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Monday, May 16, 2011


Friday the 13th, a bad day for the superstitious, but seeing that we are not superstitious, it never bothered us. We left for a game reserve for an all expenses paid weekend for two at a lodge called Hopewell Private Game Reserve, (please visit their website) about 70 km from our home in the Eastern Cape.

In our wildest dreams, we were not prepared for what awaited us. We had to leave our own vehicle at the main entrance and were transported by Land Rover to the lodges. As we went over a little hill, it felt like we were entering paradise. It was so beautiful and green, thick bushed and lovely.

The main lodge where we were treated to the best cuisine imaginable in the bush, or anywhere else for that matter.

This was the view from our private lodge!

No corners were cut by the staff. As we arrived, our luggage was carried into our lodge and we were taken on our first game drive, no time wasted.

This giraffe was in the mood for meeting friendly folks, and no, the pic was not zoomed in, he was very close.

This elephant bull had lost his one tusk somewhere, maybe in a fight. He was on his way to water, and no one was gonna stop him. We came very close, but he wasn't interested in small talk. Apparently he'd been a mite ornery a few times in the past.

At the watering hole. He allowed us to come quite close, but we stayed on the Land Rover, just in case he lost his temper. At one stage he actually got a mite irritated, so we moved away a bit, but just to another spot on the other side of the water, that way it would have given us a little more time to get away.

I apologize for the bad quality of the video, but I just have to share this with you. (It was some kind of insect that walked across the lens at one stage.) On the Land Rover were the tracker, Pauly, sitting on the nose of the Land Rover, he is amazing, he looks at a track and he can tell exactly which animal and how fresh it is.

Driving is our guide, Bruce Little, (almost 7 ft tall, so nothing little about him) one of the share holders in the reserve, and then Yolande and me. What was great about this weekend, we were the only guests, so we got all the attention. The Lodge only allow 6 guests at a time, and then they must be of the same group. It makes it easier to give their undivided attention and deliver a service out of this world. And when I say out of this world, I mean just that, we were treated like royalty.

How does this sound for royalty, when we come back after a game drive, it is cold, dark already, and we kinda tired. As we come up to the main lodge you see in the lights of the Land Rover two ladies waiting, one holding a tray with hot cloths to wipe our hands and face, and the other with a tray with hot chocolate or Irish coffee. Then we could freshen up at our lodge, then back to the main lodge for supper.

The view from the pool area, obviously being winter we never used the pool, but it would have been great to be able to.

The highlight of the weekend, the Cheetah, Thabo, he was hand raised by Bruce after his mom was killed by a snake. However, he runs wild and has to hunt his own food and this morning his tummy was full. He'd had something to eat the night before. Now I am sure you've heard a cat purr, well a cheetah purrs like that too, but just quite a bit louder. Here we were with him after Bruce tracked him down for us. He came closer when Bruce called him, and they met out there in the field like old friends.
We were welcomed as friends too, now keep in mind that Thabo is capable of catching wild life up to a young kudu cow size, so a human will be easy prey for him. However, cheetah will never attack humans, and they also become perfectly tame pets.

Scratching him under his chin actually got him so relaxed that he was flat on his tummy at one stage, while purring away.

Unfortunately this is the only photo we have of our hostess, Roxanne. She arranged everything, bubbly personality, and a lovely, capable, friendly person.

One last video, this is what it was like at the lodge we stayed in and the view from there.

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I guess that is enough for today, please, if ever you need a weekend or week away from the rush of everyday life, drop in to Hopewell and enjoy a weekend of pure bliss and relaxation. We would like to thank the staff at Hopewell for having us, and for treating us like royalty, we had the best time ever!!


Schnappy said...

Oh, wonderful places, sweet animals! I want to go!!!!!:)

Juliet said...

it looks beyond beautiful!

Juliet xxx

Anonymous said...

oh Colin this was such amazing post. I loved reading about this amazing experience. It looks like paradise and what i wouldnt give to experience that right now. So glad you and Yolante had a lovely time.

Dena x

janettaylor said...



FarmGirl said...! Colin you lucky thing. I would give my left pinky to touch a cheeta.

The Seeker said...

WOW Colin, I must say I'm jealous.... I want to go too... :(
So beautiful!!!!

Sounds you all had a great time and I'm glad with it.

Keep safe, my friend

Miss Caitlin S. said...

are you KIDDING me, this looks amazing!! utterly amazing!!!!! I love, love, love everything that I am seeing here. Thank you for showing me this beautiful part of your world. your wife is so pretty as well :)

Tina T said...

Wow, what amazing photos and video. I would never ever pet a cheetah, but it was very cool to see it being done. You sure know how to plan an exciting trip:)

Mommy Is Green said...

What a wonderful weekend with nature! I can just imagine how much more beautiful it was in person.



How great was this triP! I'm impressed how close you got from that cheetah! It's my fav. wild animal, I wish I could have been that close to cheetah too...fantastic!!!Maybe next time Im in Africa :)))

all my love,


DorothyL said...

Awesome photos Collin....Looks like fun was had by all..
Thanks for the share :)

FashionJazz said...

Wow this place is gorgeous! So happy to hear you had a good time! Happy Wednesday x

Anonymous said...

This is AMAZING! I would have loved to wake up with an elephants face outside my window! haha

Enter my $100 Shopbop gift card giveaway!

Miss Neira

a woman's right to shoes said...

These pictures are awesome!

SILVIA said...

love your style!!!
congratulations honey!
xxx =D


Amazing photos!!
ciao ciao from Rome

Michelle's Style File said...

WOW what an amazing spot!

Gabriela said...

Nice place...nice pictures...Beautifull

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Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

I love the solitude of nature and the rugged beauty of this lodge. xx

King Fashion said...

Truly stunning! Beautiful photos - and count me in!