Happy Places: Inkosana Lodge – Champagne Valley in the Drakensberg Mountains

As everyone is headed for the beach, scrounging for their spot in the sand, or others breaking the bank for their next overseas trip, consider this…

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
–    Robert Frost


It was our second time to stay at Inkosana Lodge in the Drakensberg, and we’ll go back again.  Here are a few reasons why…

Location, location, location –  About 3.5 hours from Durban and 4 hours from Joburg makes it the ideal spot for us as my orange one’s family is from Durban and we are from Johannesburg.

Service is everything – Although you’ll find Inkosana classified as a backpackers, this is no place that you’ll find someone else’s stinky socks or feel like the sheets need a wash.  The beds get made and rooms are cleaned daily, tea and coffee is available and they even insist on washing your dishes (yes please!!).

Our bedroom at Inkosana

I can get used to the bed made daily!

Keep your piggy bank in tact –  No need to break the budget on this one!  Inkosana offers all sorts of accommodation options from tenting, dorm rooms, chalets with shared bathrooms and chalets or rooms with bathrooms en suite.  Prices are very affordable starting from R100 per person upwards.

Wide open spaces – The land is spacious and you will find ample space on the lush lawns and comfy reclining chairs to watch as the mountains change colour from early in the morning, a beautiful golden tapestry till just before sunset when they turn a shade between grey and purple you can just get lost in.

At night everyone gathers in the great big lounge.  It is one of those places that feel like you have been there before in another life.  So cozy with long wooden dining room tables, strangers become friends.  Some will play cards, others read well-travelled books from far away countries and others brood over a mug of hot chocolate sharing stories from where they come and where they are going.

Views of Monk's Cowl from Inkosana

The mountain on your doorstep

Did I mention the mountain??  – Maybe it is because I’m not used to mountains or maybe it is just because the concrete jungle gives you a fresh appreciation for Mother Nature.  There is something about opening the door in the morning, breathing in the fresh air and seeing the mountain with all its crevices and peaks right there where you left it before the sun set the day before.

So much to do, so little time! –  You’ll have to go again to finish all the things you wanted to do.  Within the gates of Inkosana you can laze about in the enormous lounge, browse through a great magazines selection such as National Geographic, The Economist or the British Hello!, take a hiking trial, play all sorts of board games or build a puzzle.

Further afield, but within a 5 – 10km radius we enjoyed the Drakensberg Boys Choir’s Music in the Mountains Festival (they have shows every Wednesday), the Valley Bakery (a MUST VISIT), took a hike, played a game of golf and had a delicious waffle at the Waffle Hut.  Watch this space for more blog entries on these!

Lounge at Inkosana

The huge sunny lounge at Inkosana

So what’s for dinner? – Once again food options to suit your needs.  Inkosana offers two fully equipped kitchens with lovely big dining room tables or alternatively you can try out their delicious breakfasts and dinners complete with pudding at an affordable rate.


Say howzit to a foreigner –  The foreigners love this place.  We saw Frenchies, Aussies and Pommies, on our previous trip we met some nice Americans too.

Small details –  Ed, the owner has been running the place for 28 years (longer than I’ve been alive), and makes you feel right at home!  Inkosana has the most beautiful herb garden that makes you feel like you are somewhere in Tuscany!  You can pick and choose from the fragrant lavender, fresh rosemary, lemon verbena, chives and a number of others to include in your dishes.

As everyone packs their bags for the long trip to the coast or saves up months of hard earned salary, maybe you should consider Inkosana for your next trip as it will not cost you a bomb and you won’t have to drive far to get there either, not to mention being lost in the simplicity of it all.

Cherry bye



3 responses to “Happy Places: Inkosana Lodge – Champagne Valley in the Drakensberg Mountains

  1. Pingback: Drakensberg: 3 hiking trips from Inkosana Lodge | the marmot post·

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