Just like that our Garden Route holiday had finished. Now it was time to celebrate with cake for our dear Granny’s 95th birthday. We flew uneventfully to Durban, hired a car and off and away on another long day of just under 3 hours of driving to the Drakensberg Mountains.
I had done my research and saw that this route (also known as Midlands Meander) has a lot to offer and found it difficult to choose where we would actually stop. I picked a town called Howick as it was more or less halfway, more specifically a cafe called Yellowwood, and what an amazing find. It again had an amazing playground, plus farm animals to gaze at and pat through the fence. It had a nice view of the Howick waterfall and it backed onto the Umgeni Nature Valley Reserve and monkeys, zebras and buck were spotted. Food was reasonable too and WiFi connection too.
This place was that good that we wanted to stop here on the way back too, but it is closed on Mondays, so we had pizza at a place nearby called Delish Dish Family Pub which had a little playground and trampoline. Another winner.
Howick Falls is pretty and touristy when you get to the viewing point. But we were tourists, so we didn’t mind browsing the market stalls. There perhaps is a walk to get to the bottom of the falls, but some locals suggested it had closed down and we weren’t organised or game enough to find it.
Other family members also stopped at a Lion Park (Natal Lion Park) outside Durban and a small game park but given all the adventures and animals we have seen, we decided to take things easy.
The Drakensberg Mountains are gorgeous. We stayed in chalets called Mount Champagne which had a pool and playground onsite. We were a clan of 30 + people ranging from 8 months old to 102 years old so needless to say there was a lot of activity going on, lots of hugs, lots of attention, babysitters and lots of food! I even had a chance to go canoeing with a group of cousins, venture to Waffle Hut (who knew savoury waffles were a thing?) and do a waterfall hike with the kids leaving from the Drakensberg Sun Hotel. We got to see monkeys to the point where they became a pest and stole food any chance you left the door open for a second.
We also got a chance to spend quality time with Granny and family from Spain, Australia, Israel and South Africa, even if it was for 3 short days. And there was cake!