The lodge is very easy to find with their directions. On arrival at the gate house we checked in, a simple and sooth process and were collected by our Ranger for the next three days, Jason. He put us and our luggage aboard one of the lodge’s fleet of powerful Safari Land Cruisers and drove us to the main Lodge. This is fantastically designed around a large watering hole. The main Lodge consists of a dining room, dining deck area, a bar, lounge, TV lounge and an infinity swimming pool, complete with a viewing deck over the watering hole. On arrival at the main Lodge we were quickly armed with the cocktail of the day, and given the tour. To coincide with our arrival a family of elephants were taking a drink at the Lodge too. Tip: never be far from your camera here, as that was there only visit during our stay.
Off the main Lodge are 10 individual lodges/rooms all connected by their own walkway, each exactly the same. We were show to and around our room, breath-taking! I never get out my camera and photograph a hotel room, this was the exception. Complete with a dip pool on your very private deck, mini bar filled to your liking and the biggest walk-in shower I have ever seen, not to mention the bath. That afternoon, following a beautiful lunch, high tea was at 3.30pm then out on our first safari drive.
Our ranger Jason immediately put us at ease with his in depth do's and don'ts safety briefing, and then it was off. There is too much going on to review a safari drive, but Jason's knowledge and his enthusiasm for the environment were contagious. At one point he stopped the vehicle, nipped a tick from a blade of grass into the palm of his hand a showed us how they react to the carbon dioxide emissions of their prey to hunt. I never knew that! 10 minutes later we are alongside an elephant, so diverse, a total education. It did get a bit blowy and chilly on the drive; the lodge supplies all guests will a fleece lined poncho - life savers! On each drive there is a drinks break, tea/coffee on the morning drive and a very civilized 'Sun downer' cocktail at sunset on the afternoon drive.
Upon or return to our rooms, the bathrobes were laid out and two glasses of port on a silver tray awaited out arrived, these are the small things that give the place that extra feeling of luxury. Dinner that evening was lovely taken at leisure. The standard of cuisine is high, as expected, but I heard a few murmurs in relation to portion size, if you wished more, you only have to ask. The lodge has an award winning wine cellar, their house blends are to die for and their extensive bar will mix you whatever your wish or simply serve you a chilled beer. With only 10 rooms there is never a danger of crowds and there is plenty of room to spread out.
Obviously the highlights were the game drives, and Jason was above and beyond with his knowledge, safe approach and customer care. The big surprise was that at the end of the trip we discovered he was only 20 years old. A gem!
All in all, everything is taken care of, and all included in the one price. We cannot recommend this Lodge highly enough. Thanks to all of their great staff. Be sure to pack a fleece and a wind breaker, it can get cold in the back of those vehicles.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in a private game reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape, Kichaka is the perfect place to enjoy a Big Five safari experience in quiet luxury. Feel instantly at home - the lounge and dining areas are positioned to offer uninterrupted views across unspoiled bush. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kichaka Luxury Game Hotel Grahamstown