Karkloof Safari Spa Reviews & Information
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The exclusive Karkloof Safari Spa is beautifully surrounded by towering cliffs only 24 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg, in KwaZulu Natal's magnificent Midlands, South Africa. The luxurious Karkloof Safari Spa Boutique Hotel provides luxury and personalised service. The Karkloof Health & Beauty Spa is a rejuvenating retreat blending signature treatments with a uniquely African sensibility.
The scenic 3500 hectares of the Karkloof Reserve are home to, amongst others, white and black rhino, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, impala, kudu, waterbuck, nyala, Red hartebeest, bushbuck, eland as well as five magnificent waterfalls including the 105 m Karkloof Falls.
Accommodation: The Villas
The sixteen separate and individually decorated Villas each feature their hiding place amongst the green trees. Four of the Villas are interconnected which is suitable for families and small groups.
Guests are invited to relax and get comfortable in the luxury where under floor heating takes the coolness of the night; sunsets rival satellite television and chattering birds outdo internet connectivity. The following amenities are available to guests: a well-stocked bar fridge, air-conditioning, heated towel rails, laundry service, bath with a view, work area and large private viewing deck. Streams trickle gently around the villas at the Karkloof Boutique Hotel while linked wooden walkways connect the private Villa's to the Health & Beauty Spa, the Main Lodge and the dining area.
Facilities and Services
- Spa and Wellness Center
- 24-hour room service
- Wireless internet access
- Assisted disabled rooms and facilities
- Complimentary game drive and activities
- Gift shop
- Transfers to visit sites and attractions in the surrounding area
Central Lodge Facilities
The Main Lodge reflects an old world colonial atmosphere. Swarovski crystal chandeliers, oversized blown-glass vessels and hand painted aloes on canvas, make for a unique and comfortable interior. A well-stocked wine cellar is available, premium spirits and cigars are also on offer, an adjoining library welcomes guests for relaxation and selected handcrafted treasures are available in the boutique shop of Karkloof.
Whether guests get comfortable on the deck overlooking the valley or lounge at the heated pool, the pervading feeling is oneness with nature. Meals are freshly prepared and set to satisfy the discerning gourmand in search of health, indulgence or simplicity. Local farms bordering the area of the Karkloof Safari Spa are a source of many of the ingredients like organic avocados and game meat.
The gourmet meals served here are freshly prepared by nature, with every meal a delightful celebration of flavours can be enjoyed. If guests wish to spend a day relaxing by the rock pools and would like to have a picnic basket and refreshments prepared, this can certainly be arranged.
Wooden walkways, paths and trails weave through thorn thickets over dolerite rocks, into the mist-belt forest or across the savannah, allowing guests to wander.
Mountain bikes are available for guests to explore the cinematic splendour of the Karkloof Valley. Alternatively, guests can make use the heated swimming pool, the library, the lounges or the private bar areas to relax and read. The Green' & Tea's Café at the Spa is a calming reflection space for deeper meditation or prayer.
Game viewing is an exciting adventure and includes species of black and white Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest and a multitude of Antelope, warthog and monkeys including the Samango monkey, unique to the area, as well as over 300 species of birds.
The cellar features a hand-picked collection of estate wines and fine champagnes. Wine tastings are available upon prior request.
The boutique getaway offers an incredible collection of books and selected publications in the library for leisure reading. Shopping: The Boutique Shop provides a carefully selected range of hats, clothing, gold and silver fashioned jewellery, carvings and local crafts. Wildlife prints and artworks are also available.
Walking and Hiking:
Wooden walkways, paths and trails weave through thorn thickets over dolerite rocks, into the mist-belt forest or across the savannah. The 106m high waterfall overwhelms guests; colourful butterflies are in abundance including the individual Karkloof Blue Butterfly.
Guests are welcome to make use of one of the bird books at the Lodge. Over 300 species have been counted so far at Karkloof. Ostrich wanders in flocks as turncoats and robins call to each other from the trees. Eagles and buzzards can be observed high above in the sky. At night, wide-eyed owls can be heard.
Below detailed information about the Karkloof Safari Spa is available.
For any queries regarding this hotel, you are welcome to contact us.
- Air Conditioning
- Ensuite / Private bathroom
- Heated towel rails
- Mini bar
- Underfloor Heating
- Viewing Deck
Dining at the Karkloof Safari Spa
The food at the luxurious Karkloof Boutique Lodge near Pietermaritzburg is freshly prepared and organic by nature with every meal a delightful celebration of flavors. Along with the extensive and locally-flavoured decadent international menu, guests at the Karkloof Wellness Retreat can also choose from a wide selection of the very best Organic Gourmet Raw Food Cuisine.
Raw foods contain enzymes that aid their digestion, so they place less strain on the body when eaten. Following a Raw Food diet has many benefits, from weight loss and increased energy to improved immune system and digestion, raised metabolism, and relief from food allergies and eczema.
The raw food meals are mouth-wateringly delicious, nutritious and designed to satisfy even a sweet tooth. If guests have any specific dietary requirements or like anything specially arranged, they are welcome to inform the chef. For guests who wish to spend a day lounging by the rock pools and would like the Lodge to prepare a picnic basket and refreshments for the journey, they are welcome to let the staff know.
Greens & Teas Spa Cafe - Karkloof Safari Spa
The Greens and Teas Spa Cafe at the Karkloof Safari Spa offers refreshments in between treatments, and the luncheon menu is freshly prepared and organic - a delectable celebration of flavors.
Along with the extensive and locally-flavoured decadent international menu, guests at the Karkloof Spa may also choose from a wide selection of the very best Organic Gourmet Raw Food Cuisine. Refreshments and lunch are available for day visitors at Karkloof enjoying three or more treatments or full Spa Day Journeys.
The international award winning Karkloof Spa in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is home to the most expensive eco-friendly spa in Africa. Magnificently set on a 3500-hectare game reserve, it blends the best of the major global resorts with a uniquely African sensibility.
The health and beauty spa at Karkloof offers a tranquil but uplifting haven for those setting out on a journey to wellness and restoration. From the moment guests arrive, wildlife abounds all round, with white and black rhino grazing lazily as herds of wildebeest, giraffe, zebra and Nyala roam free in a well-protected and conserved environment.
The spa features 17 free spa treatment rooms, all with beautiful views over the native bush and surrounding gardens. The eco-design incorporates natural materials with thatch and living roofs which invite game to graze gracefully in full view.
Facilities include a glass fronted four-chair Manicure/Pedicure Lounge, Moroccan flavoured Rassoul, Flotation Pool, Kneipp Therapy Pools, open-air Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam rooms and a Reflections lounge.
Choose from a different list of natural treatments and signature spa journeys uniquely created to uplift, revitalise and recharge your body and mind. With a team of exceptionally skilled and hand-picked Thai Therapists, you are in the very best hands. In between treatments, indulge in unlimited delicious and healthy refreshments at the Greens & Teas Spa Café. Whether you want to sip on a steaming cup of tea, tuck into a light and healthy snack or lunch on a freshly prepared meal, you’re invited to come and go, as you like, throughout the day.
Blend these natural assets with the careful attention to detail, personalised service and consistent standards and you have the experience to be savoured by the most discerning clientele.
Karkloof Spa Awards:
- Tatler Spa Award – “Most Exciting discovery for 2009.”
- SA Tourism Welcome Award 2009 – Overall winner “Best Accommodation Provider”.
- Professional Beauty Award 2009 – “The Best Hotel/Resort Spa” 2009
- Amarula Best Retreats in Africa Award 2009 – “Leading Wellness Retreat.”
Karkloof Spa facilities:
- 17 Multi-Purpose Treatment Rooms
- Authentic Thai Sala Treatment Rooms
- Moroccan Flavoured Rassoul
- Kneipp Pools ( Hot and Cold )
- Reflection Lounge - Stillness Lounge
- Floatation Pool
- Steam Room x 3
- Sauna x 3
- Combi Sauna Steam Room
- Open-air Jacuzzi
- In Door Roman Bath
- Greens & Teas Café
- Hair Studio
- Glass Fronted Pedi & Manicure Lounge
The Greens and Teas Spa Cafe
The Greens and Teas Spa Café offers refreshments in between spa treatments, and the luncheon menu is freshly prepared and organic - a delectable celebration of flavours.
The wine cellar at the Karkloof Wellness Retreat has a hand-picked collection of estate wines and fine champagnes. Wine tasting can be arranged.
The Karkloof Boutique Lodge provides a wonderful collection of books and selected publications in our library for your leisure reading. Delve into a book for the afternoon and let your mind runaway and escape from reality.
The Boutique Shop at the Karkloof Spa, KwaZulu-Natal, has a carefully selected range of hats, clothing, gold and silver fashioned jewellery, carvings and local crafts. Wildlife prints and artworks are also available here.
Visit the waterfalls
There are five waterfalls located within the 3500 hectare Game Farm of Karkloof Spa, South Africa, to explore. Whether guests feel like having a brisk walk to get the blood circulating or admiring the breathtaking scenery, this is the place to be. It is almost like the pearl secret of Kwazulu Natal.
The Karkloof River flows over beds of hard sandstone and falls approximately 105 m. The only access to the base of the Karkloof Falls is on Karkloof Spa’s property. A 9km game drive into the Karkloof Valley, a short walk into the lush terrain and a wooden boardwalk emerge before you. Hugging the narrow river valley up and over boulders for approximately 1km one reaches the base of the falls.
A deck extends out, and one can feel the refreshing spray of the falls on your face – it’s a sight to behold and relish and a must to do during your stay. This is the first time since 1988 that guests have been able to access the base of the falls.
During the Summer months (December to April), one can Fly Fish for yellowtail in the rivers at the Karkloof Estate.
Walking, hiking, mountain biking
Follow the Karkloof River, the birds or follow the tracks left by wildlife. Do it with a guide or on your own. Wooden walkways, paths and trails weave through thorn thickets over dolerite rocks, into the mist-belt forest or across the savannah.
Amateur biologists may decide to make tree bark their project, dreamers can wander aimlessly soaking up nature or pause at a reflection bench, while serious hikers can work up a sweat. No matter what your purpose you can be sure the 105m high waterfall will overwhelm you with positive ions and feel-good endorphins. Colourful butterflies are in abundance including the special Karkloof Blue Butterfly.
Game viewing is an exciting pastime and includes species of Black and White Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest and a multitude of antelope, Warthog and Monkeys. Karkloof is home to a breeding programme for disease-free African Buffalo herds.
The Karkloof Retreat in KwaZulu-Natal is free from most dangerous predators although night eyes could belong to Serval cat and Black-backed Jackal.
Breeding is especially exciting; nothing is more heart warming than watching baby rhino and giraffe. Because of the abundance of game it isn’t necessary to wake up early to go on game drives, you are assured of great game viewing on each drive.Experienced guides are available to accompany you but guests are also welcome to go on their own adventures in the area where dangerous animals have been excluded. Noiseless electrical eco-friendly vehicles are provided for this purpose.
Pick up a bird book and list and see how many species you can tick off. Over 300 species have been counted so far. Ostrich wander in flocks as turacos and robins call to each other from the trees. High above, eagles and buzzards ride thermals, gliding, unconcerned with the goings-on at ground level. See if you can find the Bronze-naped Pigeon, unique to the area. At night, wise-eyed owls wait and watch while a chorus of clicking frogs serenade the open skies. Due to the cliffs, forests, woodlands, rivers and other habitats of Karkloof Spa, over 300 species of birds occur on the property.
Some of the more conspicuous are Ostrich (introduced), eagles (Fish, Crowned,Black, Long Crested, Wahlbergs and Martial), Yellow-billed Kite, Jackal and Steppe Buzzard, pigeons(Rameron, Rock and Green), doves (Tambourine, Laughing, Cinnamon, Red-eyed and Cape Turtle),Kingfishers (Giant, Pied, Half-collared, Malachite and Brown-hooded), robins (Cape, Natal, Choristerand Starred), ducks (White-faced, Yellow-billed, Black and White-backed), geese (Spurwing and Egyptian), thrushes (Groundscraper and Olive), Louries (Knysna and Purple Crested) and a host of other species.
Some of the specials finds include Cape Parrot, African Finfoot, Narina Trogon, Grey Cuckooshrike, Bush Blackcap and Blue-mantled Flycatcher.
The re-introduction of the Redbilled Oxpeckers – the tick eaters
A great success! Early 2007, 39 Redbilled Oxpeckers were released on Karkloof Spa game reserve, thanks to the Endangered Wildlife Trust. These birds were almost extinct in this part of the country and many other parts of South Africa.
They feed almost entirely on ticks from large mammals and with the advent of arsenical dips on cattle they died out except in major games reserves.
In more recent years many of the cattle dips have been formulated to be “Oxpecker friendly” which has presented the opportunity to reintroduce them into Private Game Reserves and Commercial Game Ranches with high densities of wild animals.
Before the Oxpeckers were released on Karkloof Spa game reserve, an extensive exercise was carried out by Kevin le Roux, a Technician with the Animal Health Department, to ensure Oxpecker friendly cattle dips were used by farmers in the general area. By all indications the re-introduction of these birds has been a great success, according to Dr Hans Grobler who has monitored the project. The birds breed in December and February and numbers have increased considerably. Our Buffalo’s, their favorite “host” are looking very “clean” indeed.
Farmers in vicinity of Albert Falls and Private Wildlife Reserves as far as Tala near Eston have been delighted to see the Oxpeckers on their farms.This is exciting news and another step in Karkloof Spa’s ‘eco-friendly” philosophy.
Nearby golf courses
PIETERMARITZBURG COUNTRY CLUB
The Maritzburg Golf Club was established on 24th February 1886, and the first official competition was played by its members on 14th June 1886.
The Maritzburg Golf Club the second oldest golf club in South Africa and first golf club to host a tournament before the Royal Cape Country Club in Cape Town.
Tel: 033 396 2356
VICTORIA COUNTRY CLUB
The upgraded par 71 course measuring 6156 meters reopened in April 2007, having been remodeled by Golf Data, one of South Africa's leading golf course design and construction companies. The upgrade included the total reshaping and reconstruction, to USGA specification, of all the greens, which have been planted with Bent grass Penn A1, all the tee boxes, bunkering and four fairways. Extensive new storage dams creating three new impressive and attractive waterholes were added, and a fully automated irrigation system was installed. The course is now able to offer a world-class golfing experience all year round.
Tel: 033 347 1942
BOSCHHOEK GOLF CLUB
Bosch Hoek, meaning "corner of the bush" was first settled on a farm in 1852. In 1951, it was acquired by the late Punch Barlow who together with Bob Grimsdell designed and developed the golf course. The first shot was played in 1963.
Tel: 033 234 4232
CAMELOT COUNTRY CLUB
Tel: 031 765 9416
Tel: 031 716 8186
GREYTOWN COUNTRY CLUB
Tel: 033 417 2441
HOWICK GOLF CLUB
Tel: 033 330 3422
MOOI RIVER COUNTRY CLUB
Mooi River Country Club, set in the hills with a panoramic view of the Drakensberg and surrounding farming lands, would like to welcome all visitors to their club for a social visit or a day of sport and entertainment. Enjoy a game of Golf on one of the most beautiful courses in the Midlands. The 11 hole, 18 tees par 72, rating 71 golf course will provide a challenge to the most discerning golfer.
Tel: 033 263 1517
SAKUBULA GOLF CLUB
Sakabula Golf Club, situated in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, is an 18 hole, par 73 courses consisting of two very distinct and different nine holes. Due to the topography of the land, the first 9 traverses an undulating valley providing breathtaking scenic views over the Drakensberg Range.
The second 9 holes wind along a stunning natural watercourse and wetland area with numerous dams. The two 9s are so interestingly different in character and challenges that the golfer can experience what normally could only be found on two separate golf courses.
Tel: 033 330 6751
Nearby activities & attractions
PIETERMARITZBURG'S MIDLANDS MEANDER
Pietermaritzburg, the capital city of the Zulu Kingdom, is a vibrant African city, set in the breathtakingly beautiful KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Here you will discover the vigour and strength of Africa combined with the elegance and architectural refinement of the British Empire.
The unique and vibrant art of Ardmore, South Africa’s most celebrated ceramic studio, is found in the best collections all over the world. Meet the artists at work and view the Bonnie Ntshalinthsali Museum that houses historical pieces, as well as the Zulu Cultural and HIV/AIDS Collections.
Have tea overlooking the scenic Lion’s River and visit their prestigious Gallery where a beautiful piece can be taken home for you to admire forever!
ABINGDON WINE ESTATE
Located in the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, a unique pioneering estate which has positioned itself as a serious single vineyard boutique wine producer in the newly designated wine geographical unit of KZN. The estate has more than 2ha under vine, and this includes the only certified single vineyards in the entire Kwa-Zulu Natal region. www.abingdonestate.co.za
NOTTINGHAM ROAD BREWERY
A rustic brewery producing some of the finest beers around – quality draughts traditionally hand- brewed from secret recipes. www.rawdons.co.za
KARKLOOF CANOPY TOURS
A fabulous Tarzan and Jane adventure abseiling from platform to platform through the treetops!
The Freedom Route will take you on a journey into the history of our heroes that have helped shape South Africa into a Rainbow Nation. The Freedom Route has related sites around Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
A guided trip in an enclosed 4x4 vehicle up the spectacular Sani Pass. Climbing to an altitude of 2874m and zigzagging beneath towering cliffs, buttresses, past waterfalls and unique flora and birdlife to the highest pub in Africa. From this unique position, one overlooks the Kingdom of the Zulu and the Kingdom of Lesotho.
IN THE AIR
For a birds-eye view of the city, settle for a flip in a fixed-wing aircraft from Pietermaritzburg Airport (or microlight?). Qualified pilots may even charter their planes. Parachute or skydive…. start with a static line jump and progress to no-holds-barred sky diving from Pietermaritzburg Airport.
A “must-do” for the region is the Karkloof Canopy Tour - a 10 Tarzan and Jane adventure abseiling from platform to platform through the treetops!
Fancy an aimless perambulation down a river, or perhaps something a bit bumpier? Why not try tubing on a variety of rivers in the area? It’s no coincidence that Pietermaritzburg is the start of one of the world’s toughest Canoe events, the three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon. Should you wish to experience the wettest and wildest white water ride of your life, make sure you book yourself a berth on a raft to take on the magnificent Umkomaas River, second only to the mighty Zambezi.
ON THE GROUND
From gentle granny-gear pedaling to downhill madness, the hilly terrain of Pietermaritzburg makes for unforgettable mountain biking. This is the reason the city has been selected to host the first leg of the UCI Mountain Biking World Cup Series in April for the next three years.
With a drop of more than 100 metres, Howick Falls is one of the country’s premier abseiling venues. Another venue is the cliffs of the Umkomaas Valley. Highly qualified instructors offer an experience of a lifetime, from beginners to advanced ropers.
Climbing to an altitude of 2874m and zigzagging beneath towering cliffs, buttresses, past waterfalls and unique flora and birdlife to the highest pub in Africa. You will be awed by the view from this unique position overlooking two kingdoms – the Kingdom of the Zulu and the Kingdom of Lesotho.
NASHUA ART IN THE PARK - MAY
Be sure to visit Nashua Art in the Park, South Africa’s premier outdoor art-selling exhibition - a five-day event which is held at the end of May/ beginning of June every year. The event takes place in one of the most picturesque venues in the country, under a copse of Plane trees on the banks of the Msunduzi River in Alexander Park, Pietermaritzburg. Artists and visitors agree that the atmosphere created are wonderfully unique. Wading through the fallen leaves under the canopy of trees by day or sipping sherry next to crackling fires by night (while enjoying the mellow live music) all contribute to making the viewing and purchasing of art more pleasurable.
HILTON ART FESTIVAL - SEPTEMBER
Enjoy South African theatre at its best at the Witness Hilton Arts Festival, held annually in September on the Campus of the prestigious Hilton College. The festival offers an enviable line-up of performing art, ranging from family shows to “adult only viewing”. Be it music, cabaret, drama or comedy – the festival is sure to impress.
The Karkloof Boutique Lodge near Pietermaritzburg features a wonderful outdoor swimming pool which is surrounded by a wooden sun deck with sun lounge chairs set in the lush tropical garden of the Karkloof Estate in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Boardroom & Conference Venue
A luxuriously appointed conference room for 16 people for conferencing, corporate getaways, director or strategy meetings is available at the luxurious Karkloof Safari Spa near Pietermaritzburg. This retreat provides an escape from the pressures of the city and offers the ideal environment for creativity, inspiration and clear thinking.
The convenience of location and modern communication facilities allows delegates peace of mind and ensures a quick transition from stressed to relaxed. There are many aspects to the Karkloof Safari Spa to provide the perfect balance between work, relaxation and rejuvenation.
3500 hectares of vast and varied terrain abundant with wildlife waits to be explored by game drive, walking, hiking or mountain biking.
The health and beauty spa at Karkloof is open from 09h00 to 20h00 to allow guests time, after all, day conferencing to enjoy the power and benefits of treatments and the extensive hydrotherapy facilities. Corporate clients of the Karkloof Safari Spa Retreat in KwaZulu-Natal include Novartis Pharmaceuticals, BMW, First National Bank, Rainbow Chickens, Frey Foods, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Grinaker, Linday Keller and Apollo Group.
- Boardroom Facilities
- Conference venue
- Hair salon
- Steam room
- Sun deck
- Swimming Pool
- Wellness centre
- Wine cellar
Check in and Check Out Times
- Check in: 9:00
- Check out: 17:00
- 24 - hour reception service
- Airport transfers
- Concierge services
- Game drive safaris
- Health & Fitness Centre
- Housekeeping service
- Wake-up call
- Walking safaris
- Wellness & Beauty treatments
- # Rooms:
Sixteen separate and individually decorated Villas each feature their hiding place amongst the verdant trees. Four of the Villas at the Karkloof Safari Spa in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, are interconnected for groups travelling together.
Guests may enjoy the luxury where under floor heating takes the edge off the night chill; sunsets rival satellite television and chattering birds outdo internet connectivity.
Visitors may expect exclusive amenities, a well-stocked bar fridge, air-conditioning, heated towel rails, laundry service, work area and large private viewing deck.
Guests are welcome to soak in a bath with a view, wrap themselves in a sumptuous fluffy gown and sink into a giant bed adorned with 1000 thread count percale linen and a choice of down or allergy-free pillows. Streams trickle gently around the Villas while linked wooden walkways connect the Villas to the Spa, Lodge and dining area at the Karkloof Safari Spa.
Karkloof Safari Spa Specials
There are currently no specials for the Karkloof Safari Spa.
Please check again soon.
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Driving directions to Karkloof Safari Spa from the King Shaka International Airport in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal:
1. Head southwest
2. Take the 1st left toward Mdloti St
3. Turn left onto Mdloti St. Toll Road
4. Continue onto M65. Toll road
5. Keep right at the fork and merge onto N2. Partial toll road
6. At the interchange 165-E B Cloete, keep left and followed signs for N3 toward Pietermaritzburg/Johannesburg
7. Turn left on N3. Partial toll road
8. Take exit 81 for R33 toward Greytown
9. Turn right onto Church St
10. Continue onto Chota Motala Rd
11. Turn left onto Ottos Bluff Rd
12. Turn left. Destination will be on the right.
On site parking facilities are provided for guests.
Karkloof Safari Spa Awards:
- Tatler Spa Award – “Most Exciting discovery for.”
- SA Tourism Welcome Award – Overall Winner “Best Accommodation Provider”.
- Professional Beauty Award – “The Best Hotel/Resort Spa.”
- Amarula Best Retreats in Africa Awards – “Leading Wellness Retreat.”
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