We stayed at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, Port St Johns, Wild Coast, Eastern Cape, from the 17th – 20th July 2008. My party consisted of two adults and two children (aged 9 and 7 years).
Once we entered the gate of the Umngazi River Bungalows and Spa, it was as if we were leaving behind us the problems of the outside world. Umngazi is a family resort designed with a focus on the needs of children. They even have nannies for hire, at very reasonable rates, which allows the adults to do their own thing. This, I must point out, is not our way. We look after our own children. There is a separate kid’s dining room, which in my opinion is really for toddlers and children below school age. We chose to eat together as a family in the main dining room.
We had reserved two bungalows linked together by a connecting passage, so the kids had one bungalow with single beds and the adults had another with a double. It literally couldn’t have been better. The view outside of the river and the sea was absolutely outstanding. The noise of the breakers on the beach gave the impression of a gale of wind, yet there was not a breath of wind. This establishment is set in a breathtaking location.
The Umngazi Resort is full board; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meal times are fixed and you are allocated a table for your entire stay. At night the fish and main courses are served whilst all the rest (soup, salad, pudding, cheese and biscuits and tea/coffee) are self-service. Service was a bit haphazard because no one member of staff appeared to be allocated to a specific table. Service could be a little more focused. But I have to say the food was quite good. There was certainly no shortage on the old buffet front.
During the daylight hours there are plenty of activities for children. There is a supervised ‘Creative Corner’ designed to cater for young children. Our children took the opportunity to go pony trekking across the river on the beach. They paddled in the Indian Ocean, experienced dune boarding and had the opportunity to visit an African village on a supervised trip upriver. They enjoyed singing and playing musical instruments around a campfire in the evening on the beach and participating in African dancing. Overall the children’s activities at Umngazi were first rate.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tucked away on the Wild Coast, in the heart of Pondoland, and encompassed by a rocky coastline, indigenous forests, secluded coves and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, lies the award winning Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa - an award winning family resort & spa. The thatch-roofed bungalows are situated amongst the indigenous gardens which provide the perfect setting for a totally relaxed holiday. Weekly fly-in packages are available Friday to Friday from Durban where you fly at 500 feet above sea level along the beautiful coastline - a wonderful way to start your holiday. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Umngazi River Bungalows Hotel Port St Johns
- Umngazi River Hotel
- Umngazi River Resort