The Gooderson Natal Spa outdoor pools
The Gooderson Natal Spa outdoor pools
The Gooderson Natal Spa arial view
The Gooderson Natal Spa arial view
The Gooderson Natal Spa waterslides
The Gooderson Natal Spa waterslides
Natural hot springs are a great way to keep warm in winter- so I was looking forward to a weekend at the Gooderson Natal Spa in Paulpietersberg.
Set in 800 acres of beautiful bushveld, amongst giant Cambrian granite boulders that are millions of years old, the grounds and gardens overlooking the Bivane River are spectacular, and the bird life abundant.

As you walk into reception, you can feel your tension draining away, with a view of various sparkling blue pools nestled in the well-designed grounds (perhaps it is from inhaling the healing minerals from the hot water that springs from the ground).

You are spoiled for choice for places to sit and relax. There is a very grand bar, the cosy Bistro, a pool bar, various kiosks selling all sort of refreshments, and a beautiful braai area closer to the hot springs at the river's edge.

As for the hot springs, they come with an interesting history of their own, and the walls to the dining’room are lined with fascinating facts and anecdotes about these mysterious waters.

Apparently the San people believed that the river’s warm water and bubbles were the work of a large black snake with an underground lair.
In 1888, a pioneer discovered pockets of hot water in the river. Sandbags were strategically placed in the river, paving the way for the creation of five hot and four cold pools which are enjoyed to this day.

In 1894 “Oom Piet” bought the farm with a little help from his boss, General Jan Smuts. During the Boer war in the 1900s, soldiers used one of the rocks on the far side of the river for target practice.
The thermal waters rise up along fault fissures and are heated at the source to between 36 and 45 degC. These “triple waters” contain healing chlorides, sulphates and carbonates which is said to help treat digestive disorders, biliary, fibrositis, gout, rheumatism, insomnia, skin disorders, and the stresses and strains of everyday life.

The hotel itself is a pleasant flashback to an old-fashioned establishment of yesteryear. Accommodation options are huge - from a dinner, bed and breakfast format in the hotel, with 60 extremely comfortable and well-appointed rooms, 22 self-catering units, and sites for camping and caravans in the most beautiful surroundings, right on the dam.

Some guests may be disappointed that there is no WiFi but this is an amazing place for families with children of all ages, and a good excuse to ditch the technology.

The new Battlefields Paintball Arena & Obstacle Course provide an exciting challenge for all.

Activities include:
  • Squash and tennis courts
  • Adventure golf
  • Trampolines
  • Water tubes of all sizes
  • Horse riding
  • Archery
  • Mountain bike and running trails
  • Fishing
  • Quad bike trails
  • Table tennis
  • Pool tables
  • Guided bird walks
  • Wellness Spa (with a gym)
  • BMX tracks.

The highlight of our weekend was the Green Trail- a birding walk along the river (160 bird species have been identified here), amongst ancient cussonias, cycads and lavender trees, interspersed with giant Matopos style boulders.

You feel totally surrounded by nature, in a place with many secret pathways where you could bask in the sun for a few hours with a picnic basket, and take in the sights and sounds of the rich bird life.
Natal Spa is an oasis, surrounded by nature. I guarantee that families with kids will only see their children when they are hungry!

We are giving away a two night bed and breakfast stay for family of four, valid for six months worth R6,880.
Visit IOL Lifestyle competitions to enter.

Gooderson Natal Hot Springs is offering a winter special valid until the end of August 2018 for just R575 per person per night on a Bed and breakfast based on a minimum 3 night stay, PLUS the kids stay free.
T’s and C’s apply.

Call 031 3374222 and visit