If you’ve always wanted to experience a European Christmas, skip the long-haul flight and make your way to Little Switzerland Resort instead…
Nestled at the foot of the Northern Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, this Alpine-style accommodation feels as though you’ve stumbled upon a little Swiss village somewhere in the Alps. Or even more so, one of those faraway places you might have read about in storybooks.
With charming wooden cottages, indoor log fires and a stable filled with horses and ponies, it’s the perfect setting for a fairytale holiday. You’ll be warmly welcomed and rewarded with the most idyllic views.
A touch of merriment and magic
Christmas certainly came early this year with the recent revamping of the main lounge, the reception area as well as the kids’ outdoor play area. The resort also became one of the few pet-friendly accommodation options in the area, with the conversion of two of their self-catering chalets.
Now the whole family can go on holiday, and beloved fur babies don’t need to be left behind during the festive season.
The magic of Little Switzerland doesn’t end there. The Draken’s Burger Diner sits right at the entrance of the resort. The flame-grilled burgers alone will complete your stay, and will quickly persuade you to travel more frequently along the Oliviershoek Pass instead of the usual route on the N3.
Dashing through the Berg
When you’re ready to explore the area surrounding Little Switzerland, you’ll quickly discover a surprise around every corner. The Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal is everything and anything you could want in a local holiday, whether you are looking for a honeymoon haven, a family getaway or an active adventure.
Known locally as “the berg”, it’s a touch of the Alps all rolled into Africa with its towering mountains and meandering roadways brimming with isiZulu villages, padstals and coffee shops.
At its foothills are the rolling KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and the Royal Natal National Park. This is an addictively chilled-out sort of place where you can walk, hike, climb, ride horseback, fish and watch the local wildlife to your heart’s content.
The region can also be regarded as one of South Africa’s largest outdoor art galleries as the Drakensberg boasts over 35 000 individual recorded rock art images at over 600 sites.
Overall, this region makes up 35% of all of South Africa’s San rock art sites where, unlike most museums and attractions in Europe, there are no crowds or selfie sticks in sight during the busiest season of the year.
Get into the Christmas spirit
If you’re one for tradition, join the Little Switzerland family for their annual Christmas dinner on the 25th of December. As for entertainment while you’re in the area, get your toes tapping during a performance from the Drakensberg Boys Choir.
There are many schools across the country with boys’ choirs, but the Drakensberg Boys Choir is truly unique. With musical styles ranging from classical choral pieces to contemporary gems, the Drakensberg Boys Choir puts on a variety of musical performances throughout the year. Their live shows at Cathkin Park in Winterton, which take place during December, have captivated audiences for over 50 years.
Tickets for 2019 are currently on sale and can be purchased online from Webtickets.
While in Winterton this Christmas, stop in for a festive pint at the Drakensberg Brewery, set up in a hangar on an airfield. No sleighs with reindeers have landed here yet, but sightings of burly, bearded individuals have been confirmed. You’ll also find an English pub-style bar back at Little Switzerland, with a central fireplace and beer on tap ― just the place to gather for a post-Drakensberg activity refreshment.
Families in need of a centrally-located holiday destination to meet and celebrate this Christmas will love that the resort is located exactly halfway between Durban and Johannesburg.
With self-catering chalets, en-suite hotel rooms and family suites, there’s a home away from home just waiting to be filled with laughter and cheer.
By Chelsey Hale