Family Fun in the Beautiful KwaZulu-Natal Midlands
Mount Park Guest Farm is situated in the beautiful Upper Dargle region of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, at the foot of the iNhlosane Mountain. We provide Midlands Meander accommodation, as well as a range of fun activities for the whole family.
The diverse combination of grasslands, indigenous forest and flowing streams provides an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. The 120 hectare working farm has close to 30 hectares of natural forest. There is an amazing variety of bird life and mammals. You may be lucky enough to hear the very rare Tree Hyrax, with its distinctive cry, on a warm night.
There are 7 hiking trails marked out on the farm. These range from Easy to Advanced, and meander through the indigenous forests of the KZN Midlands, past trickling waterfalls and even up to the top of the iNhlosane. We also have a variety of activities available for the whole family, from fly fishing and canoeing on our dam, to exploring the arts and crafts of the Midlands Meander. Many other activities are available in the surrounding Natal Midlands, such as the exciting Karkloof Canopy Tours, visiting Howick Falls, visiting The Nelson Mandela Capture Site and the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, as well as horse riding and paintball.
Our passion is to provide affordable, comfortable accommodation. Good old-fashioned hospitality without compromising on quality, where wonderful memories can be made.
“This farm is a great family getaway holiday…We enjoyed the mountain biking and hiking…small dam for kids boating and swimming…”
“Amazing place, beautiful cottages and lovely and gracious hosts who went the extra mile to ensure we had a lovely honeymoon!”
“Stunning quaint setting in the Midlands…will definitely be back!”
“Value for money. Neat and clean.”
Midlands Meander Accommodation
Our accommodation is situated in a beautiful, rambling garden estate. There are three streams flowing through it, bordered by a small trout dam and a forest. The campsite is presided over by a beautiful 170 year-old oak tree. The accommodation ranges from camping to self-catering and B&B, right up to full board. The units range from the Main House, which dates back to 1856 and sleeps up to 20 guests, to our small wooden cabins which are ideal for couples.
Meals and beverages are served in the Bull & Speir Restaurant for our fully catered guests and also for pre-ordered breakfasts, meals, pancakes & waffles.
We also have a selection of frozen pre-cooked meals, treats and some necessities for purchase at our reception shop.
Many brides and grooms have chosen Mount Park Guest Farm as their wedding venue. There are many economical options available. Please feel free to contact us regarding your full requirements and we will gladly assist you.
Please note that Mount Park Guest Farm provides tranquil & peaceful Midlands Meander accommodation and no loud music is allowed, unless a group booking has booked out the entire resort for a more lively party.
About the Dargle Valley and Mount Park
The Dargle Valley was so named in the mid-19th Century by Thomas Fannin, an Irish surveyor and farmer, because it reminded him of a valley of the same name near Dublin, on Ireland’s East Coast. If one looks at the photos below of Inhlosane Mountain and the Sugar Loaf Mountain in Ireland’s Dargle, it’s easy to see the resemblance.
The area was first inhabited by the Khoisan. Bantu-speaking people displaced the Khoisan, later being unified as the Zulu people during the time of King Shaka from 1820 onwards. It is interesting to note, however that there are references to cattle and horse raids by “Bushmen” in the area as late as 1862. Trek Boers arrived from the Cape Colony in the late 1830’s and settled in the area amidst conflict with the Zulu people. The Boers abandoned the area when the British arrived in force in the 1840’s, their farms being taken over by immigrants from Britain.
One of these was Robert Speirs, the founder of Mount Park. He was born in Scotland, but had moved to Ireland in his youth and become a merchant. With the coming of the great Potato Famine, he decided to emigrate to Australia. He changed his mind and came to South Africa when he heard about the Byrne Scheme, in which immigrants were promised land in what are now known as the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands – the area between the lush coastal belt and the Drakensberg Mountains. Things didn’t work out as Byrne had planned and the scheme collapsed, but Speirs ended up staying in the area, purchasing a farm at the foot of the Inhlosane Mountain and naming it Mount Park.
The Main House at Mount Park dates from shortly after his arrival in 1850. Speirs’ family owned the farm until well into the 20th Century. It was they who established it as a guest farm, and they also established a 9-hole golf course which was a well-known feature of the Midlands until the outbreak of the Second World War. During the 1980’s, tourism in the area experienced a boost with the founding of the Midlands Meander by potter Ian Glenny of the Dargle Valley Pottery and a group of fellow artists. Like its namesake in Ireland, the Dargle Valley has since become a popular tourist destination. Mount Park remains one of its favourite establishments, as well as its oldest. It is now owned by the Field family. Your hosts Sally and Ian have been running Mount Park since 2015, providing value-for-money Midlands Meander accommodation. The focus is on good old-fashioned hospitality, with families in mind, and the farm is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come to relax and have fun in this beautiful part of the world.
We have an animal farm with a variety of cute creatures for your kids to experience, including dwarf goats and donkeys (the bunnies have escaped and you can see them hopping around the grounds!). As well as providing accommodation, Mount Park is also a working farm and we rent grazing to Manyenyeza Nguni Stud. If you’ve ever wanted to see these beautiful cattle up-close, here’s your chance!