We kick off our remarkable Great South African Escape tour in the tranquil village of Fort Nottingham, just a stone's throw away from Nottingham Road which forms part of the Midlands Meander in KwaZulu- Natal. The Midlands Meander stretches from Mooi River in the North, Hilton in the south, Karkloof in the east and the foothills of the Drakensberg in the west.
Fort Nottingham was established in 1856 by Queen Victoria, who sent the 45th regiment, The Sherwood Foresters to set up the fort as protection against cattle raids. Pop in at the Fort Nottingham Museum before heading to our first meeting point; Crystal Barn Country Estate:
Crystal Barn is a great place to spring clean your soul. The drive up to the hotel - through a lane of massive oak trees dripping with peacocks - is the first sign that you're about to experience something special. After parking under the beautiful parking bays which are dressed in rose climbers, the friendly horse, Thunderbolt greets and follows you to the Hotel's entrance.
In the main reception, your breath will be taken away by the grand chandelier suspended from the exposed truss double volume space. In the colder months, the wood-burning fireplace is a welcome sight. You will be checked in by Sbu who takes incredible pride in everything he does and one just knows he loves working in this beautiful environment. We've once caught him out taking pictures of the beautiful table settings- and we decided to follow suite:
The offbeat decor at crystal barn is not something that can be very easily described. This eclectic mix of various styles such as French, country and Indian has to be experienced. Decadent food is served at the quirky restaurant; which spills out onto the veranda and rolling lawns down to the lake.
On the first night, we'll introduce you to the SA Adventure Team, where your guides and Medic will do a quick rundown of what can be expected in the following few days on your 4x4 tour. The picture-worthy dinner will leave you completely satisfied.
The fresh air of the Natal Midlands will ensure a wonderful night's rest, and the hearty breakfast served on the stunning veranda will give you all the energy you'll need for our expedition towards Mbotyi River Lodge situated on the Wild coast...
Make sure to look out our next blog post on the Great South African Escape, when the off-road 4x4 adventure really kicks off!
More information on the tour such as dates and costs can be found here: The Great SA Escape 4x4 Adventure
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