Cavern resort a decades-long love story


Visitors hiking

from FUTHI MBHELE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – WITH eight decades of existence, the Cavern Drakensberg Resort and Spa does not only provide accommodation and activities.

It is a place steeped in history and romance.

It holds many stories, not least its beginning traced to a love letter.

Established in 1941, this facility started in the Midlands of the KwaZulu-Natal is where families bond, friendships formed and memories made.

Director Megan Bedingham describes the resort as a site of conservation significance and the pristine valley, surrounded by sandstone cliffs that provide a beautiful natural environment to relax and unwind.

It offers a range of activities, including daily guided hikes, fishing, horse trails and pony rides.

“Our mountain biking trails keep cyclists active from dawn to dusk,” the executive said.

“Our pool is the perfect place to relax with a book, a tray of tea or an ice-cold beer.”

There is also tennis, lawn bowls and croquet as well as board games like scrabble, chess and backgammon.

“Our menu caters for a variety of diets and preferences. Our Underground Wine Cellar is stocked with a large selection of very good South African wines,” Bedingham said.

She told Durban Today, “The Cavern is a tucked-away romantic escape for couples, a retreat for quiet and solitude, and a child-friendly resort with fun activities.”

“There are canoe trips on the dam and there is an exciting and secure playground in the garden. Our kiddies’ dining area is staffed with nannies to assist during meal times, or at other times, on request.”

The Cavern story began with a letter. In his letter proposing, founder Bill Carte wrote, “Ruth, my darling, I plea as never before: Put your trust in me, marry me and be my mate in building a home and a farm second-to-none in South Africa.”

Ruth and Bill Carte arrived in this remote part of the Drakensberg in 1941 initially to rear cattle for a judge.

The terrain was not suitable and the veld was sour and the judge decided to sell but Ruth saw the potential of running it as a small guest farm.

Unfortunately, after 13 years of marriage, Bill died of cancer.

Ruth, determined and steadfast, continued the building of their dream.

“Our work is… to create beauty, to make the land more fertile, to make our living, to leave the world better than when we first came into it,” Bedingham said.

– CAJ News









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