"One of South Africa's best kept secrets" Ixopo by sunscreen202
Ixopo Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos
Set in the rolling hills and valleys of southern Zululand, the Buddhist Retreat Centre (BRC) has over a period of 25 years become in icon of peace and tranquility in the tumultous land that is South Africa. Its generally low profile has ensured that it is more or less untouched by excessive human traffic and retains its goodness-to-earth ambience. Having that said, during my last visit a few weeks ago it was plain that the infrastructure and amenities have improved dramatically where the BRC can, apart from its core purpose of being a Buddhist centre, be called a fine hospitality establishment.
... are the main features here. Early morning mist hides the sounds of dogs barking and people starting their day down in the villages in the valley, and if you listen carefully you'll hear the gong sound, calling meditators to early morning meditation.
During the years since my last visit 15 years ago the gardens have expanded dramatically and is now a haven for a birds and indigenous flora. Special features include a unique labyrinth, stupa, zen garden set among huge trees, and the main feature, a ten metre high Buddha.
The accommodation is quite adequate, and consists of a 'lodge' of about twenty rooms with shared facilities and about half a dozen en-suite rooms... ask for one of the kutis, these are basic, but superbly placed cottages overlooking the fast valley.
All facilities are spotlessly clean and well looked after. The staff (mostly volunteers) are friendly and most helpful, and there's an interesting little gift shop as well.
- Pros:peaceful, best place to rest
- Cons:may be difficult to reach without own transport
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