Ashleigh recently went on holiday to Hazview and had a wonderful time experiencing the best of the area at the picturesque Tanamera Lodge. Make sure to book a weekend away in Hazyview and explore Kruger and the rest of the Lowveld.
As a born-and-bred Capetonian, the north eastern parts of South Africa were always something of a mystery to me. But in the past few years, I have come to know the incredible beauty of the Lowveld, and I've found that it is one of my new favourite places to visit.
We arrived in Hazyview a few hours before we needed to check in, and so drove into the centre of town for a bite to eat. As we opened the car doors, we stepped into a wave of heat. The lowveld can reach some staggering temperatures at times, and this day was no exception. After a few cool drinks and an incredible pizza at Topolino's, we headed through to Tanamera, the lodge we would stay at for the next two glorious days.
Tanamera is situated about ten minutes outside Hazyview, and looks straight down into the Sabie River Valley. To say that that the view is spectacular would be an understatement. We were greeted at the lodge by the welcoming managers, Mansel and Melissa, who would prove to be wonderful allies in assisting us to make the most of our two days in Hazyview.
The spacious and luxurious rooms each have a small splash pool on a private deck, overlooking the valley. We cooled off and then browsed the delicious-looking menu to decide on our dinner for the evening. After popping in at the main lodge to place our orders, we set off on a short hike down into the valley to swim in the river.
The river was lower than usual, but we swam and explored, indulging our adventurous sides as the sun started to sink lower in the sky. Before it became too dark we quickly headed back to the lodge and changed for dinner. It was a beautiful evening and after drinks in the lounge, we settled at the tables on the deck and had a sensational three-course dinner while listening to the rushing of the river in the valley below, and watching the last light slowly fade over the valley.
Tanamera is just a 30 minute drive from the Paul Kruger gate into the Kruger National Park. We wanted to get an early start in the park the next morning, so we woke up at 5am and headed off. The staff at Tanamera had packed us a wonderful picnic breakfast and Mansel had provided a map of the park with some recommended routes, based on his own experience and knowledge of the area. We followed his recommendations and had a wonderful morning where we saw wildebeest, hippo, water buffalo, hyena, giraffe, elephant, and even wild dogs, which are notoriously difficult to spot.
Despite the excitement of the wild dog spotting, my favourite part was sitting in the car and watching a whole herd of elephants grazing on the trees alongside the road. They slowly crossed in small groups to the other side just a few metres from our car, the young ones jostling each other excitedly while their mothers kept a close watch on the 'spectators'. I have a soft spot for these beautiful creatures, so the time we spent watching them was delightful.
Come breakfast time we parked on the banks of a watering hole to enjoy our picnic in the car, before carrying on driving through the park. Time passes quickly in the park, and before we knew it we had to head back to Hazyview for our river rafting trip with Induna Adventures. We arrived and changed into our swimming costumes, suited up in our lifejackets and helmets, and embarked on a (mostly) lazy trip down the river. The rapids were lower, thanks to the dry winter of the previous months, but we still had some fun rides, navigating the rocks and trying, sometimes unsuccessfully, not to get stuck. Our guides were fantastic and the 2 hour trip was filled with fun and laughter.
It was a very full day, and we were quite tired by the time we headed back to Tanamera. We changed out of our costumes and headed to the lounge for the usual 6pm sundowners, watching the sun set over the valley. Dinner was superb yet again, and a special mention must be made of the incredible vegetarian options. We lingered over dessert, drinking one of the amazing wines Tanamera has on offer, and I wished that we could stay for at least a week. A full day, combined with our delicious dinner and a luxurious bed, made falling asleep that night very easy.
The next morning we woke to a cool and drizzly day, and lazily made our way to the dining room for breakfast. We enjoyed a wonderful continental spread to start, with a delicious hot breakfast to follow. Packing to leave wasn't easy, and I wished we could have stayed for longer. Tanamera was the perfect combination of natural beauty, luxury and hospitality, and was close enough to the wild to satisfy a longing for adventure. If I get the opportunity to explore the Lowveld again soon, I will certainly make Tanamera my base.
To find out more about Tanamera Lodge and to book a weekend away in Hazyview, click here.