Last year we spent some time at Ghost Mountain Inn. It’s lovely when the last few few days of a road trip can be spent relaxing in a beautiful, tranquil environment; that was exactly what we found at this hotel in Mkhuze, KwaZulu-Natal.
We stayed in a Garden Room*, which is quite spacious, with a king bed and a sleeper couch. The bathroom is big too, with a separate shower and bathtub. The room also has a private patio with a view of the garden and the smaller swimming pool. Zee especially enjoyed the turndown service, as it meant yummy chocolates every evening.
*I only realized after we’d left that we never got any photos of our room. 🙈
There’s a boardwalk on the grounds, which comes with this lovely warning: “BEWARE OF THE CROCODILES!” Naturally the first thing Shawn wanted to do after seeing that, was take a walk on the boardwalk. 😂
The view at the end of it is gorgeous. It’s so quiet and peaceful… and totally worth the croc risk!
We spent much of our five days there lounging by the pool. When it was too hot to be in the pool, Zee would zip around near the pool on her scooter. Joining us in lazily lying on pool chairs isn’t for her; there’s too many adventures to be had, and so much energy to burn. 😊
Breakfast and supper at the restaurant was lovely everyday, as were the light meals at the bar when we felt peckish around lunch time. There’s a nice variety of delicious dishes including some great curries, so you definitely won’t get bored. Of course the customary holiday breakfast of waffles went down well with everyone. 😋
One evening, instead of opening the restaurant, guests were treated to Pizza Night. Custom pizzas in the hotel’s newly installed pizza oven – so fun, and so YUM!
Lake Jozini Boat Safari
Included in the package we booked were the boat safari (3 to 4 hours), a mountain drive, and massages. Zee was most excited about the safari, so we did that first, and I’m so glad we did. We left for this one morning after breakfast. After a bumpy dirt road drive (it was so bumpy, Zee giggled the entire way), we arrived at Lake Jozini. It’s one of the largest dams in South Africa, and lies at the foot of the vast Lebombo Mountains. This mountain range makes for quite a stunning view, and the size is seriously impressive, stretching all the way into the Kruger National Park. That’s a whole other province! It also serves as the boundary between:
- Kwazulu-Natal and Swaziland,
- Swaziland and Mozambique, and
- Mozambique and both Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province.
We saw hippos, many of whom were new moms unimpressed with us oohing and aahing at their cute babies. There were crocodiles too, lazing in the sun, or slowly heading into the water for a swim. The highlight though, was the glorious sight of over thirty elephants making their way to the water for a drink and a splash to cool off. They were right in front of us, and they were gorgeous. Elephants are high up on my ‘favourite animals list’, so this was such a treat! Our guide switched the boat off so we could spend sufficient time admiring them (and taking selfies of course). On our way back, Zee got to be skipper for a while, and she did a great job steering us through Lake Jozini. 😊
Lebombo Scenic Drive
The drive up the mountain (also about 3 hours) reminds you once again how beautiful this country of ours is. We tend to forget sometimes, with all the ugliness we hear about or see in the news everyday. That’s why little breaks like these are so important, they’re good for the soul. The views along this drive are incredible.
Our guide pointed out Ogazini Primary School, for children ages 5 to 14. There are between 30 and 50 children per class. At the time, the school had no running water. She also told us that the people living on the mountain grow their own fruit and vegetables. These aren’t exposed to chemicals, making them a lot healthier than the ones we usually buy. I didn’t get any clear photos, but we also saw an ancestral rondavel on our drive. These are used for important meetings, like lobola negotiations. We also stopped and took a mini hike up to where we could get the best view of Lake Jozini. So beautiful!
Even the spa at Ghost Mountain Inn is perfectly located, ensuring we felt totally relaxed and pampered. The spa offers a wide range of treatments from facials and pedicures to body masks and massages. Shawn and I enjoyed a couples back, neck and shoulder massage on our last day there. We’d almost forgotten about the massages (who does that?), but thankfully Spha found us and reminded us to book! It was after this wonderful pamper session that I regretted being so lazy and not making my way to the spa earlier in our stay for at least one more treatment.
Ghost Mountain Inn – The Final Verdict
We really enjoyed our stay at Ghost Mountain Inn. Of course, this is Kwazulu-Natal, which means it’s really, really hot and humid in Summer (which is when we stayed). It also means there are going to be loads of geckos on the walls and above you, greeting you on your walk to and from dinner every evening. It’s such a fabulous hotel though, and the staff do their best to make your stay special. Spha went out of his way to see that we got to enjoy that much needed pamper at Ghost Mountain Spa. When a lovely lady by the name of Tendayi heard Zee tell us that she’d been bitten by a mosquito, she quickly rushed off, only to return with a bottle of Peaceful Sleep to help keep the bugs away. And then there was Sipho who mixed a pretty interesting – and very effective – drink when Shawn said that he felt like he was coming down with a cold/flu while we were relaxing at the bar one evening.
My final verdict? A wonderful hotel + excellent service = 3 very happy guests who’d gladly visit Ghost Mountain Inn again.