Updated: Aug 21, 2018
On arrival at Amathunzi I was immediately introduced to the Manager, who went beyond the call of duty to assist me. Arranging to photograph this lovely setting was also a breeze, where Kate was extremely friendly and accommodating. Trust me, this can be quite a challenge at times!
The best way for me to describe this gorgeous and tranquil setting is perhaps by photographs and a short video. Have a look at their website for more detail on wildlife, fauna and flora, but the main appeal to me was that this Lodge is self catering and there are no shops or restaurants. An ideal getaway with nothing but nature, beautiful landscape and complete tranquillity.
Not far from Cape Town; about 140km from home, and close to Robertson. I travelled in my small car and had no trouble on the last 4km or so of gravel. The road is in good condition. Once I had entered the gates, I had to take it a little slower, and wished that I had taken the bakkie. My car is very low off the ground, and it is safe to say that any car should make it without a problem.
Besides being the ideal getaway, and a superb location for photography and taking in the panoramic views, Amathunzi also has quite a variety of fauna and flaura. Read more about this on their website, but the following will appeal to many:
Sand Olive Trees and Evergreen Flowering Shrubs
Various antelope species, and giraffe!
Black Eagle, Malachite Sunbirds, Spoonbills, just to mention a few
Each of the chalets at the lodge has a stunning view.
The facilities are spotless, and beautifully decorated. I have not spent a night there, but can imagine sleeping like a baby with the peace and quiet and comfortable accommodation. Take a look at the photos!
Herewith a video of my experience. I will definitely be booking a weekend in the near future, where I will spend a bit more time doing the walks and doing what I love best... taking photos!
We spent a fabulous weekend at Amathunzi! As a result, there are a few things to add! We walked a bit (less than we should have), did some of the 4x4 routes and took some photos of the wildlife.
It was freezing cold in the evenings, and the fireplace in the chalet, along with the provided wood, was a lifesaver. As I had anticipated, it was peaceful and quiet, and we rested (more than we should have). The water was hot, and the shower was great. Just take along your own drinking water, as the water on the reserve is a little brackish... you can still drink it, but bottled water tastes better. Coffee and Tea is provided in the chalets, along with a kettle. All very neat and organised.
More on the facilities
We used the braai area (Lapa) on both evenings, and got to know some of the other guests. This can also be added to the "unique attractions" above, as the chalets do not have their own kitchens or braai facilities (good idea with the thatched roofs), but the main Lodge Building (see in one of my photos above) is where everyone does their cooking and stores their food. We thought at first that this was a potential inconvenience, but it all works like a charm and think this is a marvellous idea. There is enough space to do your own thing, and there are even separate fridges, but you also get to meet some of the other guests, and the chalets remain beautifully clean without food and drink being flung around. I have yet to see a better equipped kitchen and living area. Gas stove, fridges, freezers, toaster, microwave, dishwasher, cutlery, crockery, TV, Fireplace, you name it... along with the best view ever (see photo below). This is really a great concept, and we made a few friends at the same time (not something I do too often).
The five chalets along with the main Lodge is ideal for small weddings and small business functions and getaways (or large families for that matter).
As mentioned in Amathunzi's brochures, no need for low range or any real skills here. There are areas that are challenging, so not just a walk in the park. Your vehicle may get a few scratches here and there, but if this is a concern, then walk. Jokes aside, this is walking and cycling heaven! The bushveld is stunning, and besides the animals, there is so much to see. We are at the start of their flower season, where the vygies are starting to bloom, along with a variety of other species.
The owner was extremely good to us, and gave us a tour of the reserve (game drive) in his 4x4. He knows the farm and its inhabitants intimately. This was educational and most interesting. A big thanks for the hospitality and for a memorable weekend!
As mentioned, we did not walk very far, but there are many hikes one can take on the reserve, which gets its name from the Xhosa or Zulu meanings for Shade or Shadows cast by the surrounding mountains and hills. Remarkable sunsets! The sunrises are harder to see, as you first have to get out of bed and the cosy chalet!
All I can say is, great people and stunning reserve. This was another perfect weekend! Visit their site at www.amathunzi.co.za, but more importantly, visit them!