There are few things as infectious as the excitement of a child, and this becomes very evident when an eight-year old is en route to her very first game-drive experience. And, to be honest, the grown-ups were equally excited about visiting Thali Thali – except we refrained from asking “are we there yet?” every five minutes.
Never having been before, I was really looking forward to our visit as I had heard only good things about this private game and fynbos reserve situated just south of Velddrif. Bordering the West Coast National Park and only a stone’s throw from Langebaan, the reserve is ideally located for both a day trip and a longer stay as there is much to do and see in the area.
We arrived a little early so that we would have time to look around and were utterly charmed to find a “welcoming committee” of tame emus strolling casually through the garden. Ariana, of course was beside herself and was happily snapping photos with her new camera. The children’s play area was also a winner and it took much persuasion to get her away from the duck pond when it was time for the game drive.
Of course, the ducks were soon forgotten when she spotted the vehicle we would be driven in, and she quickly annexed the front seats for us. I can honestly say it was an incredible two hours. We got up close and personal with a giraffe and her youngster, saw all manner of buck, met a very cool camel and encountered a zebra who had been adopted by a herd of bontebok after he challenged the alpha male in his own herd and was ostracised. Our lovely guide was very knowledgeable and stopped often to tell us about the different species. He also seemed to have the vision of an eagle as he spotted animals long before any of us could even distinguish a shape in the bush.
When we returned to the lodge I was very sorry that we had made reservations for a late lunch in Langebaan as the Sunday buffet was in full swing and the aromas of venison potjie and farm-fresh bread enticingly scented the air and quite literally had us drooling. However, it means we have a very good reason to plan a return visit very soon.
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.
Open 7 days a week | Free entry
R300/person for 90 min Game Drive (Booking essential in Holiday Period) R150 pp for children (5-12 years); Free Under 5 years
R150/person for Archery Lesson (Booking essential in Holiday Period)
Distance from Cape Town: 116km
Coordinates: 33˚ 03′ 10” S 18˚ 13′ 47” E
Contact: +27 (0)82 372 8637 | (c) +27 (0)83 275 2825 | [email protected] | www.thalithali.co.za