Travel & Outdoors
Having experienced a lot of local travel in and around Durban, it was a road less travelled for us as we prepared to take a trip inland to spend a couple of nights in Mid-Illovo. We were pleasantly surprised at what a smooth ride it was, and soon arrived at the gates of the lodge which promises ‘wilderness on a whim’. My husband and our nearly two-year-old were prepared for the peace and tranquillity the bushveld often brings, with the added bonus of an exotic wellness spa for me to indulge in!
We were immediately impressed with the exceptionally lush fauna and flora of the 350-hectares of land, which is home to rhino, hippo, giraffe, zebra and a wide variety of antelope, as well as a plethora of birds. We couldn’t wait to settle into our room with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the wildlife in the beautiful natural setting that Gwahumbe offers.
The relatively small four-star reserve offers a wide variety of catered and self-catered accommodation, ranging from the ultimate in luxury to comfortable lodges and the rustic Mzigi bush camp. We were lucky enough to stay in a fully-catered room, the Eagles Nest, which left us feeling like the last people on earth while still being just a stones’ throw from the main lodge. Chiselled high into the mountainside, our room had both a personal boma with a covered verandah and a private plunge pool. There we spent most of the time cooling off while ‘oohing and aahing’ over the valley basin below. The eight-sleeper lodge has ample on-site parking and three en-suite bedrooms, a cozy loft area and a fully equipped kitchen.
There are a variety of activities to enjoy on the property, not that we really wanted to leave the comfort of our lodge! The Spa at Gwahumbe is definitely worth a visit. It is set in its own tranquil, private garden and has beautiful massage rooms and a steam room where qualified therapists provide a full range of treatments. The more adventurous can enjoy hiking along the dramatic Gwahumbe gorge or tackling the challenging extreme 4 x 4 trials (in either your own vehicle or one hired from the reserve). There is also mountain biking, game viewing from open land cruisers, game walks and hikes, bird watching and fishing.
Those looking to simply relax and soak up the scenic beauty can indulge in anything from a cool dip at the waterfall to sundowners on a wooden deck high above the hippo pool or indulge in the fine cuisine on offer for lunch at the heart of the reserve or a romantic dinner in the well-stocked wine cellar. Expect a hearty and relaxed menu of all your favourite fine dishes prepared in a homely traditional manner. From delicious free-range chicken ballotines to beef fillet and crumbed Camembert dishes often prepared with vegetable and herbs grown on the property.
Whether it is a romantic mid-week break, a family getaway or a special occasion, Gwahumbe Game & Spa offers the best of all worlds – the finest therapies, the thrill of adventure and the peace of the wild which together restore, mind, body and soul.
Rates: Dinner, bed and breakfast – R1350 per person
Get in touch:
www.gwahumbe.co.za | 031 781 1082 | email@example.com
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Christoper Laurenz