The malaria-free Eastern Cape is a true gem in South Africa and offers some of the most stunning untouched bushland and fascinating wildlife, including the Big 5. East Cape Tours are so lucky to be based in the Eastern Cape, so close to our wonderful game reserves, and we love sharing our beautiful province with you. Recently two of our employees enjoyed a getaway to two of the most popular safari lodges in the province – Founders Lodge, and the Gorah Elephant Camp in the Addo Elephant National Park. Here is what they had to say about their safari adventure:
After a 40 minute delay my husband and I finally arrived at Founders Lodge, a beautiful 1940s-style manor house, set adjacent to the Shamwari Private Game Reserve. Despite being late, we were greeted warmly by Leonie, our smiling hostess, and Freddy, our game ranger, with some refreshing welcome drinks. After a quick check-in we were given a tour of the lodge. Founders Lodge is comprised of six stunning suites, and we were staying in the Contemporary Suite. The room overlooks the vast African bush, and sitting out on the patio, enjoying the view, was the perfect way to relax and unwind.
Our first game drive was soon after we arrived and was originally scheduled for 3pm, but because of our late arrival Freddy happily changed the time to 15 minutes later in order to accommodate us. Freddy gave us some ponchos and rain gear as grey clouds were looming overhead, but luckily they were not needed majority of the time, as the rain only started falling during the last 15 minutes of the game drive. The game drive took place in Shamwari, a Big 5 game reserve, where we saw a range of animals including lions and hippos! We also saw plenty of giraffe, zebra, and various buck species, as well as wildebeest. Throughout our two-day stay we were lucky enough to experience four game drives, each on a different route, and see a variety of stunning African wildlife. Freddy was informative, knowledgeable and always ready to answer questions
Besides the incredible wildlife in the surrounds, Founders Lodge offers a relaxing and luxurious stay. The rooms are modern and spacious, and when we weren’t relaxing we were in the dining room enjoying a delicious traditional dinner. The dinner was so amazing I had to turn down dessert on both nights, odd considering I have such a sweet tooth!
Founders Lodge was a fantastic getaway – the staff were polite and attentive, very friendly and always willing to help!
– Sandra Nicol, Commercial Manager
Gorah Elephant Camp
I spent one incredible night at Gorah Elephant Camp, in the Addo National Elephant Park. Leaving from Port Elizabeth my husband and I arrived at the Matyholweni gate in the early afternoon, which was about 15km from the campsite. The drive through the reserve was lovely, like your own mini safari, and when we arrived at the Gorah gate, we were given a wonderful goodie bag with water by a lovely gentleman named Pumi, who also helped us check-in. We then had a scenic 10km drive to the tented camps. When we arrived we were met by Lara, our hostess, who presented us with some warm face cloths and crystal glasses filled with fruit juice. Our bags were carried to our tent and our car parked for us, making us feel like absolute royalty. Feeling more refreshed after the juice, we were given a tour of Gorah, a truly beautiful accommodation.
After settling in we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch on the patio overlooking the waterhole. After lunch a beautiful lioness had come exploring a few metres from the tent making for an incredible sight. The tent was luxuriously decorated and spacious, with a complimentary bar where my husband enjoyed some sherry to shake the winter chill off! We enjoyed some snacks and relaxed in the comfort of the tent before heading to high tea in the late afternoon. After high tea we were ready for our afternoon game drive!
The game drive lasted about three hours with a stop to admire the South African sunset and enjoy a few sundowners and snacks. We were lucky enough to see a range of fantastic wildlife including lions, hyenas, elephants, a jackal and a few monkeys. On arrival back to our tent we saw an elephant bull enjoying his dinner a mere 10 metres from our campsite! What a stunning and remarkable sight! After that it was time for us to enjoy our 4-course candlelit dinner, which was one of the most delicious meals I have had. After our tummies were filled we headed back to the tent to cuddle in the warmth of the gas heater and enjoy some more sherry.
Our wake-up call came at half-past-seven with steaming hot coffee and tea brought to your tent. After getting ready for the day we enjoyed a full breakfast spread, relaxed a bit and got ready for our morning game drive. The morning game drive was excellent and we were fortunate enough to see some brilliant wildlife once more.
My getaway to Gorah Elephant Camp was a much needed break and somewhere I would definitely return to!
– Mel Maree, Supplier Relations
If you’re interested in visiting our beautiful and malaria-free Eastern Cape Game Reserves contact East Cape Tours today!