Thonga Beach Lodge was the second of three properties that we stayed at that falls under the banner of isibindi africa. This was a special property for my wife as she L.O.V.E.S the ocean and has not set foot on a beach in a very long time. (Mainly because she has been keeping me company at a variety of bush destinations) Being born at the coast (Port Elizabeth) I have an affinity for the sea, hence this visit was somewhat special for me as well.
From the moment these were placed on the counter at reception for us, we knew that we were in for a very special time. With most of the paperwork having been filled out online, time in this public space was thankfully limited. This will become the norm for all the lodges within the isibindi africa Group so as to limit face time with strangers on arrivals and departures. I see this as one of the positive aspects of COVID-19 and I am hoping that going forward all forms of holiday accommodation will follow this trend. For me, there is nothing more tedious than having to fill out reams of repetitive paperwork on arrival. Well done to Thonga Beach Lodge for making the process painless and quick.
While enjoying our welcome drink, I took a moment to look around and spied this empty dining area. One of the COVID-19 protocols that the Lodge is following is to offer meals outdoors when possible. This not only enforces the social distancing but why sit inside when the deck is such a welcoming space.
It is interesting how quickly guests ‘claim’ a table and then utilize it for their entire stay. The two-seater table became ours for the meals that we enjoyed during our too short two-night stay.
When we arrived, we had no idea as to what lay at the end of this wooden walkway. We were to find out soon enough.
This became my branch office. If I was not on the balcony of our room, then there was every possibility that I could be found here.
The beach and the view of the Indian Ocean were spectacular and unhindered by highrise apartment blocks and floods of tourists.
Looking back towards the lodge from the beach. Almost hidden within the lush tropical vegetation. A testament to the care and consideration as to how the lodge fits into the environment.
No need to go scuba diving or snorkelling when the fish are right in front of you on the deck!
Part of the bar area. This seemed to be a favourite meeting spot before dinner.
If you needed to access the Wi-Fi, then the best reception could be found in this lounge. There were also board games that could be played and I should imagine that pre-lockdown this was one of the more popular public spaces at the lodge.
Not one, but two public pools. And both are within a stone’s throw from the ocean.
The accommodation is virtually hidden withing the dense vegetation in which the lodge sits. The way that the architecture of the lodge fits into the surroundings goes to show a high degree of concern for the sustainability of the vegetation and its inhabitants. This allows the lodge to make certain that it will be around for many years to come.
That being said, our accommodation sat ABOVE the vegetation and overlooked the property from above. However, as it is at the rear, there is no other accommodation behind it and thus makes it less intrusive overall.
It has its own deck and plunge pool as is usually used as honeymoon accommodation. Sitting here with my feet in the water, overlooking the ocean, allowed me contemplative time to relax and be grateful for this time that I was able to share with my wife.
If you think that the bed looks devoid of scatter cushions and the like, you are correct. But if you read the note in the information pack, you will realise that it has all been removed to accommodate COVID-19 sanitation protocols. But do you REALLY need the decorative touches? Personally, I don’t think so…
Lack of cushions certainly did not stop me making myself comfortable… I don’t usually feature in postings, but seeing that my wife needed to prove that I can relax…here is the evidence.
The view from the balcony with a clear sky…
And a little later that same day. The same viewpoint, except I was indoors as I wanted to stay out of the rain and the possibility of being struck by lightning. This spectacular lightning storm lasted for a while and allowed me to take the opportunity to capture some of this display.
This is all that I left behind…
I was not the only one leaving tracks. It was turtle season, and although we did not find a turtle on the beach, I did find these tracks. (As an aside, on a boat ride to swim with dolphins, we DID spot a small turtle playing in the breakers)
Sunrise over the Indian Ocean, the only one that I witnessed during our stay. Not because I did not get up early enough but as a result of the overcast and cloudy weather conditions that remained in the area while we were at the lodge.
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This is a spectacular lodge that offers guests, tired and jaded as a result of 2020 and the pandemic, the opportunity to relax and unwind with all the correct safety procedures in place. Highly recommended. (In fact, we are making plans to return in February when the turtles hatch!)
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