It's about five hours along the Garden Route (world famous drive full of stunning scenery!!) from Cape Town to Mossell Bay... Gondwana Game Reserve.
It’s not every day that you are greeted by a herd of zebras upon entering the gates of a hotel. It’s not every day that your bedroom overlooks a view so vast and beautiful it almost seems photoshopped! It’s not every day that you can wake up to wild lions outside your window or elephants taking a drink out of the swimming pool. But at Gondwana, that is just some of the ridiculously awesome things that can and do happen!
Upon arrival we were met by some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. Friendly faces offering us hot towels and a refreshing drink. We checked in, and a 4wd Safari truck (yep one of those groovy khaki topless cruisers) dropped us at our luxury lodge. And “lodge” is an understatement! It was HUGE! There were three bedrooms, two stories, a HUGE kitchen equipped with everything you could imagine, all bedrooms had ensuites and the living room (complete with fireplace) backed on to a deck that ascended into the true nature and beauty that Gondwana was. The staff informed us of everything we needed to know, and helped us arrange safari times for the following day, and then took us to dinner. Dinner was in a huge dome shaped room. The ceilings were so high and the atmosphere that filled the space was nothing but relaxing. The buildings were all made from wood, straw and other substances that gave the resort a very warm, cosy yet cultural and traditional feel. Every meal we had was had in this restaurant, and every meal was equally as exquisite! AND the buffet breakfasts had more variety than I had ever seen before - ranging from fruit and spreads to cakes and muffins, assorted breads, cereals, muesli, yoghurt etc AND you could also order from the menu hot meals and larger servings. I was in Heaven.
We were up before the sun each morning, out in search for wildlife at the prime time. Our guides name was Kuhlman (pronounced “cool – man”) and he was rather awesome to be honest with you! He had a way of making our daily safaris not only interesting and informative, but also very fun and exciting. We saw lions, giraffes, buffalo, elephants (and baby ones too!), zebras, hippopotamus, antelope, wildebeest, white rhinoceros, ostrich and various other animals throughout the park. Each day we took a new route and explored a new terrain. Even if we saw no animals at all the safari would have been worth it purely for Kuhlman’s company and the incredible views. During the morning safaris we would stop for hot tea/coffee, fresh fruit and biscuits, and each evening safari we would have some sort of savoury nibblies and a whole esky FULL of whatever drink tickled your fancy. The Safaris were certainly a highlight of our stay at Gondwana Game Reserve, as seeing wild animals in their natural habitat is something so profound and wonderful that I don’t think I will ever be able to fully explain it. You’ll just have to experience it for yourself as it truly was an authentic African Safari experience that went above and beyond all of my expectations!!
Note: Gondwana is all about the conservation and expansion of both flora and fauna as well as eliminating poaching, and limiting environmental impacts.