Hog Hollow Country Lodge MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Welcome to Hog Hollow Country Lodge!

Let me tell you about my unforgettable experience at Hog Hollow Country Lodge. It was simply breathtaking! I wish I could have stayed longer, but the memories I made there will last a lifetime.

I hit the road after my adventure in the trees, feeling pumped, but as the adrenaline fades, I start to get sleepy. The drive takes me through some amazing places, and by the time I reach Hog Hollow in The Crags (just outside Plett), I can barely keep my eyes open. All I want to do is check in and take a nap! But as soon as I step into the main house and take in the breathtaking view – a deep gorge surrounded by lush green hills that almost glow under the dark clouds – I feel wide awake. I quickly head to the deck, where I have a perfect view of the scenery, and grab a cold beer while filling out some paperwork, all the while getting distracted by the beauty around me.

Then, like a vision, a tall, dark man walks up to me. He has dreadlocks and a smile that could charm even the butterflies and monkeys out of the trees. He kindly takes my hand and introduces himself as Xolani, a guide at this place. “Welcome, your majesty,” he says, crinkling his eyes as he smiles. (Inside, I can’t help but think, “Seriously, dude?” but I keep that to myself and let myself be charmed.) Xolani interrupts his introduction, looking up at the tree above us. “Do you see her?” he asks. I follow his gaze and spot a furry face peering through the leaves. It’s a vervet monkey, with a tiny baby clinging to her tummy, checking us out. Xolani goes on to tell me about all the incredible things I can see and do with him as my guide – we can explore The Crags, visit animal sanctuaries to see snakes and leopards, and hike to spots with even more breathtaking views. But when I mention that I’m only there for less than a day, his smile fades like the sun behind those dark clouds, and he shrugs, saying, “Maybe next time.” Still, we keep talking, covering topics ranging from American presidents to xenophobia, Rastafarianism to fair trade (of course). Xolani is well-spoken and knowledgeable, and he loves telling stories with his words. Suddenly, he pauses again, pointing to a lemon yellow butterfly the size of my hand that’s fluttering nearby, landing on the waxy flowers of a plant beside us. “She’s putting on a show,” he tells me, “especially for you, to welcome you here.”

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And suddenly, he’s up, saying goodbye to me with a warm farewell as he spots new guests arriving. I watch him leave and listen as he greets the newcomers, “Your majesties…”

So, in the end, my brief stay at Hog Hollow includes finally getting that much-needed nap next to a warm saltwater pool that offers the same breathtaking view (a saying that might be overused, but it’s true). I also enjoy a delicious dinner with a big group of friendly and entertaining British tourists. I only have a chance to chat briefly with a few of the hardworking staff members, as they are quite busy, but they are all friendly and helpful.

When I sit down for breakfast on the deck the next morning, the sun is shining, but there’s also a light rain falling. It’s a peculiar combination, and I can’t help but laugh as I witness an unexpected scene. A mischievous monkey makes an appearance and swiftly grabs a muffin from the buffet. Xolani, one of the staff members, tries to shoo her away with a playful swipe. “I don’t hate them,” he explains, “but our food isn’t good for them.” It’s my first encounter with a real-life monkey hijacking a breakfast.

As I say my goodbyes to the staff, Xolani takes hold of my hand and looks deeply into my eyes. He expresses his gratitude, telling me that without guests like me, there wouldn’t be a place like this. And then, in a blink of an eye, he’s gone.

Despite the enchanting presence of my Prince Charming, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness as I leave this paradise behind so quickly. I reassure myself, promising that one day I’ll return to this magical place.

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If you want to learn more, you can find accredited accommodation at Hog Hollow in The Crags, Garden Route. Discover special offers and similar places at Abang Africa. And don’t forget to join the FTTSA community on Facebook for more updates.

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