Budget Getaways Review
Now, unless you're an esteemed member of parliament on 'official business', flying up to Kruger for the weekend would be considered a little excessive. Besides, the mozzies up there are living hell right now.
But, here's the good news. You only need to drive to Montagu for a bit of the old Land Rover game-viewing thing, for the crooning cry of the jackal cutting through the African night, for the manly feel of starched khaki against the skin.
Sound good? Well it is. African Game Lodge is about 30km from Montagu and offers a decent spread of very comfortable accommodation, secluded camping and varied activities, from game drives to mountain biking, trail running and birding trails.
What's more it's not one of those commercial sausage-making outfits. It's the real thing, with real heart and concern for nature and its future preservation.
Although sitting beyond the Budget Getaways price bracket, the mix of unique activities and easy living accommodation is a must for anyone yearning for the call of the wild. Taking a few kids along will bring down the bill, as kids under 13 pay R250, with no charge for those under three years. If money is no object there's the option of going full board.
Alternatively, if you have a 4x4 you can opt to camp at your own secluded campsite, equipped with the essentials.
A spread of six luxury thatched cottages, all spacious and with views across the Karoo plains and mountains beyond, make up the main accommodation here.
The five two-bedroom cottages and the one-bedroom cottage are tastefully decorated and has one double room and a further pair of three-quarter beds in the second bedroom. There’s a bathroom with shower and bath and equipped kitchen and open-plan living room with a fireplace.
The cottages all have a covered stoep and outside braai area leading off the living room, each with equally breathtaking views. Enough to lock you down, G&T in hand, while you catch another Africa sunset.
If there are just two of you, then you can choose from a one-bedroomed chalet, a two-person tented camp (full-board) and a two-person romantic hideaway (self-catering).
Feel free to head down to the central lodge to cool off with a midday swim, browse a book or two in the library, grab a beer from the bar, shoot some pool or, if you really have to, catch up on TV… At night join your fellow adventurers around a roaring fire in the boma, under a star-drenched sky.
The lodge’s Cheetah Conservation Awareness Program is a big focus at African Game Lodge and is included in your booking fee; you get to visit the cheetah enclosures at feeding time.
So, who said the bush has to be rough, outrageously priced, or miles from home?
"We had a wonderful time, lots of animals, good food, really nice people. If you're really interested in nature and animals, this is the place to be!"
(Irene Rol, visited February 2012)
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Where You'll Also Find Us
Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Franschhoek • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stellenbosch • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein