Mfula Store is a traditional South African Trading Store located on the banks of the Umgeni River deep in the Valley of a 1000 Hills in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The approach is steep and windy. As you descend into the valley there are stunning views over 1000 Hills and the valley with the river meandering through. 4×4 is not necessary.
The 4 bedroom House at Mfula Store offers simple self-catering accommodation for visitors to this rural area. It has good security and a night watchman. There is a fully stocked kitchen as well as outside braaing facilities and a pizza oven. For those who want total holiday relaxing without cooking, arrangements can be made. The house is fully serviced.
The nearby Umgeni River, surrounding valleys and isolated homesteads, provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. You can swim, paddle your canoe, find wonderful places to ride your mountain bike, walk, go birding or trail run. For those looking for a cultural experience … this is it. The local communities are friendly and welcome visitors, whether to just see how they live or to enjoy a pint in the local tavern.
The History: Mfula represents a bygone age in South Africa. Mfula Store was a trading station which was a small general merchants selling anything and everything to the rural community. They were often in beautiful and ‘miles away from anywhere’ spots and provided a vital service to the local community. The trader and community relationship was generally a positive one with both sides benefiting and generally getting along well as neighbours. Political changes both before and after 1994, lead to deliberate change to the the way trading stations existed, with licenses for trading taken away to force separation of people by race from the 1960s and later, for good reason on the surface, to empower through managerial change, the previously non empowered. Sadly, these measures were mainly to the detriment of those community members who did not go off to find better lives in the cities, and the traders’ loss as well.
The store would have been attached to the family’s home, as in the case of Mfula. Knowing there is a functioning store again to support this area, is particularly good. Keeping the ambiance, thatched roof and character of the 70 year old house, a little gem of a place has been created by John and Gill Graaf. The focus is on family and friends as reception is poor and there is no TV.
So, wow…the kids don’t have their phones glued to their ears !
S 29° 38′ 50.07″ E 30° 44′ 34.61
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