The beautiful West Rand never ceases to amaze me. Case in point: Did you have any idea this ultra-gorgeous rock and boulder formation is right in the middle of Ruimsig? Hidden behind Fanels, slightly off Peter Road, Amadwala Lodge surprised me to no end. Having been a native for this area for more decades than I care to remember, I did not know about this gem. Apparently it’s been around for a while, but for the past seven months it’s been under new ownership and management of husband and wife team Ida Mathapelo Posch and her husband David.
The feeling is distinctly African with loads of hand-carved wooden sculptures and even a Mokoro from Botswana gracing the garden. (Mokoros are boats or canoes traditionally made by digging out the trunk of a large straight tree, such as an ebony tree or Kigelia tree.) A bit of Bosveld shimmers through with buck head scattered around the dining areas. A hand-carved chess set from our African neighbouring countries, with the most exquisite individual faces overlooks the honeymoons suite which was our venue for the night. We arrived at sunset and set out on a long walkway across a dam to the main lodge.
The walkway winds down to the honeymoon suite, complete with its own heated splash pool. The romantic welcome was a nice touch after a long day and we immediately delved into Ferrero Rochers (how we love anything Italian) and ice cold bubbly awaiting us. Owner Ida went to a lot of trouble to decorate the huge, as in massive, bed with bougainvillea petals. Even the jet bath had showers of petals scattered around. This private little wooden chalet has crisp white linen and fluffy white towels. A self-catering nook is set up with coffee and tea for the next morning. I noticed a fridge, ideal for keeping wine chilled. The body wash was a refreshing lemon verbena – little touches that goes a long way in creating a special atmosphere.
Dinner was sirloin and veg for me and the softest Wiener Schnitzel and mash for my partner. A glass of lovely house red wine accompanied the meal. As soon as we settled in for dinner, the rained started pelting down – this lead to a hilarious exit from the restaurant, back to the suite under a make-shift umbrella of unknown blue plastic origin. We formed a little protected train and shuffled down the walkways, by this time quite slippery, and reached the suite in fits of laughter. 10/10 for the Patrick and his team who made a brilliant plan as we got caught off guard. I am sure umbrellas will be on top of the to-do list after this weekend’s flash floods.
Exploring the property is an absolute delight. Pack your comfy walking shoes as there is loads to be seen and even a bit of rock climbing to be done if you are feeling adventurous. Around every corner something new and delightful awaits – if not a massive giraffe sculpture bent to sip on water, then a large buck perched on the boulder, staring into the distance. We were like little kids the next morning and as soon as it was light we set out exploring (in our PJ’s, I have to admit. We were far too excited to see the property and figured all the other guests will still be sleeping). The reward was rich – all the decks were still moist from the previous night’s rain and the morning light a soft yellow – the golden hour for beautiful photos.
Words completely fail me for the astonishing 360 degree view of the Ruimsig area which awaited us from the viewing deck. I can envisage a cocktail party at sunset or a small private wedding ceremony taking place right here. Massive boulders surround this area and I would love to know how far they date back. Log cabins are dotted around these large boulders, all with inter-leading decks and walkways. It’s easy to fall in love with the viewing deck – the romantic possibilities are endless.
The central social area which links with the viewing deck has distinct touches of a bush lodge. An inviting pool sits next to the Rasta Bar with its red and yellow painted boulders, while a boma with large cut off tree trunks creates an inviting spot for late night stories around the fireplace and braaing marshmellows. A la carte Sunday lunches are served in this outdoor area if weather permits. Whiskey the house cat oversees all the activities with a watchful eye.
Dear Hancock is the absolute star of the show and he took great care in showing us the spacious wedding venue and really cute chapel.
The boma and lapa area takes up to 150 for weddings, while the chapel can comfortably seat 80 guests. The detail once again in this venue is mind-blowing. The bar consist of half an ox-wagon, with the large iron wheels forming part of a bar. An African lady sculpture guards the entrance of the chapel like a guardian angel – a blessing to all who tie the knot in this stone chapel.
Aside from the seven log cabins, the Place of Rock further sports seven tents – a scene right Out of Africa. We were pleasantly surprised by the large canvas tents perched on wooden decks, and set up with dark furniture and white linen. Beautiful comfy chairs are set up on the stoep or deck, and overlooks the dam and bird hyde (which is currently closed for maintenance).
I can’t wait to return and check into a tent this time. I see myself sipping on a gin and tonic while delving into an autobiography of writer Ernest Hemingway or some other fabulous explorer. It would be a perfect fit.
It was author Lawrence Block who penned these words: “Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” As far as stumbling upon experiences go, this must have been one of my favourites of the year. A #gotta-go-back experience.
www.amadwalalodge.co.za | Bookings: +27 83 641 1429
5 REASONS WHY THIS IS A @LEKKERPLACE
- Gob-smacking views – I still cant get over it!
- The absolute best sunset spot on the West Rand
- Photographers paradise
- Romantic heated pool
- Friendly staff
[Guest review by Kelly Brown | Accommodation arranged by www.lekkerplaces.co.za]