My wild safari adventure
Monday, 18th October 2021
When was the last time you woke up to a gorgeous a la carte breakfast with the sea as your backdrop and thereafter being whisked away to a wild river safari adventure?
Well, I can happily boast that I was recently treated to such an experience at the Halyards Hotel & Spa for a daycation. I felt like Alice in Wonderland (minus the Red Queen), where I had escaped into another dimension!
The memorable experience kicked off from the very beginning of my trip - from the welcome smiles and chit-chat of hotel and restaurant staff to biting into a warm and tasty breakfast served with how I like my coffee… strong and piping hot!
What followed on the itinerary took me to another world! I made my way to the docks after breakfast and tried to elegantly hop into a boat for a cruise to explore the beautiful Kowie River. The cruise was just so awesome and the menacing clouds on the day opened up so I could enjoy the views as much as I enjoyed the sunny weather. We took a pit stop at the 3-star Mansfield Game Reserve which is situated along the Kowie River, a few minutes from Port Alfred. At Mansfield Game Reserve I enjoyed a game drive where I got to see so many of the wildlife. They were even some animals near the charming self-catering farm-style house that we visited. This family-friendly getaway is ideal for outdoor adventure, team-building, and weddings. Our ever so handsome game drive guide told us some of the activities on the reserve also include hiking, canoe hire, fishing, and birding with facilities such as a swimming pool and kids’ play area.
En route to the farm-style house, we passed the seasonal Black Rock Restaurant and other scenic spots. The highlight of my trip at Mansfield Game Reserve was the panoramic view of the Kowie River - viewable from Eagles Nest Cabin. If you need to switch off from the world, go glamping with this gem that features battery-operated lights, paraffin lamps and hot water to the shower that is powered by an old-fashioned ‘donkey’. Birding enthusiast, Tim Cockcroft regularly does birding tours on the reserve followed by brunch at Eagle’s Nest Cabin.
After this breathtaking experience, we had another beautiful drive and cruise back to the hotel to enjoy a mouth-watering lunch with drinks on the pooldeck.
The pièce de résistance of the daycation was a full-body spa treatment. I must say it was the best massage ever! The staff was so welcoming and professional, and the room was warm with relaxing music. It was my first time ever doing a full-body massage. It felt like I have been depriving myself of an essential way of reviving my body, especially with the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic - everyone needs this! During my massage, I felt safe as the staff followed all Covid-19 protocols and the wearing of protective masks throughout the massage.
The whole experience was an eye-opener in that you don’t need to go far to have the best experience with friends and family.
Blog by Siphokazi Mtana