Kudu Ridge Game Ranch

Location: 50 kilometers from Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Take N2 in direction of Grahamstown.  Just past Blue Water Bay, take the turn-off to Addo.  Kudu Ridge is approximately 22 kilometers before the village of Addo on the left hand side of the road.

Date Visited: 8 – 10 June 2012 (Winter)

Accommodation: We stayed in comfortable safari tents.  Kudu Ridge also offers chalet accommodation.  The tents are neatly furnished and each tent have its own bathroom with shower, as well as coffee-making area & veranda.

What we Drove: The Jeep Wrangler from Maritime Motors

What we did: We lounged, talked, read, drove through Addo Elephant National Park & enjoyed the company of friends & family.

Recommendation: Kudu Ridge is very well positioned in proximity to the Addo Elephant National Park.  It is well suited for a relaxed family weekend and perfect for conferencing or team building in groups of forty or less.  There is no ‘self-catering’ option, which is nice, since Brian & Jenny create wonderful food and not having dishes or clean up is part of the fun of spending time at Kudu Ridge.

Website: Kudu Ridge

Tribe Special: Mention the ‘Traveling Tribe’ & claim free accommodation & meals for your own children under the age of twelve for a 2-night stay, for a family of minimum two adults, until the end of August 2012.

We met the Stevnsons at the corner of Westmead & Old Seaview Road.

It was just after two on this cold winter’s afternoon.

We’d been looking forward to this weekend.  For both our families it would be a weekend of firsts.  Our first time to travel together.  our first time to stay in safari-tent accommodation.

Our children were ecstatic.  They were looking forward to the opportunity to spend a whole weekend with Gary & Jane’s daughter.

Our worlds are somewhat different.

Ashleigh is schooled at one of our city’s well-known private schools.  Our children find education under Zuko’s guidance in the privacy of our little wooden house on the not so little hill.

Gary & Jane both run their own companies.

Gary runs Organic Footprint.

Jane runs with Jane Stevenson & Associates.

I do radio & Zuko, when she’s not guiding our four children in the world of discovering knowledge & insight, takes pictures.

Even though our worlds are somewhat different, our values or what we value is surprisingly similar.

This is something I’ve noticed more & more.  People finding each other in what they value & not so much in where they come from or how they would be defined in archaic social terms.

We all value our children’s education.

We give expression to this in different ways, but our high regard for the education our children receive & our willingness to adjust our lifestyle, so that an exceptional education may be had, is something we share.

As is a love for our environment.

An awareness of how contaminated life & living could be.

Of how central relationship is to our being & joy.

How often this is less than what we hoped for & yet exceptional and surprising in other ways.

We all believe fiercely, but despise cheap lip-service & empty religiousness.

Or so we see our friends & experience them this weekend as we talk & share & discover throughout this weekend at Kudu Ridge.

That is the wonderfulness of spending time with friends & family in a place which is not familiar.

It is as if, in a new space, we are more relaxed, more willing to share and be honest & intimate.

It is only three in the afternoon as we arrive at Kudu Ridge.

The Jeep Wrangler which Vaughan hand-picked for us from his sales floor for this weekend, was an easy & comfortable drive.  The powerful 3.8 liter engine accelerating easily.   The automatic gearbox shifting almost unnoticed on a very short drive to a very lovely destination.

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Brian & Jenny gives us a warm welcome.

They show us to our safari-tents & allow us to settle in.

We meet up at the main lodge area where we find steaming hot coffee & a warm fire.

Brian explains the menu for the evening.

Butternut Soup & freshly baked bread.

Kudu Fillet with hand-cut chips & fresh vegetables and salad.

Ice cream & chocolate sauce is desert.

The afternoon dwindles into evening.

We discover that coming to Kudu Ridge is returning to his first love for Brian & his family.

They’d been here no more than a year.

He spent years in the corporate world.

Before that he was a game-rangers for the Natal Parks Board.

That is what his heart hankered after winter after cold winter spent in offices & board rooms.

Now they spend time in nature.

Entertaining guests.

Growing their flock of antelope.

Over supper we talk of the joy Brian & Jenny find in their refound passion.

The evening is cold, but the conversation is warm.

It is evident that this couple hope to come alongside corporates & companies as they create a fresh environment in which people can rediscover themselves, unwind, dream & plan.

‘What we have to offer, is a completely new environment, a place where people can get in touch with who they really are,’ he explains as we enjoy desert.

Then it is off to bed.

Our first night in our safari-tented accommodation.

The kids are tired.

Andrew, Brian & Jenny’s son who shares this dream with them, took the children for a discovery walk in the late afternoon.  Then they fed the latest addition to the Kudu Ridge Family.  A baby owl who was rescued & is being hand raised by the falconer who hopes to establish an activity with falcons & a very interesting pointer which he is training.

‘Soon we’ll be able to hunt with the pointer & a falcon.  Man, bird & dog in the perfect collaboration.  Perhaps it would unlock something in people’s minds of how we can collaborate in the workplace & in families.

In their family collaboration is certainly the norm.

The meal is cooked together.  The guests are cared for alongside each other.

Saturday morning is slow & easy.

We hide from the cold in the warmth of our safari-tents.

Pippin makes coffee.

Zuko & I talk.

Of what we hope for.

What we dream of.

Then a hearty breakfast welcomes us in the dining room.

As we eat we decide to drive to the Addo Elephant National Park for the day.

Brian unfolds a map & shows us where he believes we’ll spot the lion & the elephant & the buffalo.

We enjoy a last cup of coffee & then we’re off.

We huddle together in the Jeep Wrangler.  It is no fun to go wildlife spotting in separate vehicles.

The girls jump in the back.

Zuko & Jane take the back-seat with Maddi & Theunsie.

Gary & I take shotgun & driver’s position.

10 minutes later we’re in the park.

Despite the weather we see herds of elephant, Kudu, Zebra, Blesbok, Hartebeest & Blesbok.

A black backed jackal surprises us & a secretary bird takes notes on our arrival.

The drive is easy & comfortable.

The Jeep Wrangler as at home on tar as it is on gravel.

We stop for a late lunch at the Park’s Tiger’s Eye Restaurant.

Every time I stop here, I am surprised by the quality of service.  The excellence of the well-trained staff & their friendliness & knowledgeably.

I am also astounded by the effort & investment we make as a country into conservation.

And I am proud to be an African in general & a South African in particular.

It inspires hope.

If we can get this right (conservation & tourism), then there is hope that we might get the other things right as well.

If only we would believe it.

Dream it.

Reach for it.

Imagine a South Africa in which our education & healthcare resembled the same excellence so very evident on this Saturday afternoon in one of our National Parks?

Gary orders a venison hotpot.

Jane takes the fish of the day.

Zuko chooses a vegetarian wrap & I go for the Thai Chicken Salad.

The children enjoy chicken nuggets.

We eat slowly.

Talking.  Remembering.  Sharing the moment.

We’re in no hurry.  Kudu Ridge is a few minutes away.

We resolve to take an afternoon nap as we get home & we take our resolve seriously as the Jeep Wrangler brings us home to our weekend-destination, each family heading off to their respective tents.

The hunger for time together and conversation is too strong though & moments later we’re together again at the warmth of the fire at the lodge-area.

Conversation is easy.

We talk of how we came to where we are.

Of what we face from day-to-day.

Of what we hope for, dream of, for our own tomorrow.

The optimism in our circle makes me smile.

Where there is hope, there is hope.

That we would still be journeying.

That we may even one day find our dream a reality, as Brian & Jenny found it at Kudu Ridge.

The afternoon becomes evening.

Supper is served.

The children play pool & darts, hide-and-seek and truth-or-dare.

Theunsie beats me at a game of pool.

Then his mom.

At the dinner table we share stories from our lives.

Beautiful stories of exquisite experiences.

In the silence of a moment I think about how no one is talking about what they own.  Everyone is talking about what they shared.  A moment.  An emotion.  A disappointment.  A breakthrough.

Perhaps we need to hang on to that more tightly.

That it is in moments shared that life exists.

It is late & cold when we head to bed.

The rain pours down throughout the night, but we sleep warm & dry in our safari-tents.

Even Maddi only wakes once for a midnight feast.

And then it is Sunday.

The day I always dread, for it signals the end of another journey.

And it always comes too soon.

Breakfast is intentionally slow this morning. Brian & Jenny & Andrew act like old friends who do not want their loved ones to go just yet.

The sun is out for the first time this weekend.

After breakfast we take a game drive on Kudu Ridge.

They show us the ‘Bus Bar’ created by Andrew.  The excavation area where fossils were found.  A Kudu & some Impala greet us on a clearing.

Brian talks with love of this wonderous new place they are transforming into a getaway for corporates & families as we drive along the ridge.

Then it is time to pack & greet.

Ashleigh still has a project to finish.

Zuko wants to stop at her parent’s before we go home.

We say our goodbyes.

And as we drive off in the Jeep Wrangler I remember moments shared & I hope for more.

More moments.

Of honesty.

And intimacy.

For it is in moments shared that life unfolds.

 

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Categories: Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “Kudu Ridge Game Ranch

  1. Glenda Perumal

    Wow, it looks like the tribe had lots of fun! It is definitely a place that I would like my family and i visit soon to experience what the tribe did….

  2. Nadia Nortje

    Sounds idyllic! Scenery, hot fires and good conversation! Always a plus if you have something in common on spiritual level! Can see you enjoyed every second, even in not so nice weather. The tents sound so cool! Have to try that sometime!!! Thank you for sharing your adventures with us every time. Blessings! N

  3. Well done on a great read. You re-awakened my Kudu Ridge memories of a great day spent at Kudu Ridge with our family, Brian, Jenny and Andrew. My kids absolutely loved the freedom of going for a walk by themselves – to explore and as a result, can not wait to return. And I will never forget the image of a group of Kudu keeping vigil over us whilst on our game drive with Brian and Jenny. What an awesome place for conferences and break away sessions.

  4. I love the simplicities that life gives us right in our own backyard, the appreciation of much is given to quality time you spend with ur loved ones to stop and enjoy what we have, insight is a shift in boundaries there is no limit to live the life which we imagine and live for the moment, thank you, Traveling tribe for sharing we appreciate you very much, from afar.

  5. Robynne

    WOW sounds like the perfect settling for making memories! A taste of paradise truly at it’s best. We are blessed to have such amenities so close to us, yet so many of us don’t venture out ~ our busy lifestyles rob us and our families of magical memories……..the kind that our grandparent and greatgrandparents told us. Thank you for sharing your adventure…….this is definitely on my list of places to go!

  6. john

    Sounds like just the ticket for my family! I’m so busy with other people’s kids that my family sees me some weekends & at night for a bit. Getting away to a place like this would be great. Even for the “Oumas” who live with us!

  7. Zelda Lamont

    Wow that sounds wonderful. What a nice outing !!!! You guys were really brave to stay in a tent in the cold weather that we had. High up on my visiting list…

  8. Never slept in a safari-tent before, sounds like a very cool adventurous weekend (nice a snug) 🙂

  9. Juan van Rensburg

    Such a wonderful place, so close to pe, but yet a different world, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life…an opportunity to relax and get away from it all. Must have been great…

  10. Petro Coetzee

    This looks like the ideal weekend getaway for me and my family! What better place to observe God’s wonderful creation than doing it at Kudu Ridge. It looks absolutely amazing. The fact that it is nearby is even more of a bonus point. We love being in the nature and to see the wild life but don’t often get the change. We have the most beautiful resorts and scenery right here in South Africa and especially in the Eastern Cape. This could be the ideal Fathers day present for the whole family!!

  11. WOW! SURE SOUNDS LIKE PURE BUSH-BLISS! I’D WELCOME A GET-AWAY LIKE THIS ANY TIME,BECAUSE MY HUBBY’S A REAL WORKAHOLIC’AND IF I DON’T INITIATE ANYTHING,WE NEVER GET TO GO NOWHERE! WITH A HOUSEHOLD OF 8 KIDS,I REALLY,TRULY,LITERALLY FEEL LIKE SKIPPING THE TOWN AT TIMES! OH! WELL,WHO EVER SAID IT WAS BAD TO DREAM! DREAMS DO COME TRUE,HEY! WHO-EVER WINS! COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! GOD BLESS!

  12. I really enjoyed every moment of the weekend … it is a great place to bond with nature

  13. Cheryl Reynolds

    Always enjoying reading about the travels of the Travelling Tribe. Kudu Ridge Game Farm sounds absolutely amazing… the food, the scenery, the peace and quiet…

  14. great blog – sounds lovely – I’d love to win a weekend there with my family! 🙂

  15. Wendy Smith

    Klink na n onvergeetlike naweek! Net wat mens nodig het.. Ons lewe so n gejaagde, besige lewe.. Die pragtige natuur, om die diere te kan besigtig, die heerlike kos, middagslapies(Yeah), kaggelvure en nuwe vriendskappe wat gesmee kan word.. Magical!

  16. Carl Venter

    How wonderfull that weekend sounded, I love idea of tented camps and warm fires, thanks for sharing – Carl

  17. Pamela Tite

    Sounds and looks awesome!!

  18. Catherine Gamaroff

    Ahhhhh real Africa right on our doorsteps

  19. Sue Paterson

    As soon as I read “There is no self-catering option”, I was hooked on Kudu Ridge. A relaxing African bushveld experience with no cooking and dishes- yes please!

  20. maria beyleveld

    Wow, how nice to get out and spend a weekend with family and friends. Even nicer when it is spent at a place that has great accommodation, good food, outdoors to enjoy and great people.

  21. Saloma September

    Sal wat wil gee om soooooo bederf te kan word! dit lyk na ‘n onvergeeflike ervaring. Dankie dat julle dit met ons deel.

  22. Penny Olwage

    WOW!! It sounds like an awesome place. A great get away for family or just to be alone with hubby. Not too far and not too close.

  23. Heather Rossouw

    What an awesome getaway this would be for our family. My son-in-law spends so much of his “off” time in hospital with renal problems so a weekend away in the peace and quiet to just relax and have fun with nature would be such a great gift for the four of us.

  24. jacques

    Dit sal lekker wees dankie

  25. Robynne

    I’d love to win a weekend there for my family……….Lord knows we need it desperately! Keep up the fabulous blogs – love sharing in your experiences!

  26. Linda

    Hi there,lovely to read about your trip once again! Always so optimistic and warm… its lekker:)
    I was wondering if there is a spot where we can see who has won the great weekends away each week? It kind of feels like a big family of people who follow the blog and I miss out on celebrating with the people who win… how about it? Enjoy your next trip, cheerio:)

  27. Deidre Bouwer

    Hi Travelling Tribe

    I love this story so much that i had to read it again.
    My family and i enjoyed the same hospitality at Kudu Ridge Lodge this pass long weekend with the prize i won in your competition. It was an unforgettable experience! We arrived there tired and left revived and ready for action. All of us are more relaxed and enjoy the togetherness this weekend brought (which was my heart’s desire.

    Thank you so much for the prize!
    Deidre Bouwer

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