The Heath

Inside our weekly property newspaper, you can find all the latest news of the goings-on of aha Alpine Heath Resort. Information about our activities on offer, our menus, specials and anything else you need to know, will be found inside.

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WOW Kids Zone

Kids looking for FUNtastic entertainment don’t have to look any further! At aha Alpine Heath Resort, our large variety of entertainment is sure to exceed any child’s expectations. A large variety of things to do can be expected on a daily basis from arts & crafts to nature-related, brain-stimulating activities. Your children will never have a dull moment with our exclusive Kids Entertainment Programme found in our property newspaper, The Heath.

Bring your kids down to join in the fun at the WOW Kids Zone, from here they can partake in any listed activity free of charge! Activities galore await you and bright colors surround you in the expertly planned WOW Kids Lounge. Here we keep your kids busy with great activities! In the WOW Kids Lounge you can master the art of Ping Pong with our table tennis equipment. Try out the coolest games on our Sony Play Station 4’s or work on your coordination skills on a Play Station Eye. This interactive camera-operated gaming console will give you hours of fun!

Our fun Entertainment Team, the Fun Crew, awaits you with a full 7-day-a-week programme, catering for all your entertainment needs to ensure a fun filled family-stay at aha Alpine Heath Resort. This entertainment programme is seasonally tailored and caters for kids, teens and adults alike. From the moment of arrival, your kids are swooped away to the aha Alpine Heath Little VIP Club, with activities to ensure a peaceful stay for mom and dad. Activities like bug hunting, bush collage-making, biscuit decorating, treasure hunts and other fun filled games and activities to boot, your kids are sure to retire to bed exhausted and excited about the next day’s programme.

All the equipment for your leisure activities is readily available from 08h00 to 17h00 at our Leisure Desk which is right next door to the WOW Kids Lounge. So whatever you fancy, we are sure to have it right here at aha Alpine Heath Resort – The Entertainment Capital of the Drakensberg!

A dedicated babysitter can be arranged on request at reception.

Onsite Activities

aha Alpine Heath Resort offers a wonderful variety of sports and leisure activities. Ranging from indoor activities like board games, outdoor chess and our superb Be Spoilt Beauty Salon & Spa, right through to our extensive outdoor activities which include fishing, swimming pools, volleyball, play ground with a jungle gym, trampolines and friendly sport matches. We cater for young and old alike!

Putt-Putt
Not a professional golfer? Don’t fret! On our 18-hole Putt-Putt course, you don’t have to be. Grab a putter, a ball and off you go! Our challenging course is sure to give you hours of puzzling fun.

Table Tennis
While in the Leisure Zone, why not test your game on our standard sized table tennis set? Train your hand-eye coordination and reflexes, while competing with your mates! This way you get the best of both worlds with fun and training all in one activity!

Tennis Courts
Our tennis courts are set close to the hustle and bustle of the pool-deck and Village Square with views of the surrounding mountains. Play singles or doubles, there’s nothing like friendly competition. Bookings can be made at the Leisure Desk.

Squash Courts
Our indoor squash court allows you to practice your back-hand in even the worst kind of weather. There is enough seating for your friends and family as they support you while you challenge your mates! Bookings can be made at the Leisure Desk.

Pool Table and Dart Board
At the top of the Tavern Bar, the pool table and dart board is available for your enjoyment. No under 16’s are allowed in the pool table area. All equipment can be attained from the Barman.

All equipment can be attained from the Leisure Desk between 08h00 and 17h00, thereafter from reception.

ONSITE-ACTIVITIES
HORSE-RIDING

Horse Riding

Visit our Equestrian Centre where you will have the pleasure of interacting with our well looked-after Nooitgedacht horses. Enjoy a romantic outride with a deliciously prepared picnic basket in the serene setting of the Drakensberg. Not an avid rider? No worries! Take a class at our riding school where our well trained staff will happily teach you all the basics you need to know in order to get the maximum benefit from your outride. For the little ones, scheduled pony rides are readily available every day of the week during peak seasons and over weekends in the off-peak seasons. You may decide whether you’d like to do an hour or a two hour outride. For the more advanced riders, show jumping and dressage is available on request. Afraid of the horses? No need! At our Equestrian Centre, you can join in the fun with our Horse Play program. Here you have a chance to meet the horses, feed and wash them, all under supervision. There is no longer any reason for you to be afraid! For more details and bookings do not hesitate to contact our Activity Desk at reception.

Out-Rides
You may decide whether you’d like to do an hour or a two hour outride. All out-rides are accompanied by a guide. Go through streams and over beautiful hills with extraordinary views of the surrounding Drakensberg.

Pony Rides
For the little ones, scheduled pony rides are readily available every day of the week during peak seasons and over weekends and public holidays in the off peak seasons.

Hiking

This portion of the Natal Northern Drakensberg, is dominated by the Peaks from Sungubala to Babangibona, Vultures Colony, Mount Lebanon and Baboon Rock. The streams are basically unnamed but flow into the Putterill and Wanhoop Streams, which drain into the Tugela River. There are Caves, Bushmans Paintings and Waterfalls, all within the Skyline Mountain Area. As this Valley encompasses a number of properties, common courtesy dictates that one should request owner’s permission before entry. Please ask reception to help with permission arrangements. All the listed walks can be managed in rubber sole or running shoes, although walking boots are preferable.

Alpine Cascades (Blue Footprints)
The most popular trail at aha Alpine Heath Resort, is the Alpine Cascades. Starting at Chalet 22, you will find the trail, which crosses a scenic stream. Following the blue footprints, you will pass the return path (on your left) and you will continue on the right hand side of the hill following the path of the river. Continue with the path until you come across a gate. Go through the gate (please close once you are through) and continue with the path that leads down the hill to the left. You will cross another beautiful stream and continue along open grassland towards the Cascades Waterfall. Take a moment to sit and relax at the splendour of the falls. Try and identify the Outinequa Yellowwood, South Africa’s National Tree. Looking across the pool at the base of the falls, you will see the blue footprints and the continuation of the path. The path winds its way through a valley between two hills before crossing a slightly trickier stream. It’s uphill from here with a steep climb of the mountain to your left. The path has erosion tiers, which do help with the climb. Once at the summit, you will enjoy a magnificent view of aha Alpine Heath Resort at its best. The trail continues down the right hand side of the mountain, with a tricky downhill path that will eventually get you back to where you started. An energetic trail for the whole family! ± 2 km.

Alpine Knoll & Aloine Ridge (Orange Reedbuck Prints)
This trail is becoming very popular as it offers amazing viewpoints. Follow the same starting points as the Yellowwood Trail, but once you get to the dirt road split, continue up the dirt road on the left. Carry on walking on the dirt road until you get to a gate. The trail starts a meter past the gate on your left hand side. The trail continues along the side of the ridge, through a gorge and up along the fence line. There is a steep climb up to the tree. Once on top of the Knoll, there is a perfect view of the Amphitheatre. This is one of the most scenic areas of the Drakensberg. After a nice rest, you need to climb through the fence on your left hand side. You will find the Orange Reedbuck Prints leading straight down the Knoll towards the grey electricity box and back into the access road. Take it slow down the trail and once on the road, continue back towards the Village Square. ± 1.3 km.

River Meander (Red Baboon Print)
Although this trail is going through a rehabilitation period, it is still a nice walk. The trail starts at Chalet 22 (the same as Cascades), however before the decline down to the river, take the path to the right. The trail continues through the grasslands in front of the chalets. This stretch is great for birding as it continues towards the river. Once you get to the T-junction, turn left towards the river and you’ll come to another split in the path. The River Meander continues on the path to the right, which runs parallel with the river. The many trout dams can be seen on this walk and it is a birding paradise. This isn’t a round trip, so you will have to return on the same path. ± 1.3 km.

With over 280 bird species, aha Alpine Heath Resort, is truly a birding haven. From the soaring Cape Vulture to the petite Blue Waxbills, there are 8 endemic species in the area. The hiking trails provide great viewing.

Birding Paradise
The Yellowwood Trail is the perfect setting for the rare Bearded Vulture (Lammergeyer), whereas the Forest Canaries flutter around at ‘The Cascades’. Whether you are an avid birder or just an amateur, aha Alpine Heath Resort is the place to be. Bird lists and bird books are available at the Leisure Desk. Happy Birding!

Alpine Trails will take you through open grass veld, which is broken by pockets of Proteas along the hillside slopes and beautiful crystal clear streams and rivers habitat to a variety and diversity of flowers and game. We offer walking trails, hiking trails – Alpine signature hike and hikes in close proximity to local attractions.

Alpine Signature Hike
The highlight of our challenge! Along this ten and half hour hike the scenic views are exquisitely beautiful with picturesque pockets of deep indigenous riverine bush and forests, interspersed by pristine grass veld species of Protea. The increase in altitude rewards the hiker with the Northern and Central Drakensberg outlining the horizon through the wintry smoky haze, which is quite magnificent. The trail leads to a Bushman’s painting site and at the end passes the Heralded Cape Vulture colony-nesting site. Once at the summit of Baba Ngebona, a well-deserved break will allow the hiker to reflect on all that the senses have witnessed. The views from Baba Ngebona are breathtaking and stretches beyond the Sterkfontein Dam and Bergville.

 

Hikes in Royal National Park

Vemvaan Alley & Policeman’s Helmet
A round trip of four and a half hours at a moderate pace, the Vemvaan Valley promises magical sights in spring when it is showered with purple and blue flowers. Proteas lead the way to the Vemvaan valley and a challenging climb takes one to the top of the Policeman’s Helmet. Here exceptional views of the surrounding areas may stretch for kilometers on a clear day. Watch for an absolute rarity; the Protea Nubigena, the Cloud Protea, of which there are only a few plants remaining and all of which can be found in this reserve.

Amphitheatre & Chain Ladder Hike (World Heritage Site)
The Amphitheatre is a rock wall 5 kilometers long and 500 meters high. Standing above the rock face is Mont-Aux-Sources peak where the Orange River starts its incredible journey West across South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. The Thukela (Tugela) River cascades down the face of the Amphitheatre, forming the second highest waterfalls in the world, as it travels East to the Indian Ocean. Vaal River, Umkomaasi River and Umzimkhulu River, all have their origin at Mont-Aux-Sources Amphitheatre.
A moderate to challenging hike with a whopping distance of 22 kilometers, this hiking experience has it all; from adrenaline pumping chain ladders to Plato’s and waterfalls! The series of chain ladders that ascend at the back of the Amphitheatre escarpment is an adrenaline junkie’s dream! Once completed, the views across Witsieshoek are breathtaking. Winding routes take you towards the Amphitheatre Plato while the Thukela River drops at your feet. The various peaks of the Northern Drakensberg are clearly visible with astonishing detail. Across the plato, Mount-Aux-Sources awaits. It is here where five of our major rivers have their origin namely The Vaal River, The Orange River, The Umkomaasi River, The Tugela River and The Umzimkhulu River. This hiking trail is sure to leave you breathless!

Tugela Gorge
A long and gentle walk for the moderately experienced hiker, the Thukela Gorge walk is a 22 kilometer round trip trail that will stimulate the senses. A popular walk amongst hiking enthusiasts the Thukela Gorge trails along the Thukela River with mesmerizing views of the ever nearing Amphitheatre. Trail through the beautiful indigenous forest, once cleared, be prepared to boulder hop with immaculate views of the second highest falls in the world; the Thukela Falls. Here you can relax and enjoy the scenery as you prepare yourself for the return journey.

Surprise Ridge & Cannibal Cave
A moderate to somewhat challenging walk for the avid hiker, the Surprise Ridge and Cannibal Cave has it all from views of the Amphitheatre to beautiful natural Fern Tree areas not to be seen anywhere else in South Africa! Enjoy the sights and sounds that this 20 kilometer trail offers with its expansive birdlife and curves and viewpoints. The Sunday Falls offer crystal clear water to refill your drinking bottle; make sure you do as the next water spot is only at Cannibal Caves. These caves were the living quarters of a Cannibal Tribe in the 18th Century so don’t be too alarmed if chills sweep in, even on those hot summer days! Enjoy a well-deserved rest at these exquisite caves before the walk home.

Cascades, Look Out Rock & Tiger Falls
Allow the Mahai River to colour the silence with its enchanting murmur while enjoying the scenery of this easy going hiking trail. Sightings of baboons, bush buck and mountain reedbuck is not uncommon and the vegetation is typical of a Drakensberg river with Sagewood and Ouhout trees hiding the quick blue flashes of Kingfishers; truly a nature lover’s dream! The three to four hours hiking experience passes unnoticed as you reach the Queens Causeway, a bridge that crosses over into the Cascades. A series of waterfalls, described as the most beautiful in the area, lie around the corner. Here you may cool off on hot summer days in the surrounding natural pools or be adventurous and climb behind the water curtain to unveil seldom travelled pathways; an explorers dream!

Mountain Biking

Why not explore some of the hiking trails on the back of a mountain bike at aha Alpine Heath Resort. With the freedom to roam around our beautiful valleys and hills, you will be sure to experience something new on every trip. A fun and sporty activity to get your heart racing and burn some calories at the same time!
In conjunction with All Out Adventures, we now offer over 50 kilometers of permanently marked mountain bike trails, with routes for all ability levels. Trails boast memorable climbs, exposed traverses, breathtaking views and screaming down hills! Beginners can enjoy gentle gradients in the Tugela River Valley. Trails are accessed directly from the resort, or from the Adventure Centre. Trail passes are sold from the aha Alpine Heath Resort reception and the All Out Adventures Activity Centre.

Gypsy’s Bend – 10 km Beginner
More gentle gradients on a completely separate trail. This fun and achievable wide single track follows the contours to Twin Streams and back to the Centre. There is a mild stream crossing easy for beginners yet enough challenge to keep them interested.

Montusi Gorge – 20 km Intermediate
A fairly challenging ride from the All Out Adventure Centre taking you along the Montusi Gorge Trail via hand carved trails to the exciting Secret Pass and back to the Adventure Centre on a banked downhill single track with an optional Big Air Jump to finish.

Tribly Trail – 20 km Technical
A technical route; encompassing awesome climbing and breathtaking views. Special features include close up views of the 3000 meter Amphitheatre, waterfall caves, river crossings, flowing contour trails caringly carved along the entire route. This finishes with the famous banked Dutoits Down Hill.

MTB Trails
Home to the Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge and 100 kilometer of the best MTB trails in the Berg. Terrain ranges from heart-pumping climbs with screaming banked down hills, to peaceful meanders on contoured single track. Awesome views around every corner.
R 70.00 per day-pass OR R180.00 per multi-day-pass (valid for maximum 5 days). Passes are not transferable.

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BE-SPOILT-

Be Spoilt Beauty Salon & Spa

aha Alpine Heath Resort has a health spa on location at the resort.

Our spa offers the latest holistic health and beauty treatments and techniques designed to rejuvenate weary bodies and minds… ideal for the traveller in need of some relaxation between busy days of sight-seeing

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