Just a four-hour drive from Cape Town, the Gondwana Game Reserve in South Africa will give you an authentic African safari
Home to “The Big Five” — African lions, African elephants, African leopards, Cape buffalos, and rhinoceros — you’ll have the chance to see tons of wildlife.
I have always dreamed of going on safari and when we booked this it never really seemed real until we arrived at the gates.
Gondwana is a private game reserve, which means that it’s grounds are limited to guests, and you have knowledgeable and reliable guides at your side. The main difference from a private game reserve to a public, is that anyone can self-drive through a National Park and you’re limited to only animals you can see from the main road, during daylight. Whilst staying at Gondwana, there safari vehicles can go off road at any time (night or sunrise drives), and you can stay as long as you like at a wildlife sighting. It’s one of the only big game parks within a close driving distance of Cape Town making it the perfect destination for those traveling to South Africa with limited time.
We were blown away instantly
Kwena Lodge is very impressive. On arrival you are met with a view across the infinity pool and boma which overlook the watering holes. The public areas comprise of large comfortable lounges, dining rooms and a reception area with free wi-fi. To the side perfectly spaced, 14 open plan suites with beds placed under skylights for stargazing. Private bathrooms, private decks, a fireplace, mini bar and dressing room.
The reserve itself is very eco-friendly, aimed at reducing their potential impact on the environment, helping to reintroduce endangered species, and creating their own water sources.
We stayed in a Kwena Lodge, a modern and luxurious twist on the traditional Khoi-San dwelling. The perfect place for relaxing after a game drive!
There’s so much to explore at the Gondwana Game Reserve! Of course, it’s all about nature here, so you will want to fill your days with game drives, birding, and hiking. The guides will show you all of the best spots and make sure you’re getting the most out of every moment.
Food and dining
Gondawana offers full board and you are provided with some of the most amazing meals. The day starts early 5.30 wake up call a quick coffee, after the game drive a hearty breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries or eggs the choice was incredible.
a few hours at leisure then much is served, a set menu of 2 meat options and 1 vegetarian, I enjoyed a beef stroganoff and rice and Justin had a Thai curry. We felt totally stuffed after a few lazy hours in our lodge taking in the fantastic views it was time for afternoon tea.
afternoon tea with cakes, sandwiches and wow did they have the best chocolate brownie squares with a gooey meringue topping. By this point I was about to burst the good food on offer was never ending.
followed by another game drive
then a 3 course meal with local game dishes , soups and local specialities.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Language: South Africa boasts 11 official languages. The main language spoken in all the big cities is English, but the two most widely spoken languages are Zulu and Xhosa.
Currency: The currency in South Africa is called the Rand. 1 Gbp is equivalent to about 18 South African Rands.
Credit Cards and ATMs: In the big cities and smaller towns, most retailers and restaurants will accept credit cards as payment. You can easily find ATM’s at gas stations or the malls. However, if you’re shopping for souvenirs at markets, it’s best to withdraw cash or check to see if the vendor takes payment with apps like Snapscan.
Plugs: The plugs in South Africa are For South Africa there are four associated plug types, types C, D, M and N. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, plug type D is the plug which has three round pins in a triangular pattern and plug types M and N both have three round pins. South Africa operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Getting Around: I would personally rent a car and drive, but if you’re not comfortable navigating unfamiliar terrain, there are a number of driving services you can higher. Hiring a service like this is a popular option if you aren’t going super far!
Safety: One of the questions I’m asked often is if it’s safe to travel to South Africa as a solo female traveler. Since moving here, I’ve never felt in danger, but I always practice common sense and make sure I’m aware of my surroundings.