Koffylaagte Game Lodge

WIN! Congratulations to Melissa Quanson on winning the weekend at Koffylaagte 4-star Game Lodge.  She and her family will enjoy becoming part of this story. 😀

Location:  130 kilometers from Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay on the R75 towards Graaff Reinett, in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Date Visited: 27 -29 July 2012 (Winter)

Where we Stayed: The Bush Cabin, set somewhat aside from the main lodge area.  Koffylaagte offers a diverse range of accommodation, including 4-star luxury safari tents & 3-star self-catering units in the old farmhouse.

What we Drove: The Dodge Journey, complements of Maritime Motors .

What we did: We spent time enjoying beautiful sunsets.  We had a great bush-walk, a game drive, went horse-riding & met amazingly interesting people who filled the hours with interesting conversation.  We also took a drive to Darlington Lake Dam & had lunch in nearby Jansenville.  Koffylaagte offers a wide range of activities, including quad-biking & archery, a steam-room, pool-table, swimming pool & birding.

Recommendation: Koffylaagte is perfectly situated between Nelson Mandela Bay & Graaff Reinett.  It is ideal as a weekend destination or as a resting place on your way to discovering other places like Graaff Reinett, Nieu Bethesda or Baviaanskloof.  It is very family friendly.  I wouldn’t stay for less than two days, but could imagine that you could even stay a week at Koffylaagte, becoming part of this story.

Website: Koffylaagte Game Lodge

Koffylaagte is not a place.

Its location can be marked on a map.

Its environment could be described in all the words so many places are so often described.

Its accommodation could be rated.

Activities listed.

Game numbered.

That would still, however, not put into words what is already evident just from the name Koffylaagte carries.

‘Koffylaagte’ – Coffee Hollow, some would translate.  Or coffee lowlands, others would say.

In Dutch it should be ‘Koffie’.

But its not.

Its ‘Koffy’.

The story goes, a long time ago, travelers stopped here to rest.  Brew some coffee.  Perhaps gather wood, feed horses & cattle, precisely halfway between Graaff Reinett & Port Elizabeth.

The landscape scattered with ‘Perboon’ Trees of which the seeds might have been used as a coffee substitute in times of lack.

On the walls of the old, beautifully restored farmhouse, pictures of the Hurter family, who lived here in the early 1900’s bear witness to new generations resting in bedrooms.

Perhaps Koffylaagte is a story.

Of that resting place for travelers & merchants & ‘karweiers’.

Of a pantry for others, long before the ships dropped anchor at new harbors to carry away an unknown bounty.

A story of a tollgate erected by English, who wanted to show rebellious Dutch the consequence of their Protestantism.

Of soldiers shoeing horses & new farmers claiming land & goats being shaved & little Dorothea dying of a unkown illness at the age of two.

A story of parents standing at a grave.

Of land abandoned in drought, as traveler-farmers find their way to cities & new generations put their hope in industrialization.

A story which began centuries ago in Africa.

A story which began in Turkey in the 1950’s and in England a little while later.

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They met in York.

They lived in England & Turkey.

In East Africa & West Africa.

In Russia & Nigeria.

When the time came to turn a page in their own story, the new chapter opened onto Koffylaagte.

A place where they could sink the roots of their souls deep into Karoo soil.

And as they settled, they were drawn into the Koffylaagte story.

First the old Farmhouse was restored.

Right down to the original iron-gate keeping animals off the ‘stoep’.

Then the hunter’s lodge evolved into a dining room to become a restaurant.

A lounge and swimming pool appeared.

Luxury safari tents.


Buffalo & wildebeest.

All the time more travelers drawn into a story written with the ink of time on the pages of hope.

To belong.

To experience.

To become.

And so we are drawn near as well.

We travel past little invitations posted along the R75 as we make our way to Graaff Reinett & Nieu Bethesda & Bloemfontein.

Curiosity whispering.

As if carried on the wind, a silent desire infesting our wanderlust.

Eventually finding our way to Cem & Jane and little Lilly.

Rebecca & Alistair.

To a little bush cottage with a massive rock fire-place overwhelming its kitchen.

To meals created from organic venison & vegetables, bread slowly kneaded & covered in honey harvested from wild mountain hives.

To people who’ve been drawn into the Koffylaagte story.

One by one.

Each a word.

A paragraph.

A chapter.

Rebecca was a brand manager in England.

Disillusioned with sails filled with uncapturable wind she is drawn to the Kalahari.

A little closer.

She falls in love with a boy from Upington.

They come to visit friends at Koffylaagte.

Drawn closer.



Living here.

Dreaming of a place of wellness.

Where city-dwellers could come to experience more than game.

To re-discover beauty.



To re-connect.

In ways never before imagined.

We ride on horses right up to a family of Giraffe.

We walk in Karoo veldt.

The smell of soil fresh from rain.

We talk to travelers from as far as Switzerland & as close as Nelson Mandela Bay.

We touch our own dreams.

Painting them.

Folding them.



We eat.

Scrumptious Food.

Warm friendship.

New friendship.

As Friday flows into Sunday Koffylaagte does what she seemed to have always done.


Perhaps answering her own need.

To weave.



For a moment.

Into a lifetime.


We say reluctant goodbyes.

The Dodge Journey finds its own way to nearby Darlington Lake.

To Jansenville for lunch.

The pull of Koffylaagte not wanting to let go.

A story.



For you.

To become a part of her.


Into the rich texture which is Koffylaagte.

Categories: Weekend Destinations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

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75 thoughts on “Koffylaagte Game Lodge

  1. Pamela Tite

    Wow – what a great looking destination right on our doorstep!! Wold be a great family getaway for us! Love exploring the EC and yoi guys are doing such a great job bringing us the off+the-beaten track EC – loving it!!

  2. Nadia Nortje

    Hey! The luxury Safari tents sounds Great! Can see you enjoyed yet another one of EC’s jewels, and meeting up with a family of Giraffe’s, while on horseback – Priceless! Thanks for letting us explore with you! Nadia

  3. Hilda Stroebel

    Fantastic, I would love to visit Koffylaagte with my family.

  4. caron strydom

    A family of giraffes!

  5. Glenda Perumal

    Wow, what an amazing destination that you sharing with us. This is a perfect destination for a family getaway destination. I see that you & your family had a fabulous time at this gem of a place. Would really love to share this opportunity with my family… Your family met up with The Giraffe family whilst on horseback, so beautiful… Blessing to you & your family!

  6. Marc Cramer

    If I ever get the opportunity I will try this stunning getaway, which is on our doorstep. The family of Giraffe must have been quiet interested in seeing crazy people on a cold day exploring, instead of being curled up in a warm bed.


  7. Mandy Gurr-Snyman

    You rode on horses right up to a family of Giraffe.

  8. Hannah Pedersen

    you met a family of giraffe while riding on horseback

  9. Veronica Beyers

    A family of giraffe

  10. Hilda Stroebel

    I forgot to mention that the family you “met” was Giraffes, how wonderful!!!

  11. You encountered a family of giraffe.

  12. Hey Guys sounds really fab, you rode on horseback to a family of giraffe. Watching people having fun and all this adventure, the awesome history of Koffylaagte Game Lodge is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody’s Ilse’s skin. Sometimes all we can say is WOW ………..

  13. Lisanne

    You encountered a family of giraffe

  14. Adele Fourie

    You encountered a family of Giraffe. That must have been awesome!

  15. Siwapiwe Mateta

    a family of giraffe

  16. Showna Petzer

    You came across a family of giraffe

  17. Wendy Maree

    The family of Giraffes.

  18. Cecile


  19. Jean Williams

    You encountered a family of giraffe.

  20. Would love to treat my family for a break-away to KOFFYLAAGTE GAME LODGE and experience the Family of giraffes!!

  21. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    They came across a family of giraffe.

  22. Melanie Peasnell

    A family of Giraffe.

  23. Sharmaine

    A family of giraffe were encountered on horseback at Koffylaagte.

  24. Clayton Noah

    A giraffe family encountered 🙂 Just imagining the beauty of the outdoors , God’s gift to us !!

  25. Janine Hoffmann

    A family of Giraffe… what an incredible experience. thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences

  26. Penny Morris

    Wow a family of Giraffe!!!! They are my favourite animals!!! You must have felt quite tall on the horses till you met up with them!!! Looks like you were blessed with an awesome weekend away!

  27. Ruan Bower

    N gesin van Kameelperde. A family of Giraffe.

  28. Pamela Tite

    The Giraffe Family is who you met up with – would love to see these majestic creatures so close and relaxed – what an experience!

  29. Ann-Louise Daffue

    As a single mother, I would love a break away for 4 and see the family of giraffes per horse back riding.

  30. SF Cilliers

    You encountered a family of Giraffe whilst riding on horseback – riding the “normal horse” – meeting the “tall horse”.

    Koffylaagte is an undiscovered gem in the Eastern Cape!

  31. a family of Giraffe

  32. Alec and Nadine

    You saw a family of giraffe!
    Agree – a most relaxing tranquil setting where one can do nothing and not feel guilty!

  33. Ben Crouse

    A family of giraffes were there to meet you, and make your day….

  34. the long necks … Giraffe family … what am amazing looking place … wowowwowoowweee

  35. The family of giraffes didn’t mind people on horseback

  36. Chrisna Viljoen

    amazingly interesting people

  37. Dieter

    You met a wonderful experience in the fform of the giraffe family

  38. Briony Chisholm

    Oh, that sounds gorgeous! You met a fabulous family of giraffe.

  39. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    A family of giraffe

  40. Steven

    A family of long-necked spotted horses 😉

  41. A whole lot of Giraffe – amazing creatures!!!

  42. marilee jansen van nieuwenhuizen

    The tribe found a family of giraffe while exploring on horseback! Wow!

  43. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)


  44. A family of giraffe

  45. Melisa Quanson

    You met a family of giraffes.

  46. You met with a family of giraffe.

  47. MEGA

    The Giraffe family – that’s who you met !

  48. Megan Freeman Fisher

    The Giraffe family – that’s who you met !

  49. Wilna Meiring

    You met a family of Giraffes.

  50. Heather Akers

    You met a family of Giraffes 🙂
    I would love too win this as Our Family recently relocated to PTA and we Miss our Eastern Cape sooooooo MUCH

  51. liz head

    U came accross a family of GIRAFFE while out on horseback at Koffylaagte

  52. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    You came across a family of giraffe whilst riding on horseback

    • Heather Akers

      You came across a family of giraffe whilst riding on horseback

  53. Dawn Munnings

    A family of giraffe! Wow!

  54. Dawn Munnings

    A tower of giraffe! (one of the collective names for giraffe!)

    • Heather Akers

      A tower of giraffe! (one of the collective names for giraffe!)

  55. Penny Olwage

    Hi. You encountered a family of Giraffes. How awesome that must have been. How great to be able to get so close to nature. What an experience for you and the family. 😉

  56. A family of giraffes

  57. A family of Giraffe 🙂

  58. Visiting the big game reserves you are often caught up in the whole routine of lodge, high tea, game drive and dinner. The smaller reserves like Koffylaagte gives one the opportunity to get closer to nature specially when they offer nature walks which you can’t do at the big reserves. It looks like a beautiful lodge and not done over the top. A great place to relax for a weekend.

    Answer: You met a family (or journey) of giraffes. The collective name for a group of giraffes is a “Journey”

  59. A family of Giraffe

  60. Leanne Davies

    A family of giraffe 🙂

  61. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    A “journey” of giraffe

  62. A family of giraffe’s.

  63. Sue Paterson

    You met a family of giraffe. I would love the opportunity to explore this area with my family, so we can also have the privilege of experiencing the richness and diversity of Koffyaagte’s heritage.

  64. Kobus Booyens

    The Traveling Tribe met The Giraffe family 🙂

  65. Gisela

    A family of giraffe

  66. Johan Jonker

    You guys met a family of giraffes and praise God for all HIS creation that we have the privelage to experience

  67. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    The Travelling Tribe came across a family of giraffe

  68. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    Lots of Giraffe

  69. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    A whole lot of Giraffe

  70. Rosemary Ann Joshua (0794970484)

    A Giraffe family

  71. lumineuse

    Hey! We enjoyed our stay and to meet you at Koffylaagte. Thanks for the Sherry in your bushhut, when it was raining. Greeting from the couple of Switzerland 😀

  72. Maurice

    We had the pleasure of two days and three nights at Koffylaagte,staying in one of the maginificent tented safari huts. What can one say, one went there stressed and within a day became totally absorbed in a beautiful part of God’s creation. Alistair and Rebecca go out of their way to make it an experience of a lifetime, yet do not intrude on one’s privacy. We started with a late afternoon game drive, taking in a range of antelope and getting some magnificent pictures of the sunset with silhouettes of eland horns. Supper followed, excellent fare while Alistair explained some of the history of the farm and surrounding area. Walking from the dining room to our tented unit we were overcome by the night sky. It is years since I have seen the Milky Way so clearly and be able to point out all the well known planets and stars to my loved one, the Southern Cross, Orion’s Belt, even a satellite traversing across the night sky. A very comfortable bed and we were gone for the night in the pure Karoo air.

    Next morning, we watched from our balcony,a beautiful sun rise from behind the distant hills. We had coffee, rusks and toast before departing on our second game drive. The giraffes met us, while a young one posed, giving us an excellent photo shoot. We returned at about 10.30am to be met by a brunch as only Rebecca knows how to concoct. While eating we were treated to birdsong, numerous Weavers building nests in the tree near the oxwaggon. Even the ladies present felt for the males when the womenfolk tore their hardwork to pieces, the nest just not being up to scratch. Well fed we returned to our balcony, to spend the hot part of the day resting or reading.

    The time to leave came far to soon, there was still lots we would have loved to have done, but we were relaxed and happy that we could spend special time, in a wonderful corner of His creation. A trip to be recommended to all.

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