For our honeymoon – HIM and I headed off to the amazing 5 star luxury game lodge that is known as KICHAKA for 4days/3nights of bliss (and playing cards :))..
the main lodge in the centre
Situated an hour outside of Port Elizabeth (almost at Grahamstown) with only 10 private thatched chalets – this lodge offers what can only be terms as absolute and pure indulgence. Firstly – Our private thatched chalet was incredibly spacious – with both a claw-footed bathtub and a shower made for more than 1… And lets not forget the size of the bed!! And to top it all off – each chalet also has its own private deck, private infinity plunge pool and outdoor shower. HELLO!!!
yes – this is our room!
private infinity plunge pool *sigh*
The cost is not cheap – but considering that it includes accommodation in these very FINE rooms, 2 guided safari drives per day – plus all meals and local drinks (wine, ciders, beers, etc) – plus the room mini bar… this is worth every cent! (They also have a wonderful masseuse on site who can offer massages in the comfort of your own room (or deck) for a very reasonable cost!)
We arrived one wonderfully warm and sunny Monday afternoon - met our private game ranger, Jason, who was delightful and knowledgeable – who drove us from the gate up towards the main lodge and chalets, did an introductory tour of the main lodge and delivered out luggage to our room.
This all lead up to the daily HIGH TEA… from 4-4.30pm, there is an offering of teas, coffees, fresh fruit juice along with 2 types of savouries and 2 types of sweets…. and you are encouraged to read the menu for that evening and to make your choice – before being whisked off on one of the evening game drives!
high tea spread
First nights menu board
Don’t eat too much at HIGH TEA, as a bit of the game drive might be bumpy and you have 2-3hours before you are able to disembark for a civilised WC…. But half-way through, your ranger stops (in a safe area) and sets up for SUNDOWNER drinks… a beer, glass of wine, cooldrink or a chilled shot of Amarula served with the chef’s home-made crisps… before heading back to the Main lodge for dinner.
sundowner drinks are served!
Greeted at the door with hot, scented cloths (to wipe off the dust) before being offered the cocktail of the day – and suddenly you are seated in the dining room… the only light being generated by candles or the roaring fire (so excuse the quality of the evening dinner photos)
3courses later, well fed and equally well lubricated by the SA sourced house wine… it is time for bed (and it isn’t even 9.30pm yet!!!)
Night 2 starter: Sauteed and creamed mushrooms in a filo basket
Night 2′s chicken stuffed with figs on a bed of couscous
Night 2′s dessert: Amarula spiked Creme Caramels
But trust me, you want to go to bed then… as 5am = wake up call!
Between 5 & 5.30am… coffee, tea, juice along with croissants and muffins are served in the main lodge bar before you climb aboard your game viewing vehicle at 5.30am in order to see what you can see.
Here – I have to admit that the desire to see wild animals FAR outweighs the desire to sleep in. And we were fortunate enough to see more interesting animal sightings on our morning game drives, than on any of the evening game drives! (Cheetah mom & her 4 cheetah cubs, Lion with Lioness and their 3 cubs….Rhino mom, dad and baby… a troop of elephants… Towers & Journeys of Giraffe… not to mention Warthog, Hippos, and a multitude of different buck!)
Mommy Cheetah & her cub (who looks like a badger)
Mom, Dad & 3 little lions
With the excitement of your captured images of the morning drive – you arrive back at the lodge around 8am - again, to be greeted by some cool wet cloths to wipe off the morning dust… and into the dining area to gorge yourself on breakfast! A buffet section offering yoghurts, freshly sliced fruit, a selection of breads, cheeses and cold meats is on offer. But the breakfast isn’t complete without ordering off the menu…
My breakfast on day 2: perfectly poached egg atop wilted spinach on a springbok droe wors potato cake
HIM’s breakfast on Day 3: a omlette to feed a king
Waddle back to chalet to lounge by the pool… before a 1pm lunch… something light this time… either a salad, wrap or such.
Day 3′s lunch: mushroom, cheese, tomato and steak stack
Head back to your room for a little afternoon siesta (especially if you are like me and you enjoy a glass or two of wine with your lunch)
and then… it is 4pm… it is HIGH TEA time and the entire process begins again.
Is this a place I would recommend? ABSOLUTELY…. We would LOVE to head back there on our 5th wedding anniversary. It was relaxing. We were well looked after and the extensive animal sighting made it truly special! Nothing is too much trouble and the little gestures (turn downs and laying out our robes while we are at dinner) will not be forgotten!
a wonderful place to honeymoon (or holiday!)