Once in a while you find yourself in Nelspruit. I was to find myself here a few weeks back on an epic trip up to the bush. Flying in from Cape Town to Joburg, then having to traverse the country by car to Nelspruit, we needed to stay a night in a hotel before we ventured into the Greater Kruger Park, for a nine-day safari in the Sabi Sands.
It was perhaps my first time to visit the bush (and the lowveld) in the summer, and it was a glorious treat. I’d thought that it would be incredibly hot and devoid of animals but I actually found there to be abundant bird life, plenty of larger animals on show, and the smells and summer rains made it all worth it. Having such a large distance to travel (from Cape Town), we stayed one night on our way to the first (of two) luxurious lodges we were to visit. We thankfully managed to stay at Shandon Lodge for the night en route and were treated to excellent hospitality, good conversation, and a free night’s stay!
This was in due part to us taking photos (and DJI OSMO video-walkthrough, and drone footage) of the lodge, but also because the owner is such a lovely lady. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner of lasagna, salad, and red wine and probably even more so our over-the-top breakfast buffet. We were certainly in for some heavy feasting in the bush so this got our stomachs ready for such gluttony (much of which I completely regret).
Shandon Lodge was all in all a highlight of the trip, and had a wonderful view of Nelspruit and surrounds, and Mocambique in the far distance. The view east of the rolling hills had my heart tugging towards an epic adventure towards that beautiful country but I know that some day I’ll venture out that way. Until then, it’s off to the bush and other wonderful areas of South Africa for me. Never before have I felt so proud of our South African landscape, and I’m very glad we drove both in and out of the bush, rather than fly. It made me able to slowly drink in all of it’s grandeur and majesty, minute by minute, dried mango slice by dried mango slice…
Oh to live out in the lowveld one day! I hope it can materialise!