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Getting to us
We are located very near to the Champagne Castle Hotel, in the Champagne Valley, also known as Cathkin Valley, and fall within the municipality of Okhahlamba in KwaZulu-Natal, in which the two largest towns (both small) are Bergville (about 50kms from the house, on the way to Johannesburg), and Winterton (about 30km from the house, also on the way to Johannesburg). Ondini was originally built by the person who built the Champagne Castle Hotel, and the property is still referred to as “Wallace’s Place” by the older locals.
Directions are given from Johanesburg to Thokozisa (from North) which is also suited for those coming from Free State, and Eastern Cape, and also from Durban to Thokozisa (from South). The route from Thokozisa to Ondini Guest House is shown separately. Thokozisa is a local shopping centre which it at a crossroads where the routes from Winterton (North), and Estcourt (East) meet.
Johannesburg to Thokozisa (380km)
Leave Johannesburg on the N3 South, and head down to Harrismith. This is around 280km.
There are two tolls on the route, one after Heidelberg (around 75km) and another at Villiers (around 125km).
There are filling stations at Suikerbosrand (30km), and at Villiers (120km), both of which are very full during peak periods. Best to fill up with fuel and food before you leave in these peak times.
Harrismith is another 140km from Villiers, and there is a stop around halfway just before Warden, which has a small supermarket and shops
At Harrismith there are a number of places to stop.
From Harrismith you need to find your way to the N5 national road towards Bethlehem, and after about 3km you will take the R74 road to the left and then continue for another 6km and TURN LEFT AGAIN following the R74. You will drive past the Sterkspruit Dam on the right, and after 20km will start the descent down to the valley. There is a great place to stop at the top to take pictures of the 100km ridge of the Drakensberg.
Continue down the Oliewershoek Pass and the road will level out. At around 10km you will find a great coffee stop on the left.
You will then come into Bergville, where there is a filling station, and after another 20km you will get to Winterton, and as you enter there is a great restaurant, the Pig and Plough, on the right. You will then get to the (only) traffic light where you will be TURNING RIGHT towards the Central Berg. There is a Spar on the left where you get get groceries before you continue.
Continue for around 10km to Thokozisa, and about halfway you will find another centre on the right with a Portguese Restaurant, a Bookshop, a Coffee Bar, and a Day Spa.
A few kms further and you will find the Waffle Hut and a Pizza place on the left, which is also the starting point for the Winterton Park Run on Saturday mornings ar 08h00 – well worth the early rise.
Beyond this you will get the the only stop sign at the crossroads, where you will continue over the road and find Thokozisa on the left, and then follow the instructions from there to Ondini Guest House.
Durban to Thokozisa (230km)
Take the N3 north out of Durban towards, Pietermaritzburg (80km).
This is a double land highway the entire route to Estcourt, and at peak times this is very busy.
I would recommend one stop on route, at Exit 132, the Midlands Kitchen, where they sell artisan bread, and also offer free coffee!
If you have more time en route you can also stop at the Mandeal Capture Site, which is on the R103 in the Lions River areas just outside of Howick.
If you have more time, then take the R103 instead of the N3, and take a leisurely drive through the Midlands, where there are many places to stop.
You will continue until Exit 179, which is the THIRD Estcourt exit. Do not take the first two Estcourst exits since otherwise you may find yourself back in Pietermatizburg.
Turning LEFT at Exit 179 you will drive through the rural community of Loskop, and after about 30km you will get to a crossroad with Thokozisa on the left. You must TURN LEFT here and then follow the instructions from Thokozisa to Ondini Guest House.
Thokozisa to Ondini Guest House (19km)
You are almost there!
It is worth a stop at Thokozisa, have some lunch, look at the shops, and see the magnificant Drakensberg in the distance.
Ondini is visible with binoculars, it is the highest property visible in the foothills and this is where you are going.
On route you will pass many places of interest…
- Scrumpy Jacks and the Glass Beehive on the right, just after the Nest Hotel. The best honey cheesecake in the universe
- The Valley Bakery on the right, up a short gravel road – very popular for lunches
- The Champagne Bistro cafe, and the Craft Bewery on the right.
- Cedarwood village, opposite Champagne Sports, which has many shops, and the highly recommended Chocolate Shop.
- Follow this road on, STAYING LEFT at the fork to the Drakensberg Sun.
- Up the steep, steep hill, and then look for Ondini on the right hand side.
- YOU ARE HOME!