Sometimes, just sometimes, you need to get some dirt on your tires. I have to say that I was not expecting ‘beach’ sand when I drove through the gate that marked the entrance to Zangarna Game Lodge in the Waterberg. Seeing that my wife enjoys beach breaks while I enjoy the bush, it was a sort of compromise…just a pity that the sea was 850km away.
Time to pull up the brake on urban living for a few days, kick back and enjoy the peace and tranquility that a bushveld break offers.
This sign was a portend of things to come. Both management, in the form of Richard and Esther, were always on hand to make certain that the needs of all their guests were taken care of. And the lodge staff that we interacted with were helpful and attentive without being intrusive. Linda, in the kitchen, was a joy to deal with…and getting onto my bathroom scale when I returned from this trip proved just how good she is in her role as the chef!
The main lodge building consists of several areas that are all different from a decor perspective, but that complimented each other. This is where we ate most of our meals. A generous space that has its own fireplace that will no doubt come into its own during the cold winter months. There are canvas walls that can be lowered should the weather dictate.
Too chilly to head outside to watch the game at the waterhole? Then why not sit inside, enjoying the warmth from yet another fireplace and you can see when there are arrivals that come to slake their thirst.
A row of non-walking walking sticks forms part of the decor on the main deck that is close to the infinity pool.
Our accommodation, as seen from the main lodge building. From the exterior, all the chalets are the same, while inside the decor varies to make each one individual.
And the cool interior. But no time to hang about, it was back to the main deck where lunch awaited.
And what a lunch it was. Turns out that real men DO eat quiche! Especially if there is bacon involved.
There were loungers near the pool where I spent a lot of time watching the birdlife using the water for both drinking and bathing. In the summer months, I am certain that these towels would be of use to the guests. However, the pool water was SO cold that I got ankle-deep on the step and that was as far as I was prepared to go.
Sparkly ‘things’ used to keep the cushions in place. It seems that to quote the old adage “The devil is in the details” and these are just some of those details.
The cold did not seem to worry this Dark-capped Bulbul that was making the most of the swimming pool seeing that it was not being utilized by any of the guests.
A couple of guests sitting on the deck watching a giraffe watching them. This particular male took an inordinately long time to make his way to the waterhole. While many humans believe in instant gratification, it seems as if giraffe, in particular, put safety first.
That said, if YOU had to get into this position to have a drink, then you would want to make certain that there was nothing in the vicinity that could turn you into a meal.
This particular lodge is not home to any of the Big5, but that does not distract from the plethora of plains game that I found either at the waterhole or on the game drives that I went out on. In a way, not having to chase predators meant that I could actually sleep in and enjoy a real holiday instead of getting up pre-dawn to head out in search of animals with teeth and claws. For me, that was a bonus!
I could spend my time looking for the less obvious to photograph, like these leaves that were being back-lit by the late afternoon sun.
Or this Agama, that I would have missed had it not been bobbing its head.
The trees in the area around the lodge were alive with the sounds of a myriad of Fork-tailed Drongos. This bird is a great mimic and if food is involved it has the ability to recreate alarm calls that will chase other species away leaving their succulent morsel behind to be picked up at leisure.
Leaving the lodge behind we headed off to this hide to enjoy sundowner drinks on one of the evening excursions. The structure below the top deck is a shower and a loo-with-a-view.
We had the sun vanishing into the west faster than you can say ‘sunset’. In the bush, the sun does not go gently into that good night, but it gets to a point and then just crashes out of sight beyond the horizon. From light to darkness in a matter of seconds.
It is always good to be in the bush for the full moon and in this instance, it was a super moon. It rose as quickly as the sun set, almost like the two opposing sides of a seesaw.
Did I mention that there are 3 fireplaces? I suppose, strictly speaking, this is an outdoor fire pit and not a fireplace. But it serves a similar purpose. The only thing missing? A packet of marshmallows to toast over the flames. I will remember to bring on my next visit. (or perhaps Linda could add it to her shopping list?)
What better way to see off the end of the day?
And one final surprise…a Gecko that was about to nab a moth as its evening meal. So, in a way, the property does have predators of sorts. This fellow had made its home on the wall above the door to our accommodation as was there every evening when my wife and I returned from dinner.
To find out more about what the lodge offers, click on their logo above.
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