Ox Wagon Lodge

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.oxwagonlodge.co.za/

Situated on the koppie just before descending into Hartebeespoort, Ox Wagon Lodge is hidden away in the bush.

‘This living museum and private hideaway for nature lovers is where you relive the romance of the early Pioneers and Jock of the Bushveld era. The Oxwagon Lodge is a unique concept combining original ossewa with some modern comforts, in an atmosphere of friendliness, bird song and beautiful trees.’ – website.

Below is a picture of the quaint accommodation and the view from the lodge over the Hartebeespoort valley and dam.


Each Lodge has an ossewa attached to it and this is the bedroom or at least the bed where you will sleep for the night like Jan van Riebeck or Simon van der Stel…

This makes this a very unique experience and something you will remember for years to come.


The restaurant and bar area is situated in the middle of the half moon shaped accommodation so you feel what it felt like in those days when the ossewa provided the only form of protection against the enemy and animal predators.

The Ox Wagon Lodge offers a special experience for parties, conferencing, weddings or just a romantic weekend away for two. The Ox Wagon Restaurant serves Sunday lunch including oxtail potjiekos, real farm bread baked in an old handmade oven and other traditional dishes.

Fresh Farm Fusion

At Monaghan Farm

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://www.freshfarmfusion.co.za/

Situated on Monaghan Farm behind Lanseria Airport is the most spectacular hidden paradise called Fresh Farm Fusion restaurant. This feels like a piece of paradise was dropped off for us to use in the middle of the dry winter bushveld.

A great atmosphere and great food at Farm Fresh Fusion makes this the ideal spot for a family lunch or a peaceful breakfast with your partner. I love the outdoor set up and outdoor feel you get indoors. Service was fast, food was fresh and the price was just right.


Monaghan also offers plots for sale for farm style living just a mere 20 minutes outside the city. With excellent security and plots from 1,500sqm to build your ideal home on in the country with Curro private school on the farm – makes for an enticing offer. We had a look at their show house… isn’t this just beautiful.

The Fat Olive

Type: Restaurant

Website: http://thefatolive.co.za/

We took the kids out for an amazing afternoon lunch at The Fat Olive. Situated just behind Lanseria airport this restaurant is a little hidden treasure. Open from Monday – Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sunday for lunch only. It is an ideal family setting next to a small dam, with indoor and outdoor seating.


The venue is ideal for children to explore, climb trees and run around the grass fields. There is jungle gyms and an animal farmyard to explore.


Saturdays and Sundays there is live music on the deck overlooking the dam which creates a great vibe. There is also a beach bar to enjoy a drink and a sundowner, under the trees.


Bookings on Saturdays and Sundays is essential if you want to come and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with family and friends.

Magalies Manor

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.magaliesmanor.co.za/

This beautiful place is only 45 minutes outside of Johannesburg and a great ride out. We went through Muldersdrift, towards Hekpoort and then across to Magaliesburg. The morning air was cool and refreshing, signs of Autumn air fast approaching. On arriving at Magalies Manor we went straight to the restaurant for a buffet breakfast.


Staff were extremely friendly and service was outstanding. After breakfast we took a walk through the grounds and had a look at the facilities and various accommodation available. The grounds were well laid out and the pool looked inviting.


They have various types of accommodation from garden cottages, tented camps, double rooms, family rooms and executive suites. Priced from R1250 per night.

There are some small ponds and paved walkways through the gardens which creates a peaceful, tranquil experience.


Magalies Manor also offers conference and wedding venue facilities and an in-house spa to indulge yourself. What an amazing morning spent with my beautiful wife, we love going out every Saturday on the BMW on our breakfast run.

Mount Grace Hotel and Spa

Type: Accommodation and Spa

Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/jnbmg-african-pride-mount-grace-country-house-and-spa/

We took a ride out to Magaliesburg this morning to African Pride Mount Grace Hotel and Spa. This beautiful 5 star hotel is nestled away in the Magaliesburg mountains, a mere hours ride out of Johannesburg.

We were completely surprised by this beautiful hotel almost hidden away in the mountain and trees. We were escorted to our breakfast table, and offered a warm cappuccino and glass of ice cold water and lemon. Restaurant Twist was an awesome experience and well worth the R255 per head charge for a full buffet breakfast.


After breakfast we then asked reception to show us around the rooms and the spa. We were escorted around the grounds by Billy in a golf cart. There are over 120 rooms on the grounds ranging in price from R2 200 for a Garden room to R4 500 for a Superior room per night.



We were super impressed by the Spa and this would definitely be something we need to try out in the near future.

Leave your stress in the city and emerge from this oasis of tranquility refreshed in body, mind and spirit. There is an outdoor heated jacuzzi, a hydrotherapy garden, floatation pool, steam room, gym and a number of treatment rooms.

This is definitely a place to relax and forget about all your worries.

Kloofzicht

Kloofzicht Lodge and Spa:

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Aprox cost: R2370 per room per night

Website: http://kloofzicht.co.za

We were fortunate to have Sunday lunch at this beautiful lodge and spa. On arriving at the main gate on Sunday afternoon we did not know what to expect? Riding down the road to the main lodge we were met by a number of buck (eland, kudu, wildebees, impala and springbok) along the way, almost as if they were welcoming us to their home. The view of the lodge on the dam, from the top of the road was spectacular and set the tone for what was going to be a weekend to remember and a place we would tell our friends about.

The lodge is situated at the feet of the Zwartkops mountain range in the Cradle of Humankind and provides guests with a number of activities to choose from. There is the fine dining experience of the restaurant, relaxation at the spa, fly fishing at one of the trout dams, a walk up one of the trails or just quietly sitting reading a book on a bench – Kloofzicht has it all.


We thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday lunch and decided to spend the rest of the afternoon walking around the dams and watching some newly weds try their hand at fly fishing. Kloofzicht is also a popular wedding venue with the outdoor chapel right on the waters edge, saying your vows to the sound of a mother goose and her babies on the water must be something special.
Try this restaurant or accommodation next time you just want to break away from the city hustle and bustle.

Cradle Moon Game Lodge

Type: Restaurant and Lodge

Website: https://www.cradlemoon.co.za/

We were pleasantly surprised by this gem  right on our doorstep, literally 15 minutes ride from where we stay in Honeydew. You enter the game lodge through a security gate and then ride up this short potholed road up the hill that doesn’t look very promising, but as you come over the rise a lush green paradise nestled in a valley opens up before you.


We made a reservation for breakfast outside at the pool. We were shown to our table and ordered our coffees. What a beautiful setting, with a number of rondavels spread out under the trees and some zebra, giraffe and buck roaming free on the grounds. Breakfast was a buffet with anything and everything to eat. What a spread. After eating our fill and enjoying the outside summer air, we decided to take a walk down to the lake.


To our surprise we walked around to the dam wall and found the most beautiful falls. Water gushing over the dam wall after all the rains we have had lately was a sight to behold. We then sat on a bench under the trees and chatted about how lucky we are to experience these beautiful places in nature.

Beka Idube

Beka Idube tented camp in Dinokeng

Type: Accommodation

Approx cost: R550 per person per night

Website: http://www.bekaidube.co.za/

We found this absolute gem of a place about 35kms outside of Pretoria, just North of Cullinan. There are 3 luxury tented camps, each with their own splash pool on the deck of the tent. Two of the splash pools are heated with a wood burning fire furnace next to the tent, while the third tent pool is not heated.
Each tent comes with all the usual luxuries including double bed, shower, toilet and electricity, fully equipped with cutlery, linen, Weber braai and an outside braai and boma.


We took an hour and a half ride out from Johannesburg, but it would be a short 30 minute ride from Pretoria. The weather was nice and cool and hardly any traffic on the roads due to the school holidays. There is about 3kms of dirt roads once you reach the Leeuwkloof turnoff.

The camp is located in the genuine bushveld with free roaming game in the reserve. Having your own watering hole right at your tent, ensures you get front row seats to watching these animals drink at first light. I took a walk shortly after arriving to check out the surroundings and game, and came across a family of zebra grazing in an opening. They would not allow me closer than about 15 metres, before they moved off again.

The owner is also an avid miniature horse breeder and they have a number of miniature horses in their stables. This was really the most peaceful, and restful place we have been to, just what was needed to end off a very busy year.

Although it rained off and on the whole weekend, this was still an enjoyable stay, we caught up on some reading time and relaxed in the heated pool… It also rained the whole way home, first time out in the pouring rain, without our rain gear, but we hardly got wet. I just love the protection the Adventure provides, you are sheltered behind the huge tank and front windshield. Thank you to Chris and Coralezet for an amazing weekend. #twothumbsup

Rustig 

Rustig on Oostemoed Reserve 

Type: Accommodation and Restaurant

Website: http://www.rustig.co.za/

We took a 45 min ride out to Rustig this morning it is located about half way between Hekpoort and Hartebeespoort Dam. Rustig is a well-established family farm since 1930, and has various types of accommodation available. The main house, is set against the picture perfect background of the Magaliesberg, there is also a stone house, farm house and luxury tents all form part of the accommodation found at Rustig. There is a large dining hall that can be used for functions and weddings and a communal swimming pool.


We sat on the long veranda and enjoyed the view of the mountain range in the distance, with a cool breeze blowing on this warm summer morning.

We ordered an ice cold water with ice and lemon and then had a look at the menu. We decided on the English breakfast with a cappuccino. The breakfast was delicious and at a reasonable R50 per person.


We just sat and spoke about Christmas, the holidays and our 25 year wedding holiday we are planning to Mauritius in September 2017. The sound of birds singing in the background makes this place a very ‘rustig’ place to relax and chill.


After breakfast we took a short walk around the beautiful gardens, to check out the various accommodations and was pleasantly surprised by the rates. Check out the website for more details. Below is a picture of the tented camp.

Clifftop Exclusive Lodge

Clifftop exclusive safari hideawayType: Accommodation
Approx cost: R4,200 per person per night
Website: http://clifftoplodge.co.za/
This premium exclusive lodge is situated 3 ½ hours from Johannesburg in the Malaria free Welgevonden Private Game Reserve in the Waterberg Mountains.
Clifftop Exclusive Safari Lodge is a special place where service is exemplary and luxury is evident. We had to leave our vehicle at the main gate parking and was picked up by the owners in a Land Rover as the road leading up to the main lodge was too steep and rocky.

Each cabin is perfectly positioned along the cliff overlooking the Sterkstroom River to offer exclusivity and privacy. Each cabin has its own splash pool, outside deck and outside bed for those long summer nights.
We were introduced to our very own butler who would look after us for the weekend, he served us dinner in a private setting at the main lodge. We felt like royalty as the other cabins were all fully booked, but we didn’t see any of the other couples. Each couple was served the 3 course dinner in their own private setting at the main lodge. Quite extraordinary and exclusive and romantic all at the same time.

The next morning at breakfast was the first time we managed to see that there were in fact other couples staying over the weekend. (the price includes all meals and game drives) After breakfast we headed on the first game drive of the morning and came across a number of animals including, Lion, Rhino, various buck, zebra, giraffe and a troop of Elephants.

We were looking for Leopards on our game drive but these shy animals avoided being detected, hiding in the rocky outcrops. Out of sight to the untrained eye. The weekend was most relaxing and enjoyable. We got our fair share of game viewing, relaxing, privacy and 5-star service and food. Before we knew it the weekend was over and we were being driven back down to the main gate for our 3 hour trip back to Johannesburg.