I was recently lucky enough to be invited to stay at Gondwana Game Reserve. It has been years (possibly 2 decades?!) when I was last at a game park and I’ve really, really been wanting to see the wild animals again. So I was delighted when I received the invite and couldn’t wait to hit the road!
Gondwana is situated just before Mossel Bay. We took a left and drove a fair way into the hills. Not really ever digressing from the N2, it was wonderful to see what lay beyond. And, of course, seeing the “leeu” sign was all very exciting!
Mr Love and I had driven up on Sunday afternoon. The traffic was very busy (people returning after the long weekend) and we had worked the night before, so we took it easy. Unfortunately, by the time we had arrived, we had missed the afternoon game drive, but it was no matter as we were greeted by some large elands upon arrival. The game to count the animals was on!
Welcome To Gondwana Kwena Huts
We were warmly welcomed at Gondwana and introduced to our ranger. We were showed to the Kwena huts where we would be staying. The Kwena huts half-circle a mountainous ravine with 2 watering holes and a view for days.
They are well designed circular rooms with a large double bed (and electric blankies to warm the sheets for you), beautifully decorated with wonderful bathroom amenities. Expect a deep bath, full room shower (it’s literally just a showerhead in the ceiling above the whole bathroom!) and separate water closet. There are the usual hotel room facilities such as a mini fridge, tea and coffee, dressing gowns, extra blankets, etc.
Each Kwena hut has a skylight which allows one to look up at the night sky, a fireplace to keep you warm and a view out the door to keep you smiling.
After we had settled in, we finished our welcoming drink from the porch of our hut. Looking over the expansive valleys is very relaxing and it was wonderful to watch the evening light change from dusk to night. I tried to look for animals but found only a lonely impala grazing in the ravine.
We sat and watched the moon rise above the green, bushy hills. It was nearly full moon and too good to ignore. Once it had gotten sufficiently dark (and cold), we rang our ranger to collect us for dinner. Because the reserve is an open area, guests are required to be accompanied at night by their rangers, for safety sake. I didn’t feel in danger at the camp, however, animals can be dangerous and it’s best to be safe than sorry.
The dining room was warm and welcoming with African themed art, decor and warm gas fires burning. I enjoyed a chicken salad starter followed by steak with balsamic reduction, polenta and roasted veg for main and a cheese board to close the meal.
I appreciated that they served individual cheese boards which I could share with Mr Love. So often huge slabs of cheese are presented and I wonder how much goes to waste. I enjoyed this portion of nuts, cheese, jam and dried fruit. Our waitress was really, really lovely and tried very hard to meet all our requests.
After dinner we returned to our room (looking out for animals and poop all along the way!) and retired for the night. The thing that struck me the most about Gondwana, on our first evening, was the sound of silence sprinkled with the tweeting of birds, croaking of frogs and clicking of insects. Nature’s music really never gets boring and it continued to lull and relax me throughout our visit.