Set among striking flowering aloes in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains next to Spioenkop Game Reserve is the historic Three Tree Hill Lodge. Spioenkop, the infamous hill where Boers and Brits battled it out during the 2nd South African War, looms in the distance.

Did you know?

Winston Churchill was a courier for the British during the Battle of Spioenkop and wrote that after the battle 'the shallow trenches were choked with dead and wounded'.

Whether you’re a history buff or a birder keen to get active or simply relax in lovely secluded surroundings, the family-run Three Tree Hill Lodge is the perfect destination.

Three Tree Hill Lodge, in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal, is tucked away on a hillside that is a riot of flowering aloes during the winter months.

It overlooks the deep Mfazimnyama Valley of the Spioenkop Game Reserve where you will see plenty of plains game such as zebra, giraffe and many kinds of antelope, plus the mighty white rhino and nearly 300 species of birds.

The lodge looks much the same as it did when General Sir Charles Warren, one of the commanders of the British forces in South Africa during the 2nd South African War, established his encampment nearby. Its green corrugated iron roof and sturdy walls, with a cool, wide wrap-around veranda looking out over the mountains and game reserve, is built in period-style.

Inside the main lodge you’ll dine on home-cooked food lovingly prepared from locally sourced produce. Look out for the copy of one of Winston Churchill’s watercolours of the area, painted whilst he was a war correspondent here.

You’ll stay in one of six twin cottages, simply but comfortably furnished. You can enjoy the magnificent views of the game reserve and Spioenkop from your private deck, or even from your bath.

Although you can hike, visit San rock art sites, play golf or go fishing nearby, it is the tours of Spioenkop Battlefield that bring most visitors to Three Tree Hill Lodge.

Specialist guides bring history to life as they tell the story of this infamous battle in what is still the longest, biggest, costliest and most humiliating war ever fought by Great Britain.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Three Tree Hill Lodge
Tel: +27 (0)36 448 1171
Mobile: +27 (0)82 379 1864

How to get here

From Johannesburg or Durban, take the R616 (exit 230) off the N3 towards Bergville. Turn left on to the D564. Three Tree Hill Lodge is 8km along on gravel roads.

Best time to visit

The winter months of June to September are when the spectacular Aloe Specatabilis is in bloom.

Around the area

Spioenkop Game Reserve, uKhahlamba National Park, Cathedral Peak, Champagne Castle, Ardmore Ceramics, Talana Museum.

Tours to do

South African War battlefields in the area include Colenso, Elandslaagte, Ladysmith and Thukela Heights.

What will it cost

Approx. R1 950pp per night all inclusive (breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee & teas, laundry). A battlefield tour will cost approx. R495pp.

What to pack

Binoculars, camera, sunhat, sunscreen, warm clothes in winter.

Related articles