Weekend getaway at Kwelanga Country Retreat

Diane Jonker

Situated just off the N2 and ten minutes outside of George is the 3 star Kwelanga Lodge. It boasts 4 star catering, immaculate wooden chalets and amazing sea views, and was the setting for a recent weekend retreat for my husband and I.

On arrival at Kwelanga Lodge, we were warmly welcomed by Dries, the manager, who kindly explained the history of Kwelanga and described the size of the property as well as the game we would likely encounter. We noticed the Blue Wildebeest and Impala wandering between the wooden chalets. This was enough to make us feel like we were smack-bang in the middle of a lively game reserve.

Kwelanga Lodge caters for birdwatchers [96 species recoreded] and casual strollers alike with a jungle gym for the kids and a swimming pool to cool off in. 

The accommodation at Kwelanga is very comfortable. Most ladies rate a place by the length and breadth of the bath but I rate it by the intensity of the shower and its supply of hot water. I found the bathroom spotlessly clean and when I turned on the shower, it was like opening the Niagara Falls. 

The beds had crisp white linen and ensured us of a good Friday night’s rest while the guinea fowl made sure of an early rise for the next day’s activities. Since breakfast is served from eight onwards, we choose to forgo bacon and eggs for a morning cycle.

We could not have asked for a more beautiful Saturday, so after our cycle we took a stroll through the property and discovered what, at first glance, appeared to be a wooden walkway. To our surprise, this led to number of campsites nestled under a pine forest. Dries later explained that the campsite is a very popular retreat especially during summer months.

The brisk walk on top of the 4 hour cycle had left me rather tired and so we decided to go back to our chalet for an afternoon’s rest and some Currie Cup rugby where we nestled ourselves onto a recliner-sleeper couch in the lounge with chip and dip as companions.

That evening, in the restaurant, we chose a table near the window where we could enjoy the glorious sunset and the deep blue Indian Ocean. Dries is also Kwelanga Lodge’s resident chef and he welcomed us with some his Skilfers – fried potato peels covered with spices.

Diner was a lamb-shank on a bed of mash with caramelised carrots and green beans wrapped in bacon. The lamb-shanks were tender and smothered in a barbeque basting that was just mouth-watering. We found ourselves trying to get every ounce of meat off the bone. This delicious meal was accompanied by a 2010 Big Easy – one of Ernie Els’ red wine blends.

Sunday turned out to be a beautiful summer’s day and, being an early riser, I found myself on the deck with a cup of coffee in hand. While enjoying the view and contemplating the day ahead I spotted a whale breach in the distance. What a magnificent sight! My weekend was now complete.

Breakfast was also served on the deck where Dries’ ‘Kwelanga Omelette’ – filled with cheese, mushrooms and boerewors and accompanied by homemade bread, jam and more coffee – rounded off a perfect morning.

To book your Kwelanga escape, call: 0828035626, email dries@kwelanga.co.za

Editor’s Note:  The new web site is nearing completion – please visit www.kwelangalodge.co.za for more information.

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