My husband & I were recently invited by the owners of Garden Route Safari Camp, Abraham and Nanette, to celebrate our 1 month wedding anniversary at their newly established Garden Route game lodge…what a treat it was!
An easy 45 minute drive from our hometown of Wilderness, Garden Route Safari Camp is nestled in a valley next to the Matjiespoort River between the majestic Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains within close proximity to the unspoilt Indian Ocean making it the ideal Garden Route Beach & Bush Getaway. George Airport is a mere 20 minute drive and Mossel Bay 10 minutes drive.
We were welcomed with a warm smile, refresh towel and cocktail by the owners themselves and lovely hostess. We unfortunately missed the evening game drive as we arrived late in the afternoon, however, enjoyed high tea with home-made, freshly baked treats and one of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had (I’m an avid coffee lover) which we got to savor on the outside terrace overlooking the river bank, game viewing in the distance. Thereafter, we were shown to our Luxury Safari Tent – it everything and more we could have asked of.
In true Abraham and Nanette most generous hospitality, we were given the top and most private Tent which boasts the best views over the reserve due to it’s high-up position. The Luxury Safari Tents are perfect for couples offering a King size bed, open-air en-suite bathroom with double vanities and indoor plus outdoor showers. The room opens onto a private deck with seating arrangements and sprawling views over the reserve, a fantastic vantage point from which to spot the roaming game. With no TV in the Suite, spending quality time with my loved one in God’s beautiful nature was in order and greatly appreciate.
Dinner was served in the Main Lodge, seating us with a family who were visiting from Port Elizabeth. It was lovely to share a meal with other in-house guests, as well as Abraham and our safari guide, both who kept us entertained with stories of their experiences in the bush. Abraham and Nanette hail from Botswana, having managed many game lodges that side. After ‘retiring’, together with close friends, they purchased this reserve together and started Garden Route Safari Camp. All their guides are extremely professional and knowledgeable, and compliments to ALL their staff for being so super friendly, even the chef who stepped out of the kitchen to introduce himself and explain what feast he was preparing for us that evening. The 3-course dinner was beautifully presented and most delectable, accompanied by local wines. Needless to say, we all slept extremely well that night with full bellies and the sound of crickets and peaceful nightlife drifting us off into dreamland…
We arose bright and early for the morning game drive and whilst getting ready, from our canvas windows we could see the giraffe grazing nearby…our first sighting of the day. What an awesome way to wake it – I could get used to this!
Morning game drives are always my favorite – the crisp fresh air, the baby buck jumping up and down with joy, the birdsong, the dew on the grass, the feeling of being ALIVE and BLESSED surrounded by this beauty which makes my heart sing. Game on the land include eland, zebra, blue wildebeest, nyala, impala, ostrich, greater kudu, waterbuck, bontebok and southern giraffe, we also saw an abundance of birdlife and incredible flora. After a hour or so, we were taken to a secret location where ‘breakfast in the bush’ was laid out for us: Coffee brewing on a fireplace and a table set up with cereals, yogurt, fresh fruit, boiled eggs, cold meats and traditional style mince jaffles. It felt like we were in deep dark Africa, not near the Garden Route and coastline.
Returning to the main lodge, the remainder of the day was spent at leisure soaking up the sun next to the swimming pool reading my book which is a rare occurrence (in-between taking a swim) and having an afternoon nap, another rare occurrence. Oh, the joys of time off work & life!
The afternoon game drive followed a different route, and this time another surprise awaited us…a guided walk with the resident giraffes! This is an unique experience, something Garden Route Safari Camp is famous for and we highly recommend it. There is something very special about being on foot and getting close to these delicate giants, with their big and gentle eyes. They truly are magnificent mammals.
After spending some time with them, we followed our guide back to the vehicle and headed off to a hilltop from where we enjoyed sundowners and bush talk whilst watching the sun set over Africa. Absolute bliss!
Returning to the Main Lodge just after dark, we warmed up next to the blazing bush boma firepit and stargazed a while before heading off to dinner and then another VERY good night’s rest, dreaming about the day’s safari.
We were sad to say good-bye the next morning but our hearts were so full of gratitude for the opportunity we were given, to experience first hand what Hello Garden Route’s valued travellers will get to enjoy when booking Garden Route Safari Camp with us. You’ll never want to leave! Contact us to book your dream Garden Route Safari stay.