Let the Garden Route adventure begin

It’s been a few months since I have embarked on a road trip and this could not have come at a better suited time. More than ever do both my husband and myself need to escape for a few days and what better place to disappear too than Port Alfred. Port Alfred is located in the Eastern Cape and is the heart of the Sunshine Coast. It is a small town with not much to see in the town itself but its peaceful and serene… exactly what the doctor ordered.

Hard to believe but we both have quite a few close family members who live here and are loving it. So, we plan on spending enough time with family as well. We start our road trip early Friday morning and plan to explore everything alongside the Garden Route. There are amazing attractions close to Port Alfred including the unique town of Bathurst, Grahamstown and Kenton on Sea. Bathurst is heart of settler country and home to South Africa’s oldest inn. Wow!

Do you have any suggestion of places to visit and things to do? Let me know!

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Weekend getaway to Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

Image source: www.buffelsdrift.com

 

We recently ventured off to Oudtshoorn for a weekend away. Jacques and I have been meaning to visit a Game Lodge for some time now but there were none that met our standards in the Western Cape and if they somewhat did, they certainly did not meet our budget. So when I heard Buffelsdrift was having a Winter Special, I did not hesitate to book. Buffelsdrift is a 4* Game Lodge which offers its visitors luxury tented accommodation. Each night booked came with a free bush safari and breakfast which made the decision to book even easier. Upon arrival, the staff come out to greet you and take you and your luggage to reception in golf carts. You are then driven to your tents. We chose the luxury waterfront tents which were located on the waters edge. There were over 5 hippos in the dam and we would often see them in the afternoon basking in the sun before cooling off in the water. It was incredible.

The tents were pretty kitted out. Apart from the king size bed there were electric blankets, air conditioning, wooden floors and a huge bathroom which featured a bath tub and outside shower. It doesn’t get any better than that right? I am always impressed with places that offer a turn down service and Buffelsdrift lived up to my expectations. Entering our tent after dinner was such bliss! The room was heated, beds were warm and there was always fudge on our pillows.

The game drives and elephant feeding experience was equally rewarding. We saw so many animals including rhino, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe and mountain zebra. Feeding the elephants was incredibly fun, these beasts were so gentle and friendly. Buffelsdrift definitely gave us some memories to last a lifetime. I highly recommend visiting this luxurious game lodge.

 

Franschhoek Country House and Villas

This is not your usual establishment review, it may be all about my proposal, but the venue was perfect and I had to brag a little about Franschhoek Country House and Villas…or maybe a lot.

When a couple announces their engagement, only two things concerns their friends and family the most; the proposal and the ring. After watching countless YouTube videos on Flash Mob proposals, I was convinced that that was the ultimate perfect proposal. Jacques is a rather private person, so a Flash Mob was definitely out of the question. But little did I know that he would surprise me with my perfect proposal in one of the most romantic ways possible.

Jacques took me to the Franschhoek Country House and Villas, an amazing 5 star establishment that will leave you breathless.

He spoilt me with a Luxury Villa Suite which overlooked the vineyards and mountains. Our Villa was decorated in classic french decor and oozed elegance and class. The pictures speak for themselves, however something worth mentioning is that:

  1. There were built in surround sound speakers in the bathroom allowing you to listen to music from the TV.
  2. The staff turn down your beds for you at night, place your slippers and robes on the beds and have water and chocolates kept at your bedside.
  3. Underfloor heating throughout the Villa!

We had dinner at the Monneaux Restaurant. We had a 3 course fine dining meal and were treated with such grace by the staff and chef who accommodated all our dietary requirements so graciously. After dinner as we began walking back to Villa, Jacques insisted we sit down for a while on a pretty bench in the middle of the garden. That’s when he got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him, to which I replied (after shedding tears for a few minutes)…yes!

The next day we had breakfast, enjoyed a full body couples massage at the spa and spent the rest of the afternoon in Franschhoek. After months of thinking a huge and flashy proposal was exactly what I needed, Jacques surprised me with the most romantic and intimate proposal and I could not have been more happier. It was extremely perfect, a moment I will remember forever.

Overnight Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail

I spent this past weekend doing something that was out of the ordinary for me. I braved my fears for aching legs and sore feet and decided to do the overnight Hoerikwaggo Trail.

There are many Table Mountain hiking trails, some more strenuous than the others. Luckily for me the Hoerikwaggo Trail was one of the easier ones. The hike begins at the bottom of Orange Kloof which is close to Hout Bay. You start of by embarking on a trail which leads you to the beginning of Constantia Nek. From there its about a 3-4 hour hike to the dams where the overnight accommodation is.

We spent the night in a fully equipped house that was in-between the first and second dam. The house has hot showers, cosy beds and full self catering facilities which made it extremely comfortable. The houses on top of the mountain sleep close to 16 people comfortably.

This makes it perfect for a big group of friends of family to spend a weekend amongst the wonders of nature but still have the comfort of being at home without roughing it out. What’s more amazing is that the park rangers drive up all your stuff to the houses for you. So you can bring along your bedding and meat to braai.

The view from the houses are simply breathtaking. You have a panoramic view of Cape Town in front of you….

and a majestic view of the mountains and dams behind you.

If I wasn’t so unfit I am certain I would of enjoyed this even better.

P.S. There isn’t electricity up there so you may be stuck for entertainment. Luckily we had little Gabriel Bestbier with us who spent his time singing, dancing and telling the most fascinating stories ever!! This hike wouldn’t have been the same without him.