Michael-John recently went on holiday to the HArtbeespoort Dam and had a wonderful holiday relaxing at the picturesque Bali at Willinga Lodge. If you're looking for a holiday break near Joburg, make sure to visit Bali at Willinga Lodge.
Perched high on the hill in Kosmos overlooking the Hartbeespoort Dam, Bali at Willinga might have one of the most beautiful views.
We arrived at the lodge in the early afternoon after navigating their quite steep driveway. The drive up the hill is quickly rewarded with sweeping views over the dam. We were welcomed warmly by Will, who co-owns the lodge with his wife Ingrid, and we quickly got settled in our room, the Yellowgrape Suite.
The room is pleasantly cosy and simple with two single beds, coffee and tea making facilities, a couch, and a great bathroom hidden behind swing doors. It has everything you need, including an outdoor braai and a communal lounge and kitchen right next door. With some nice and warm Highveld weather set for the next two days, I was particularly keen for a braai.
After settling in, we headed out to explore Hartbeespoort Dam. We drove through to the dam wall, got out and took a walk around the lookout points. It's always incredible to look at that massive wall of concrete holding back the waters of the dam.
Once we'd seen our fill of the dam wall, we headed back and popped in at Tan' Malie Se Winkel. This old-world country trading post offers the best in regte egte boerekos. Sit down for a cup of moerkoffie and melktert in the garden behind the stall, or if you're just popping in grab some dried fruit and biltong for padkos.
After browsing through the padstal we headed over the dam wall to the main town section of Hartbeespoort. We then went to the Snake and Animal Park after seeing a sign advertising a sunset boat cruise. Truthfully I can't recommend the park, but the boat cruise was very nice and went to the dam wall and back along Kosmos before returning back to the mooring.
That night we made a braai in the fireplace outside of our room and relaxed in the cool night air. We really enjoyed being able to relax and enjoy a braai in our own private area. It felt quite homely and that was very welcomed. Sipping beers and enjoying our dinner overlooking the dam was pure relaxation. This was shortly followed by a dip in the Jacuzzi near our room which perfectly capped off our evening.
The next morning we had a relaxed start and spent the day reading and milling about before heading to the Hartbeespoort cableway. The cableway is the longest mono-cableway in Africa and offers amazing panoramic views of Hartbeespoort Dam and the surrounding Magaliesberg mountains. The cableway was initially started in 1973, but a recent refurbishment and 14 new six-seater cable cars have brought life back to this now popular attraction.
We got into one of the cable cars and headed up to the top of the mountain to enjoy the sweeping views. The journey felt very safe and offered beautiful views of the area. Once on top there was still plenty to do, such as the 1-kilometre Dassie Route walkway to look out for the furry friends. You can also order a picnic basket to enjoy at the top (unfortunately no food or drinks can be brought with you). There is also a restaurant and bar with light meals and drinks. For the kids there's a play area, plus there's plenty of space to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful views.
We headed back down and back to the guesthouse. That evening we took it easy again and enjoyed another braai. Often a weekend break can be too busy with not enough time to simply relax, but at Bali at Willinga there is plenty of space to unwind. You can relax in the Jacuzzi, enjoy the swimming pool, spend time on the deck overlooking the dam, or read your book in the communal lounge.
The next morning we had breakfast at the main lodge, which was a wonderful spread. The vista from the top of the hill really is spectacular and you realise just how lucky Bali at Willinga is to be home to such a view. After a great breakfast, we set out back home feeling very refreshed and ready for the new week.
To find out more about Bali at Willinga Lodge and to book a weekend away in Hartbeespoort, click here.