Jen recently enjoyed a wonderful weekend stay at Kumbagana Game Lodge in Rustenburg with her family.
Our weekend started with a pretty drive as we quickly got out of the city and headed over the rolling hills, scattered with Jacaranda trees bursting with purple blossoms. Kumbagana Game Lodge is situated close to Rustenburg, along the Magaliesburg mountain range that stretches beyond Hartebeespoort Dam. The drive took us a mere hour and a half from Jo’burg and we arrived mid-afternoon at the lodge.
After meeting the manager, we were directed to our quaint little chalet which was shaded by big, beautiful Acacia trees. The cool smell of thatch greeted us as we took in a massive king-size bed, an adequately appointed kitchen corner and a small room with bunk beds for adventurous kids (and brave moms)! On further inspection, the kitchen, although basic, provided for all of our needs ... there were plenty of wine glasses and ice in the freezer!
We went off for an “adventure walk” (you sometimes need to sell these things when you have small children), and discovered an incredible obstacle course for team building, conference and wedding facilities, a restaurant (for those not so keen on self-catering), 30+ campsites and an enormous, sparkling swimming pool. There is a superb jungle gym, but with so much more to see, we parked that activity for the next day.
During the winter months, the hunting industry serves as the lodge’s main source of income.
Later that evening we sat around the fire, our tummies full of barbeque ribs and salad. We sipped on our red wine, watched the lightening on the horizon, and, as a gentle breeze picked up, we could smell the fresh, damp earth with the first proper rains of the season. We heard the black-backed jackals yowling and calling out in the dusk, probably also celebrating the nearby rainfall.
The next morning the boys went off for a bike ride while I popped my feet up and spent some quality time with my book. Sitting in the dappled shade of the Acacia trees, I had the lulling sounds of crickets chirping and bird calls drawing my eyelids down into a mid-morning snooze.
We had a game drive booked for 11am and, right on time, our friendly, humorous, and extremely knowledgeable game ranger, Trompies, rumbled up to our chalet in the open-topped game viewing vehicle. We spent the next two hours being entertained and educated, with a refreshments' interval included. The wildlife that we spotted included kudu, impala, eland, waterbuck, bushbuck, giraffe, sable antelope, gemsbok and zebra.
Following our game drive, we decided to skip the self-catering side of things and head to the restaurant for lunch where we were treated to the most delicious meal, personally served to us by the chef. After a brief afternoon lie down, my oldest son and I wandered off to watch a team-building group on the obstacle course. This looked like fantastic fun, although in the 30-degree heat, I was grateful to be on the observing end. A refreshing splash in the swimming pool had everyone feeling more human.
We woke up on Sunday morning after a good night’s sleep in our comfortable big bed. While my hubby made the kids their breakfast, I headed off for the best trail run I have ever experienced! Running along the soft, damp trails, I encountered huge-eared kudus, fleeting flashes of tan-coloured impala as they raced off at my approach, and a beautiful, gentle giraffe who followed me with his long-lashed eyes as I puffed past. With a cool breeze on my skin, and the gentle morning sun promising a beauty of a day, I couldn’t help but wonder at the magnificent world we live in.
As we packed our bags, my husband and I chatted about how Kumbagana Game Lodge is a perfect retreat for almost everyone, and is such a great way to gently infuse nature into the next generation and experience (relatively safe) wildlife. We’d had a perfectly relaxing, fun-filled weekend with superb staff and beautiful surrounds.
The adventure didn’t quite end there… My (slightly crazy) hubby has often told me of Breedts Nek Pass over which he rides his mountain bike when training longer distances from Jo’burg. I’d never been over this pass and we decided that it would be a seriously fun and adventurous return trip, with him riding his bike and me at the wheel of our 4x4. Heading over the 11km winding pass, of which the “road” is really just loose rocks, jagged rocks and massive expanses of rock, I felt the adrenaline surge and once again marveled at how we can have such incredible experiences so close to our city life.
(This is definitely a high-clearance vehicle route; and certainly not for the faint-hearted … but seriously highly recommended)
What a brilliant weekend, with adventures for everyone.