Have you ever been so content that you can’t even put what you are feeling into words? Today marks a month since my birthday and I am still basking and taking in all the events that happened in that month with feelings that I am carrying over to this month.
For my birthday I went on a perfect escape where there was limited cellphone coverage, the WiFI connection was not so great, it was on and off. The place allowed you to be present at the moment, the beauty is impeccable and I couldn’t have asked for better company than to go with my partner.
I have always maintained that life in the City can be quite overwhelming at times and every chance I get, I try to visit places that give me time to reflect and collect my thoughts so it was no surprise when my sweet escape was at Intundla Game Lodge and Bush Spa which is situated on the outskirts of Pretoria, the drive to the lodge from Johannesburg is roughly an hour. The lodge is built around a dam in a tranquil secluded area with chalets and beautiful views all over. It caters for conferences, weddings, team buildings, and bush breaks, we were there for the bush break that we so needed.
It was my birthday so the mood was already on a 100, the drive was exciting and I got more excited when I was entering the entrance gate, driving to the lodge’s reception. From the moment the security guard signs you in, you are immediately captured by the beauty of the place, you just see green around you, bushes and trees all around, and soil road construction which instantly makes you feel one with nature. We drove, parked, and asked for directions to the reception. When we were walking to the reception, I wanted to cry, I know I’m sounding a bit dramatic but I was honestly in my feels. I had stalked the place on Instagram and even followed their page and they had beautiful pictures and videos, however, I believe that those Instagram posts don’t do the place any justice when you see the place at face value. Firstly, the air is so fresh, that you can even feel the lungs dancing due to the fresh oxygen that’s entering the body. Secondly, you get welcomed by the melodic sound of the waterfall on the dam. I’m from a coastal city and the beach has always been my go-to place to clear my mind and just relax, I love water so the sound of water splashing together brought so much nostalgia and contentment. Thirdly, the views…. I didn’t know what to do with myself so I just stood still and took everything surrounding me in, it was mid-afternoon when we arrived so the sun was out which made the situation even more glorious for me as I could see the place in all its light.
We were supposed to go for a spa treatment upon arrival, however, we lost track of time when we were on the way so, upon check-in, the ladies were kind enough to move our treatment to the following morning so we had a few hours before we could go to dinner. We got the keys to our room and off we went. The rooms are thatched chalets which have a bushy/safari feel to them, we were lucky to get the room that had a sliding door that was facing the damn which gave us the full-lodge experience. We could hear the waterfall in our room and I was so thrilled with that because I knew where I’d be standing every morning.
We didn’t even settle in properly as I quickly changed into my swimwear and prepared to head over to the bar area where there is an infinity pool that I would enjoy all by myself. It was a late autumn afternoon so the water was a bit chilly but that did not discourage me one bit as I enjoyed it fully with my drinks while perusing the place and trying to figure out where is what. We were given a map upon arrival but we completely disregarded it and did things our way.
After the pool session, we went back to our room, got ready for dinner, and went to the dining hall. The dinner was a three-course buffet and the food was lovely. We were already looking forward to the next couple of days to come because all our boxes had been ticked and we were impressed with almost everything.
The following day I jumped out of bed before taking my shower and went to stand by the sliding door to get the morning fresh air and hear the melodic sounds of the waterfall. I was at peace, grateful and happy. We went for breakfast and then headed to our hour spa treatment, which was so much needed. I fell asleep during my treatment, which is proof of how good it was. While we were busy with the booking, we arranged with the lodge to have a canoeing session in the afternoon and our spa treatment was from 11-12 pm. Right after the treatment, we were getting ready to go canoeing and when we called the reception to organize and get things ready for us, we were given excuses on why we couldn’t do it and how their equipment was damaged from the heavy rainfalls that they had experienced and I was just bored after that. I couldn’t understand why they included that in our itinerary when they knew before our arrival that they didn’t have the equipment for the activity and we were not going to be able to do it. I was disappointed but at the same time, I was not going to let that dampen my mood.
We went back to our room and spent the afternoon sipping on some bubbles and just relaxing. After lunch, we took a walk to just explore the beauty of the lodge, got back, and got ready for dinner.
It was now a Friday, our check-out day. I woke up to the same routine of going to the door and just standing there in my feelings, it was a cloudy and cold Friday morning, and it looked like it was going to rain later in the day. Our check-out was at 11. We had a game drive booked for the morning so it was quite a busy morning as we had to get ready for breakfast, come back, and get ready for the game drive while making sure that we have not left anything in our room and put our luggage in the car.
I was excited about the game drive because it was a first-time experience for me. I had my expectations of the drive and was excited to enter the territory of animals and learn more about them. However, the game drive didn’t live up to those expectations as we only saw a few animals, maybe it was because of the time slot we had chosen but there were not so many animals for us to see, just a handful. I promised myself that I would book myself a game drive experience at a different place and hope that I will get to see the animals. I have to say though that I still walked out of that game drive fulfilled even though I was disappointed, there is just something about being out in nature with limited disturbances.
We came back from the drive and drove back to Johannesburg with hearts filled with contentment. It was only when I got home that I felt tired but we were still happy. I have to say that my overall experience at Intundla was beautiful, even though there were mishaps here and there but it’s not things that I cannot overlook, we also got to spend more time chatting with the staff and they are such warm and friendly people. I ushered into my 30s in the best way possible, I had all the peace of mind that I needed, in a perfect location with the perfect service. As I said in the beginning I have been basking and thinking back on that getaway now and again. I couldn’t have asked for any other way to celebrate my birthday. To a year of endless possibilities…. Clink!!!!