Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thali Thali Game Lodge, near Langebaan. West Coast

Thali Thali is a 1460 hectare Cape West Coast game and fynbos reserve situated just off the R27 near Langebaan. You leave the R27 just before the Langebaan turnoff, opposite the Engen Garage and drive down a good dirt road to get to this small game farm with accommodation and a good restaurant. When you go on the game drive, you might think you were up country deep in the bush. You can go for the day or stay a while. They have 3 West Coast Style self catering chalets and 5 B&B luxury en-suite tents. The big old farmhouse with 4 bedrooms is the latest addition to the line-up and is separate from all the others and ideal for families and groups. It has a massive fireplace in the kitchen and a wrap-around porch that lends it to lazy afternoons in the sun.. And in the Spring you can see the buck roaming in fields of flowers. We really enjoyed our night in one of the self catering cottages
Drive just a couple of Km till you get to the gate, which opens automatically to welcome you
The lapa and restaurant. All the stone is from the farm
The reception area is at the front of the restaurant
They are well supported locally and you can see why. This was the menu for the Mother's Day special buffet lunch. R220 per person and R110 for children 5 to 12.
Inside the restaurant with its popular bar where cocktails are on the menu
Our table for lunch on the terrace
The staff are very friendly and helpful
Views from the terrace The menu is extensive and there were many dishes we would return for another time like the Eisbein, Calamari, Hunter's grill and Beef Tongue with mustard sauce. It is great to find a good restaurant on this road. Sunday lunch is a buffet and costs R145 pp. They also have a good local wine list. Check out the menu on line http://www.thalithali.co.za/storage/files/Thali%20Thali%20Slimline%20Menu%20Drinks%20December%202014.pdf
John ordered the hamburger which was impressive and came with crisp chips and onion rings and was made of good venison
Lynne opted for a toasted cheese and ham sandwich with chips. It was enormous. The chef has obviously great training in plate decorating and vegetable carving
The duck pond with rather stately cats and white and mallard ducks
 and a good play area for children
Our cottage for the night
Its nicely decorated. A comfortable sofa, a small kitchenette, a "binne" braai (inside fireplace), where we made a lovely open fire to warm the cottage that night as winter is arriving and night temperatures are dropping
The bedroom is also very spacious and comfortable and there was a heated under blanket on the bed, much appreciated, and a space heater on the wall
The cottage has a gas water heater and an en suite shower and loo
There was knocking on the door the next morning and it was this large fallow deer waking us up by knocking his antlers on it. They were hand reared by the previous owner and are slightly tame
One of the attractions offered by owner Thys van Niekerk is Archery lessons. We had both done a little many years ago and were looking forward to it. Thys has his South African colours for Archery and shoots competitively with a compound bow. He also hunts with a bow
Learning to aim again. We are using traditional bows
"I got a what? 19? Beginners luck." It is not as easy as it looks, but we think we might have caught the bug
One of the B&B 'Glamping" tents which has a walled bathroom at the rear
From the outside. In good weather the side sheets lift up
Here you have to keep the vegetables inside the cage and the buck and birds outside
They have a conference/ wedding marquee which can accommodate up to 100 guests
It was not set up, but can be in a short time. Catering can be arranged
We went on a game drive at about 3.30 and saw this wonderful Kudu almost as soon as we began. He was close to the road with all his harem
Bright sunlight on Burchell's Zebra is just what you want for the camera
A bontebok with a healthy shining coat
Two curious red hartebees
and some eland
And such a treat to get so close to the giraffes, They have such lovely patterns on their skin
The recent rains have made the grazing better. Some of the buck had suffered badly with the drought
One of the game drive vehicles. They do have several and can take large parties
Oh, we do need more rain. This Kiewit (crowned plover) is looking for food under the mud
There is lots or birdlife on Thali Thali and lots of places to view it. This was at the restaurant the next morning while we were having breakfast
A murder of pied crows chasing for territory
Breakfast was a huge feast of French toast, honey and bacon and it also came with chips, grated cheese, salad and some good black coffee. It was the largest slice of bread we have ever seen, the loaf must be enormous. It was a very enjoyable stay with lots to see and do. Call in next time you are passing or stay a while
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus

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