stonecrop lodge

electronic address: stonecrop at mweb dot co dot za

about stonecrop

The name 'Stonecrop' is taken from the hardy, edible succulent plant family, Sedum, of which there are many different types. Ironically, upon trying to establish a garden on the original unspoilt land, it soon became clear that it was indeed a good choice of name for another unexpected reason: Stonecrop could also allude to the fact that there are simply millions of pebbly stones in the soil. So many in fact, that it remains a real challenge to create and maintain the lush paradise that was dreamed about!

The names of six of the units are derived from common names given to Sedum. Many of the garden shrubs as well as Sedum, attract butterflies and it was therefore decided to retain the name of the original guest cottage; Butterfly.

Hundreds of mostly indigenous trees and shrubs were planted on the property over the past number of years in an effort to keep the habitat as close as possible to true Lowveld; hence also, the pockets of uncultivated veld.

Guinea fowl, Natal Francolin and a wide variety of other birds make use of free accommodation and meals here. The most spectacular and noisy of these is the Purple-crested Turaco (previously loerie) with its incredibly beautiful scarlet wings.

The call of the greater galago ('nag-apie': Galago crassicaudatus) might startle you at night, while the call of the resident Spotted Eagle owl and Fiery-necked Nightjar can often be heard.

Guests are welcome and encouraged to enjoy the garden while staying here where nature blesses all with this abundance of bird- and plant life. 

about your hosts

Alan and Leonora established the guest lodge, Stonecrop, to share the beauty of the property with guests, family and friends.

Alan is a semi-retired businessman who owns an engineering project management company. The success of Stonecrop demands much of his time however, and he will often be seen among the washing lines or with a vacuum cleaner in his hands! He is the resident "Mr Fix-it" and regularly has to apply his skills to ensure the units are in tip-top shape. 

Leonora is an artistic, fun-loving person who enjoys meeting new people and experiencing new things. A floral designer by profession, she applied her artistic talent to the design and interior decoration of the various units at Stonecrop and continues to apply her philosophy of 'If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well…' to the management of the guest lodge. 

They share a love for outdoor life, travelling, bird watching, reading, photography, dancing, challenging each other at Sudoku and crossword puzzles, and spending afternoons playing bridge with friends whenever they can. They are keen hikers and are delighted to have ticked, among others, the grueling eight-day Naukluft Trail in Namibia off their bucket list. Sunday's late mornings often see them taking off on Alan's motorbike. Regular exercise in the form of cycling and visits to the gym 
is also high on their agenda and they try to do the 5km park run every Saturday.
(Note - Since the start of the crazy Covid year, they have had to give up spending time in the gym and also can't do the Park Runs anymore. Waiting with bated breaths for the world to return to a semblance of 'normal'...)

Their goal with Stonecrop is to make it irresistibly inviting and homely - a casual place where guests may arrive as strangers, but leave as friends, having had a thoroughly enjoyable stay, looking forward to the next visit! 

about the team

Rose Mkhatswa has been working at Stonecrop for ever since can be remembered and is the indispensable senior member of the house-keeping team. She is responsible for preparing the units for our guests and also does all the laundry, a huge and formidable task which she performs splendidly.             

Like so many women in South Africa, Rose is the single mother of two children and has four grandchildren, (two of whom are being raised by her following her eldest daughter's early and tragic death in 2018) and she needs to work to help support her extended family. To supplement her income, she runs a successful piggery in her free time. 
An immensely valuable asset to Stonecrop, as well as a successful farmer and wonderful entrepreneur!           

Owen Tlobela joined the team in 2014 and is responsible for the maintenance of the garden and grounds. He is married and has a young daughter living with him and his wife while two elder daughters live with his former partner. He mows the lawns in summer and is totally devoted to keeping the swimming pool, pond and walking areas clean and free of leaves and debris. He might also be seen shooing away the monkeys which can otherwise become a nuisance.
Extremely loyal and dependable, hats off to him as it is hot out there in the African sun!