Astoundingly beautiful natural scenery that surrounds Shabani Cottage is the best way to describe this inviting property tucked away amidst the mountains of Doornkop Fish & Wildlife Nature reserve…

Modern decor with a touch of Africa gives it a cozy feel making it an ideal destination for all seasons of the year. Warm – hearted hospitality welcomes you to this intimate, luxurious property. We were met with a beaming smile from Denzel the chef who also showed us the ropes.

Popular activities while residing at the cottage include daily game drives that are conducted in search of the various wild animals as well as the elusive giraffe which we were supper excited to spot on our final day. He gracefully walked across the road in front of us with yellow billed oxpeckers hanging on. They are known to have a beneficial relationship that provides the giraffe with a cleaner, healthier skin.

Other recommend activities include the hiking trails in the 2000 hectares as well as mountain bike riding , horse riding and fly fishing at one of the numerous well stocked dams.

To expand your knowledge of the area put your feet up while swaying gently in the hammock with one of the many books founds on the bookshelf. Indulge in sheer relaxation as you unwind next to the pool overlooking the African bushveld.

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An ideal family destination for up to 8 people you have the entire property to yourself

For the less adventurous they can enjoy the activities in the man cave like table tennis, watching TV , a game of darts and kids can play in the garden building sand castles, jumping on the trampoline and swinging to their hearts content.

After a day out exploring there is nothing better than walking into a house to the sound of French fries sizzling in a greasy skillet… mmmmm. The grand feast of a holiday lunch isn’t complete if there is no banana split: three scoops of ice cream with banana halves on either side and a big mound of whipped cream on top, laced with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with chopped nuts- all topped off with a plump red cherry.

Chef Denzel

Chef Denzel works magic with his hands , from the fresh chilled summer fruit in the fridge – its colourful, juicy and sweet to the rich, aromatic smell of fried Russians. Every meal was a treat and his presence makes the holiday complete.

Horse riding
Horse riding (Image by Girl in Blue Jeans)

Small town wanderings

A mere 20km away is the town of Carolina in Mpumulanga  which was established as a trading post in 1886 on Groenvlei and Goede Hoep farms, but another story tells the tale of Cornelis Coetzee who offered parts of his farm, Steynsdraai, for the establishment of the village, but only on the condition that it be named after his wife.

Although the town was almost completely destroyed during the second Anglo-Boer War, it was rebuilt shortly afterwards and still has a few of its original sandstone buildings around the church square. A statue stands outside the church in commemoration of lives lost during the war.

Carolina is the resting place of internationally-acclaimed painter Bertha Bonnefoi of the Everard group of artists. Driving through town one can’t miss the bright red repurposed double decker bus.  The internationally-acclaimed Everard group of artists, who lived in the nearby hamlet of Bonnefoi which has since been abandoned, can be viewed on a private tour that paints the picture of the ghost town at its peak in the 1900s – and you can imagine the goings about of the manor house, hotel and post office. Painter Bertha Bonnefoi (nee Everard) is buried in the Carolina cemetery.

‘The forgotten people of Mpumalanga’

Another option for a tour is of the surrounding region where you will learn about the intriguing Bokoni civilisation or ‘the forgotten people of Mpumalanga’ as they are known, who inhabited the area for 500 years until the early 19th century. They ruled over large portions of Mpumalanga’s escarpment and built concentric stone-walled enclosures, roads and terraces that have made the area of particular interest to archaeologists and historians.

Mpumulanga, just like the rest of the country, fuses the views and landscapes with a splash of magic. Guests can immerse themselves in the wild side while enjoying the spoils and comfort of this exclusive and unforgettable adventure.

For more information on this holiday cottage and other tailored African adventures go to www.thesafariguys.com

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