Lotheni Camp
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4.0
#1 of 1 ranch in Himeville
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.2 of 5 bubbles
Value
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HOTEL STYLE
Budget
Charming
Property amenities
Free parking
Room features
Kitchenette
Refrigerator

Location

Himeville South Africa
Getting there
King Shaka Intl Airport
155.2 km
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28Reviews2Q+A7Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Genna G wrote a review Apr 2021
Nottingham Road, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I are keen fly fishers, we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and decided that the mountains and Lotheni were where we wanted to be despite the bad reviews I had read. We approached the weekend with a mindset braced for the worst but as is often the case we were so wonderfully surprised! I packed as though we were going camping, even linen for just in case. Most of it wasn't necessary but here are a few things to bear in mind:
Chalet no 1 and 2 - best views and a bit of shade. (we moved our bed so that we could wake up with the view
Linen is crisp and clean, as were the chalets (friends came with)
No shower - we took a portable one with a bucket but the bath was clean.
Kitchen small, basic pots and pans supplied, teeny little gas oven,
We took foil containers both big and small, last minute throw in the trolly but thank heavens we did as all that was in the cupboard was a massive salad bowl.
Three plates, three knives, three spoons and teaspoons supplied.
Take a sharp knife and a few cooking utensils. Most are missing
I wouldn't recommend the outside braai, we took a little portable one.
The actual camping campsite is far from the river but still absolutely beautiful, unfortunately they have thorny acacia trees littered about so leave the blow up mattress at home.
I know the chalets are lacking and there is a lot that should be done but the location, the friendly staff, the stunning river and the mind-blowing views (the stars, the stars, the stars!) all make this an incredible place to visit so keep an open mind and enjoy the experience.
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Date of stay: March 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Chalet's one and two
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Sophia W wrote a review Jan 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa132 contributions21 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Simes cottage is a converted old farm house and can accommodate 10 people in four rooms. The house has a very dirty carpet almost throughout. The kitchen door didn't open easily. Cupboards in the kitchen didn't close - basic lack of maintenance and care took away from the joy of being in this most gorgeous setting.
Sheets are torn and stained, mugs are chipped, kitchen utensils dirty... you get the picture.
They claim that the museum is an attraction - don't bother going! What a sad state of affairs.
I wish that KZN Wildlife would pay a bit of attention to this place - it could be a stellar attraction. Walking trails are lovely (although, again, need to be maintained).
The frogs in the dam put on a wonderful concert every night, the views were majestic and the horses and baboons and buck and birdlife abundant.
Read more
Date of stay: January 2020
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Room Tip: Chalets are a bit more upmarket. Simes Cottage can host a lot of people.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Rose2011085 wrote a review Jun 2021
Vancouver, Canada50 contributions8 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My family stayed in Simes Cottage at Lotheni Camp in May 2021. The drive from the Underberg exit on the N3 is slow going where the road is poorly maintained but you are rewarded with spectacular views. The cottage is well described as rustic but was very well equipped and the gas hot water and lamps worked perfectly. Everything is old but it was perfectly clean and the beds were comfortable. Linen is provided. There is a braai area and big fireplace and wood can be purchased at camp reception. The camp staff do an amazing job with limited resources. The area around the camp is simply stunning.
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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: We didn't see any sign of trout in the dam while we were there.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Will507 wrote a review Jul 2014
Johannesburg, South Africa10 contributions12 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Lotheni is a quiet nature reserve set at the foot of the Drakensberg escarpment with a view of the Southern side of the Giants Castle. It is down a 45km dirt road, which is well graded and easy to drive in a high-clearance vehicle. There are some stony patches and an ordinary sedan can do it as long as you drive carefully and slowly over the rough parts. There are relatively few corrugated areas.
Lotheni itself is splendid. A small set of 3 bed thatched chalets perched on a rise overlooking the river valley. The chalets are serviced daily the linen is simple, the blankets warm and the fire place place in the bedroom does the rest. Kitchen has a 2 burner gas stove and small oven and gas fridge, The bathroom is bath only - no shower and heated with gas. The gas will warm the water well provided you are patient. The reserve also boasts a beautiful campsite 2km further up the valley as well as 2 cottages and a private cottage with it's own trout dam.
Walks are generally easy to manage with a choice of flattish well-marked trails and some steeper hikes. Lengths range from 4km to overnight. The reception has a small shop stocked with basic foods (soups, tinned meat, chocolates and beer). They sell wood and charcoal. In my experience you are well advised to take cash in case the card machine isn't working.
Lotheni offers great value at R400 per night for a 3 bed chalet, there is almost nowhere that charges so little for so much in the Drakensberg. The Chalets have no plug points so make sure any electrical gear has well charged batteries. Electric light is provided between 5pm - 10pm, the rest of the time it is moonlight and candles.
There is little visible wildlife beyond baboons. There are some quite special birds - Yellow Pipit, Buff streaked Chat, and we saw 2 of the ultra rare Bearded Vultures in the valley. A magnificent lonely stretch of country that should be on every nature lover's list.
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Date of stay: July 2014
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: They all have great views and all are utterly silent.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jeanine J wrote a review Nov 2013
Cape Town, South Africa223 contributions52 helpful votes
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Expect spartan but comfy accommodation (that does need a redo to be honest) in breathtaking mountain surrounds. But considering the low rates its a pretty fair deal. R450 per night for 2 - 3 peeps is really not bad. At Giant's Castle you will pay at least double (yes the accommodation is of a better quality but the views are not! Its all about the mountain after all).

Going in november means its only busy over weekends and one can easily find yourself with only one or two other huts occupied, and when you go on a hike you are all alone in the mountains!!!!. Amazing :-) Were also lucky to have a full moon, so the 180degrees "HD" view of the mountains from the cottage's window was uninterrupted at night! Had all manner of seasons in one day, so the scenery kept changing.

Got there in a normal car, the road really isnt that bad, just take it easy and use common sense, just keep in mind the 62km dirt takes about 1h45min.

Lotheni has less forest parts than lets say Monk's Cowl or Giant's Castle.

do take note about the "no plug points" part so make sure you have adapters/inverters so you can charge your phone or camera in your car.

This was my 3rd trip to Lotheni, i love coming back here because the camp is so small & remote, the views unobstructed and always changing.
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Date of stay: November 2013
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: Best views are to be had to the left of the row of huts, so its numbers 12 - 17 more or less,...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
acorna wrote a review Feb 2016
Vilnius, Lithuania4,610 contributions415 helpful votes
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at Lotheni cottages for two nights and it was most unusual experience. The cottages are well equipped and comfortable, but it is to be remembered that electricity is there only from 5 pm till 10 pm and better be equipped with torches and charge your equipment during that period. There were very romantic kerosine lamps but we did not bother with them. There is also no shower, only bathtub and the water heating system workable if a bit quirky. And there are fridges, too – running on gas! And, if you aare having dinner in the outside roofed area, check, whether there are no bird nests under the roof, or you may have a nasty surprise on your table or in your plate. The environment of the cottages are breathtakingly beautiful, there are nice places for hiking – for example, to Jacob’s ladder waterfall. And there is some wildlife around – baboons, elands, guineafowls, other birds. Memorable stay, indeed.
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Date of stay: February 2016
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: All cottages are quiet and have beautiful viewws from the rooms.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
476francois wrote a review Nov 2017
Pretoria, South Africa54 contributions69 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I have been visiting Lotheni many times over the past 30 years. The mountains and scenery, as always, are majestic and breathtaking. Great hiking is possible in the area e.g. the 2km stroll to Jacob's Ladder waterfall or the 3.5km walk to the most beautiful little waterfall on the Eagle Trail. Daily swims in the warm water at Cool Pools have also become a necessity. The chalets are starting to show their age, but everything was in working order and comfortable. The lack of electricity and cell phone signal is the best way to really get away from it all...
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Date of stay: November 2017
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
CapeTownCurtis wrote a review Oct 2016
Cape Town23 contributions25 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If I lived in Europe or the UK and was depressed by the weather, or Brexit, I would jump on a plane, fly to Durban, and drive a few hours to Lotheni.
We were fortunate enough to have a bit of snow when we here, and that did perhaps really make things extraordinarily beautiful, but this part of the Southern Drakensberg is simply magical.
We stayed in one of the two chalets, which was extremely comfortable and superbly serviced every morning.
All you need to do is bring your hiking shoes and (as always) be prepared for the changeable moods of the Drakensberg.
Read more
Date of stay: October 2016
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ZaniqueThorne wrote a review Sept 2015
Durban, South Africa14 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Spent 3 nights in cottage 2 at Lotheni this last weekend.
The self catering cottage was well equipped and beds surprisingly comfortable.
The views are breathtaking and the peace, soul lifting. Took a short hike to Jacob's Ladder a little waterfall about 1.8km from the cottage and easy enough for the most inexperienced hiker (which I am!). Also went down to the river, which was a bit low because of the recent droughts but still crystal clear and enough ponds to dip yourself into. The staff were pleasant yet unobtrusive. All in all an absolutely wonderful long weekend.
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Date of stay: September 2015
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Emma F wrote a review May 2008
U.K9 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Collection of thatched huts for 2-4 people and two larger individual stonebuilt cottages on a KZN wildlife reserve in the southern drakensburg. Very beautiful spot 50km from nearest town. Access roads fairly rough so need a rugged vehicle to get here but definately worth it. All huts have hot and cold water with basic but functional bathrooms, gas for cooking, braii areas and oil lamps, plus electricity for 5 hours per evening. Extensive hiking trails running from camp .. some easy, some hardcore hikes. Cheap as chips too.
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Date of stay: April 2008
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Rose2011085 wrote a tip Jun 2021
Vancouver, Canada50 contributions8 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"We didn't see any sign of trout in the dam while we were there."
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Genna G wrote a tip Apr 2021
Nottingham Road, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Chalet's one and two"
Read full review
Sophia W wrote a tip Jan 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa132 contributions21 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Chalets are a bit more upmarket. Simes Cottage can host a lot of people."
Read full review
Carmel M wrote a tip Oct 2016
Johannesburg, South Africa182 contributions120 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Cottages are lovely and sleeps 6"
Read full review
acorna wrote a tip Feb 2016
Vilnius, Lithuania4,610 contributions415 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"All cottages are quiet and have beautiful viewws from the rooms."
Read full review
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LOCATION
South AfricaKwaZulu-NatalDrakensberg RegionHimeville
NUMBER OF ROOMS
7
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LOTHENI CAMP - Ranch Reviews (Himeville, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Lotheni Camp
Is parking available at Lotheni Camp?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
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