3 November 2017
Dean and I had the best time at Sanbona Game Reserve! September was a really hectic month for me as we moved offices at work, so it was really wonderful to end off this busy month with an absolutely memorable experience at Sanbona Game Reserve.
Sanbona is nestled in the heart of the Klein Karoo along the famous Route 62 highway. Sanbona boats 58 000 hectares of Cape Fold mountains and expansive Karoo plains and is home to the big 5 and some incredible flora.
After about 3 hours we entered the Sanbona Game Reserve where we were welcomed at the Welcome Lodge by super friendly staff. We were instructed to leave our vehicle in the adjoining parking lot and we set off in the game vehicles provided to our beautiful lodge, Godwana. After about 30 minutes we arrived at the Godwana Lodge which is our opinion is the best of the 4 lodges situated in the reserve…(but we may be a little biased!).
On arrival and after check-in we were ushered to the communal dining area where we were introduced to Chef Timothy who introduced us to the menus from which we would dine throughout our stay. Hungry from our journey, Dean and I opted for a typical South African spread, which was a platter for 2, consisting of dried fruit, nuts, breads, patés and an assortment of meats. This platter certainly set the tone for what was to come. Throughout our stay, Dean and I enjoyed various dishes including perfectly cooked kingklip, scrumptious burgers and decadent dessert treats like Chef Timothy’s take on the South African Peppermint Crisp Tart (seriously, I would go back just for this!).
But, the most memorable day was certainly Heritage Day where we got to enjoy a South African sundowner with the other guests from all the surrounding lodges. There is nothing quite like enjoying local South African cuisine including koeksiters, Boeri rolls and melktert whilst the African sun set behind us. And if that wasn’t enough, afterwards we joined the other guests at our lodge and our superb game ranger Anthea for a Heritage Day braai like no other.
Our room was nothing short of magical too. Situated overlooking the watering hole, our balcony stretched for what seemed like miles giving us a front row seat to the visiting wildlife. The room and bathroom were beautifully decorated, rustic yet elegant and simplistic giving you the impression of being right in nature. The room was comfortable and spacious and really afforded us the opportunity to unwind and relax after the game drives. Each night we were spoilt by the stunning turn down service which always included some yummy snacks. As with everything else at Sanbona, attention to detail is evident wherever you look.
Of course the most exciting part of this trip was the 6 game drives that myself and Dean got to enjoy. These 3 hour game drives were nothing short of spectacular with each one offering us sight of a another member of the big 5. A stand out game drive, however, was our early morning 6am drive on the 2nd day where we witnessed a pride of white lions in all their glory post-kill. Still blood-stained, I couldn’t believe the magnitude of their paws and how majestic they really were up close. It was a truly magnificent sight and one which I feel privileged to have witnessed.
We were also blessed to see some amazing animals including elephant, giraffe, buffalo, cheetah, hippo and various buck (gemsbok, springbok, steenbok, greysbok and kudu to name a few). We also spotted an owl and a troop of baboons as well as a sneaky jackal who was feasting on the remains of the Lion kill. What made these game drives even more special was that each guest was given a hot water bottle and a blanket to accompany them on their morning game drive. I thought this was a really neat touch considering how cold these game drives get and how unprepared guests normally are (ourselves included!). This was just another example of how Sanbona really cares for their guests.
Of all of the holidays Dean and I have been on, this one was certainly the most memorable. We truly felt like royalty every minute of the day and were constantly impressed by the level of excellent service that was afforded to us by the staff at Sanbona Game Reserve. We have not stopped showing off the photos and telling our family and friends to book their stay at Sanbona. We are still fielding loads of enquiries from interested friends and followers on our social media accounts who were equally as impressed with Sanbona as we were. It is safe to say that we are already dreaming of our next visit to Sanbona!!
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