The writer stayed at Carrington Lodge and had a wonderful time at the lodge. Go to their listing to make a booking for a great weekend in Kimberley.
It all started with a great longing to visit the ghosts of a bitter sweet childhood. The Northern Cape holds a mix of emotions for me, with the sparse and dry landscape etched into my memory. The Northern Cape is the biggest province in South Africa. In winter it's semi-bare back is sparsely littered with thorn bushes and dry shrubs, making it ideal for game viewing, hunting, dirt and quad biking or simply getting lost in one's thoughts and the vastness of the landscape.
I began playing with ideas of how to embark on this journey into the heart of the Northern Cape. After much deliberation and a fair amount of procrastination, I decided to take the slow train through the Karoo and on up to Kimberley. However, the trains were fully booked, due to aforementioned procrastination, so I booked a flight.
In Kimberley, I met up with an old friend who was also in town revisiting his childhood. Deciding that the ghosts of the past can only be faced on a full stomach, we headed down to the local Spur (we are South African after all). For those with a more discerning pallet, I would recommend Mario's, a great Italian place that's been a part of Kimberley since anyone can remember!
With our hunger sated, we headed down to the local pub for a quick drink - a joint called The Half-way House (perhaps because generally when people are in Kimberley, they are half-way to their actual destination). The Half, as it is affectionately known by the locals, is actually quite a nice drinking establishment. It has a charming old school bar area, as well as a courtyard bar which also doubles as a gig venue on the weekends.
Most places close early so we headed back to our rooms at Carrington Lodge, a pleasant and conveniently located B&B with an impressive billiards table and two swimming pool areas. The Carrington Lodge is ideally located on a leafy street, close to historic battlefields, monuments, art galleries, pubs and yet it's ample yard insulated by big trees from the bustle of the outside world.
We got around to see some of the major sites in Kimberley including the big hole, which has been given a big facelift, much for the better. I grew up on a cattle farm outside of Kimberley, and today the farm has been turned into the Dronfield Game Reserve. The reserve offers great game viewing with an ample supply of game, as well as some rare Roan antelope and a few rhino! We spotted a few orphaned calves in a paddock, taking me back to when the place used to be a cattle farm.
You may not expect it in a place like Kimberley, but the William Humphreys Art Gallery is well worth the visit, displaying the work of a number of iconic South African artists in their collection. I've always been impressed after visiting the gallery and this time was no exception!
If you enjoy skating, the Maloof Skate Park is world class. I unfortunately left my skateboard at home, but don't forget yours if it's your thing.
I managed to organise myself enough to get a place on the train back to Cape Town. Shosholoza Meyl Premier Class is a ride in luxury with a price to match. But whiling away the hours in comfort, with a good book, is a great way to unwind. You get to watch the countryside transform from savannah grassland to arid rock and then finally to a vineyard dotted lush green landscape, announcing your arrival in the Western Cape. An event in itself, as well as a means to transverse the countryside ... and very soothing on the soul too.
To book a weekend at Carrington Lodge go to their listing on RoomsForAfrica.