Budget Getaways Review
Man, for a moment forget the fantastic view over the glistening dam and Langeberg peaks, we can't stop staring at that green grass. How do they get it like that? Bert from Admin says he's tried it all - pig manure (supplemented by Canus monstrus), ammonia sulphate, Supergro, you name it - and his little patch in lower Plumstead still looks nothing like Umshanti's.
Anyway, we digress.. What we have here is a mini resort built on a prime piece of real estate that encompasses fabulous green lawns (sorry), awesome views and a beautiful dam that appears to take centre-stage on most weekends - hence the name.
The long activity menu includes (take a deep breath now)… canoeing, skiing (bring own boat), boat cruises, a 45m high, 200m long foefie slide over the water (at least your landing will be soft if you let go), fishing, swimming, hiking and mountain biking to a uberlekker mountain pool, birdwatching, stargazing, braaing, donning the thong and spreading out on those uhmmm… damn fine green lawns…
With so much on offer who really cares about where you bed down for the night. But accommodation there is, in the form of five fairly basic chalets that can pack in nine happy campers, and an altogether more romantic timber cottage for couples appropriately called The Chapel, with awesome views of the dam and mountains, which can be savoured from the deck.
The chalets are equipped, with linen supplied - but not towels. Each has a braai area outside. Prices range between R160pp - R250pp, depending when you go and how many there are of you.
If you're the hardened canvas and peg type, then recently laid out are three campsites. With plenty of that hallmark Umshati lawn to pitch your tent on, a shade covering for each site, power point and light, as well as picnic bench and braai area, camping at Umshanti looks like an equally appealing option.
Umshanti is clearly tailored for social animals - but of the right sort, mind you, as this is a chilled family spot with a focus on nature and physical enjoyment. One guest comment in particular sums it up for us... "Happy memories have been made here over the years. We return each year. Our children LOVE the freedom and open field. It becomes home from home. Management doesn't get in your way, yet is there if you need anything. Would I recommend Umshanti? Yes, but dont mess it up." Thank you Pepe Gee.
After a hard day on the dam, slap on the Aftersun and amble along to the 'bar house' (as management calls it), where you'll find DSTV on tap, a pool table, dartboard, inside braai and fireplace, and a dining room.
Heck, you can even get married at Umshanti - as others have done before you.
Haven't been there, but we reckon this is one place where the grass sure ain't greener on the other side.