hutted camp is situated in the Royal Natal National Park
in one of the most picturesque settings in the country with a view of the world famous amphitheatre from every chalet.
This beautiful camp, Thendele, has the distinction of being the closest of the KZN Wildlife Berg camps to the main Drakensberg escarpment.
Dominated by the amphitheatre which changes mood with weather and season - often covered in snow in winter or with up to eighteen waterfalls cascading down the vertical cliffs after a storm.
Home to the Bearded Vulture (Lammergeyer) and Black Eagle who often disport themselves for visitors in the thermals that rise above the Mont aux Sources plateau, the surrounding valleys and ridges offer superb walks through an ever changing landscape with many upland birds and flowers.
The camp shop sells basic groceries and supplies for visitors convenience. The nearest town which has a full range of services is Bergville which is 50 kms away.Accommodation at Thendele:
The camp is split into upper and lower sections.
Thendele Lower Camp:
Accommodation in 8x 2-Bedded Chalets and 5x 4-Bedded Chalets.
The self-catering chalets are fully equipped with linen, crockery, cutlery, stove, refrigerator and cooking utensils. Visitors must bring their own food supplies and wash their own dishes.
Thendele Upper Camp:
Accommodation in 6x 2-Bedded Chalets and 7x 4-Bedded Chalets.
The self-catering chalets are fully equipped with linen, crockery, cutlery, stove, refrigerator and cooking utensils. Visitors must bring their own provisions and wash their own dishes.
2x 6-Bedded Cottages, each featuring 3 bedrooms.
1x 6-Bedded Thendele Lodge
Thendele Lodge has 3 en-suite bedrooms and a full range of facilities in its own special space well away from the main camp.
The lodge each have their own cook who will prepare delicious meals from the provisions supplied by the visitors.
Mahai is a beautifully situated campsite featuring 80 large campsites nestled along the Mahai River with magnificent mountains forming the backdrop. Half of the campsites have plug points and the other half without. All sites have shared cold water taps. Mahai campsite is serviced by five, modern ablution blocks with hot baths and showers, flush toilets, laundry machines and dish-washing facilities. Services at Thendele:
- Chalets are serviced daily
- Lodge and cottages offer the services of a personal chef
- Hiking/ walking tour guides
- Office facilities including internet
- Cell phone reception ( Vodacom, Cell C)
- Child- minding services
- Thendele shop with curios, firewood and basic amenitiesACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES AT THENDELE:
WALKS AND HIKES
- The main attraction of the Park is the mountain scenery, which is best seen from the many kilometers of hiking and bridle paths.
- Please enquire at the Office for details and maps of these walks.
- Wildlife abounds, but is not very apparent except in the very early mornings.
- The bird and plant life is best studied on walks.
- A summary of the walks is included in this Service Directory.
- The Park has many well-known peaks and climbing routes.
- Anyone intending to proceed to the top of the Berg or to undertake any of the more difficult climbs must first obtain permission from the Officer-in-Charge of the Park and fill in the mountain Rescue Register.
- Roadside picnic and parking areas are available for the use of day visitors and fires may be lit in designated fireplaces.
- Visitors are encouraged to get away from their cars and into the hills, but fires are not permitted there.
- All rubbish, of whatever kind, must be carried back for disposal.
HORSE RIDING – RUGGED GLEN
- Horse riding is available from Rugged Glen.
- Please enquire at reception with regards to the fees payable and to make bookings or contact the Rugged Glen Stables directly on 036 - 438 6422.
- Times and durations of the rides available are as follows:
09:00 - 15:00 Full Day Ride
09:00 -12:00 & 14:00 - 17:00 3 Hour Rides
10:00 - 12:00 & 14:00 - 16:00 2 Hour Rides
09:15 & 13:15 Pony Rides for children
- Swimming and paddling in the rivers and streams is safe from bilharzia, and a very popular activity.
- Drinking water for the main developed area is drawn from the Mahai stream above the campground, so do not swim in the Mahai between the intake weir and the Tiger Falls/Gudu Bush path.
- Similarly, swimming is not permitted in the Vemvaan River above the Thendele or in any of the dams.
- Trout fishing is available. Permits can be obtained from the Visitor’s Centre.
- The closed season for the river extends from 1 June to 31 August.
- The dam is open throughout the year, unless otherwise notified.
- Please note that Rugged Glen dam is now part of a conservation project that is aimed at conserving the KZN Yellowfish (Barbus natalensis) and the endemic
- Tugela Labeo (Labeo rubromaculatus).
- In view of this, fishing on this dam is on a “catch and release” basis only which will be strictly enforced.
- Only fly fishing tackle may be used and we encourage the use of barbless hooks.
- Permits to fish in this dam are only available from the Rugged Glen stables office.
OUT & ABOUT
- There are various Hotels and establishments adjacent to the Park where one can go and eat out.
- Reservations should be made telephonically for meals at nearby hotels.
- For golf lovers there is a 9 hole, 18 tees golf course at Hlalanathi +/- 15 km from Thendele.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Thendele. Our chalet was situated in the Upper Camp, and the views of the amphitheater were spectacular. The accommodation was clean, and had everything we needed - including a fabulous wood burning fireplace! Many of the hiking trails depart from Thendele itself so you don't need to drive to a start point which is really convenient. The best thing Thendele has going for it is its location - you'd be hard pressed to find a more picturesque place to stay in the Drakensberg. My only criticism is that the chalet could use a handyman to repair one or two wobbly doors and loose handles.