Thursday, 8 July 2010


Our bush getaway to Sondela was phenomenal. It's difficult to find the words to explain how much we enjoyed our time there. Squeals work best, I find.

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.
The attention to detail and level of service were mind-blowing - filter coffee in the rooms as opposed to the mix-n-drink stuff, a heated towel rack in the bathroom, Charlotte Rhys toiletries...

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.


Shayne said...

Gush as much as you want - it all looks completely divine.

And you definately deserved the spoiling and rest after the last month you've had.

Wish we were closer as it sounds like somewhere i'd like to visit.

Good luck for your last round of visitors.

phillygirl said...

Aw, I've been there and also think it's a marvelous spot, although we were in the self-catering bungalows. Didya go to the Wildlife Center they have there?

Anonymous said...

Aw damnit! Now I REALLY want to go on a holiday!


Glad you had a good break!

Alet said...

Thanks for a fantastic review, I have been meaning to have a look at the property and will definitely make a plan!

Helen said...

We stayed in one of the bungalows last year and it was lovely! And not too far to drive either!

Forever Feline said...

It looks and sounds just stunning! Love the pics :)

Hayley said...

Oh wow, sounds absolutely amazing!!!

ExMi said...

love that mongoose pic - sounds like you guys had a good, chilled time.

so jealous!!