Responsible and sustainable tourism in the Drakensberg
From the beginning
Your hosts are Andrew and Conny Attwood and we have lived here in the Drakensberg region for more than 20 years. We moved here from Germany leaving a corporate lifestyle behind us, in search of living a slower and more self sufficient lifestyle.
20 Years ago an antbear lived under the rotted floorboards in a ruin on a dilapidated farm in rural Kwazulu Natal. Conny and I discovered this ruin and our journey of sustainable living started. We were sad when the Antbear moved out due to our renovations and made itself a home on the hill. Its spirit lives on through the name of our lodge.
Our purpose at Antbear Lodge is to build a future for ourselves and our community
Antbear Lodge employs local Zulu staff from the nearby Villages, 2 and 3km down the road. They have no previous work experience or formal education, but their honest enthusiasm have made training an absolute pleasure. Over the years they have acquired extensive training and skills development through the lodge, with ongoing workshops that inform the staff on current events, technologies & service trends.
The lodge encourages open & honest communication through regular meetings. Staff provide input on various operational issues & suggestions on how to assist the community with upliftment projects. Staff are treated well & fairly, working together as a team. This is evident when you are greeted by genuinely friendly, helpful and happy staff.
Improving our environment
Conny and I love the Drakensberg Mountains and offer guests an unparalleled, diverse, activity-rich tourism experience and at the same time there is huge benefit to our local environment.
We are home to horses, donkeys, a few cows, a flock of sheep, some geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens, dogs and some cats. Most of our animals have been rescues and have now found a haven to live out their lives safely. The dogs love to walk and are always willing to show guests the place. Conny is passionate about her horses and practices the gentler horse whispering methods to train them.
We make an effort in conservation too and take our responsibility as stewards looking after this farm seriously. Removal of alien invader species like wattle, hawthorn and american bramble is an ongoing battle. Poaching is kept to a minimum and that is mostly due to our relationship with our community. Our latest project in partnership with a neighbor farm is establishing a vulture restaurant together with a vulture hide. The hope is that the vulture hide will be taken on by tourists wanting to photograph vultures and the funding can be put back into new vulture conservation efforts.