Words: #CountryRunner Ian Macleod
I’ll be spending both nights of the inaugural ‘Run the Berg‘ at Greenfire Lodge, deep in the quiet heart of the Northern Drakensberg. It seems the perfect spot to rest and refuel during the peak of the #CountryRunner adventure. This picturesque swathe of the famous Amphitheatre is also the sort of spot Country Life readers tend to rave about. I asked owner Andy Dott what to expect when I get there in three weeks.
#CountryRunner: Can you tell me how Greenfire came about?
Andy Dott: Well, my heart has always been in the Berg. I started Drifters in 1983 as a hiking tour company and then opened the Drifters shop. As we grew into safaris, I starting buying properties for use on our tours to support our itineraries. The Berg lodge is one of 20 such properties I own around the country. More recently I sold Drifters the tour company, but have held onto all the properties, which we’re busy rebranding as Greenfire Lodges.
#CountryRunner: The Berg has a variety of accommodation. What is the feel of Greenfire? In other words, what do people go there for?
Andy Dott: We are specifically aiming at a more purist Berg person who wants a real mountain lodge feel: a log cabin with the fire burning. Most Berg properties have become resorts with TVs and tennis courts. Our entertainment is the view.
#CountryRunner: What are the major attractions on the property and nearby?
Andy Dott: We are situated on an expansive piece of land. This makes Greenfire very popular with serious walkers who want to head out exploring the whole day. We also have rock paintings, one of the few Cape Vulture colonies and vast tracts of indigenous forests. We also offer a great venue for mountain bikers and a large trout dam for some easy fishing.
#CountryRunner: What are your accommodation options?
Andy Dott: We have a total of seven Canadian-style log cabin with plenty of fireplaces. The hub is our communal lounge, dining area, and surround veranda with cosy bar for socialising, meals and looking out over the Royal Natal National Park and the breathtaking Amphitheatre.
#CountryRunner: Are there any particular items you advise bringing along?
Andy Dott: Good walking shoes and a mountain bike if desired. A good book and a Zen mind would also help!
Find out more about Greenfire: [email protected]