Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have a good friend whose family owned a house on a game reserve, so I often got to tag along on their monthly getaways. My memories of the place are mostly of the heat, of the smell of animals and potato bush, and falling asleep to the bushveld sounds I now long for if I stay away too long. For many, this is the ultimate dream. Taking a weekend off to chill in your own private patch of bushveld paradise is heaven on earth, but there are, however, a lot of reasons not to own a house in the bush.
When I look past the warm and fuzzy memories from those weekends in that lowveld house, I remember housekeeping – a lot of housekeeping. I understood the logic of cleaning out the dust and cobwebs as soon as we arrived, and evicting all the other creepy crawlies that had made themselves at home since our last visit, but at the height of summer and after our long drive, I’d almost rather have slept in a cobweb hammock.
Then there was security. There are some things that barbed wire and alarm systems can’t keep out: baboons are perhaps the most obvious and destructive skelms, and snakes perhaps the most dangerous, but mice, squirrels, and bushbabies are particularly fond of nesting in thatch and furnishing their nests with any linen you may have left behind, and once they’re in good luck trying to get them to leave!
I suppose that those who can afford a holiday home in the bush can often afford a permanent housekeeper to deal with all those bugs, critters, and unwelcome guests, but those who can’t need not worry about the hassle and the dream of holidaying in a private bush home need not die.
Lindani, a 3200 ha game farm in the Waterberg, has eight secluded houses and cottages for any size family or group gathering – eight lovely holiday homes in the bush complete with all the furnishings and amenities of any decent bush lodge and, most importantly, without any of the maintenance hassle. Freshly prepared meals and full lodge servicing can be organised, but if you’d prefer, you need not see another soul for your entire stay.
The farm itself has a huge variety of general game, including kudu, giraffe, waterbuck, eland, wildebeest, and zebra, and for bird lovers the bird list for the area is over 230 species long. The lack of dangerous game means hiking and cycling are favourite pastimes for regular visitors, with well-mapped out routes of varying intensities laid out all across the reserve.
It’s really all about freedom – enjoying nature in your own way and at your own pace. Honestly, it’s not often that reality upgrades a dream, but Lindani takes the idea of holidaying in a private home in the bush to a whole new, hassle- and housekeeping- free level.
There’s no doubt that you’ll be able to take some great photos at Lindani – the game is pretty relaxed and the scenery beautiful – but to be 100% honest, you’ll probably spend most of your days reading on the stoep, cooling off in the swimming pool or flying along a single track on your mountain bike.
If I want to go:
Where: Lindani Game Reserve is about 220 km north of Johannesburg on the N1, off at the Kranskop toll plaza, through Modimolle and to Vaalwater. Vaalwater is the last stop for fuel, fresh produce and ice.
When? The Waterberg region is malaria-free, mild in winter, and doesn’t get as hot as the Lowveld in summer, so any time of year is great to visit.
• Maroela Lodge: Sleeps four, inside shower shared, outside shower, separate toilets, Eskom electricity, gas stove and oven, gas geyser, plunge pool, inside and outside fireplaces, outside braai, covered carport
• Motseng Lodge: Nine en-suite bedrooms (twins or king) in four separate units. Large fenced pool with kiddies section, games room with TV and pool table – can become kids dormitory), outside braai lapa, close to mountain biking and hiking trails, Eskom electricity.
• The Loft: Two inside en-suite bedrooms, one outside bedroom en-suite, additional inside bedroom (twins or king) and upstairs dormitory sleeping five – share additional bathroom, fenced pool with toddlers section, outside braai lapa, close to mountain biking and hiking trails, Eskom electricity.
• Alden Cottage: Two en-suite bedrooms (twins or king), fenced pool, outside braai lapa, close to large farm dam, Eskom electricity
• Stone House: Three inside bedrooms sharing two bathrooms, outside bedroom en-suite, fenced pool, outside braai lapa, close to main game viewing areas, mountain biking and hiking trails, Eskom electricity
• Skebenga: Two inside and one outside en-suite bedrooms, fenced pool, outside braai lapa, Eskom electricity
• Bush Camp: Two bedrooms sharing a bathroom, fenced plunge pool, outside braai lapa, gas and solar power, central to game viewing areas, mountain biking and hiking trails, overlooks waterhole.
• Molope Campsite: A large, fully-equipped, communal kitchen, flushing toilets and hot water showers. Campsite can accommodate up to 14 guests, single party bookings only.
Houses, cottages, and camp sites vary in cost per night depending on season, group size and availability. For 2014 tariffs, visit: www.lindani.co.za/tariffs.html
Phone: 083 631 5579 or 083 809 4291
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