The light was fading swiftly but we have been determined to discover them. Our guide expertly manoeuvered the jeep about a tight bend and stopped. Silence reigned as the dust settled. I surveyed the surrounding bushes prior to turning my gaze to the mountains, bathed in a soft pink light, in the far distance. We sat in silence when abruptly, we heard the crack of a twig. He came, gradually but certainly, into view and we gasped in awe. The lion casually strolled previous us, seemingly without the need of a care in the globe. Watching this majestic cat was a single of the highlights of my safari at the Gondwana Game Reserve, a single I wouldn’t conveniently neglect!
Gondwana Game Reserve – Significant-five safari close to Cape Town
The Gondwana Game Reserve is situated close to Mossel Bay, about a 4-hour drive from Cape Town (South Africa) or a a single-hour drive from George Airport, along the Western Cape’s popular Garden Route (map). This 11,000 hectare malaria-free of charge game reserve is household to the Significant-five (lions, elephants, leopards, buffalos and rhionos) as properly as distinctive fynbos vegetation. Just as substantially of an attraction as the flora and fauna are the lovely landscapes, with fynbos-covered hills, verdant valleys and expansive grasslands. In the distance, the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains type a spectacular backdrop.
There are several varieties of luxurious accommodations at Gondwana Game Reserve, ranging from massive, open-program suites (modelled immediately after classic Khoi-San dwellings) at Kwena Lodge to three/four-bedroom bush villas for households or groups. I stayed at a single of the Kwena Lodge suites. These suites, with their thatched-dome roofs, have a spacious interior and a terrace providing panoramic views. 1 function of the suite I completely loved was the skylight, which created for terrific star-gazing suitable from my bed!
Animals, such as zebras and antelopes, usually roam about the Lodge one more highlight of my remain was waking up from an afternoon nap to discover many zebras grazing on the lawn outdoors the suite! The bath-tub in the suite also faces the garden, building distinctive wildlife-viewing possibilities!
The Kwena Lodge has a reception, an fantastic restaurant (with each indoor and outside seating), a boma for alfresco dining and a cozy bar/lounge. The employees are terrific and are satisfied to arrange all sorts of activities, from spa treatment options to mountain biking and hikes (in protected regions of the reserve exactly where you will not bump into a single of the Significant-five!). They’re also usually at hand to escort guests among the suites and the restaurant/bar – a precautionary measure as wild animals usually roam about the Lodge.
Safaris at the Gondwana Game Reserve
There are two safaris each and every day: a morning drive and a sundowner drive, each and every lasting about 3 hours. Each drives are completely spectacular: the undulating landscapes and the nearby mountains make for spectacular vistas, particularly at sunrise and sunset. A highlight for me was beginning out in the dark at six:30am for the morning drive and watching the light gradually obtain in intensity and colour!
A further function of the Gondwana Game Reserve is the indigenous fynbos vegetation that harbours an remarkable quantity of plant species in a rainbow of colours. I loved the beautiful scents from the plants and flowers we passed through the game drives.
The greatest attraction although is the wildlife, and there’s lots of it! For the duration of our drives, we spotted a massive wide variety of antelope species (such as impalas, springboks and bonteboks), giraffes, zebras, kudus, wildebeest, the endangered black rhino and lions! It is usually a surreal expertise to see these lovely animals in the wild.
Video of my remain at the Gondwana Game Reserve
I spent two awe-inspiring days at the Gondwana Game Reserve, with a lot of memorable highlights. In addition to the great game drives and wildlife-viewing, I completely enjoyed the luxurious accommodation, good meals and the friendly employees. For any one seeking for a Significant-five safari close to Cape Town, verify out this luxurious game reserve. A remain at the Gondwana Game Reserve can also conveniently be combined with a road trip along the Garden Route.
1 tip: If you are going to through the spring/autumn months, make certain you bring sufficiently warm clothes. The mornings and evenings can be chilly. Blankets are supplied for the game drives but I suggest wearing a warm jacket with a hood, and thinner layers underneath. The temperature drops swiftly as quickly as the light fades.
Note: a huge thank you to Gondwana Game Reserve for your fabulous hospitality! I was invited to remain there but, as usually, all views described above are mine, and mine only.