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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Visit a local village from Three Tree Hill Lodge

We speak isiZulu, and music and dancing are a big part of our lives, especially at celebrations…

By Ntobeko Ntshingila
Duty Manager at Three Tree Hill Lodge

The tour of Hambrook village is special for me, as this is where I grew up. It’s about five miles from the Lodge and a world apart. We speak isiZulu, and music and dancing are a big part of our lives, especially at celebrations and funerals. My colleagues tell me that on a still night they can hear the beat of our drums from the lodge.

Getting to Hambrook village through the Champagne Valley is a wonderful day out. The valley lies between Cathkin Peak and Champagne Castle and there’s a lot to see and do here. The Drakensberg is known as the ‘adventure centre’ of South Africa. From hot-air ballooning and zip-lining to trail walking, mountain biking and heli-flips, there is always something going on.

One of the most popular stops with our guests is the visit to the Falcon Ridge Bird of Prey centre, where birds include raptors rehabilitated from injury. It’s amazing to see these birds fly over the Drakensberg. The handlers are very passionate, and their displays give visitors a real appreciation for birds of prey, as well as an insight into falconry. Next door is the Dragon Rock Reptile Centre, where children get to touch all sorts of creepy crawlies.

At Hambrook we first make a stop first at the pre-school, which is sponsored by the Three Tree Hill Foundation. We have some modern housing alongside traditional beehive houses made of cow dung and mud and covered with indigenous grasses, and rondavels, made from mud bricks and topped with a domed roof. Families tend to stay living together, so it’s very multi-generational. I’ve got four siblings, several nieces and nephews, and two children that all live with me.

We visit the spaza (tuck shop) and I take our guests into my parents’ home and show them where we prepare food and cook and eat and explain how we build and ventilate them. I explain how we manage without running water and they’re usually surprised to see that most of us have televisions.

During term time the Drakensberg Boys Choir put on concerts. They’re known as ‘South Africa’s Singing Ambassadors’ and their repertoire ranges from Bach and Beethoven to Ed Sheeran, traditional African and jazz. It’s a real highlight of this cultural day out.


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Alfred & Ntobeko Ntshingila

Ntobeko has been part of the Three Trees family for 13 years and describes it as a lovely journey with lots of room for growth and experience. She has her own family, including a daughter of 18, and a son, aged three. She lives in a nearby village with her parents, four siblings and three nephews. When not spending time with her family she manages her broiler chicken business, which brings her extra income.
Three Tree Hill Lodge excursion

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