Christine and Warren from Flat White Magazine joined us at Thali Thali Game Lodge, situated on the West Coast Way #FoodieRoute for Glamping and a Game Drive. As a thirty-five year old South African it was a bit shocking that I had been on the London Eye but not on a game drive, but alas, it’s true. Also, after asking around, I was surprised to find that many other South African’s fell into this category too. We’re surrounded by the most incredible opportunities in our country and we don’t even realize it. Which is why, when I got the chance to visit Thali Thali Game Reserve and Lodge, I took it. I can now finally say that I’ve been on a game drive, and feel proudly South African.
Thali Thali Game Lodge is situated on the West Coast and borders the West Coast National Park. It’s just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town (fifteen minutes from Langebaan), and the drive along the R27 is a beautiful one. We arrived just in time to join the game drive and eagerly jumped on board. We were taken on a two hour trip around the fynbos reserve to do some wildlife spotting, and we were lucky enough to get up close and personal with some of them. Our guide was very informative and stopped often to point out the animals and answer our many questions. They boast a wide range of game including kudu, giraffe, oryx, eland, zebra, sable, springbok, duiker, black wildebeest, bontebok, steenbok, ostrich, dromedary camel, emu, as well as many bird species. My favourite was by far the incredible giraffes who allowed us to get close enough to them to take photos and watch them as they grazed. What struck me most was how much the staff at the reserve respect the animals, and how, in turn, the animals respect them.
Glamping And Game Drives
I loved the accommodation at Thali Thali Game Lodge, and other than experiencing my first game drive, I was also privy to my first glamping experience. Of course, now that I’ve been so spoilt, I may never want to do regular camping again. The Glamping B&B luxury tents are a combination of rustic and comfort, allowing you to enjoy nature in style. They include a double bedroom, en-suite bathroom, small kitchenette, sleeper couch and braai area. What did I say – you’re never going to go camping after this! With a heavy wind blowing it still felt like we were in a tent, but with an electric heater, high ceilings and a cosy bed it was as comfortable as a hotel.
If you’re not the glamping type, you can choose one of the eight self-catering chalets or the Old Farmhouse. The chalets were once labourer cottages that have been transformed into beautiful self-catering accommodations for guests. They have a double bedroom, en-suite bathroom, living area, fully equipped kitchen, sleeper couch, satellite television and braai facilities. The Old Farmhouse, or ‘Ouma se Huise’ is perfect for larger groups. It has four large bedrooms, two bathrooms, a big kitchen, entertainment area, stoop, garden, and fireplace.
We woke up early in the morning, opened our blinds and lay in bed with coffee with the view of the nature reserve around us. It was such a peaceful way to start off our day. After the lazy start, we made our way to the breakfast area to enjoy a hearty bacon an egg breakfast and another cup of coffee. While the Glamping accommodation is self-catering, you can always visit the restaurant if you don’t feel like cooking. Open from 9 am – 9 pm it’s a great place to visit throughout your stay. And after a good meal, you can either spend some time at the Lapa, the splash pool, the safari bar or indulge in the three main activities on offer: game drives, walking safari or archery.
We’re going to return for an archery lesson with a few friends and make a day of it (any excuse to go back really). The archery is for everyone – from the novice to the experienced. However, the lessons are strictly by appointment, so bear that in mind when you’re going to visit.
Thali Thali Game Lodge is the perfect place to relax, unwind and be a part of nature – something we don’t do nearly as much as we should. I can’t recommend it enough.
Make a trip out of it.
Thali Thali Game Lodge is located on the West Coast Way Foodie and Scenic Routes. Huge portions go hand in hand with hospitality on the Foodie Route – with huge West Coast food platters and eisbeins, not to mention Sunday buffets available to visitors. With the offering of game drives giving views over the coast, the Scenic Route’s beauty kicks in. Combine your Thali Thali experience with a trip to the West Coast National Park. After that take a short drive to Groote Post for wine tastings, and end with a trip to the new Darling Brew Tasteroom and Brewery for beer and lunch. Visit www.westcoastway.co.za for more information on the best #westcoastway experiences. Here you’ll find five route ideas, each offering their own unique attractions!
Please ensure that you book your Game Drive and Archery Experience with us on +27 (0)82 372 8637 during high season periods.
Facilities available at Thali Thali Game Lodge
• Accommodation • Child-Friendly • Bar • Restaurant (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner) • Pool • Wheelchair Accessibility (Rooms, Bedrooms & Bathrooms) • 3 Star Tourism Grading • AA Grading • Trip Advisor • Conference Facilities • Wedding and Function Venue • Shop • Game Drives • Online Booking Facilities.
Find Thali Thali Game Lodge in Langebaan on the West Coast Way Foodie Route and Scenic Route
Distance from Cape Town: 117km
Open 7 days a week | Free entry
R300/person for 90 min Game Drive (Booking essential in high season) R150 pp for children (5-12 years); Free Under 5 years
R150/person for Archery Lesson (Booking essential in high season)
Contact: (c) +27 (0)82 372 8637 [email protected] www.thalithali.co.za
Written by Christine Bernard Photography by Warren Bernard
Photos by Warren Bernard (www.flatwhiteimages.com)
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. South Africans and visitors can explore a unique collection of themed routes to do adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trips or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Scenic Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many. For more information on West Coast Way’s #WestCoastTwist and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.