In many ways, our overnight stay at this hotel promised to be the highlight of our South African tour, as it was to include a game drive through the hotel’s private game reserve. we were not to be disappointed.
The hotel itself was in a beautiful setting overlooking the reserve itself with mountains in the distance. The main rooms were positioned in delightful gardens with lawns, pool, and sunbathing area, albeit a short walk from the reception and the restaurant. There were also individual ‘chalet’ rooms set further away from the main building, in a more ‘rural’ part of the grounds. Our room was very comfortable, with no problems from mosquitoes or anything else we may have imagined! We had both lunch and dinner in the restaurant, both buffet-style, and were very happy to be able to try out the barbecued meats, like eland, that we had never tasted before – delicious!
The main event, however, was the 2-hour game drive, starting in the late afternoon. The jeep took us all around the reserve, stopping at regular intervals for photos, and short talks about the animals from the driver. I can’t say how many animals we saw as there were so many, and it is difficult to describe the wonderful feeling of seeing them at liberty – almost as they would be in the wild. We had been determined that we wanted to see the ‘Big Five’ (as they are known), but the stars of the show were undoubtedly the giraffes – a mother and two offspring, who were feeding happily as we sat and watched nearby, then decided to walk around the jeep, passing withing a few feet of us as we sat enthralled. We were literally stunned by the beauty of all the animals we saw, and although we had the option of repeating the experience early the next day, decided that nothing could better our first drive.
Instead, we visited the hotel’s private Reptile Centre, where we had a rather different animal experience with crocodiles and tortoises outside, and lots of different snakes inside. The keeper who gave the talk on the snakes was very knowledgeable, and the morning completed one of the most memorable 24 hours, not only in our tour, but in our lives!