorated with uniquely eccentric and artistic wooden furniture. All rooms are comfortable and have the standard features you expect like fireplaces, hair dryers, tea and coffee trays, complimentary carafe of cherry and a mini fridge.
The Luxury Suites have jacuzzi baths and private lounges with their own fireplaces. The beds are king size double beds with a spacious bedroom and generous lounge. The bathroom includes a jacuzzi spa bath as well as a separate shower. They all have stunning views looking out onto the rolling hills of the Natal Midlands and the Drakensberg Mountains
The En-Suite Double Units are slightly smaller than the luxury units; some have jacuzzi baths in the bathroom while others have a shower. The lounge is part of the bedroom and contains an open wood-burning fireplace. The bedroom has a queen size double bed that opens onto a small veranda.
The Luxury Cave is a unique accommodation option that melds nature with luxury creating an atmosphere of privacy and seclusion. Glass doors open onto a wooden deck with hammock chairs and an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Drakensberg Mountains. You could even consider a romantic private dining experience on the deck of your cave under the stars. The unit consists of a tastefully decorated en-suite bedroom with a Jacuzzi spa bath adjoining a lounge with open fireplace.
The Family Units have an upstairs loft with 2 or 3 single beds which is ideal when travelling with children. These are en-suite double rooms with bathrooms that have jacuzzi baths and separate showers. The units also have their own lounges with fireplaces.
A Pet-friendly Unit with a fenced-off area is also available, making it ideal for your fury family member.
Antbear Lodge offers a private dining experience where they setup a table on the deck of your cave and you dine by candlelight under the stars. Alternatively, indulge in hosted dining which makes for great conversation and is a perfect opportunity to plan your next day. You can anticipate delicious meals made using ingredients from their own organic vegetable garden, eggs from their chickens and milk from their cows. They also make our own cheese, butter and yogurt, and bake our own bread.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES
There is plenty to do at Antbear besides relaxing. The owner has a pilot license and microlight at the lodge and loves to take guests with him when the weather is good. To glide together with the vultures or fly along the Drakensberg escarpment is an unforgettable experience. The Drakensberg is renowned for exceptional scenery & tranquility; an ideal place for a destination wedding, group retreat or company breakaway.
Wedding Facilities: The lodge has so much to offer with a 100 seat chapel, wedding venue, own catering and accommodation on one site, all set with the magnificent Drakensberg mountains in the backdrop. The lodge offers a creative, cosy, unique and intimate atmosphere for you to celebrate your special day.
Team Building & Conference Facilities: For company breakaways and team building events Antbear lodge has great conference facilities for any group event. Antbear has a function room, breakaway areas, excellent cuisine, accommodation for 36 people in 14 rooms and breathtaking scenery. Competitive rates can include meals, accommodation, teas, various conferencing equipment as well as the use of their beautiful conference meeting room can seat up to 80 people (cinema style) or a maximum of 30, if seated at tables. Various theme evenings, gala dinners, champagne breakfasts and braais can be organised for conference delegates by prior arrangement.
THINGS TO DO
Horse Riding: Slow and gentle horse rides overlooking the rolling hills of the Natal Midlands and Drakensberg Mountains are available. This guided horse trail is scenic and ideally suited for beginners. On request a horse-riding lesson can be arranged, a wonderful experience of nature for both beginners and more experienced riders.
Walks: Guests are encouraged to go for walks on the farm, and picnic baskets can be arranged for a light lunch on the hill.
Hiking: The area offers hiking trails to fit every level of fitness, even guided. The vulture hides at Giants Castle are perhaps the best options available anywhere to see and photograph these birds. Or add a bit of adrenalin with a canopy tour.
Visit the Nelson Mandela Capture site while you explore the local arts and craft route with cheese tastings, chocolate dipping and meeting some of the artists themselves. And don’t forget about the bushman rock art paintings made by the San people over a period of 4000 years. Come and be inspired by their history and spirituality.
GREEN ACTS FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SOUTH AFRICA
♡ Green Cleaning
♡ Local & Organic
♡ Water Wise Practices
♡ Sustainable Energy Acumen
♡ Eco Architecture
♡ Land Rehabilitation
♡ Community Upliftment
Sustainability is a huge part of Antbear`s ethos. They have used alternative materials like straw bales to build the place and use solar for heating water and a reed bed filter for cleaning waste water. They have made much of the creative wooden furniture found everywhere in the lodge.
They separate and recycle plastics, glass, paper and metal and organic waste is fed to the pig and chickens or to the earthworms for compost.
Only biodegradable products are used as waste water is collected into a reed bed filter which naturally extracts the phosphates and nitrates from the water, and in turn becomes compost. Ecoli is killed off through the suns UV and only then is the waste water returned to the ground.
Guest can expect fresh and nutritious meals at Antbear as they have their own organic vegetable garden. They have cows for milk, chickens for eggs and they bake their own bread. They also make their own jams, pickles, cheese and yogurt. Any other ingredients required are sourced locally where possible.
To conserve water, Antbear harvests rain water and have separated house water from the garden water. The vegetable garden has efficient irrigation and uses the permaculture methods of mulching to maintain moisture in the soil.
The use of electricity, gas and water are monitored on a continual basis and where possible, saving devices have been implemented like low-flow shower heads and LED lighting. Hot water is achieved through solar water heating with gas backup. Their goal is to be completely off-the-grid by 2019.
Antbear`s accommodation options are excellent examples of eco-architecture. Straw bales, cob, rammed earth, sun dried bricks, mud and rocks have been used to build the lodge. Thatch for the roofs of the lodge have been harvested locally on the farm and the bulk of the building materials come from the farm too. This created the need for local labor resulting in a substantially lower impact on the environment.
The owners take their stewardship of the 229 hectare farm very seriously. They have been clearing the valley of invasive alien vegetation such as black wattle, hawthorn and American bramble and have planted hundreds of indigenous trees. The main reason for this is water conservation and erosion rehabilitation. This is an ongoing and continuous battle of cutting back and then redoing the process the following year. So far a 4ha area of the total of 10ha has been cleared to the point where grassland is re-established.
Antbear Lodge has a strict anti-cruelty policy that pervades all aspects of the business including from where animal products are purchased. Their animals are all cared for with respect and love. Attention is paid to feeding them well, no animal by-products like chicken litter. They have also gained a reputation for taking in injured and abandoned animals like orphaned lambs, donkeys from the Highveld Horse Rescue unit, they`ve given a home to an abused pig, refuge to a goat that was run over, and taken in dogs and cats that have been discarded. There are 2 horses that have been retired and now live here too.
The owners of Antbear Lodge believe that the education of young people holds the most promise for social and economic transformation in their community and South Africa. They have therefore sponsored the farm school library, built a class room, donated fencing materials for the school garden, built a school playground and set up basketball nets, and regularly supply stationery and school shoes. They support the Chrysalis Project which is a Non-Profit Organisation working in schools in the Giants Castle/ Kamberg area.