Black Friday November 2017

Black Friday 2017

One hour flash sale ends at 10am

55% discount on a 3 night booking for two persons between 11 December 2017 and 13 January 2018

R6240 – 55% = R2808

First fully paid booking will receive one free dinner for two (Set Menu) 

Terms and Conditions

Subject to availability. Consecutive nights only – booking cannot be split. Full payment required to confirm booking. Available until time indicated or until sold out. Non refundable. No changes allowed after confirmation. Regret No Children 

Email booking enquiries to – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Black Friday 2017

6 Spectacular slackpacking trails in South Africa

Do you love exploring mountains and valleys on foot, but hate carrying a crippling load on your back? Try Slackpacking. Youcan move far and fast over difficult terrain because you’re carrying a small pack or no pack at all. Slackpacking is backpacking without carrying the gear or sleeping outside.

While everyone else is busy setting up camp in a lean-to or under the open sky, a slackpacker is either driving home or driving to a guest house/hotel, to enjoy the convenience of indoor plumbing and comfortable sleeping arrangements, plus, of course, a good bottle of wine and a scrumptious dinner.

What it basically comes down to is enjoying all the benefits of a multi-day hike, the exercise, the beautiful scenery and of course the fresh air, without the burden of a heavy backpack. It's important to have a few basic snacks, first aid and water at hand, so a small day pack will suffice. A special porterage service delivers the rest of your kit to your accommodation every evening. 

Not all slackpacking trails are created equal. While the most luxurious thing about some is the fact that you can enjoy a good bottle of wine and a scrumptious dinner - that you didn't carry, and enjoy luxurious sleeping quarters and catered meals. 

We take a look at a few of the most popular slackpacking trails currently on offer throughout South Africa. 

Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail

http://www.tsitsikamma.info/listing/tsitsikamma_mountain_trail

The Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail journeys through lush forests and mountain fynbos. Ancient river gorges and abundant rivers and streams provide plentiful swimming opportunities.

Beginning in Nature’s Valley and ending 60-km further at either the Storms River Bridge or Village, this six day, unidirectional trail takes hikers through the heart of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Shorter variations (2,3,4 or 5 days) are possible as each of the five overnight huts has its own unique access route with safe parking at the start.

Optional equipment porterage (slackpacking) now provides hikers with the chance of having all their equipment transported between overnight huts, allowing the luxury of carrying only daypacks on each day’s journey.This makes the trail accessible to a wider range of people and provides all with more time for swimming, photography, birding and other activities usually limited by time or weight constraints.

Field guides and binoculars are definitely recommended along this exciting and unpredictable journey. Many of the forest giants are labeled with their tree names and hikers can have much fun with guessing and identification games along the route.

The Tsitsikamma Trail was South Africa's first officially accredited hiking trail and has recently been allocated the Green Flag Certificate for a trail under excellent management.

 Highlights: The scenery is absolutely breathtaking throughout and the hike takes you through a variety of vegetation types - from hardy fynbos to fragrant pine plantations and finally lush indigenous forests that feel steeped in magic. 

Accommodation: You will spend every evening in extremely rustic wooden cabins in picturesque and pristine locations. There is no power and no hot water... However, you can have a hot shower if you go to the trouble of boiling water over a fire and then decanting it into a bucket, which will serve as a make-shift geyser of sorts, suspended above you. Each hut has flush toilets and a boma area equipped with braai grids, kettles, cast iron pots and a pan for preparing food.  

Catering: Self-catering. Pack your various evenings' meals in a cooler box, marked clearly with which package is for which evening. The food will be stored at the Lottering Forestry station and the porterage staff will deliver the cooler box with the correct package (as well as beverages you supplied - although keep in mind that there is a weight limit) every day.      

Best time to go: Early July is a surprisingly good time to go, as rainfall is unlikely. While evenings and early mornings can be a bit chilly, days are pleasant - not too hot or too cold.

Fitness level: - Prepare for the hike by doing a few day walks over uneven terrain. 

Donkey Trail, Calitzdorp

http://www.donkeytrail.com/trail.php

As the name suggests, hikers are accompanied on the trail by donkeys to assist in carrying heavy luggage and equipment on this 26-km journey. The 4-day hike takes you back in history, as you explore the Gamkaskloof using footpaths that residents of the isolated valley used between 1830 and 1962 before road access was granted.    

Highlights: Immerse yourself in the Little Karoo culture and scenery. By doing this trail you are also contributing to a donkey rehabilitation program, as all of the animals were rescued from undesirable conditions and are now guaranteed excellent handling and healthcare. Furthermore, guides and handlers are all from the local communities. 

Accommodation: The first evening is spent at the Living Waters Mountain Estate, the second in a two-man tent that will be set up for you by your guides in the middle of the veld, the third in a cosy cottage in Cape Nature's Swartberg Nature Reserve and the last night back at Living Waters. 

Catering: The hike is fully catered - breakfast, snacks, lunch and supper.

Best time to go: March - June and then September to January

Fitness level: - You need to be fit to complete this trail

Whale Trail, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Overberg, Western Cape

http://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/de-hoop-nature-reserve/?activity=hiking&activity_name=whale-trail

The route stretches over 55 km from Potberg to Koppie Alleen in the De Hoop Nature Reserve and includes five overnight stops.

Highlights: Well, if you go at the right time of year you will be treated to incredible whale sightings! This doesn't mean it's not worth going at any other time. No matter when you choose, you will be treated to spectacular scenery, fresh sea breezes and fragrant fynbos. 

Accommodation: As De Hoop says on their website, roughing it wasn't part of the package when accommodation was planned. Each night will be spent in the comfort of four walls, ranging from quaint Arniston-style beach houses to A-frame thatched cottages. Bedding is provided and each cottage has a fully equipped kitchen as well as both an inside and outside braai area. 

Catering: Self-catering. Similar to the Tstsikamma trail, your meals will be brought on a daily basis in a cooler box you pre-packed.

Best time to go: Whales are abundant between June and December, however if you want to catch the most spectacular shows, September is definitely your best bet. The weather should also be relatively mild at this time - neither too hot, but not freezing either. 

Fitness level: Moderate fitness level required

Silver Sands Trail, Namaqualand

http://www.namaquasilversands.co.za/

The Silver Sands Trail offers hikers a luxurious journey down one of the most inhospitable and pristine coastlines in the world. Located in the Northern Cape's Namaqualand, the trail is specifically geared at flower appreciation. It covers a distance of 55km, stretched over  5 days.

 Highlights: As mentioned above, the trail is only open during the flower season, which means you will be treated to breathtakingly beautiful, colourful landscapes. However, this also means that the competition is tough, so be sure to book well in advance!

Accommodation: What makes this trail extra comfortable is the fact that you will be staying in the same place throughout. Base Camp forms the centre of all hikes, with safari vehicles dropping hikers off at starting points up to 16km away or delivering back home after a full day of hiking out. Base Camp takes the form of fully-equipped, semi-luxury tents.  

Catering: Silver Sands Trail is fully catered

Best time to go: Mid-August to end of September, which is really the only time to go.

Fitness level: - Must befit enough to hike 3km along the beach.

Pondo Hopper, Wild Coast

http://www.active-escapes.co.za/destination/wildcoast/hikes/pondo-hopper.html

Experience the Wild Coast in all its most wild glory by trekking it on foot. Organised by Active Escapes, the Pondo Hopper trail offers hikers a choice between a 3- or a 5-day hike. It starts at Msikaba and finishes at Mbotyi for the 3-night option or Port St Johns for the 5-night option. 

Highlights: You will get to see some seriously amazing sites that not many others have laid eyes on. These include the deepest estuary in South Africa at Msikaba, Waterfall Bluff, which plunges 80km directly into the ocean, friendly Pondo villages and sweeping vistas. 

Accommodation: Every night is spent in twin bedded safari tents on wooden platforms under thatch boma's - with en-suite ablutions & hot water gas shower. Central dining boma where your meals will be prepared and served.

Catering: Fully catered.

Best time to go: During the annual sardine run (June-July), the ocean is a-frenzy with game fish, dolphins, sharks and myriad seabirds.

Fitness level: Daily distances are between 10km and 17.5km a day, through a variety of terrain

Wolhuter Wilderness Trail, Kruger National Park 

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/tourism/activities/wilderness/trails/wolhuter.php

The first ever wilderness trail to be offered in the Kruger Park, Wolhuter allows hikers to get right up close to the wildlife in the company of an experienced guide. The trail is situated roughly between Berg-en-dal rest camp, Ship mountain and Afsaal picnic site. The trail stretches over three nights and two days. 

Highlights: Wilderness qualities are high as the trail area is far removed from the boundaries of the Kruger National Park. It's incredibly scenic and also, as mentioned above, allows you to get right up close to all sorts of wildlife - from harmless antelope to intimidating elephants and toothy predators... if you're lucky. The guide accompanying you will also be a constant source of knowledge.

Accommodation: The trail starts and ends at a base camp where guests sleep in rustic, but cosy overnight huts. Ablutions facilities consist of flush toilets and gas geyser showers.

Catering: The trail is fully catered, offering simple yet delicious meals. Hikers must bring their own drinks. 

Best time to go: During the winter months, as summer months can see temperatures soaring into the mid-40s (degrees Celsius), making walking a strenuous endeavour. Insects, especially mosquitoes, are also less bothersome during this time.

Fitness level: Moderate fitness level required

African Grey Hornbill

We had a visit from an African Grey Hornbill this morning, so that it could partake in a fruit salad snack with a Go-away bird (Grey Lourie).

Either it is lost or it has heard about the excellent Tladi Lodge hospitality :)

Apologies for the poor quality but it was taken through a glass door and a drop-down blind

Happy 2016

I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.

So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

 Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, this year and forever.

 Quote from Neil Gaiman

 

 

Jacarandas

Jacaranda trees

The Jacaranda tree is striking when it’s lilac-blue floral show dominates the landscape. Jacaranda trees were introduced to South Africa in the 1880’s and have invaded most parts of South Africa, especially Pretoria (Tswane). Most people think that Jacaranda trees are native to Pretoria but they were imported from Argentina. During the months of October and November, Pretoria is transformed into a glowing purple mass. Jacarandas line the streets, dot the parks and gardens and carpet their floors with blossoms. It is estimated that there are about 65000 Jacaranda trees in Pretoria - nicknamed the Jacaranda City.

The Blue Jacaranda likes to grow where there is no risk of frost and they can tolerate temperatures of -7ºC. Sadly, since the Jacaranda tree is exotic, it is considered to be invasive, therefore no new trees are allowed to be planted. Recently laws were passed that allow existing trees to be kept, but they may not be replaced when they die.

 

Tladi Lodge are “greening” up


Set on 2 acres of tranquil, well-manicured, and mostly indigenous garden, with a stunning swimming pool. Tladi Lodge, a beautifully thatched guest house, is something you wouldn’t expect to find in the middle of Sandton. Thatch is by far the most natural product to use on your roof as it is harvested off the land. With the high thermal properties of thatch there is very little need for any other products to create insulation. Thatch still remains the most natural and eco-friendly roofing solution.

 

If you feel like being active, you can go for a walk or a run in the neighbourhood, or take a dip in the salt chlorinated pool that is kept clean and hygienic with saline salt solution instead of eye-burning chlorine.

With stylish bedrooms, luxurious down duvets, high quality linens and fluffy bath robes to snuggle into, there is also a friendly and personal touch from owners Ian and Sylvia, who apart from running a slick and comfortable operation, go that extra mile by providing a little nightcap of sherry in each bedroom for guests to relax and enjoy. Their friendly staff ensure that guests are well taken care of with full breakfast and dinner options available.

The old inefficient fireplace has been replaced by a closed system fireplace, also referred to as a slow combustion fireplace, offering one of the most effective, environmentally-friendly ways of heating a home. In the kitchen are four bins to recycle glass, tin, plastic and paper.

Energy savings include keeping electricity usage down to a minimum through natural lighting and the use of energy saving light bulbs. Five hot water geysers have been replaced with two heat pumps, with each heat pump only consuming about 30% of the electricity that one geyser would consume.

Water and detergents are saved by only replacing towels placed on the floor and eco-friendly detergents are utilized.

Tladi Lodge are trying to do the right thing by being eco-friendly and decreasing their carbon footprint wherever possible. Stay at a green Guest House during your business trip. Stay at Tladi Lodge - a perfect stop over for the busy business executive, conference delegate or leisure traveller.

Tladi Lodge Open Day

 

 Please join Tladi Lodge

for an open day to view our conference room, newly renovated rooms and the rest of our facilities!

11 September 2015

Between 10am and 1pm

Tladi Lodge Open Day 

Address: 44 Edward Rubenstein Drive, Sandton

Please RSVP before 5 Sept to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If the date does not suit you, please let us know and we will schedule a suitable date and time JUST for you Wink

 

The Origin of the Christmas stocking

The most popular legend about why stockings are hung at Christmas goes something like this:

A recently widowed man and father of three girls was having a tough time making ends meet. Even though his daughters were beautiful, he worried that their impoverished status would make it impossible for them to marry.


St. Nicholas was wandering through the town where the man lived and heard villagers discussing the family’s plight. He wanted to help but knew that the man would refuse any kind of charity directly. Instead, one night, he slid down the chimney of the family’s house and filled the girls’ recently laundered stockings, which happened to be drying by the fire, with gold coins. And then he disappeared.


The girls awoke in the morning, overjoyed upon discovering the bounty. Because of St. Nicholas’ generosity, the daughters were now eligible to wed and their father could rest easy that they wouldn’t fall into lonely despair. Whew! While obviously far-fetched, this tale of unknown origin and date is most widely referenced when it comes to the history of the Christmas stocking.


If you celebrate Christmas, what’s your stocking of choice?
A tube sock, a silk stocking, the traditional red and white variety, or something else completely different?

Three fun Winter festivals to diarise

Three fun Winter festivals to diarise

Cellar Rats Port & Red Wine Festival, Magaliesburg 31 May 

Enjoy some of South Africa's best ports, sherry, dessert wines, potstill brandy & red wine at the Old Mill in Magaliesburg. There will also be delectable warm winter food. Only a 40 minute drive from Johannesburg's northern suburbs.

Tickets cost R105 for adults and R10 for kids, who will have supervised entertainment throughout the day. Designated drivers get in free. The event starts at 11:00 and ends at 15:00

Dullstroom Winter Festival, Dullstroom 3 - 5 July 

Famous for being one of South Africa's top fly fishing destinations, Dullstroom will take on a festive atmosphere during the first week of July, as some top local artists will descend upon the town to warm everyone up with some toe-tapping tunes.

Apart from the musical element, there will also be a mountain bike race as well as a 10km trail run. Featuring Khan from Parlotones, Southern Gypsy Queen and Robyn Auld to name but a few, there's a lot to look forward to.

Oppikoppi, Northam 7 – 9 August 

South Africa's quintessential rock festival will be drawing thousands of music fanatics and good time chasers to the dustiness that is Northam in Limpopo. Confirmed artists include Albert Frost, Black Cat Bones, Livingston, Southern Wild, Crystal Park and The Bearded Ladies. 

Tickets are going for R750, which includes a festival pass and allows you to pitch a tent in the designated camping areas. However, if you're after a bit of comfort, you can always opt for one of the fancy tent hotels.

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