When you wake to the sounds of gentle running water and bird calls, the most distinctive being that of the Southern Boubou, a wave of solitude surrounds you. Looking through the glass doors from the comfort of your bed and all you can see is indigenous vegetation and natural rock formations. There are mountain aloes, thorns and cabbage trees. Beyond the greenery are cliff faces and precarious looking rock formations. The rock stacks look more man made than natural. Aa geologist, I am sure, could explain how these formations were sculpted over the millennia.

There is a ‘lost world’ feeling here at Sewula Gorge Lodge. A prehistoric landscape carved out by rain and running water. The rock combinations form natural walls, pathways and pools with variants of colours and textures. We are though, only a short drive from the town of Estcourt and the N3 highway that links the major cities of Johannesburg and Durban.

We spent the weekend at the lodge with family and friends. It’s a perfect getaway where rest and relaxation are top of the agenda. It is incredibly quiet and peaceful. Even the resident birdlife was relaxed, and mocking chats and cliff martins sat with us on the lodge’s veranda. The younger members of our group, without their phones and electronic devices, had a great time. They played board games and under supervision paddled and played in the flowing water and pools below the lodge. We explored the gorge and made our way to the river where the water was deep enough to swim. The children were straight in cooling off from the hot summer sun.

The lodge has a main building and separate bedrooms all linked by pathways. All the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and various layouts and numbers of beds. Ideal for families, groups and couples. Within the main building there is a fully fitted kitchen, including all cutlery and utensils plus a spacious dining room. We self-catered but the lodge does offer a catering option. We cooked on the fire at night feasting on steak, wors and chops. All accompanied by a few very cold drinks and flowing conversation. Breakfast was cooked in the kitchen and we all sat around the dining room table and tucked in.

Here at Sewula Gorge Lodge you are in an area of outstanding natural beauty. I am not the best birdwatcher or an expert in the study of tree’s, a dendrologist, to give it a title. And I am certainly not a geologist. Like me, and the rest of our group, you need be none of these to appreciate the area and lose yourself in relaxation and get the feeling of solitude.


About Author

People say that Africa has an effect on your soul and Mark Henson the ‘author’ of this site is no exception. He first travelled to South Africa and the province of KwaZulu-Natal in 1993 and has been coming and going every year since. Twice now most years!

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