We were at the magnificent Sondela Country House near Bela-Bela / Warmbaths for three magical nights. It's a five-star boutique hotel, but they had the most fantastic winter special on that meant it was more affordable than many three-star hotels.
In our few days there, I experienced many "firsts":
- First time milking a cow;
- Having butler service (something to get used to, actually - it's a bit weird having someone just waiting around to do what you ask. We weren't very good at it);
- Going on a proper night drive (where I got to hold the spotlight);
- Seeing a bushbaby in the wild, jumping from tree to tree;
- Having a three-course gourmet meal served in our hotel room;
- Going on a "game drive" on bicycles (awesome!);
- Seeing a crimson-breasted shrike in the wild;
- Playing tennis while nyala watched;
- Being asked whether I wanted a goose down, duck down or feather pillow (?! I told them to surprise me. Have no idea which one I got in the end, but it was really comfortable);
- Having our car washed before we checked out, just as part of what they do for guests.
It was so good to be guests rather than hosts for a little while. The place is brilliantly maintained, has a great variety of facilities and, best of all, it's only an hour and a half away and it's warm!
I will attempt to stop gushing now, so here are some pics...
Me, milking a very patient cow:
Our King-sized bed:
The tame kudu doe that wanders around the property:
Very inquisitive mongoose:
The chalets also look brilliant - very private, in the middle of the bush, with a hot spa pool, col swimming pool, tennis courts and entertainment area. In fact, even the campsite looked really nice - shady, quiet and small.
I think we'll have to go back and try each ;-)
Ok, the gushing is really over now, I promise.