Tenahead Mountain Lodge, Rhodes, Eastern Cape

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Tenahead Mountain Lodge

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Contact Details

Contact Person: Chante Long/Difford Louw
Tel: 0861 748 374
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Tenahead Mountain Lodge

In a remote region of South Africa where three mountain ranges meet - the Drakensberg, the Witteberg and the Maluti - lies a very special place where the hand of man has brushed it but lightly, beautiful San rock art being the only sign of its former inhabitants. Tenahead is 3 500 hectares of unspoilt mountains, valleys and streams. It holds a treasury of flora and fauna and it is the perfect place to experience another life.

Tenahead Mountain Lodge Amenities


Available in Twin Bedded or King Bedded
Beautifully furnished for comfort and luxury
Sleeper couch
Open Fireplace
En-Suite bathroom fitted with both a shower and a bath
Large double glazed windows grace and cocoon each bedroom
Framing panoramic views of the mountains and valleys
Stocked Mini-bar
Tea and coffee facilities
Satellite television
Satellite phone

Area Attractions


Tenahead is a protected area for the conservation of the environment and the natural wildlife resources. Tenahead seeks to make a contribution to nature conservation by:

Restoring the natural environment.
Re-establishing and protecting the biological diversity.
Restore the sponge effect for rain capture in this sensible rain catchment area.
Maintaining the natural ecological processes of the Maluti and Drakensberg mountains.

Golden Mole / Gouemol

Striped Mouse / Streepmuis

Ice Rat / Ys Rot

Vlei Rat / Vleirot

Scrub Hare / Kolhaas

Smiths Red Rock Rabbit / Smith Se Rooi Kliphaas

Porcupine / Ystervark

Common Molerat / Vaalmol

Caracal / Rooikat


It is a well know fact that the area around Tenahead boasts with some of the finest trout and yellowfish fishing in our country.
Rhodes, Barkly East, Maclear and surrounding areas have over 1000km of fishable water on more than 12 different rivers (fly fishermen only utilize a small portion of these vast rivers).

Trout were introduced into these river systems over 80 years ago and now breed naturally and fend for themselves.

Trout average between 10 and 14 inches on most stretches, but fish of 6 to 10 pounds have been caught in the area.

There are a good number of streams, below 7000ft above sea level, which receive an influx of yellowfish from October to March each year. Trout season opens on the 1 September and closes on the 31 May each year, lakes and dams are however open throughout the winter season.

The Upper Bell, as pristine as a trout stream can be, meanders through the lower part of the reserve, curving around the lodge in Camelot style. Dry fly fishing for rainbow trout when water levels are good can be an unparalleled experience.

Tenahead has six fly rods and an extensive range of flies available for our visitors to enjoy on the rivers. While the rods are free of charge for guests the flies are to purchase. Fly fishing enthusiasts should however bring along their own equipment.


2 to 4 weight rod
DT floating line
9ft 4x leaders
4x to 6x tippets
Strike indicator
Small dry flies
Small nymphs
Polaroid sunglasses
Hat or cap
Wading boots
Sun block
Day pack

Professional Guides are available on request and will accompany fly fishing enthusiasts to different rivers around the area. They will provide transport, lunches and (if needed) equipment for the outing.

Tenahead is divided into three main zones, Montane, from 1280m to about 1830m, Sub-alpine, from 1830m to the Summit plateau ? about 2860m and Alpine, from 2860m to the highest parts of the summit plateau. Most of Tenahead lies in the latter belt.
The area has been described by the two early (1836) French missionary / explorers Arbousset and Daumas, as ?a rich botanical garden requiring only some more skilful naturalist to explore and describe its treasures?.

Since then much research has occurred and Dr. Kellick of the Botanical Research Institute identified 907 species belonging to 419 genera in the Drakensberg.
On the slopes below the vertical faces Pineapple Lily and various Ericas may be found.
Whilst on inaccessible grassy ledges where only expert rock climbers venture, are the true jewels of the crags ? Gladiolus Cruentus and Gladiolus Saundersii.
The summit plateau is home to many Ericas and Helichrysum, whilst along the streams Alpine Iris and Red-Hot Pokers (Kniphofia) add their colors to the palette of Dieramas, Wahlenbergias, Berkheyas and Geums.
To this add an endemic like the tiny water lily, Aponogeton spathaceum that survives in tiny rock pools at certain altitudes, and a treasure trove of unnamed species awaiting discovery of classification.
Prime flowering season is from end October to end February peaking from November to January

Botanical groups from the United States venture into this area to marvel over this alpine flora.

Birds & Birding Tenahead and the area directly surrounding it have over a 150 different birds species. Many of these species only occur in alpine areas above 7000ft above sea level, numerous tourists venture into this area to view these birds in a pristine alpine environment.
The bird names with nothing next to them are found in the Rhodes, Barkly East and Maclear district.

Please note that bird names with a double are spotted on a regular basis on the Reserve.
Those with a single do venture onto the reserve, but are seen less frequently.
Any other species may be reported so that the list can be updated.

There are various exhibits of San art in the area directly around Tenahead. Picnics / packed lunches will be provided by the Lodge for the outing.

The late Stone Age inhabitants are generally regarded as being the San people or ?Bushmen? who may have arrived here about 8000 years ago.

There is evidence that Iron Age people were present in the Bushman's River Valley by 1200AD and for a while they lived in harmony with the San.

However the arrival of the Europeans plus the rise of the Zulu military power under Shaka in 1816 pushed the San deeper into the Drakensberg valleys where they found shelter in the many caves and overhangs.

It has been estimated that 35% of all known rock paintings in South Africa are in the Drakensberg.

One of our most treasured works is that of a 35cm lion, one of the largest San paintings in existence, but many more fascinating examples are scattered around Tenahead.

Professionally guided tours can be arranged if booked well in advance.

Tenahead Mountain Reserve boasts with numerous hiking trails that reveal its natural treasures.

For the less energetic there is the Ox wagon trail. The distance of this trail is approximately 2km. The trail follows the Bell River downstream from the Lodge and circles back past the waterfall and swimming hole and back to the lodge. Hiking time between 1 and 2 hours.
A little more energetic is the Cape Griffin Trail that leads from the main entrance of the Lodge up and around towards the escarpment and Vulture Restaurant. This trail provides a spectacular view over the Old Transkei and Eastern Cape; one may also encounter many of the flora and fauna of the reserve. >From the Vulture Restaurant the trail meanders back to the Lodge. The trail distance is approximately 2.5km. Hiking time between 1 and 2 hours.

However the arrival of the Europeans plus the rise of the Zulu military power under Shaka in 1816 pushed the San deeper into the Drakensberg valleys where they found shelter in the many caves and overhangs.

The Greywing Franklin Trail starts off with quite a climb and then levels out on an upward climbing contour, from below the Lodge.

This trail gives one a different view of the Lodge. One may encounter the indigenous Greywing Franklin and Vaal Rhebuck while enjoying this short but energetic hike.

The hike leads to a lookout (sundowner) point that has a panoramic view of the valleys towards the village of Rhodes, down into the old Transkei and a part of Lesotho.

This hike, especially the first climb could be taxing on older and less fit bodies.

The trail distance is approximately 3km. Hiking time between 1 and 3 hours.

Picnic lunches, refreshments and guides can be arranged on request.

Hiking trails are all marked, but if needed a G.P.S with route markings is available.

Tenahead has 8 mountain bikes for guests to use at will to ride along the mountain bike route between 2500 to 2800m above sea level.

It is possible to ride all the way to Tiffindell Ski Resort 25km along the Lesotho border, or down Naudes Nek to the village of Rhodes.

Pick up points could be arranged at the lodge. Guests are welcome to bring their own bikes.

The road passing through the Reserve forms part of the well known Rhodes Mountain Bike Challenge route.

Tenahead Mountain Reserve has seven beautiful ?Boerperd? horses that are surefooted and well equipped to carrying riders to just about any destination on the reserve.

Hand made saddles are used and riding helmets are a must.

From horseback the Cave Trail and Lesotho View Trail are an easy trek, and animals can be approached without alerting them.

Trails can take between 1 and 8 hours depending on the need of the riders. A groom or guide will accompany each group.

The guide will have access to a two way radio, raincoats and refreshments.

Picnic lunches and drinks will be provided on request.

Tenahead lies in an area of Southern Africa that receives more snow than anywhere else in the region.

Get your heart racing and your adreneline pumping with bum-boarding - just imagine the pure thrill as you whoosh along; This unique opportunity awaits people of all ages!

Tenahead has built a stone vulture restaurant hide on the escarpment overlooking the vistas and valleys 4000 ? 5000 ft below.

The one way glass of the hide allows guests to view the fantastic feeding of the Bearded Vulture and Cape Griffin from a few yards away.

The restaurant refers to a place where vultures come to feed (not humans).

The view from here can only be described as a breathtaking panorama.

Hours of silent stillness can be absorbed in this pristine environment, where guests can watch the vultures or simply meditate.

Vultures are fed on the request of our guests to visit the restaurant.

Our Internet cafe and WI-FI is available to the public and guests.

Internet vouchers available at reception.

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Tenahead Mountain Lodge - Eastern Cape Rhodes Accommodation

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