I’ll never forget the day. We were driving back from the skate park with the kids before the end of lock down curfew, when the boys asked from the back of the car, “Mom, when do you think we will be able to go on one of those Safaris in the bush and see wild animals? The ones where you actually get to see animas in the wild!?” And I looked over at my husband and our hearts sunk a little. Because the only ones we knew about were either not suitable to a family like ours with three small kids or, were totally out of our budget. I mean most people will tell you, most bush holidays at game parks do not come cheap. (I was wrong, Wait til you see the great deals at this end of this post!)
That night we prayed before bed that, one day soon we would make their dream a reality and see the big five in real life!!
And then, literally three days later I woke up to an email inviting us to visit The Garden Route Lodge! I couldn’t believe my eyes, once again my blog had presented us with amazing opportunity to experience something incredible my kids, something I will always be grateful for as we continue to collaborate and build relationships with brands and grow our audience as authentically as we can. I was equally amazed that I had never heard of the Garden Route Game Lodge before – a game park designed for families and only 3.5 hours from Cape Town. I love that they cater for kids and offer some different accommodation options, all really well-priced for what you get.
And so just over a month ago we made our way up to Albertinia for a beautiful weekend in the bush, and boy were our kids excited at the prospect of spotting the Big Five! We contemplated leaving Hunter with my folks, because we felt she might be too young, but in hindsight we are so happy she got to experience this with us. The Garden Route Game Lodge, is really child-friendly and caters for little people beautifully. (She’s just over 3 and for many Game Parks that’s a big no-no for game drives!)
“Garden Route Game Lodge is set against the backdrop of the majestic Langeberg mountain Range, the Garden Route Game Lodge guards the entrance to South Africa’s world famous Garden Route Coast.
Only 3½ scenic hours drive from Cape Town, this malaria free, family owned and operated private game reserve is home to an abundance of animal and bird life including the Big 5.”
We stayed in the gorgeous family luxury suite which includes a sun deck, and boasts the most amazing views right from your own private plunge pool. The decor and attention to detail appeals to me in a big way, I love the wonderful mix of both contemporary and natural elements, just perfect for a place like this. My most favourite feature in the entire resort? Well my friends that would have to be the legendary outdoor bath, surrounded by bamboo, rolling hills, and bush. I found myself longing for the weather to improve just so I could get in. And it didn’t disappoint, what a magical experience to be sitting in a hot tub in the open air, the sounds of birds all around you. (See My Instagram Story Highlights for more!)
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side this trip and we had to fend off the rain and cold most of the time, but we still thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors and the bonding time as s family. We took it slower than we would have had it been hot, and spent some of the day ordering room service, watching movies and sitting in front of a gorgeous fireplace. Mom and dad treated themselves to an amazing massage (The Spa is next level gorgeous!), and the kids enjoyed the Games Room as well as the reptile centre. Their love for animals is beyond precious and I love that it gave them the opportunity to learn about animals in such an authentic way. We teach them about these things in picture books from a young age, but seeing them engage with nature, in nature is something quite spectacular.
Our first game drive on the afternoon we arrived was extremely cold and we even got caught in a heavy downfall, which only added to the excitement of course. We were given ponchos and all huddled in the back of the truck ready for action. We saw Lion, Elephants and even Rhino, a rare sight to behold! Hunter fell asleep on that first game drive, but thankfully woke up just in time to witness a baby rhino doing a mammoth 4 minute wee! We all giggled hysterically as we watched what only can be described at Niagara Falls gushing from behind her. Our tour guide Martel, was just too lovely and her knowledge, combined with her natural passion, was something we found really inspiring.
On our last morning we woke up really early… Okay who are we I kidding? We would have been up that time anyway with three kids ….. and headed out into the bush for our last drive. It was magical! The moment we spotted three giraffes is up there with one of my most precious bush drive experiences of my life. Seeing Hunter’s face light up and just seeing those beautiful animals in all their majesty is something you can’t really put into words. We just sat there staring and taking it all in…. the sounds, the smells of nature, the feeling of ht fresh air in our lungs, these majestic creatures grazing just 6 meters away. MAGIC!
Which is why you really need to go or consider booking a trip in the near future. They have some incredible specials running at the moment and with summer well and truly on the way, I have no doubt it will not disappoint. For the older kids there is quite a lot of planned entertainment available as well as a beautiful big pool and outside entertainment area. I HONESTLY cannot wait to go back during the warmer months.
For the sake of transparency and my promise to aways give honest and authentic reviews, I am going to say that we were not overly impressed with some of the food during our stay. While the breakfasts were really good and the desserts pretty exceptional, our dinners were a little disappointing and although it wasn’t nearly enough to spoil our time there, I couldn’t help but feel it’s the one thing that was slightly lacking. And sometimes it’s that one small thing that can turn a great experience into an unforgettable one.
I have however been made aware by the manager that this was due to some post-Covid challenges and that they are ensuring all measures are taken to ensure that guests have a truly great dining experience. I think as someone who really finds value in the food aspect when it comes to holidays, I can tend to be a bit of a self-declared food snob! Saying that, I think its wonderful that after I gave some honest feedback, my concerns were met with the utmost attention, care and respect. This speaks volumes about the service and customer care of this establishment and I really see them going from strength to strength as they continue to get back on their feet.
Guys, if you are looking for an incredible family bush holiday that won’t break the bank and one that the whole family can enjoy, please consider supporting this amazing resort. You are guaranteed to bring home with you a lifetime fo memories that will be cherished for many years to come.
Thank you to all the staff and owners at Garden Route Game Lodge for hosting us so graciously and partnering with us this way. We cannot wait to be back and to experience it all over again!
Now for the good news, here are some specials they are running at the moment:
STAY 3 NIGHTS, ONLY PAY FOR 2
R1815 per person sharing per night This offer includes: 3 Nights luxury accommodation, delicious a la carte breakfast and dinner daily, morning game drives with complimentary drinks, snacks and more…
FAMILY FUN SAFARI
R1815 per person sharing per nightMinimum 2 night stay. Children under 12 stay free. This offer includes:
2 Nights luxury accommodation, children under 12 stay free, delicious a la carte breakfast and dinner daily, morning game drive with complimentary drinks and snacks and more…
Tel: + 27 28 735 1200
Fax: + 27 86 586 9461
Postal address: PO Box 344
Albertinia, 6695, South Africa
Conferences and Events Enquiries
Contact Madre Du Plessis
Tel: + 27 28 735 1200
Fax: + 27 28 735 1202
United Kingdom – Toll free (Freephone)
USA/Canada Toll Free (True 800)