“I’m coming to Cape Town but want to see as much of South Africa as possible during short our time there”. This is something that we often hear, you might think it’s impossible, but it’s not that hard. If you take a drive along the Garden Route from Cape Town, you’ll come across the winelands, long beautiful beaches, mountains, vast forests, whales breaching in the ocean, and you can even stop along the way for a quick Big 5 safari.
Ok, so it’s not strictly within the Garden Route it’s a little further on the way to Grahamstown…but, well it’s an opportunity not to be missed! We know a great lodge that will take excellent care of you too, Kichaka Private Game Lodge in the malaria free Eastern Cape.
When we went to Kichaka, it was a fairly cold and wet day, but we received a warm welcome at the gate into the reserve, after which we hopped into a vehicle and slid and slipped our way along to the main lodge. The property is enclosed by fences to keep out the large predators, meaning that you are free to walk between the lodge and your room at night without fear.
After our short drive we climbed out of the vehicle and entered through the large wooden doors, at reception we were enveloped by the deliciously sweet smell of hot chocolate, a very welcome treat. A large fire was roaring and the atmosphere was extremely homely, we enjoyed our hot chocolate with a few delicious high tea delights.
However, it was soon time to turn our thoughts away from cakes and warm fires as it was time for our first game drive at Kichaka. I was so glad to see that they were providing us with warm ponchos and a hot water bottle to keep extremities warm which was a wonderful touch. As it turned out, we were the only ones who would brave the weather that afternoon, so we had the entire game vehicle to ourselves, accompanied by our guide.
The game drive experience is very different when compared to Kruger or Sabi Sands for example, with a different type landscape, but of course, wild animals can hide in plain sight. You might not think that spotting an elephant or a rhino could be that difficult, they’re pretty big right…well they manage to blend in quite well with their surroundings. Even with the cold breeze, we had a wonderful time on the lookout for anything that we could see with our binoculars at the ready.
We had a couple of highlights on our game drives, because who doesn’t want to see baby animals? Sarah and I were lucky enough to witness both a giraffe calf and a zebra foal. It was incredible to see these new additions adapting to their new habitat and playing around, having fun in the wild.
The main lodge at Kichaka is located on the edge of a watering hole, there are large deck areas utilized at meal times that allow you to overlook this area, and to our surprise, whilst we were tucking in to a nice hot breakfast, a hippo walked out of the water, took a good look around and after deciding it was better in the water, slipped right back in.
It may have been too cold for us to take advantage of the pool during our stay, but on a nice warm summers day, it would be perfect. Plus you can double up and make use of the spa treatment rooms here.
There are wooden walkways that lead you to the suites placed around the lodge. All of the suites are surrounded by trees, which gives you ultimate privacy and it is extremely peaceful, the only noises you might hear are those of the animals outside of the perimeter. We were blown away when we entered our suite, the volume of the room is vast, a lower seating area with comfortable leather armchairs leads onto your own deck area accompanied by it’s very inviting private plunge pool. On the upper level of the room, there is a huge and extremely comfortable bed, with a walk around bathroom behind it equipped with a wonderful bath for a well earned bubblebath soak after a long day of game viewing.
Kichaka Private Game Lodge is the perfect destination for those travelers who are short on time in South Africa, it’s perfect for families and it’s also malaria free! It may not be located in the more well known areas such as Kruger National Park or Sabi Sand, but there is still a fantastic adventure to be had here. The Big 5 are all in the reserve, Leopard can be more difficult to spot, but that’s true in most reserves anyway. We absolutely loved our short time here, and can’t wait to return.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment below, we'd love to hear from you. And if you are planning a trip to South Africa anytime soon please email us with any/all your questions and enquiries, it would be our pleasure to assist you in arranging a memorable experience like ours.
View Kichaka's own webpage on our website to find out more.
Disclaimer: Our stay at Kichaka Private Game Lodge was complimentary, however all views remain our own and we do not trade off complimentary stays for a positive reflection of any kind. We will only give credit where credit is due.
All opinions within this blog are our own and any hosted stays will be disclosed in the relevant blog posts. We do not trade off complimentary stays for a positive reflection of any kind, and we will only give credit where credit is due. We put in a lot of time and effort researching the properties we visit, we want to build long standing trust with you, our readers, with honesty and integrity being incredibly important to us.
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