River Bend Lodge, Addo Elephant National Park
30 May 2012
River Bend Lodge in the Addo Elephant National Park was by far the highlight of my trip down the Garden Route. As you know, I had been staying at out of the way self-catering cottages – we had enjoyed them thoroughly and each one had been very special in their own way.
But, no ways was I saying “no thanks” to some five star pampering and I could not wait to get to River Bend Lodge.
We arrived after our dramatic trip over the Prince Alfred’s Pass, my mini was covered in mud and both hubby and I looked a little worse for wear…….
But, Stefanie (assistant lodge manager) and Mike (our assigned field guide) welcomed us like royalty. After filling in the usual indemnity forms etc, we were whisked away to our executive suite.
I love that feeling of comfortable but not over the top, which is exactly what the rooms are like.
You can sprawl out on the huge bed (big enough for a whole family), relax outside on your own private veranda, or lay back in the Victorian bath making sure you are using all the complimentary oils and bubble baths.
There is also an outdoor shower which hubby just loves; he says there is nothing quite like showering under the stars….
It was bliss…..
After settling in, we walked up to the very comfortable lounge / bar for high tea which was the beginning of our gourmet experience.
The last time I had visited, the food had been very good and, as I had been told that there was a new chef, I could not wait to see what was on offer. Let’s just say, my tummy and taste buds were well taken care off! I met up with Jonathan Hodder, the new Executive Chef and you can learn a little more about him in a later post – young, good looking, can obviously cook up a storm and has worked at a famous British restaurant…… keep your eyes peeled for this.
Next up was our afternoon game drive. One of the advantages of staying at a private lodge is the personalized game drives, nothing can beat them. The field guides are well trained and no matter how many times I have been on a game drive, I always learn something new. Mike, our field guide had a lovely way of telling a story which kept one interested and also amused. He was completely “in love” with his job, and his enthusiasm for all things wild whether