Travel & Outdoors
It’s not often one gets to experience and enjoy so many of the characteristics that highlight the splendour of Africa in just one weekend. From fantastic game viewing and Tiger fishing, to exclusive accommodation, beautiful views and friendly locals . . . overall, I’d say our first visit to Jozini was quite a successful one!
Tandweni Villa is situated on the banks of Lake Jozini. Well known as a popular tiger fishing destination, the 16000-hectare dam sits at the foot of the Lebombo Mountains and the private, upmarket villa overlooks both.
After a quick, three-hour drive from Ballito (only having to stop for directions from a very friendly local once), we arrived at Tandweni Villa. Without missing a beat, the kids were out of the car and off to explore while we met our incredibly hospitable guide for the weekend, Jabulani. After off loading the luggage, we excitedly chose our rooms and stocked up the fridge with all the goodies required for a self-catering fun weekend away (wine, beer, snacks and braai meat, what else?).
Tandweni Villa was initially the opulent home of Wesley and Joy Vorster. The couple transformed the luxurious five-bedroom, four-bathroom house into a self-catering villa, perfect for a family getaway. Comfortably sleeping 10 people, Tandweni’s main en-suite room has a king-sized bed and there are two rooms with queen beds and two with two single beds each.
Once the bags were unpacked and kids were in their cozzies (it was a balmy 40˚C on the day we arrived), it was time to unwind and enjoy the beautiful outdoor entertainment area. This isn’t hard to do when you’re looking out at the most beautiful mountain range, towering over the tranquil, yet extremely vast lake. The swimming pool, play area, boma and rolling green lawn all added to the relaxing mood that set in on our Friday afternoon…
Saturday morning saw us up and about early to enjoy some game viewing and an attempt at tiger fishing with the very helpful Jabulani. The thrill of driving in the game vehicle alone was enough to get the kids excited, and the prospect of hooking a tiger fish made for excited husbands too!
While there is loads to do, including bird watching, boat cruises, bush walks, fishing and even a fully-equipped gym and pool table, there is also the very real possibility that you will simply want to hang out at the pool and indulge in the luxurious accommodation at the villa…which is exactly what we did. The house also has fully ducted air-conditioning, meaning lazy afternoon naps were a pleasure despite the Northern KZN humidity!
On our last day there we tried our hand at fishing again, this time though we were up a little earlier, and were really able to take in the breath-taking beauty and tranquillity of the lake shadowed by the mountains.
While I’ve often heard Lake Jozini being compared to some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring lakes in Africa, including Kariba and the Zambezi, the one thing that does set it apart is its close proximity to us. Just a three-hour drive or one-hour flight (the villa has its own 1000m grass airstrip and hanger) from Durban, this trip is most certainly worth the drive.
Stuff you need to know
Rates are between R800 and R1000 per person sharing per night in peak season and R650 per night per person sharing out of season (kids are R325 each and babies under 2 are free). The villa can be booked for a minimum of two people and a maximum of 10. Details: www.tandweni.co.za / firstname.lastname@example.org / 0647514068
Text: Leah Shone