• About

About The Farmhouse and The Drakensberg

Nestled in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg, Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is a gourmet lodge dedicated to sumptuous food and country luxury.

The Farmhouse - Life before the hotel

Even in the 1970's when we spent time here, the lamps had to be lit, the wood-fired geyser next to the bath had to be stoked before you could have a warm bath and the loo was reached by going through a gate in the fence. The dam was later put in by Ralph and Marj in the 1980’s.

Following Fred’s example we used this as our getaway while running Granny Mouse’s Country House in Balgowan. Once we had sold that, we moved up here permanently in 1993 and the happy memories continue to this day.

We began work on building Cleopatra in 1997, and opened our doors in September 1998.

Richard & Mouse Poynton

Having been one of the originators of the Country House movement in the 1980’s, we travelled overseas after our Granny Mouse’s Country House days, working and absorbing the international “foodie” world. We came back enthused and decided to use the family farm to start what we think of as our dream hotel – an intimate gourmet getaway.

Our family has been coming up to the farm since the 1940’s and we’ve always known this was something special with its breath-taking mountain views, crystal clear streams and ultimate peaceful solitude of the KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg mountains.

We believe it is ideal for its intended purpose as a restful refuge and along with our professional yet understated service we hope this is most of all a gourmet experience to remember.

About The Drakensberg

  • We are situated in the KwaZulu-Natal section of the Drakensberg, a range of mountains that run down the east side of South Africa. We are about 2 hours’ drive from Durban and 5 hours’ from Johannesburg.
  • Summer temperatures may range from 20°C during the day, often with dramatic afternoon thunderstorms.
  • Winter daytime temperatures range from 10°C to 25°C and the night temperatures can drop to below 0°C.
  • Our menu changes every evening according to the seasons in our gardens and the availability of our local produce.
  • We have a bountifully stocked underground cellar. We focus on local South African wines which we love to drink and know go well with food (although a few French champagnes have been known to sneak themselves in from time to time!)
  • We are a proud member of the Best of KZN – a group of luxury owner-run hotels based throughout KwaZulu-Natal, with great emphasis on the guest’s complete comfort. Please visit the site to see more on all the exceptional properties.

Have a look at some suggested activities.