My wife and I recently stayed at this guest house in Hazyview, which takes its name, Tatenda, from the Shona word for “Thank You”. In 2018 Brian and Gerda Chambers, a gregarious couple that enjoys mingling with their guests and sharing stories, took over the running of this property.
A couple of anecdotes from Brian:
Check your reservation – One evening a group of 10 guests arrived at check-in. We were full for the night but the new arrivals insisted they had a booking. Upon further investigation, it turns out although they intended to stay in Hazyview, they had booked at Tatenda – Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape.
Don’t forget your charger – Over the years, we have collected an assortment of chargers – iPhone, Dell, HP, Samsung (new and old cable types). So.. for guests arriving that have forgotten their chargers, we can always assist with a replacement.
According to Brian, the Log Cabin is their most popular rental accommodation. After staying here once, guests often plan return visits to make certain that they are able to book the cabin again. Although it has a private deck and braai area, it has access to the communal pool, Lapa, and deck at the main house. For those on a business trip, the complimentary wi-fi connectivity is stable and fast and the on-site parking is secure. Should you not wish to utilize the pool or spend time in the garden, there is Dstv available on the in-room tv sets.
The main bedroom has a double bed and an en-suite bathroom. The staff seems to enjoy making animals out of the bath towels. This was an art form we first discovered on a cruise ship some years ago and it now seems to slowly become the norm in land-based guest houses and game lodges. If you look in a bathroom and there are no towels, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will find them in some form or another on your bed. In this instance, these looked like Ewoks.
Aside from the main bedroom, there is also this area that can accommodate two more occupants. I had an afternoon nap here and I can attest to the fact that the bed is comfortable and conducive to sleep.
The cabin has a modern open plan kitchen with all the necessary appliances should you decide to eat in. Breakfast is served in the main building and lunch/ dinner can be enjoyed at any of the many restaurants in Hazyview.
The second sleeping area has its own separate bathroom that has a shower and toilet. So no fighting for ablution facilities in the morning.
Most of their guests use Tatenda as a base, but we were only here for one night on our way to Nelspruit. Having arrived in the afternoon, there was neither time nor the inclination to go exploring. So we spent the last of the daylight wandering through the rooms and around the gardens that were a joy to behold.
Brian and I were chatting about the fish in his pond, and when we checked out in the morning he handed me a 5l plastic bottle with about 12 fish in it. “I hope that they make it back to your pond safely” were his parting words as we drove out of the gate.
I am relieved to tell you that they did! I am not certain if all of them are still alive as they are small and grey and are not easily spotted in my pond, but I am hopeful.
No guest house worth its salt is complete without a resident cat or dog. And Tatenda meets this requirement. More independent than other cats that we have encountered but willing to interact with us on its own terms.
The entire garden is supplied by a greywater system and rainwater tanks that were installed by Brian. This was done to reduce the carbon footprint of the property as well as enable them to go off-grid as far as water for their landscaping needs were concerned.
As a result, the tropical garden is lush and filled with birds and bird-song. Forget Hadedas, here they have Trumpeter Hornbills, that can scare you if you have never heard their call before. This was one of the property highlights for me.
Tucked on the opposite side of the property to the Log Cabin, but just a few steps from the accommodation in the lower part of the main house is this gazebo. Yet another space where guests can relax and enjoy the sound of the birdlife in the garden. When we visited there was a large pond that was in the process of being repaired, and I am certain that the sound of running water will add to the ambiance of this seating.
The interior of the main house is an eclectic mix of styles that individually might seem to clash, but they work as a cohesive whole. In inclement weather, guests can enjoy their meals here and can watch their food being produced in the open-plan kitchen which is adjacent to this dining and lounge area.
Hidden at the bottom of the garden and almost invisible from prying eyes, was this boma. It was here that we were going to enjoy drinks with our hosts as well as their next-door neighbours who had been invited to join us for the evening.
Aside from the Buffalo Thorn, this Makweti tree, also known as the Bushveld Candelelabra (Euphorbia Cooperi) is one of my favourites and an easy tree to identify to show off my limited knowledge of bushveld tree species.
And what better place to chat about a day of exploration and adventure than around a warm, crackling fire? As an aside, I noticed that Brian started this fire with the ease of a seasoned professional. I, on the other hand, struggle with a plethora of firelighters when endeavouring to start a fire at home. Perhaps I should have paid closer attention while I was at Tatenda?
We enjoyed a delicious dinner with our hosts on the outside deck of the main building. Their daughter, Renee, and her boyfriend, Tyran, are both qualified chefs who live on the property and can provide dinner on request for guests. The quality of the food served to us at this meal was a testament to their culinary skills. A plate full of mussels was our starter.
That was followed by our main course, Kudu, done to perfection with mash and carrots. A great way to end off the day…And yes there was dessert and coffee to end off the meal.
“At Tatenda, we always strive to offer warm hospitality, personalised service, a homely environment, and a tranquil stay that will foster fond memories of a home from home you will always long to return to.”
To find out more about this gem of a guest house, click on the logo above.
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