Last week my amazing husband treated us to a trip to Gondwana Nature Reserve. We’ve had a pretty busy year (haven’t we all?), so it was wonderful to retreat to this luxurious hideaway for 3 nights. I’ve never actually been to a game reserve, and I’m crazy about animals, so I was incredibly excited to spend three days in the bush.
Gondwana is a private game reserve situated just outside Mossel Bay, and is host to free roaming game and wildlife (The Big Five plus many others) in an incredible fynbos-filled, 11 000 hectare setting. Gondwana is a mere 4 hour drive from Cape Town, which allowed us to leave home at 8am and arrive just in time for lunch. Much to my excitement, we were greeted by a large herd of zebra as soon as we drove into the reserve gates! After settling into our room (a beautiful private “rondavel” hut), we made our way to the restaurant patio for lunch in the sun, which consisted of a platter of delicious salads and chicken, followed by ice-cream for dessert.
After retiring to our room to relax and digest for an hour, we returned to the lodge for tea (and more food), and to meet Lezaan, our ranger for the duration of our stay. After meeting some of the other guests, we loaded ourselves onto one of the large range rovers and embarked on our first game drive. We were incredibly lucky to spot many animals on our very first drive, including the cheetahs (from a distance), hippos, elephants (including two gorgeous babies), numerous buck, and the rhinos.
We returned to the lodge around 7pm to enjoy a delicious three course meal, after which we were very keen to collapse into the king-sized bed for a much needed rest!
I could give you a detailed break-down of our incredible stay, but all you really need to know is that each day went something like this:
Wake up. Coffee. Game drive. Breakfast. Nap. Lunch. Read and relax. Tea and cake. Game drive. Dinner. Hot bath. Sleep.
And it was wonderful!
Our ranger was incredibly accommodating and knowledgeable, and always happy to go searching for any particular animals that we wanted to see on each drive. The reserve is large enough that you still need to search for the animals (and you may drive around for 30 minutes without seeing anything), but small enough to ensure that you’re unlikely to have a “fruitless” game drive. The rangers also know many of the individual animals, and tell stories of their various personalities and histories. Over the course of our 3 days we were able to get close to many of the incredible animals that can be found on the reserve, only missing out on seeing the lion and buffalo (which gives us a good excuse to go back!).
In Part 2 I’ll share some of my specific tips for visiting Gondwana, but in the meantime I can really recommend that you head to their website and book your trip!
*This was not a sponsored post.