Mount Amanzi Resort, Hartbeespoort

If you’re looking for a quick getaway in Gauteng, Harties (Hartbeespoort) is always a popular option. Close enough to not spend half your day driving and far away enough to feel like you’re on vacay. Just before schools officially closed in December we took a short weekend break at Mount Amanzi Resort.  One of the few places we could still get a booking at in December at the last minute.

After a lengthy process at registration, with all covid protocols observed we got to our chalet, the scene reminiscent of a small English village with cobbled roads and little space between the buildings. First impression, I remember thinking, there was going to be little privacy on this stay.

The chalet itself is an odd design with the main double bed on the ground floor adjacent to the kitchen and bathroom and the second bedroom directly above with 3 single beds. So watching tv, or going to the loo means you have to go through the main bedroom. Be that as it may, with privacy inside the chalet and outside evaporating into thin air, the stay itself was nice. The patio overlooked a fast-flowing river, which we later found out was the overflow from Harties Dam. A siren can be heard when they open the sluice gates to warn people downstream that water levels may rise.

The resort ground is big with a walking trail around the perimeter complete with outdoor gym equipment spaced out across the route. If inclined, one could get a decent workout incorporating a walk/run interspersed with some cardio workout. There are 3 pools, two fairly large cold water pools at either end of the resort and a centrally located hot spring pool. This area was popular but you can still find some quiet times to enjoy the comfort of the warm to hot water.

There are ample activities for the kids, tennis courts, mini soccer courts, jungle gym and entertainment area with a gaming console, air hockey and pool table. The resort runs activities for the kids, like art and crafts and the use of the entertainment centre facility is free so long as you get a gaming card at reception at around R200. Quite worthwhile when you think that with all the kids keeping each other busy, you could have some time to catch up on that novel that you’ve been trying to finish for months.

The resort convenience store stocks most necessities and the staff was friendly. There is a restaurant but they don’t offer any halaal food. A pleasant surprise was seeing the families of kudu that roam around the complex, somewhat skittish, they only stay long enough for a quick photo op before loping off to tease other guests.

There were other natural guests that were less skittish, a large troop of monkeys, mammas, pappas and naughty little babas. They made a little noise but mostly just playful fun in and around the chalets. Word of caution blink for a minute and you will most likely have food taken off your patio table before you know it.  Doors and windows need to be kept closed to keep these marauders at bay.

This was a short stay for just the weekend, but a quick trip to the Harties Mall to buy swimwear (left behind in our rush to hit the road) resulted in a food hunt. La Montagne, a Halaal Pizza place not far from the resort was a nice stop. The pizza and the calzone were tasty and the eatery comfy with friendly staff making for a pleasant layby whilst the rain poured outside.

Alas time ran out and it was time to check out and return to the big city life. On the drive back we caught sight of a large windmill, the kind you would expect to see in Holland, so curious and in no particular hurry we stopped over at the Jasmyn Fresh Farm Products complex. A mixture of a food market with two restaurants, a waffle house, curio shop and a manicured garden view, the place proved to be a nice break on the journey back to Johannesburg.

We stocked up on fresh farm veggies, cheaper than at the supermarket, some preserves and other goodies. We just had to spend some time in the picturesque garden and while the restaurants were not halaal we ordered some very decent cappuccinos from the waffle place and just took in the view, refreshed and ready to hit the road back home.


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