Thali Thali Game Lodge is another destination that we will visit frequently, as they are close to Cape Town, have a wide variety of things to do, friendly, well established, and most importantly, very reasonably priced! The restaurant is superb, with excellent service and a fabulous menu! The owners are nature lovers of note, and their game drives are not only packed with ideal photo opportunities and guaranteed game sightings, but are learning experiences for young and old, which far outweighs the cost per person in my opinion. The staff is ultra friendly, and I can vouch that this business is making a huge success because they are service orientated and generally just nice people!
One of the biggest complaints out there with people wanting to book at lodges and campsites, is the lack of information, or where the photos make the place look far better than it actually is. For this reason I provide actual experiences and photos taken during my stay with little or no editing.
This video may need to be shortened a tad, but provides an overview of Thali Thali, where I arrived early on a misty morning. This mist added to the experience and photography. Take a look...
Getting to Thali Thali requires no special vehicle. The last 4km of gravel is well maintained and any car will make it. The game drives are all guided, so no need to take along your 4x4.
Travel up the West Coast on the R27 for about 100km. Close to the Langebaan turnoff and just opposite the Engen Service Station turn right. The turnoff is well marked and cannot be missed.
There is good cell phone coverage on the way there, as well as at the Lodge. The R27 is a decent road, but can get busy. I left long before sunrise and on a weekday, and the road was very busy. Take your time, drive carefully, and plan accordingly.
The gate to the Lodge and Reserve is automated... just drive over the white dot. One experiences this sense of being away from it all, along with the excitement of being out in nature. The chances are you will be greeted by a variety of birds and animals as you approach the main buildings. I saw Deer, Zebra and Guinea Fowl on the way in, and stopped for a few photos.
In this section of the blog I like to add attractions that differentiate the facility from other similar destinations.
Archery: Excellent as a Team Building Activity. The photo of the target below is not staged (none of my images are) and is actual shots by the owner, done from a distance. After the first arrow I still thought to myself, how lucky, then the rest followed in this grouping. He is a master, and clearly a professional Archer!
Game Drives: Why unique? Because unlike many other places, this is affordable and educational! The animals are not enclosed in small camps, and roam freely, and yet the chances of seeing most of the species is good. The last time I was there we saw the camel first, and this time he alluded us altogether, but we saw everything else. The drive is safe, well disciplined and organised, where your guide is always in radio contact with the base. We had a close encounter with an ostrich, which can be quite a dangerous bird, and our guide new exactly what to do and prevented what could have been quite a thing!
B&B Luxury Tents: Well equipped luxury tents with fabulous views of the reserve. That camping feeling, and feeling of being away from it all, with the luxury of being waited upon. These are not fenced in any way, and the chances are good that you will see and hear animals from these tents.
Conferences, Weddings and Functions: Yes, a lot of places offer this sort of thing, but not with settings like this. Thali Thali has the best of both worlds, excellent catering and facilities, along with the bush and the outdoors. A superb restaurant and bar, and I need to mention this again, excellent service!
All Things to Do
Ala Carte Restaurant
West Coast Way
There is quite a bit to choose from, all tastefully decorated and well equipped. From the tents mentioned above, to a large farmhouse for your team gatherings, to gorgeous self catering chalets. Here are some photos, and you can make your bookings and check availability by following this link.
As mentioned earlier, this is one place we will visit as often as possible, whether for a Sunday lunch, a weekend getaway, taking photos or for some archery lessons. I am certain the owners receive an abundance of requests from photographers to do what I have done, and yet I was welcomed there and treated like a VIP guest! A special thanks to the owner and to all his staff, this was a fantastic experience.