We original met Mandy and Len at Tenikwa Awareness Centre where they set up an animal Rehabilitation Centre near Plettenberg Bay - really worth a visit to do the Walking with Cheetahs and understand the problems facing the animal world in the 21st century. We were so impressed with the work they had done there and listen to their plans for African Game Lodge we had to come and stay here.
Booking accommodation was easy, they have a number of special deals - we booked a couples 2 nighter that included all meals including a bush picnic during a guided drive and accommodation.
Directions - are clear and the drive was easy in our small hire car. The road is unmade and crosses over numerous dried streams (when we visited) - it is worth taking your time and stopping at these points as the bird life is fantastic. Views as you drive further away from civilisation are fantastic. We are a couple of city slickers and love the sense of adventure.
You eventually get to the main gate - you feel on top of the world, after which you get some great views of all the accommodation as you drive down the hill.
We were met by Mandy on arrival and checked in. A very surreal experience with a couple of ostriches and Eland wandering about.
Accommodation - we had the cottage furthest away from the main buildings - closest to the Cheetah enclosure. The cottage, with one bedroom, was well equipped, the bedroom with en-suite bathroom, open plan kitchen, dining and sitting room, with a large stoep with comfortable chairs, table and braai. Everything was spotless. It is worth stocking up with coffee/tea, drinks, particularly good wines available from Robertson!
Food - we had all our meals provided. We would walk up to the main house for meals. Food was excellent and best of all, no washing up for us! We then walked back to our cottage - torches are provided - in the dark. The gentle sound of the Eland moving around us as we walked back added to the sense of adventure.
Take lots of books and then let nature take over. We spent most of our time out on the stoep reading, talking and just sucking up the spectacular views and the sounds - no plans, trains or automobiles here! At night savour the huge star filled sky. Good for trying out night photography. I did get a wifi signal up at main house, but really, be brave and switch off devices and don't feel the need to stay in touch.
Go for a walks and explore or sit quietly and nature will come to you. Eland walking past your cottage, birds a plenty and being watch by the cheetahs from their enclosure! You can also walk down with staff to watch them being fed.
There were 2 cheetahs, both sadly injured due to traps and will never be able to be released, they are wild, and unlike Tenikwa you cannot go into the enclosure. But a real experience to get close to these amazing animals.
And be prepared for Maggie the Mongoose! She eventually visited us on our second day, we were sitting outside and suddenly there she was! Next thing she was running up and sitting on my shoulder - keep the door shut when she is around, she will be in the cottage in a flash!
Our only slight disappointment was the game drive, there were great views, but not a lot of information, particularly on the birds we were seeing. We did not get to see the cave drawing, and not a lot of wildlife - not too bothered about that as we realise that they are introducing animals and they do not appear on demand, but I feel more information on habitat, plants etc would have been interesting.
I would recommend a couple of nights here if part of a road trip, it offers excellent value for money and offers a different experience to staying in many of the towns in the area.
Remember to check their website before going - the operate a Pack for Purpose scheme allowing you to pack small items listed and support some of the local projects they feel passionate about.
Overall, we loved our stay and wish Mandy, Len and their staff well in their vision for this beautiful, unspoilt piece of South Africa and hope to return again. Many thanks to you all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestling in a vast valley amidst the spectacular highland mountainous scenery of the Little Karoo, lies African Game Lodge, a private nature reserve where wild animal have a future. Whether you are looking for a relaxing nature break, need to recharge your batteries or you are looking for an active holiday where you can hike & bike in natural surrounds, African Game Lodge is ideally situated, being only 2 ½ hours from Cape Town and just 30 minutes from the magical town of Montagu. Well-appointed thatch cottages, built in traditional Karoo architecture, provide a comfortable retreat where you can relax and look out over the valley, open spaces and surrounding mountains. Each Cottage is equipped with a fireplace for those chilly winter evenings, and the thatched roofs ensures an inviting coolness during the heat of summer. Awake from a good night sleep, and venture out into the healthy mountain air to choose from a variety of activities such as day hikes, short walks, self-drives, Eco & Game Viewing Drives, bird watching, nature exploring, or just sit and absorb the absolute silence and sounds of nature. ... more less
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