stonecrop lodge

a note from the team at stonecrop: january 2019

So here we are at the start of another year... 

2018 was a year of mixed efforts and rewards and it sped past at lightning speed...
We had areas of the parking space re-cemented, installed  a ceiling on the deck at the main cottage, (complete 
DIY job), and finally had space converted into a dedicated laundry and storage area.
The deck at Gold Moss was given a permanent new solid roof, making the space usable in all weather.  
The pair of breeding hadeda returned, 
regular as clock-work, and are still here raising the latest brood, often-times with raucous enthusiasm...
We met and welcomed numerous 'new' guests, while our 'regulars' stayed true and loyal, for which we remain grateful. 

All in all, a smooth-running, happy and contented year in the life of us Stonecrop souls...

Wishing all our guests, past and present, an epic new year filled with opportunities and successes!
Go make it happen! 

Alan, Leonora, Rose and Owen
a note from the team at stonecrop: december 2017

Another year has come and just about reached its end.

This season we were blessed and still are being blessed by good rain which has transformed the garden as if by a miracle. We redecorated four units earlier this year and went for a calming neutral colour scheme instead of all the red which really became outdated and was just too warm for the Lowveld. Rose and Owen are both still with us and going strong. The hadedas came back and had only one baby this year, which unfortunately fell out of the nest before it could learn to fly. On another not happy note we bid farewell to Scallywag, the old doggie, today, 18 December 2017. 

We end this short note by thanking all the guests who came to stay at Stonecrop this year - we are looking forward to a wonderful 2018 and wish you all a very happy and prosperous one too!  

Alan, Leonora, Rose and Owen

a note from the team at stonecrop: january 2017

2016 was a great year for us all at Stonecrop: We were amazingly busy, reached all kinds of milestones and set new goals to improve the establishment as a whole. The Hadedas came back to breed for the fifth year in a row, the White-browed Robin Chats still believe they are the appointed alarm-callers at 5 every morning, the bush-babies still run over the roof tops and startle guests with their calls in the middle of the night... In the main, all is well here for which we remain grateful.  

We suffered severe damage as a result of the drought through most of the year and lost many plants and trees, but the Lowveld is resilient and the good rains in the latter part of the year turned the garden into the lush green haven it used to be, in no time at all. With the help of gardener Owen, we now have our work cut out to keep unwanted growth and the ever-present weeds contained. Oftentimes we think that we're in the gardening- and laundry- instead of the hospitality industry...

When the roof over the patio at Cloud Nine was rattled from its trusses by a huge wind storm and had to be replaced, it gave us the opportunity to make some changes in the main bedroom of Stardust on the upper level. This just proved the old adage that 'it is an ill wind that blows no good', appropriate and true. 

On a not so happy note; we had to re-home our fat grey cat, Gricia, as she became a complete nuisance after being spoiled absolutely rotten (with the best of intentions) by a number of cat loving guests. We can only hope that our continued pleas to not spoil the dog, will not fall on equally deaf ears...

With 2017 stretching out before us like a shining ribbon, we look forward to hosting more amazing strangers who after having stayed here once, often return and whom we then can add to our growing list of friends. We hope you'll be one of them!

Thank you to all of you who came to stay during 2016 and we wish you all a wonderful new year! 

Alan, Leonora, Rose, Owen and Victoria

Early 2017
Cheeky Hamerkop caught redbeaked 
trying to snatch one of our koi...
a note from the team at stonecrop: february 2016

We would like to share the following milestone: In December 2015 we received a surprise visit from Ms Pippa de Bruyn who announced herself at the gate and asked to be let through. She requested a tour of the lodge and after looking through some of the rooms, and asking a number of questions, promised to send a photographer to take some photos of the units and also the exterior. The photographer, Ms Teagan Cuniffe, phoned some days after and made an appointment for the following week. 

Long story short, the two ladies are both contributors to the Getaway Magazine and much to our surprise and delight, Stonecrop was voted 'Best Value - Self-Catering' by reviewer Pippa in her monthly article putting the ratings of establishments on TripAdvisor to the test. The article can be found in the February 2016 issue of the magazine.

A huge thank you to all our guests who took the time to review us on TripAdvisor, it really is you that made this possible! 

Please continue supporting this valuable site. In their own words: 
TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 350 million unique monthly visitors**, and 320 million reviews and opinions covering more than 6.2 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 47 countries worldwide.'  
All reviews are authentic reviews of genuine experiences. 

What a wonderful way to start the new year! Thank you, once again!

The Team at Stonecrop

a note from the team at stonecrop: september 2015

In April 2016 it will be Stonecrop's 4th anniversary. Since we last posted a note we have been busy with all kinds of improvements like adding a pond in which koi and some uninvited plat-annas - an indigenous African frog (xenopus laevitus) are now thriving; repainting all the units; doing our utmost to help our garden survive the extreme heat and drought that 2015 brought with it and lastly renovating the unit called Black Jack which we are renaming Moonglow. All of this would not have been possible without you, our most valued guests! Once again we would like to extend a word of appreciation to each and every one of you who chose Stonecrop for your stay in our scenic and very special area! 

In February 2015 we bid Dolly farewell a few months before her sixth and youngest son arrived in this world and she chose to become a stay-at-home mom and then welcomed Owen to Stonecrop in her place. He is doing an excellent job but we must confess: we miss Dolly's extra help in the units! However, Owen tries his best and has his hands full keeping the garden neat and tidy, the plants alive, the pathways and parking area free of leaves and debris, and the monkeys at a respectful distance.

Scallywag (the dog) and Gricia (the cat) are both still with us; Scallywag despite being in the region of 150 dog years old, so if you don't see her next time you visit, don't ask - just give us a hug. 

In short, we
 have been very blessed and fortunate to meet and befriend an array of the most awesome people from all over the world. Thank you all for enriching our lives!  Baie, baie dankie, julle almal! 

Alan, Leonora, Rose and Owen  

July 2014 - A pair of Hadeda Ibis built a nest and produced two babies in one of the trees close to the main dwelling on Stonecrop in the summer of 2013. On 17 July 2014 we noticed that they returned and we're hoping that they will repeat the exercise. (We assume it's the same pair.) We shall monitor them more closely this year and keep you posted on their progress (if any.)

Below are pictures we managed to take of the two (rather large) fledgings before they flew the nest.

December 2014 - Hooray! The pair, presumably the same, returned and produced two brand new chicks. The beautiful and downy new Hadeda babies below are shown off by their proud parents. 

The rather untidy nest, constructed with large twigs, is perched precariously about fifteen meters above the ground. 

We hope you enjoy these unique photos! 

 For the last two seasons (2014 and 2015) a pair of Greater Double-Collared Sunbirds bred on Stonecrop. Below are some photos of the chicks. The only one to survive and finally fly away, is the one in the last photo. 

 List of birds spotted at Stonecrop on August 17, 2013.  (...all within two hours!)
 -- Courtesy of our guests Selwyn Rautenbach and Charmaine Dawson

  • Natal Francolin
  • African Green Pigeon
  • Purple Crested Turaco
  • Fierynecked Nightjar
  • Whitefronted Bee-eater
  • Giant Kingfisher
  • Greenbacked Bleating Warbler
  • Yellowbreasted Apalis
  • Southern Black Flycatcher
  • Speckled Mousebird
  • Blackcollared Barbet
  • Crested Barbet
  • Goldentailed Woodpecker
  • Cardinal Woodpecker
  • Lesser Striped Swallow
  • Cape Wagtail
  • Blackcrowned Tchagra
  • Orangebreasted Bush Shrike
  • Blackheaded Oriole
  • Sombre Bulbul
  • Dark-capped Bulbul
  • Kurrichane Thrush
  • Red-capped Robin-chat
  • Heuglin's Robin
  • Cape Glossy Starling
  • Hadeda
  • Amethyst Sunbird
  • Black Sunbird
  • Cape White-eye
  • Spectacled Weaver
  • Puffback
  • Jameson's Firefinch
  • Common Waxbill
  • Brimstone
  • Tawny Flanked Prinia
  • Red Fronted Tinkerbird
  • White Bellied Sunbird
a note from the team at stonecrop: april 2014

We celebrated our second birthday this month and would like to extend a word of appreciation to each and every guest who chose Stonecrop for their stay in our beautiful area over the past two years. You have all been amazing and we look forward to meeting many more wonderful people in the years to come, and welcoming back previous guests like the friends they have become!
Thank you for your positive feedback and kind words! Dankie, julle almal! 
Alan, Leonora, Rose and Dolly 

There's a little bird that somebody sends
Down to the earth to live on the wind.
Borne on the wind and he sleeps on the wind
This little bird that somebody sends.

He's light and fragile and feathered sky blue,
So thin and graceful the sun shines through.
This little bird who lives on the wind, 
This little bird that somebody sends.

He flies so high up in the sky
Out of reach of human eye.
And the only time that he touches the ground
Is when that little bird dies.

- Marianne Faithfull