Three Tree Hill Lodge Battlefields Spionkop KZN

THREE TREE HILL LODGE, THE BATTLEFIELDS
Where History, Nature & Culture Meet

Three Tree Hill Lodge is located against the magnificent backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, and overlooking the secluded Mfazimnyama Valley of the Spioenkop Game Reserve.  Formerly known as Three Trees at Spioenkop, 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 environment in which to unwind and be rejuvenated.

Close to the base of Van Reenens pass, Three Tree Hill Lodge is also the ideal half-way stop between Johannesburg & Durban, only 27km from the N3 highway. This lodge is the perfect location to base yourself for exploring the major Anglo-Boer War Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal (Battles of Spioenkop and Colenso), the Northern Drakensberg Mountains (world heritage site), and within easy (2hrs) reach of the Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields (Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift).

The name Spion Kop, Spioenkop or Spionkop (Spy or Lookout Hill) was given to this impressive hill by the Voortrekkers in 1837 as they settled along the Tugela River Valley. Spionkop was the original Voortrekker or Boer spelling, and Spion Kop the English version, with Spioenkop as the modern Afrikaans spelling. ‘So, as you wish…’

The intimate, luxury 24 bedded Three Tree Hill 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.

Three Tree Hill Lodge

THE MAIN LODGE

The main lodge living area at Three Tree Hill Lodge has an open-plan design, with four sets of large double doors leading onto the verandah. The result is a flowing space, where you can relax on a comfy chair, read in the afternoon sun and enjoy convivial chatter. In the winter an open log fire and “Dover” coal stove create a warm, welcoming environment.

The lounge is adorned with historical memorabilia and a collection of Africana for guests to enjoy. Puzzles, board games and a variety of books provide entertainment on a rainy day. Pre-dinner drinks are served in this cosy atmosphere, whilst mingling with the other guests and sharing travel tales from around the world.

The diningroom is an elegant room that is separated from the lounge area by a fireplace. With your Three Trees hosts, dining is a family-style affair at a communal table, unless otherwise requested. Buffet style breakfasts and lunches are served either outside on the viewing deck or on the breezy verandah. Dinners are a set menu with three homely farm-style courses followed by port or cognac in front of the fireplace or out under the stars.

The swimming pool area offers complete relaxation under the spreading canopy of an Acacia tree. A short walk down a shady, steep path, brings you to this secluded spot, where the pool is kept warm by an insulated thermal blanket at night. Water temperature ranges between 18 – 24 degrees celsius.

Three Tree Hill Lodge cottages

Double/Twin Cottage

The 40sqm stand-alone 6 X Double/Twin Cottages are clad in corrugated iron exterior & wood panelling interior. They have been elegantly designed to transport you back in time, although are all equipped with modern conveniences. A private verandah is attached to each room. Rooms accessed by fairly steep pathway to main lodge facility.

Kiplings family cottage

Kiplings Family Cottage

2-bedroomed Kiplings Family Cottage is 100sqm stand-alone cottage, which is easily accessible to the main facilities (lounge/dining areas) for young children or people with limited mobility. The 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 18 years) sharing. Or, alternatively 4 adults sharing.

Churchills cottage

Churchills Cottage

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 due to high balustrade and uncovered pool. Fully self contained kitchen with open plan dining and living area, private unfenced pool, braai & entertainment area. Shared deck leads out from rooms.
Ideal for couples travelling together or families with teenagers.

Burchells Cottage

Burchells Cottage

With breath-taking views of the Spioenkop reserve, this 105 sqm self-contained luxury cottage sleeps 4 adults (or 2 adults, 4 children) in 2 separate bedrooms (with private en-suite bathrooms). Children’s (2nd) bedroom has bunk beds and two single beds. Fully self-contained kitchen with open plan dining and living area. Shared deck leads out from rooms with spectacular views of Spioenkop. Un-fenced private swimming pool (does have pool safety net) & entertainment area in the garden.
Ideal for couples travelling together or families.

EXPERIENCES AT THREE TREE HILL LODGE

All guided experiences should be pre-booked & are subject to guide availability. Please allow yourself enough time to enjoy the lodge surroundings and facilities when making your reservation. Recommended minimum stay is 3 nights. Please pre-book to avoid disappointment.

NATURE WALK

Free of charge
Trails (ranging between 2 – 9km) on the farm can be arranged with a guide free of charge. This is a particularly great activity for families with young children that may not join the Game Walk in the reserve. It is an interpretive experience, that focuses on the small things – plants, insects, tracking & even game spotting.

MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDES

Exhilarating mountain bike trails on the farm snake through the hills, following narrow single tracks. Bikes, helmets & gloves are available for the use of guests. Guided trails range between 2km – 20km.

GAME WALKS

Walks in the neighbouring Spioenkop Game Reserve can be pre-arranged with our resident guides. These are more strenuous than the Nature Trails on the farm, as the route does not follow a set trail. Uneven, rocky, hilly terrain will be encountered and walks may last between 1.5 – 2 hours. Maximum number of people is 8. Minimum charge is 2 persons.

Unfortunately, no children under 12 years allowed.
GUIDED HORSE TRAIL RIDING

Trail Rides can be arranged to suit the experience and pace of the riders. Inexperienced rides are approximately 30 – 45 minutes, while experienced rides 60 – 90 minutes. English-style saddles with snaffle bridles are used. Hard helmets are compulsory. These are provided. Rides are taken on the working cattle farm, adjacent to the game reserve, where game may be seen from time to time.

RANGEWORTHY CEMETERY WALK

Walk – no charge
Rangeworthy Cemetery holds the graves of those killed in the battles of iNtabamnyama & Bastion Hill. There is even a Geocache hidden here… Trips to Rangeworthy Cemetery 3km down the road (and back up again!)

HAMBROOK VILLAGE EXCURSION

A truly authentic experience with one of the Three Trees staff members that takes you to the nearby village (8km down the road) for a look into the lives of the Hambrook residents. Pop into the pre-school & visit someone’s home.

Battlefield talks at Three Tree Hill Lodge

BATTLEFIELD TOURS

Battlefield Tours at Three Tree Hill Lodge

Please note that it is essential to pre-book battlefield tours should you be particularly interested. We do not run every single tour type every day, and our guides may already be committed, so it is therefore recommended to stay a minimum 3 nights should you wish to cover some of these tours.

The American Professor Shelby Foot said, ‘You cannot hope to understand the American people without understanding the Civil War.’ It could likewise be said that you have little chance of understanding modern South Africa and South African people if have no understanding of the South African War, aka the Great Anglo-Boer War.

Three Tree Hill Lodge (formerly known as Three Trees at Spioenkop) specializes in the history of the South African War, (2nd Anglo-Boer War 1899 – 1902) with the Battle of Spioenkop being our focal point. One cannot however hope to understand this watershed event (not just for South Africa, but also for Great Britain, being the ‘the longest, the costliest, the bloodiest and most humiliating war that Britain fought in between 1815 and 1914’) without studying what caused one of the smallest countries in the world to declare war on the world’s greatest empire of the time. Our guides, Simon Blackburn and Ron Gold, bring this dramatic period of our history to life, presenting world class, holistic, evocative and insightful tours.

Options to do Tugela Heights, Vaalkrans or any other Voortrekker sites can be arranged on request.

What to expect on tour:

Half day tours begin either at 08h30 & return around 13h00 for lunch or begin after lunch around 13h30 & return at sunset around 18h00. Times will be confirmed by guest numbers at the time.
Full day tours will depart at 07h00 & return around sunset.
Picnic lunches & refreshments are included on the tours. However, it is possible to dine at eateries on the battlefields route at your own cost.

A small amount of walking on fairly uneven terrain is required, so comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Sunscreen, sunhat & sunglasses are always required, winter or summer. Light fleece or jacket to be taken during all seasons. Light rain or windproof jacket also recommended. Binoculars are recommended if you have an interest in nature, as you never know what might be encountered whilst on tour.

Half and full day tours available

BATTLE OF SPIOENKOP

Three Tree Hill Lodge Flagship Tour – half-day (4 hours)
This tour tells of the bloodiest single day of the entire South African War. During January, General Sir Redvers Buller was joined by Lt General Sir Charles Warren, but their renewed attempts to breach the Boer defense line along the Thukela River were unsuccessful. Spioenkop was the highest point on the Boer defensive line and on 23 January 1900, a British attempt to capture it began. Astonishingly, Louis Botha, Winston Churchill and Mohandas Ghandi all played a role in this battle. The result of this battle confirmed that those early disasters of ‘Black Week’ were not merely beginners luck on the part of the Boers. Spioenkop, together with Majuba, are arguably the best known of all the battles between the British and the
Boers.

BATTLE OF COLENSO & CHURCHILL’S CAPTURE

Half day (4 hours)
The Boers, in response to the anticipated arrival of thousands of British troops in Durban, took up defensive positions along the Thukela River near Colenso. In mid December a British force of over 15,000 men, under Sir Redvers Buller, suffered a humiliating defeat in attempting to break through to Ladysmith. In this battle 7 Victoria Crosses were won, contributing to two of only three father & son VCs ever to be awarded. Young Winston was contracted by the Morning Post to cover the war in South Africa. However, his capture near Frere and subsequent remarkable escape, thrust him into the political and public limelight, and arguably launched his political career. Less than a year later, aged 25, he became a MP for Oldham.

LADYSMITH SIEGE, BATTLE OF CAESAR’S CAMP & WAGON POINT

Half/full day (4/8 hours) – season dependant
The siege of Ladysmith lasted 118 days from 02 November 1899 until 28 February 1900. The town was the northern post of the British garrison in Natal, chosen for its strategic position on the Klip River and the junction of the railway lines from Durban to both the Free State and Johannesburg, providing communications between the harbour and the interior.

ANGLO-ZULU WAR TOURS: ISANDLWANA AND RORKE’S DRIFT

Full day (10 hours)
The British army under Lord Chelmsford had moved from the Eastern Cape border to the Zululand border during 1878. When the British ultimatum to the Zulu king, Cetshwayo, expired in January 1879, the British invaded Zululand in three separate columns. The Battle of Isandlwana took place when the central British column came into contact with the Zulus and suffered a humiliating and bloody defeat at the hands of a spirited Zulu army.

BATTLE OF BLOOD RIVER 1838, BATTLES OF TALANA & ELANDSLAAGTE

Full day (10 hours)
In 1838, the mighty Zulu army was defeated for the first time by the Voortrekker Commando under their leader, Andries Pretorius, hereby opening the way for the proclamation of the first Boer Republic – The Republic of Natalia. Talana was the Boers opening gambit in Natal, and although hailed as a British success, it was a pyrrhic victory with the Boers withdrawing in good order, leaving major casualties on the British side, including their general. Elandslaagde, fought the next day, was, after a bloody struggle, a decisive British victory. It may be considered to be the last of the set-piece battles of the war. Curiously, having driven the Boers from the railway line, the British immediately withdrew, allowing the Boers to re-occupy it.

SPECIALS VALID 18 JAN – 31 MAR 2022

Double / Twin Room R2900 per person per night includes all meals

Excludes:  Activities, drinks, R150 per adult / R75 per child per night conservation levy

6 Standard Cottages – 3 x Twin and 3 x Double bed room with dressing table, en suite bathroom, private deck, tea/coffee station, overhead fan, panel heater, hand-crafted guest amenities ZAR
Fully Inclusive
1 Jan – 30 April 2022
Per adult sharing  R    5 543.53
Single adult 50%  R    8 315.29
Child sharing – 18 years old  R    3 077.65
1 May – 30 June 2022
Per adult sharing  R    5 148.24
Single adult 50%  R    7 722.35
Child sharing – 18 years old  R    2 931.76
1 July – 31 December 2022
Per adult sharing  R    5 543.53
Single adult 50%  R    8 315.29
Child sharing – 18 years old  R    3 077.65
Includes: Luxury Accommodation, all meals, Soft drinks, local spirits, beers and house wines, 2 guided activities per day (see below), WiFi, VAT
Excludes: Community & Conservation Levy (R150 per adult per night, R75 per child per night), Child minding, Laundry, Curio purchases, Gratuity, Activities not on selected list
Full Board
1 Jan – 30 April 2022
Per adult sharing  R    3 915.29
Single adult 50%  R    5 872.94
Child sharing – 18 years old  R    1 449.41
1 May – 30 June 2022
Per adult sharing  R    3 520.00
Single adult 50%  R    5 280.00
Child sharing – 18 years old  R    1 303.53
1 July – 31 December 2022
Per adult sharing  R    3 915.29
Single adult 50%  R    5 872.94
Child sharing – 18 years old  R    1 449.41
Includes: Luxury Accommodation, all meals, Teas & Coffees, WiFi& VAT
Excludes: All beverages(including the sundowner and after dinner drinks), Activities, Community & Conservation Levy (R150 per adult per night, R75 per child per night, Child minding, Laundry, Curio purchases, Gratuities
Kiplings Cottage – Luxury 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage suitable for families or people with limited mobility.
Small kitchenette & lounge area with fireplace. Private verandah with sand pit under shady tree.
Fully Inclusive
1 Jan – 30 April 2022
Per adult sharing  R    5 769.41
Single Adult  R 11 538.82
3rd & 4th adult  R    5 548.24
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    3 077.65
1 May – 30 June 2022
Per adult sharing  R    5 355.29
Single Adult  R 10 710.59
3rd & 4th adult  R    5 148.24
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    2 931.76
1 July – 31 December 2022
Per adult sharing  R    5 769.41
Single Adult  R 11 538.82
3rd & 4th adult  R    5 548.24
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    3 077.65
Includes: Luxury Accommodation, all meals, Soft drinks, local spirits, beers and house wines, 2 guided activities, per day (see below) Wifi, VAT
Excludes: Community & Conservation Levy (R150 per adult per night, R75 per child per night), Child minding, Laundry, Curio purchases & Gratuities, Activities not on selected list
Full Board
1 Jan – 30 April 2022
Per adult sharing  R    4 141.18
Single Adult  R    8 282.35
3rd & 4th adult  R    3 915.29
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    1 449.41
1 May – 30 June 2022
Per adult sharing  R    3 727.06
Single Adult  R    7 454.12
3rd & 4th adult  R    3 520.00
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    1 303.53
1 July – 31 December 2022
Per adult sharing  R    4 141.18
Single Adult  R    8 282.35
3rd & 4th adult  R    3 915.29
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    1 449.41
Includes: Luxury Accommodation, all meals, Teas & Coffees, WiFi& VAT
Excludes: All beverages(including the sundowner and after dinner drinks), Activities, Community & Conservation Levy (R150 per adult per night, R75 per child per night, Child minding, Laundry, Curio purchases, Gratuities
Burchells Cottage & Churchills Cottage
Burchells – Luxury, self contained 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage, kitchen, lounge, braai & pool area. Bunk beds, puzzles & toys in children’s room. Sleeps 2 adults, 4 children.
Churchills – Luxury, self contained 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage, kitchen, lounge, braai & pool area. High balustrade & uncovered pool. Sleeps 4.
Fully Inclusive
1 Jan – 30 April 2022
Per adult sharing  R    6 602.35
Single Adult  R 13 204.71
3rd & 4th adult  R    6 602.35
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    3 077.65
1 May – 30 June 2022
Per adult sharing  R    6 103.53
Single Adult  R 12 207.06
3rd & 4th adult  R    6 103.53
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    2 931.76
1 July – 31 December 2022
Per adult sharing  R    6 602.35
Single Adult  R 13 204.71
3rd & 4th adult  R    6 602.35
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    3 077.65
Includes: Luxury Accommodation, all meals, Soft drinks, local spirits, beers and house wines, 2 guided activities, per day (see below) Wifi, VAT
Excludes: Community & Conservation Levy (R150 per adult per night, R75 per child per night), Child minding, Laundry, Curio purchases & Gratuities, Activities not on selected list
Full Board
1 Jan – 30 April 2022
Per adult sharing  R    4 969.41
Single Adult  R    9 938.82
3rd & 4th adult  R    4 969.41
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    1 449.41
1 May – 30 June 2022
Per adult sharing  R    4 470.59
Single Adult  R    8 941.18
3rd & 4th adult  R    4 470.59
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    1 303.53
1 July – 31 December 2022
Per adult sharing  R    4 969.41
Single Adult  R    9 938.82
3rd & 4th adult  R    4 969.41
Child sharing – 18 yrs  R    1 449.41
Excludes: All beverages(including the sundowner and after dinner drinks), Activities, Community & Conservation Levy (R150 per adult per night, R75 per child per night, Child minding, Laundry, Curio purchases, Gratuities
Activity Costs Per Person – included in Fully included Rate ** Please pre-book guided experiences
Guided Anglo Boer War Battlefield Tours 4 hrs, min 2 guests per person  R       900.00
Guided Horse Trail Ride 1.5 hrs per person
Guided Spioenkop Game Reserve Hike 1.5 hrs, min 2 guests per person  R       495.00
Mountain Bike Rental (with helmet & gloves) per person  R       495.00
Village Tour 2 hours per person  R       395.00
Extended Activity Costs – excluded in Fully included Rate
Drakensberg Guided Hike min 2 guests  R    3 200.00
Guided Anglo Zulu War Battlefield Tours 10 hours, 1-10 guests, per tour  R    9 000.00

 

Subject to Availability. Terms & Conditions Apply. E&OE

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