**Disclaimer: Although hosted, all opinions and views on our stay are completely my own and my honest opinion.
Our stay at Antbear was nothing short of incredible. There are no words to describe how relaxed you feel as you turn onto that dirt road, let alone after putting your bags down on the floor of your room and lumping yourself down onto the extremely comfy bed and taking that big, deep breath.
It has taken me quite a while to do this post because I honestly could not think of where to begin, there is just SO much to tell you about and as I begin writing about one thing, my brain runs off and i start thinking about the next and then I get frazzled.
I think that the best way to start, would be to tell you where the name “Antbear Lodge” came from.
The owner, Andrew, originally purchased the land over 20 years ago, where there was no running water, no sewerage system or even electricity. Himself and his wife, Connie, as well as his father, began building the lodge from scratch. They made the buildings from straw bails, cob and stone that was locally sourced and used materials that other people would throw away.
One day, Andrew and his father walked by one of the old, empty and rotting rooms (now room 14) and they climbed through the window because the door had rotted, the floor was made of wood and as they stepped inside, the old rotten floor had collapsed beneath them and out came running an Antbear(Aardvark). This is where the Lodges name came from.
The ethos of this lodge is ‘Up-cycle and sustainability.’
Currently 14 local people are employed here and the staff are all so welcoming and friendly and are always up for a conversation! The amazing receptionist, Andile, was so knowledgeable and answered any questions that I had for her. She also spent a good 2 hours showing us around and giving us the full tour!
I cannot begin to tell you just how incredible our meals were. Every meal was a 3-course and Chef Brad never failed to amaze us each time.
For breakfast, you have the many options to choose from as a buffet style, which included their home-made butter, yoghurt, jam, bread and cheese.
Dinner was something you could expect to receive at the Oyster Box Hotel. I cannot actually explain how delicious these meals were, so I will just show you pictures.
Something that fascinates me still, is that everything we ate came from the farm in some way. There is a massive organic veggie garden, lots of fruit trees, cows, chickens, ducks, turkeys, you name it. If there is a specific item that they do need to outsource for, they only purchase these items locally.
Dean and I were lucky enough to get to stay in the incredible cave room at Antbear. When speaking to Andrew about how the cave room came about, he told us the story that took over 3 years to develop into what it is now. The cave was originally a reed bed filter(recycles water) that was built on the side of a large rock. Andrew then converted this into a wetland, thinking that it would bring along animal life, however, all that it brought with it was the horrible drain smell. So, he got rid of it and put a concrete slab in its place and a retaining wall and made it into a tea garden for the guests, but there was no shade, so they added a roof on top of that and some extra concrete around it and it then almost resembled a cave, which is what they then turned it into and now the luxury cave is a must see!
The key-word here is ‘attention to detail’. That is the first thing that comes to mind as soon as you step into the reception area, any room, ablution etc.
If you have an eye for art, you need to make an effort to see all the amazing wood work for yourself. Everything is made from scratch, including the toilet paper holders, toilet brush holders, tables, chairs, stairs, chandeliers, cupboards, EVERYTHING.
I can not even begin to try post all of the photos I took as there are simply too many, so I will post my favorites instead.
All in all, this was by far my favorite stay and the best lodge I have ever been to. I will definitely be returning for another break and for the magnificent food!
Here are a few more pictures:
If you have ever been to Antbear, please let me know how you found your stay to be?