We were lucky enough to stay at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve’s magnificent Dwyka Tented Lodge for a very prized wild-earth encounter in the Western Cape. Our experience was magnificently memorable – both at the lodge and during our encounters with the wilderness and its wildlife.The wilderness experience and wildlife safari is supreme in the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. It is an exquisite and vast wilderness 20 kilometres west of Barrydale – which makes it about 3 hours by car from Cape Town. It’s a place of immense soul, the landscape combining rocky peaks, ledges and outcrops, mysterious thickets, dry riverbed areas and pristine stretches of semi-desert Karoo landscape supporting all kinds of interesting plantlife. Wildlife go free here on this precious landscape, including lions and cheetahs.
Welcome to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
Being made welcome is always a great start! Enter the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and make your way to a comfy Welcome Lounge some 10-odd km from the gate of the reserve, where tea and coffee and a luxury “pitstop” are there to greet you. This is where you park your car for the duration of your stay in the reserve, and then you sit back to enjoy a scenic drive to your chosen lodge. Dwyka Tented Lodge was our destination – a gorgeously chic tented camp set very privately in a bend of a dry ravine.
We were just in time for lunch! A delicious a la carte menu, and divine views from the restaurant …
The luxury tents at Dwyka Tented Lodge
And then, off we went to enjoy our magnificent luxury tent. We loved the chic, comfy feel of our 24-hour abode, which has a fabulous open-plan bathroom and a spoil-me-rotten jacuzzi out on the deck. Having a private deck for snatches of solitude up against the burly ravine, is just too divine!
Our Wilderness Encounters at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve
These were incredibly memorable, not only because we saw such a variety of wildlife on beautiful terrain, but also because the drives were guided so sensitively by our experienced ranger, Chris. We saw a great variety of animals and birds …
Even the Napkins get Dressed for Dinner
We got back to the lodge after dark and did a speedy spruce-up before dinner. The meal was robust and delicious.
Sleep Tight / Wakey-Wakey
Our day had been full and gratifying, and so we were happy to bed down for the night. The night was dark and still, with the odd mysterious calls of creatures – we imagined – both great and small. Our wake-up call came at 6am the next morning and we eagerly pulled on our warm gear for the morning drive on a chilly late-September morning. The day dawned most beautifully – as it does in the wilderness, and it wasn’t long before we spotted a mum hippo and her youngster “grinning” at us from their watery hangout. Our next surprise: a pride of lions, both tawny and white! We won’t tell you the rest … let’s leave some surprises in store!
After a breakfast feast back at the lodge, we visited the two other lodges in the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve: the cheerfully elegant Gondwana Family Lodge and the charming Tilney Manor. The family lodge is incredibly well geared for families, with vibrant decor, play-and-learn areas and much to delight the children. We loved the skull garden – just one of the ways in which kids learn about the wildlife at Sanbona.
Tilney Manor is a quiet retreat in the reserve, reserved for just a handful of guests. Hospitality is warm and views are superb.
Mail us for bookings, or call us for more information on 0860 102 907 (local) or +27 21 797-7122 (international).