Hog Hollow Country Lodge

Posted by Joy Anne Goodenough on 21 February 2011

If I had to come up with two words to describe my time at Hog Hollow Country Lodge I could use “˜incredibly beautiful’, “˜amazing food’, “˜wildly wonderful’, “˜monkeys and butterflies’ or “˜charming staff’. But in the end I’ll have to go with “˜too short’.

I hit the road after my canopy tour adventure full of energy, but I think the adrenalin rush drops me a little along the way and even though the drive takes me through some spectacular scenic places, by the time I arrive at Hog Hollow in The Crags (outside of Plett) my eyes can barely stay open and all I want to do is check in and have a nap! But when I walk through the main house and am confronted with the most astounding of views – a deep gorge surrounded by green carpeted hills almost luminous under the dark clouds that do nothing to reduce the heat of the day – I feel re-awoken. Within minutes I am sitting on the deck overlooking said view, an ice cold beer at hand as I fill in the necessary forms, continually distracted by the beauty around me.

Then like a vision a tall, dark man with dreadlocks and a smile that could charm butterflies and monkeys out of the trees appears in the chair opposite me, crinkles his eyes as he smiles and takes my hand. “Your majesty,” he begins. (A small voice inside me replies “Seriously dude?” but I shut it up and allow myself to be charmed). “We welcome you to this place. My name is Xolani and I am a guide here”¦” he interrupts himself as he looks up at the tree above us and says “Do you see her?” I follow his gaze and see a furry face peering down at me through the leaves. A vervet monkey, a tiny baby clinging to her tummy, is checking us out. Xolani continues. He tells me of all the wonderful things I can see and do with him at my side to guide me – together we could explore The Crags, visit snakes and leopards in nearby animal sanctuaries and hike to places with even more incredible views than this one. But when I tell him I am only there for less than a full day his smile disappears like the sun behind those clouds and he shrugs – maybe next time. However we continue to talk and cover subjects from American presidents to xenophobia, Rastafarianism to fair trade (of course). He is eloquent and knowledgeable and loves to weave stories with words. Then he stops again as a lemon yellow butterfly the size of my hand wafts nearby, alighting on the waxy flowers of the plant beside us. “She is showing off,” he tells me. “Especially for you, to welcome you here.”

Then suddenly he is on his feet, bidding me a fond farewell as he spies new guests arriving. I see him go and hear him greet the new arrivals “Your majesties”¦”

So in the end my very short stay at Hog Hollow comprises finally getting that nap – alongside a warm salt water pool which shares the same breathtaking view (a cliché I know but true) – and eating a delicious dinner in the company of a large group of friendly, entertaining British tourists. I only get to speak briefly to a few staff members as they are very busy working, but all are friendly and helpful.

At breakfast on the deck the next morning the sun is shining but a light rain falls – and I laugh as the same monkey appears and snatched a muffin from the buffet before Xolani can chase her away with his catty (“I don’t hate them, but our food is bad for them,” he explains). This is the first time I’ve experienced a monkeys’ wedding with actual monkeys.

I bid the staff farewell and Xolani takes my hand in both of his and looks into my eyes. “Thank you. If it wasn’t for you, our guests, there wouldn’t be an us.” Then he is gone.

Prince Charming aside, I am sad to be leaving this paradise so soon. One day, I tell myself as I drive out of the gates, one day I’ll come back here.

Find out more:
FTTSA accredited accommodation at Hog Hollow in The Crags, Garden Route.

To see specials at these places and similar, go to Abang Africa
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