My partners birthday happens to be in February, the month of love. Three days after Valentine’s Day to be exact. I had to do a lot of fishing and low key asking about what he wanted. There were two things he wanted for his birthday; to meet his spirit animal, the lion, and a spa treatment. And so I found the perfect spot in Klerksdorp, North West. A game range lodge called the Bona Bona Game Reserve.
At first (without any research) I thought it would be an hour and a half away from Joburg, maximum two hours. It was 3 hours away, 3 and a half hours away to be exact. What was meant to be a short drive turned out to be a road trip. Another road trip.
The specs on the site was that there was no TV and fridge in the room, already there was slight discomfort with this T&C but it was a blessing in disguise. This meant that most of the time spent at the lodge would be outdoors in the wild or having a picnic. The Lodge boosts activities like spa treatments and wine tasting. Here’s what we got up to:
The Long Stroll
We got there around 4pm and first things first, we wanted to familiarize ourselves with our surroundings. After we settled into our room, we took a stool around and took in all the beauty. The lodge also has a wedding venue which offers a combination of outdoor and indoor weddings. There was a wedding the day before and we had an idea of what the ceremony looked like. In between the wedding chapel, there were numerous photo opportunities.
The First Supper
After the long stroll, we built up an appetite. The lodge also has a restaurant at the center of the area. I must admit, I was worried about the menu at the Jakkles Restaurant. Just that name alone gave me the impression that there would be meat and nothing else but meat. To my pleasant surprise, there were vegetarian options. Not the best I’ve ever had but it was good. My partner was just as delighted that there was a variety of meat and snacks on offer. What added to the experience was the sunset and game drive animals we could spot from where we were seated. If you should go there, remember to take your binoculars with.
You know that scene in the movies where a couple is laying on their backs and watching the moon and stars, we got to live that moment over good conversation and laughter. Fortunately (or unfortunately), at this point we forgot about our phones and lived in the moment. One of those moments I will never forget. After being bitten by mosquitoes and remembering we have an early morning game drive, we were off to bed earlier than anticipated (also, time has a way of going fast and super slow at the same time when you’re having a good time).
The Game Drive
The early morning drive was at 7am and there was also a midday and afternoon drive. We opted for the morning drive so we can catch the sunset during the drive.
We initially booked a game drive but last minute, changed our minds and opted for a predators drive. The slight difference is that the predators drive had wild animals; the lions, hyenas, wild dogs and tigers. Our guide, Dumisani is one of the most passionate beings I’ve ever met. He said he’s always wanted to work with animals and after completing his high school career, he went straight into becoming a game breeder. The animals there are very tamed and caged but they seemed very fond of Dumisani.
The highlight of the drive (the whole trip actually) was meeting two cubs; Kgotso and Simba. My partner’s spirit animal is a lion and his whole being lit up when we got the opportunity to play with these animals. Kgotso freaked me out though, he literally jumped on me and almost bit my pants off. Dumisani said the black and white print attracted it and it somehow thought I was a zebra, lol.
Imagine, me? A whole zebra? That’s why I kept my distance after a while. The girly girl that I am, I’d rather safe than sorry.
After that adventure, breakfast was served. I opted for a vegetarian omelette and my partner went for the English breakfast. We had a good time with great conversation over champagne breakfast and a beautiful view. The plan for the day; to do absolutely nothing but enjoy each others company and the view of the place.
We didn’t do the spa treatment (I was hoping to get my brows tinted and get him a massage) because the spa was closed and I maxed my budget.
Overall, I would do Bona Bona again anytime. It was great that we went from Sunday – Tuesday because we got special treatment at the lodge. The staff was super friendly and delivery quickly on anything we requested. The only music we enjoyed throughout out stay was the birds singing in the morning and the lions growling all the way from the other side.
I wouldn’t have done anything better, if anything, this trip exceeded my expectations.
Travel tip: Daddy Deals has great discounts but on the downside their are no reviews of the places featured on discount site. We used Daddy Deals to go to the lodge and it was quiet affordable.