• Travel • A Weekend Away at Antbear Lodge

Estimated reading time: 25 minute(s)

A Wonderful Weekend Away at Antbear Eco Lodge

Antbear Lodge

D and I were invited for a weekend getaway to Antbear Lodge in the ‘Burg a few weeks ago, thank you to the lovely Shiv from Sugar & Spice for organising!

D and I have only been together for a few months and were shoved into lockdown at the very beginning of our relationship, so a little road trip and a weekend out of our homes was such a treat. It was our first holiday together ♡

The Beautiful Antbear Lodge

The most unique thing about the lodge is the countless handmade wooden elements they have incorporated. A quick browse of the (million) photos below and you will find doors, furniture, decor, signage, lighting and more that have been made out of wood and glass. Reuse and recycle is the name of the game at Antbear Eco Lodge, it is eco-friendly accommodation after all!

Antbear Lodge Entrance
The entrance to the reception

Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge

D and I arrived quite late on Friday evening as I only finished work at 4.30, we joined the others on the deck (which you can see on the right of the above picture) and had a nice catch up in the chilly air once we arrived. It’s such a wonderful change to experience the fresh Midlands air in comparison to the humid Umhlanga air, I actually loved the cold weather – finally got to wear some proper winter clothes!

Antbear Lodge
View of the lodge from the accommodation
Antbear Lodge
Beautiful entrance door and the reception area

Antbear Lodge work smart. To reduce the use of paper and prevent waste, they have implemented a paper-free check-in system. Simply scan the QR code (by using your smartphone camera) and fill in your details on the mini-site. You receive an email with “housekeeping” and “some of the things we like recommend you do while you are here”. In the time of COVID-19, you barely had to even interact with a staff member to get checked-in!

While I mention COVID-19, it’s worth saying that D and I visited Antbear Lodge while intra-provincial travel was allowed. The staff complied with strict safety precautions and we social distanced and wore masks when necessary.

Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge Stairs

Antbear Lodge
Fun elements of the downstairs common area that are handmade from wood and other materials.

Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge
Andrew, owner of Antbear Lodge, has documented the lodge from their humble beginnings to now. They have made a unique photo reel to showcase all the special moments.
Antbear Lodge
Coffee station crafted out of wood in a coffee bean shape.

Antbear Lodge Bar

Antbear Lodge

This is Antbear Lodge’s “honesty bar”. Alcohol sales were not permitted during our stay but the premise is that you pour yourself a drink and fill in what you had on a room card. We had soft drinks while we were there but there is a great wine selection and spirits, beers, and spirit coolers are available. It was a pleasant surprise seeing this novel concept, it gives you a sense of being a part of the family; trusted and valued.

Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge Dining Room
I mean, c’mon. How much of this dining area was handmade? It’s insane!
Antbear Lodge
The gorgeous stained glass windows viewed from the front of the lodge

Antbear Lodge

Read Next: Travel to Cornwall, England 

The Food

Antbear Lodge Dinner

Antbear has a set three-course menu every night. They have the menu up on a chalkboard in the afternoon and dinner is served from 6.30 pm. I was able to eat the entire three-courses, with a fresh bread roll, on both nights but I was pretty darn full! That made for a good night’s sleep after a nice, warm bath.

Antbear Lodge Breakfast

There is a continental breakfast spread filled with one of my favourite parts of Antbear Lodge – homemade cheese (from their farm animals’ milk), jams and pastries! Not only were their handcrafted bits simply delicious, but it showcases their ecofriendly manifesto even further. Did I mention they even have their own veggie garden?

Packed Lunch for our Hike
Packed lunch for our hike

Antbear Lodge Dinner

D managed to “convince” the hostess that he could have Andrew, the owner’s, dessert so he had two chocolate mousses!

Read Next: Wanderlust Tag

Accommodation at Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge Accommodation
Lazing on the deckchairs facing the beautiful mountain view with our room in the background
Antbear Lodge Accommodation
Pretty elaborate room doors, obviously handcrafted from wood

D and I stayed in one of their Mountain View rooms. They also offer the most gorgeous of the lot, the “Luxury Cave“, the Garden View rooms and Pet-Friendly accommodation where you can bring along your precious pooches for your eco-getaway.

Antbear Lodge Accommodation

Antbear Lodge Accommodation

Antbear Lodge Accommodation

Antbear Lodge Accommodation

Antbear Lodge Accommodation
Sunset from our room over the mountain. Shoutout to ThirtyOne 3 Coffee for these amazing pour-overs we enjoyed in the early morning with the view of the mist over the mountain
Antbear Lodge Accommodation
A “Garden View” room
Antbear Lodge Accommodation
The “Luxury Cave” deck
Antbear Lodge Accommodation
The hammock seating on the “Luxury Cave” deck
The "Luxury Cave" at Antbear Lodge
The entrance to the Luxury Cave with the mountain view
Jumping from roof of Luxury Cave at Antbear Lodge
D suggested I did a “jump” photo and this was the best one of the lot!

Activities at Antbear Lodge 

One of my highlights of the trip was simply walking around the lodge grounds, hanging out with the animals and watching the sunset. We also went for a 4-hour hike with one of the guides in the Estcourt area, and stargazing and African folktales in hammocks on our last night. Nicola from Run on Coffee has the most beautiful pic of the hammock stargazing, you can see it here.

Hanging Out With the Animals

The animals at Antbear Lodge

Animals at Antbear Lodge

In case you’re interested in the outfit I am wearing here, I bought the beanie from MRP Sport, the joggers from Cotton On and the parka from The Hub, and shoes are Converse (shop here).

Animals at Antbear Lodge

Animals at Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge

Sunsets at Antbear Lodge

Sunsets at Antbear Lodge

Hiking Trips

It was a chilly start to the hike but the incredible incline (read: mountain we climbed up) made us hot, fast! It was an 8km hike that took 4 hours. We enjoyed a packed lunch at the top point of our hike; we chomped on a sandwich, an apple, mini cheddar-type crackers and a muesli bar. Deon Small, from Berg Adventures, was our guide. He hosts a wide range of activities, from quick hikes to school leadership exercises to “Slack Packing.

Hiking at Antbear Lodge
D made friend with the donkeys we encountered near the beginning of the hike

Hiking at Antbear Lodge

Hiking at Antbear Lodge

Stargazing and African Folktales in Hammocks

Hammock Stargazing at Antbear Lodge

I am disappointed that this is the only photo I have, but it was really too dark to take photos. D and I snuggled up in the same hammock (new couple, you can tell) with a warm blanket and antbear (aardvark) hot water bottles each.

Mlendeni, a local known to Andrew’s family since a young boy, was the storyteller. He showed us some of the stars and then told us the stories his grandmother told him as a child. It truly was very special.

Horse Riding 

Horse riding at Antbear Lodge
I’m a little scared of horses so I didn’t take the chance for a horse ride

You can view other activities, such as microlighting and hot air ballooning here. Please note that additional activities are billed separately.

And What a Wonderful Time We Had!

I am so incredibly grateful for this weekend away. D and I did a little “Midlands Meander” on the way home, stopping for treats and wanders around shops along the way. Here are a couple of random snaps to end off the blog post:

Antbear Lodge

Antbear Lodge
Can we have a moment for this champagne bottle top chair??

Antbear Lodge

Thank you, Antbear Lodge

Thank You For Having Us, Antbear Lodge!

A huge thanks to Andrew for accommodating us. I really hope that this post inspires you to support his family business and to go visit soon. The tourism industry has taken a huge knock during COVID-19 and it would be devastating for this sector to lose so many beautiful spots in South Africa, I implore you to take the opportunity to travel intraprovincially if you can to support local tourism.

You can learn more about Antbear Eco Lodge by visiting their website, and you can book by emailing reservations@antbear.co.za.

You can go follow Antbear Lodge on social media at these links:

Thank you so much, Andrew and Andile, for hosting us! 

PS. You can read the other ladies’ blog posts here:

Antbear Lodge

Now Read: A Wonderful Night Stay at Endless Horizons, Umhlanga

*Disclaimer: I was hosted at Antbear Lodge in return for a blog post and social media posts. The views on the post are not influenced by the sponsorship, they are true and my own.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.