After two glorious days at Gondwana Game Reserve, just before Mossel Bay, we hit the road again down towards the Garden Route to our next destination in our family holiday….
After an obligatory stop for fresh calamari at the best “lookout” spot on the Garden Route, The Lookout Deck Restaurant, we headed onwards to Hog Hollow Country Lodge, located on the Garden Route just past Plettenberg Bay in an area known as The Crags.
We’ve visited the area before during holidays to Plett, but never actually stayed here and it was with much anticipation that we drove down the winding road reminiscent of a hedge-lined English country lane.
The first thing that grabbed our attention upon arrival was the beautiful view over the Tsitsikamma indigenous forest which stretched for miles in front of us – from the deep valley right in front of the lodge to the misty blue mountains in the distance all you could see was a vista of treetops. After the drive all we wanted to do was plop down on the deck with a drink in hand and soak it all in!
After our check in we had a quick tour of the lodge’s communal areas. Besides the large deck and open fire pit which is lit every night, there are a few different lounge areas including a bar and separate TV room with DSTV (helpful for peaceful meal times when traveling with kids!).
All the communal areas in the lodge are decorated with quirky African decor and interesting items collected from around the continent and the main dining room has a long table which hosts legendary communal meal times.
We joined the other guests on our second night and found it a really fun way to meet travelers from around the world and hear some of their stories including their thoughts on South Africa, esp those who are first time visitors!
One of the first things we do when hitting the Garden Route for a family holiday is to head to my son’s idea of heaven… The Nature’s Way Farmstall where he spends a good hour or two in the milking shed with the farmworkers getting stuck in! So off we went…. (but that’s an entire blog post in itself so more of that in the next post!!)
Finally it was time to relax and settle in to our room at Hog Hollow…
Our room consisted of a two levels. Downstairs was a lounge area with tea & coffee making facilities and a small deck and the couch “magically” converted into the kids bed while we were out for supper! Upstairs was our bed and private patio as well as a spacious en-suite bathroom.
After our jaunt down the road we arrived back as the sun was sinking and dropped our bags, kicked off our shoes and made ourselves a cup of tea to enjoy from our own private deck!
Once again the glorious forest view captured our attention and we pulled out the extra blankets and brought up two extra camping chairs from downstairs to set ourselves up for a cosy winter picnic supper of cheese and biscuits bought at the nearby Nature’s Way Farmstall while watching the sky change all manner of colours.
The next morning we headed down to enjoy a hearty breakfast, pancakes and waffles were on the menu which the kids thought was the business!
Other highlights for my little travelers included the climbing tree right on the outside deck, the cheeky monkeys trying to score a muffin off the breakfast buffet, racing down the step path from our room to the main lodge at FULL TILT and creating a fort out of their “special” bed using ALL the linen and pillows! Which all goes to show that you really don’t need much to amuse kids. They will find their own fun when left to their own devices (no NOT the technological ones!) Even without a formal kids programme or play area they had the best time at Hog Hollow… the only disappointment was that it was too cold to swim, although they were convinced otherwise and kept begging me to allow them to dive in!
We all had a wonderful stay at Hog Hollow and thoroughly enjoyed it’s chilled country atmosphere. It’s the ideal spot to escape the crowds on the Garden Route so you can really experience it’s natural beauty and serenity.
Obviously if you’re more inclined to get involved with adrenaline fueled activities or have small kids to entertain, the fantastic thing about the location is that there are endless options from ziplining to forest tours, animal adventures with monkeys, big cats, birds, elephants, reptiles and horses right on your doorstep! You certainly won’t be bored with so many things to do in The Crags and further afield. Come back over the next few weeks as I will be sharing more of the family friendly things to do on the Garden Route which we enjoyed during our visit.
The Garden Route is one of our favourite places to head for a family holiday and Hog Hollow is now one of our best spots to stay in the area!