It’s amazing how even the shortest break can be rejuvenating; how a simple change in scenery can recharge the batteries and put a spring in one’s step. Granted, it doesn’t hurt when the scenery is rather spectacular, or that the time is spent in very relaxed comfort in the company of warm hospitable people.
Needing some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I headed up the R27 on a sunny Friday morning, feeling the stress melt away with every kilometer that passed.
Thali Thali Game Lodge
In just over an hour, I arrived at Thali Thali Game Lodge just in time for a quick lunch before the much anticipated game drive. Joining owners, Thys (the guy on the right) and Amalia van Niekerk, I ordered what turned out to be the largest grilled chicken salad I have ever seen in my life, while Thys tucked into a mound of delicious smelling Buffalo wings that could have fed a family of four.
Well sated, I joined two other visitors and we set off on a late afternoon game drive. The tricky thing about game drives is that the game moves about and you are not guaranteed of spotting all the inhabitants. On this day we were very lucky indeed and came up very close and personal with two zebra as well as a family of giraffes who stared calmly at us through their long lashes. We also saw all manner of buck, including springbok, eland, duiker and bontebok.
I had really been looking forward to trying my hand at archery, but the time ran away with us and we got back to the lodge just in time to witness a spectacular sunset over the bush. For novices like me they offer lessons with an accredited coach, while experienced bowmen can find their mark on the 3D archery course. There is also a bow shop where you can buy your own equipment once the bug has bitten.
Open 7 days a week | Free entry
R300/person for 90 min Game Drive (No need to book)
R150/person for Archery Lesson (Booking essential)
Distance from Cape Town: 116km
Coordinates: 33˚ 03′ 10” S 18˚ 13′ 47” E
Contact: (c) +27 (0)82 372 8637 / +27 (0)83 275 2825 | [email protected] | www.thalithali.co.za
The Blue Bay Lodge
I set off on the short 20 minute drive into the setting sun to book into The Blue Bay Lodge in Saldanha for the night and arrived to the warmest of welcomes and a sea of smiling faces. The Lodge was a hive of activity as they were preparing for a wedding the next day and many of the guests were staying over, but manager Deidre took the time to show me around as well as settle me into my suite.
And what a stunning location! Perched just above the beach, the Lodge offers spectacular views over the ocean and harbour from most rooms as well as from the dining and lounge areas which are a mere stroll away from the sand.
Offering all manner of accommodation, from hotel rooms and well-appointed suites to self-catering chalets, Blue Bay Lodge is perfect for long stays as well as overnight visits. And with a sizeable pool, tennis courts and a gym on site, not to mention the beach right on its doorstep, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
I opted to stay in and relax for the evening as I had exciting plans the next day, so enjoyed a relaxed dinner at the Lodge before falling into bed. I woke very well rested the next morning, and after enjoying a scrumptious breakfast, I checked out, bade the staff farewell and headed for Elite Charters at the Mykonos Harbour on Langebaan lagoon to indulge in a little water sport.
I opted to jet ski first and, being a bit rusty, I thought I may well find myself in the drink, but under the friendly and expert guidance of Charmaine and Malcolm, I did just fine and had an absolute ball. There’s definitely something truly liberating about flying across the water at 70km an hour!
Next I joined skipper Steve and several other people for an adventure rubber duck spin around the lagoon and a spot of wave jumping. All I can say is that I am very glad that the waves don’t get too big in the lagoon as being completely airborne may have buckled my knees in fear. As it was the wave height was perfect for an exciting ride and the water glassy enough to get to a nice speed.
By this stage I was feeling so happy and relaxed, I felt like I had actually been away from home at least three days, and not just overnight and it was with some reluctance that I said goodbye to the wonderful Elite crew and drove away from the pristine lagoon and back to civilisation.
However sad I was to leave, I came away with wonderful memories and a host of new friends that I will definitely be going back to see very soon.
Open 7 days a week | Booking Essential
Distance from Cape Town: 116km
Where: R27, inside Club Myconos, Langebaan
Contact: +27 (0)76 397 8351 | [email protected] | www.elitecharters.co.za
Wet bikes: +27 (0)72 155 2611 | [email protected]
Sailing / fishing / adventure duck: +27 (0)72 702 9919 | [email protected]