It brings to mind the old ‘different strokes for different folks’ and ‘Wouldn’t the world be boring if we all liked the same thing?’ comments that you throw out there from time to time to explain people’s differences of opinion and point of view but I do have to share a recent story that still has me shaking my head just a little.
My fabulous friend Gen (aka the OAC) and I had just climbed a big mountain (you may have heard of Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in Africa) and so before she headed back to Hong Kong and big city life I decided to take her someplace where she could see a ‘real life’ giraffe (her African wish) rather than just craning through the plane window asking hopefully ‘ Do you think if I look really hard I can see one from here?’
So as a treat after our grueling climb and seven days with no shower, we booked ourselves into a swanky lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve – all prepared after our flights back from Kili and a night in Joburg, to pick up a car, snack up at Woolies and head off on a girls road trip and luxury weekend.
As we were checking out of our Kili
hostel hotel I was checking my email for final confirmations of the coming weekend and received the following message – ‘We apologise but the lodge you have booked has been fire damaged and are unable to accommodate you.’
‘Oh no’ I screamed causing all manner of passers-by to look ‘Our game lodge has burnt down’ – not exactly what the email said but much better for dramatic effect!
As I returned to read the rest of the email – it did say we had been able to be accommodated elsewhere and our weekend would still be going ahead. Thank goodness for that.
About 36 hours later we were at the fabulous Jacis Tree Lodge, I had never been to our originally booked place but fair to say we were pretty happy with the substitute and had seen a giraffe driving from the gate to the lodge so already mission accomplished!
Its a lovely lodge with all eight rooms on stilts above the ground below giving you the feeling of being in the trees, great staff, great service, great food, so relaxing and tranquil. There were two ladies doing a review to add the lodge to their corporate accommodation, two couples on wedding anniversary trips, two couples from an overseas location and us. Everyone was very friendly, encouraged by the game viewing and table arrangements and the well stocked bar so we ended up chatting with everyone over the course of the weekend.
The two couples from an unnamed overseas country – but lets just say one associated with the term ‘Whinging (something)’ seemed to be having a lovely time and were there for five nights. I wish! When we asked them though how they were enjoying it was when our brow furrowing began.
‘Oh, its so busy and exhausting. I really don’t enjoy it.’ Said one of ‘the wives’, ‘I am just not cut out for rustic. I can’t wait to get to Cape Town to relax and have a proper bathroom.’ For those wondering about the rustic bathroom see photo!?!?
‘Busy and exhausting day’ as follows – 6.30am for coffee and croissants and a three hour game drive where you may run into a pack of wild dogs with puppies, some rhinos, passing elephants and giraffes and then stumbled upon a lioness and her new cubs and back for a full brunch, before either resting or setting selves up in the hide (where there is in fact a four poster bed) to see a herd of around 50 elephants splashing about while waiting for high tea at 3pm and then another game drive repeat similar version of morning – but include sundowners en route. Back for more pre-dinner drinks and then dinner as pre-agreed and consulted by chef – sit around a fire, bed by 10pm. (None of the game drives are compulsory – in fact both of the wedding anniversary couples missed the morning drives for the optional sleep in)
I’m sorry – I just can’t see exhausting here anywhere. Then again I had just climbed a mountain. What about you?
ps – we had a great time and thought it very relaxing and enjoyable