A just-married Cape Town friend, who’s husband had to go back to work instead of going on honeymoon straight away (ouch), took one of her wedding guests (who’d come all the way from Australia) on a whistle stop safari road trip to… The Garden Route Game Lodge. Herewith her pleasantly surprising feedback:
It certainly is no Singita or Earth Lodge, BUT when comparing apples and apples, pears and pears, it really is very ‘cute’ and very good value for money. If you need to do a whistle-stop safari, this definitely gets a thumbs up.
Everything is clean and neat and well maintained, the food is GOOD and plentiful (which works WELL for me), the lodge has a nice feel about it, the staff are friendly and efficient, the curio shop not outrageously expensive.
Special mention must be made of the rangers. I was really impressed. They are knowledgeable, respectful of the animals and environment, and incredibly passionate about what they do. There is no ‘windgat’, ‘who’s the man’ here, they are conservationists, their work is a love, their drives professional, yet heartfelt. God knows I’ve had some DREADFUL guide experiences… then right here in our own little Province … ‘GOLD’!
Whoever is recruiting these guys is doing a splendid job and hiring the right people. Accolades to both recruiter and guides.
The only negatives here, and seriously, these are NOT biggies, but from my ‘attention to detail’ perspective, and in no particular order, thought to mention so you know –
* power lines everywhere, sound of trucks and traffic from the N2 at night (totally expected)
* old-school boxy TV in chalet (not an issue, we didn’t watch, but would more space if they did install a flat-screen)
* lions are in a separate ‘enclosure’ … but a jolly big one at that (once explained, this is totally acceptable and understandable … they have done a very GOOD thing rescuing the lions from canned hunting demise)
* cheetah is collared (bit iffy on the reasoning of this)
* chalets aren’t huge (we didn’t give a hoot, but some may)
* to access the Lodge and Reception, you do have to drive past the vehicle maintenance area and workshop type area
All in all, and all things being equal, I would DEFINITELY do it again. We have a lovely time, wish we could have stayed another two nights 🙂
The next little trip will hopefully however be a honeymoon or sorts with the husband not with a girlfriend! You should have seen the looks we got when we arrived at the Lodge … there were hushed Afrikaans whispers about ‘just married’, ‘wife’, ‘where is the husband’. I let them wonder a few minutes and wallow in confusion before I explained 🙂 Twas very good for a laugh!
*Only 3½ hours drive from Cape Town, this malaria free private game reserve is home to lots of animal and birdlife including the Big 5.
*Ideal for families – browse more family safari destinations.
*Visitors go game viewing in open Landrovers, stay in very comfortable accommodation and enjoy memorable dining experiences in either of the African style restaurants.