Recently I have been spending more time at home in front of my computer working and also trying to complete my Western Cape travel e-guide that I plan to publish in the middle of June 2021 before I start with my annual winter road trips. This means I have not been spending enough quality time with family and have not been outside a lot doing the things I enjoy the most.
An invite from Amalia, co-owner of Thali Thali Game Lodge, came at the right time because I really needed a break and to escape from all the worries and troubles of my busy day-to-day life, forget about the city life, give my partner my undivided attention over a glass of wine under the stars without the interference of our cellphones or modern technology. Just some really quiet nights around the campfire, great conversations, and lots of laughter.
My partner and I know nothing about glamping so this was our first time trying it. I know glamping is nothing new for many people but as a recent first-time glamper – if that is a word! I wanted to share my experience with others who may not have gone yet, but are considering going and want to know what to expect.
Thali Thali Game Lodge is a 1460 hectare Cape West Coast Game and Fynbos reserve situated just 120km from Cape Town, bordering the West Coast National Park and Langebaan making it an ideal spot for breakfast or lunch stopovers, day out with family and friends, overnight accommodation, or a preferred breakaway nature location on the West Coast. The reserve offers a perfect bush break-away complete with different types of accommodation, game drives, archery lessons, and sundowners on the restaurant and bar deck.
You will have the opportunity to spot a wide range of small game such as Cape Buffalo, Water Buffalo, Kudu, Oryx, Giraffe, Blue Wildebeest, Eland, Zebra, Sable Antelope, Red Hartebeest, Springbok, Duiker, Bontebok, Steenbok, Ostrich, Dromedary Camel, and Emu.
Glamping is a world apart from the rustic nature of pitching and sleeping in a tent. You still enjoy almost all the comfortable and convenient pleasures of sleeping in a normal accommodation. Thali Thali Game Lodge glamping tents have a polished concrete floor, double bed, kitchenette with a bar fridge and microwave, electricity (the reserve has a backup generator), running cold and hot water, and a bathroom with a shower.
There are no TVs in the tents, cellphone reception is bad, and there is no WiFi connectivity. You will have to walk to the restaurant and bar area to connect to the high-speed WiFi. This will not bother you if you are really looking for a full nature experience in style. All glamping tents have patios with outside braai areas for entertaining under the stars.
THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF ACCOMMODATION AT THALI THALI
1. BED AND BREAKFAST GLAMPING TENTS
There are five beautifully designed glamping tents and all consist of a double bed with an en-suite bathroom with a shower, sleeper couch, wardrobe, air conditioner, heater, electric blanket, and a kitchenette with bar fridge, microwave, tea or coffee station, cutlery, plates, mugs, and glasses.
They also have a big glass sliding door and a large patio with an outside braai area ideal for entertaining under the stars. There are no televisions in these units.
There are three self-catering cottages. Two are one-bedroom units with an en-suite bathroom with a shower. They have lounge areas, sleeper couches for extra guests (preferably children), fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and braai facilities.
The third cottage is a two-bedroom unit. It consists of a double bed in the main bedroom and two sets of bunk beds in the other room making this cottage ideal for families travelling with two or more children. This unit is also fitted with satellite television, fireplace, and a braai facility.
This farmhouse has four large bedrooms sharing two bathrooms, a lovely equipped kitchen, and an entertainment area with a fireplace. The house is fitted with a satellite television and has a large wraparound stoep and an enclosed garden.
Thali Thali Game Lodge is a lovely family-run lodge and private reserve. Whenever you find yourself on the West Coast, pop in for breakfast, lunch, and drinks, or book for a night or two and experience the real West Coast bushveld hospitality. The friendly family and staff at Thali Thali will make it their mission to make you want to go back.
One thing I learned from this experience is that glamping does not necessarily
mean cheap accommodation, so while you may not be paying for hotel amenities, you are paying for an unforgettable nature experience.
ACTIVITIES AT THE GAME LODGE
1. GAME DRIVE
Thali Thali Game Lodge offers a choice of three open game viewing vehicles with different capacities to adapt to the needs of guests. Their trained guides will take you on an informative 90-minute drive where you will have the opportunity to spot some of their featured species.
Daily game drive times – 10:00 and 15:30. No guests are allowed to go on game viewing excursions in their own vehicles or alone.
Cost: R300 pp for Adults | R150 pp for children (5 – 12 years) | Free for children under 5 years. Booking is essential. Call office: +27 82 372 8637.
2. ARCHERY LESSONS
If you are new to the sport, book an archery lesson with in-house accredited coaches. If you are familiar with the sport, you can enjoy their 3D archery course. The course simulates real life hunting situations and has 23 life-sized 3D rubber animal targets. You can use your own bow or rent one from the shop. Lessons strictly by appointment.
Cost: R150 pp | Bow hire R150 pp | 3D archery range R150 pp
For bookings call Thys on +27 83 275 2825 or office: +27 82 372 8637.
3. OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND LANGEBAAN
Click here for more fun things you can do in and around Langebaan.
WHAT TO PACK OR BRING WITH YOU WHEN SLEEPING AT THALI THALI
Fortunately Thali Thali Game Lodge is located in a malaria-free area so no need to worry about malaria precautions. Bring along drinking water, the water supply in the reserve comes from boreholes and therefore not filtered. Also pack comfortable walking shoes for bush walks, sun hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, and insect repellent. If you would be visiting during the winter season, pack light clothes for daytime and very warm insulated jackets for game drives and evenings. Beanies, scarves, and gloves will come in handy too.
Please note that the things I have shared pertain to the specific place I visited. Types of glamping tents, facilities, interior decor, activities, etc. will differ for each glamping site.
Overall, it was a great experience, it was incredibly peaceful, relaxing, I had a chance to feed the camel, see the newly born giraffe, and reconnect with my partner. I have definitely fallen in love with glamping and I believe I just found a new home on the West Coast. I cannot wait for my next glamping adventure.
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