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Mon Desir Estate is an historical country home, situated high up at the foot of Otto’s Bluff Mountain with breathtaking panoramic views over the Albert Falls Dam and Umgeni Valley, and against the backdrop of the Karkloof Mountains in the distance.
The property was the location of choice to film the movie, ‘King Solomon’s Mine’s’, and with the buildings dating back to 1939, makes this property steeped in history.
Nestled quietly on 58ha of bushveld, this gem, formerly Kwela Lodge, is now under new ownership and management, and has recently been refreshed and on its way to being restored to its former glory.
Only a short 15 minute drive from Pietermaritzburg, 20 minutes from Albert Falls Dam Reserve and an hour’s drive from Durban, Mon Desir becomes a perfect location for a wedding or function, or just a tranquil break away with utterly stunning views. There is probably no other view like it around Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands!
Enjoy our beautiful gardens and trees, which are home to an abundance of birds, or explore the unspoiled African bush and waterhole, with a chance to see Nyala, Duiker, Impala, Zebra, Warthog and Porcupines, or simply relax at the pool and enjoy the spectacular view.


Accommodation in 4 guest rooms.

Main House Guest Rooms

Before Kwela Lodge turned into a lodge, the Guest rooms were part of the owner’s home. The bay windows, high ceilings, wooden doors, Oregon pine floors and bathroom tiles still bear witness of those days gone by.

Rhino Room

Our “Room with a View” – with private entrance (sliding glass door) to the garden overlooking Albert Falls Dam. The spacious room is furnished with a queen-size bed, a bay window with table and chairs, dressing table, ceiling fan, ensuite bathroom with bath and integrated shower.

Buffalo room

Our ‘Garden Room’ is a very spacious room with a high ceiling and bay window facing the front garden. It is the perfect family room, furnished with TWO double beds, a bay window, table and chairs, plus a queen-size bathroom with bath and integrated shower.

Cheetah Room

Our ‘Cosy Room’ is an intimate, quiet room facing the back veranda with a comfortable double bed, ceiling fan. This room has its own private bathroom with bath and integrated shower although this is across the passage.

Leopard Suite

The Leopard Suite is made up of 3 bedrooms with a shared en suite.  The rooms face the tranquil back garden and are quiet and away from the centre of things in the main house.

Timor Cottage

This charming, rustic farm cottage is surrounded by garden with ancient oak trees.  It has a patio and garden furniture with a beautiful view of Albert Falls Dam and the bush veld. It is close to the Pool area. The spacious lounge is furnished with a couch, table and TV Cabinet, a dining room area with table and chairs and a galley kitchen.

The Timor cottage (which is named after East Timor near Indonesia) accommodates 6 guests in 3 bedrooms: the Dili Room is spacious main bedroom with a queen size bed. The Manatuto Room is a bedroom with 2 single beds, and the Taibessie Room is another smaller bedroom with 2 single beds. It is a lovely family unit which has one spacious bathroom with shower to share.

Sunbird Cottage

Situated quietly in the farm area of the garden, amidst pecan nut trees and set back from the main house next to the orchard and paddock, our Sunbird Cottage has 2 separate bedrooms – The Amethyst Room and The Scarlet Room.  Each Room has two single beds, a shared bathroom with a shower, a galley kitchen plus a small dining area between the rooms. There is a small garden in the back of the cottage facing the sunset and a semi-private garden in front of the cottage under the pecan nut tree.


Bird watching
Our reserve area with a variety of indigenous trees boasts an abundance of birdlife. We have sighted app. 90 species of birds over the years. Albert Falls Dam and the Umgeni Valley are home of the Fish Eagle, Martial and Crested Eagle as well as hawks and other birds or prey.

Hiking, biking and walks 
Explore our 58 ha property of grassland, trees and aloes on foot or with your Mountain Bike. Stand a chance to see impala, zebra, blesbuck, warthogs or vervet monkeys. Moutain Bikers can explore the area around Albert Falls Dam and along the Karkloof as far as Howick.

Adventure sports nearby
Abseiling in Howick, fun carting in PMB and Karkloof Canopy Tours.

Nearby Albert Falls Dam is home to international bass finishing competitions, and also offers a variety of other fish to catch, e.g. carp and tilapia, etc.

Team building
To boost business productivity, bring your teams for brainstorming sessions, team building and conferencing in a relaxing setting with magnificent views.

Wobbly Warthog Bar

The Wobbly Warthog Bar and Pool Room overlooks the swimming pool and the most stunning views over Albert Falls Dam and the Umgeni Valley.

Facilities include a fully equipped bar, a small kitchen, bar, Jetmaster fireplace and air-conditioning and TV. The front and side of the room have glass sliding doors which open out onto the swimming pool and a “Boma” with braai area .

It can accommodate around 40 seated guests, and is ideal venue for a smaller wedding, birthday lunch or dinner, corporate functions, informal meetings and small conferences.

Relax around our cosy Wobbly Warthog pool bar with its spectacular views of Albert Falls Dam.  The bar offers the perfect place to relax amidst the  tranquillity of lush gardens and bushveld surroundings – a quiet retreat for anyone to unwind after a busy day or week to watch the sun go down over the Dam.


Pietermaritzburg ‘city of choice’
See Victorian buildings, City Hall, Golden Horse Casino and racecourse,  Butterflies for Africa,  Botanical Gardens,  Midlands Shopping Mall and events like the Comrades Marathon, Mandela Marathon, Midmar Mile Swim, Amashovashova Cycle Race or UCI Moutain Bike events  …. just to name a few.

Albert Falls Dam
Albert Falls Dam is renowned for the world’s best bass fishing.  Boating, water sports and fishing are popular family activities in the nearby Game Reserve. Further attractions around the Dam are Ecabazini Authentic Zulu Homestead and Albert Falls Miniature Railway or lunch on the Umgeni river at the Amble Inn.

Valley of a Thousand Hills
Tala Private Game Reserve, Phezulu Zulu Dancing and Cultural Show,  Crocodile and Snake Park,  Steam Railway Adventure,  Natal Zoological Garden, Lion Park and the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary.


  • Durban with its beaches, uShaka Marine World , Moses Mabhida Soccer Stadium
  • German History with Wartburg, New Hanover and Hermannsburg
  • Drakensberg / Sani Pass / Lesotho
  • Battlefields with Dundee, Rorke’s Drift, Isandlwana
  • Midlands Meander
  • Access to Big Five reserves near Ladysmith and Zululand within 2-3.5hrs drive.


Otto’s Bluff Rd, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


Mobile: 083 536 4518
Weddings: 072 178 2511
International: +27 83 536 4518