Masakala Guest House, Matatiele, Southern Drakensberg, Eastern Cape: Accommodation Review


Masakala Guest House
94 High Street, Matatiele (office)
Eastern Cape
| Map 1 | Map 2

Accommodation type: Bed & Breakfast
Number of stars: N/A (but AA approved)
Rooms starting from (per person sharing): R200
SA Blog recommends? Enthusiastically!

Snippet
This is off-the-grid living at its best. Electricity is scarce and daily patterns are simple. Guests get breakfast and supper each day, as well as stunning, panoramic views of the Ukhahlamba Mountains, and the opportunity to hike the Mehloding Adventure Trail. Other activities include bird watching, a guided village tour, horse riding and Bushmen rock art viewing.

(See full review below.)

Low season specials? No
Breakfast included? Yes
Dedicated non-smoking rooms? Yes
Staff friendliness (out of 10): 8
Staff competence (out of 10): Not reviewed

Room options: Single, Double, Suite, Dormitory
Room comfort level (out of 10): Not reviewed
Noisy? No
Does the TV remote work? N/A
Fan or A/C? Neither
Pool? No

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Concierge? Not reviewed
Restaurant? N/A
Conference facilities? N/A
Three ink blot adjectives: Rustic, alternative, transporting
Value for money? Yes

Booking information
Masakala Guest House
PO Box 406
Matatiele 4730
Tel: +27 (0) 39 737 3289, Fax: (same)
masakala@telkomsa.net
www.mehloding.co.za/masakala.htm

Review
The small town of Matatiele (pronounced mah-tah-tee-ELL) has a contested geography: most web references place it in KwaZulu Natal, but it was recently “moved” to the Eastern Cape – to the great unhappiness of many residents – by the national government. A court case was launched to have the old border restored; for the moment, however, Matatiele remains in the Eastern Cape.

Situated at the foot of the Southern Drakensberg mountain range, Matatiele is home to several B&Bs – and none more interesting than the Masakala Guest House, managed by the cheerful Nomonde Makaula. Nomonde, who isnt’ too bothered by the provincial boundary redrawing, offers guests truly special accommodation: traditional thatch-roofed rondavels in the tiny village of Masakala, 8 kms further down the road.

This is off-the-grid living at its best. Electricity is scarce and daily patterns are simple. Guests get breakfast and supper each day, as well as stunning, panoramic views of the Ukhahlamba Mountains, and the opportunity to hike the Mehloding Adventure Trail. Other activities include bird watching, a guided village tour, horse riding and Bushmen rock art viewing.

The Masakala operation is Fair Trade-certified, meaning that by staying there you’re encouraging responsible tourism practice. Its two rondavels can accommodate up to six people in total – perfect for backpacking groups on eco adventures.

Between the accommodation – very affordable – and the experience – quite unforgettable – the Masakala Guest House is sure to “make your stay” in South Africa.