Lethabo one of the great romantic getaways is set on a hundred and fifty acres which straddles the Crocodile River in a steep valley. It is part of a greater 10 thousand hectare conservancy made up of likeminded neighbours. All these people are as passionate as we are about preserving the area’s natural beauty and wide open spaces.
We have dropped our fences, raised our defenses in a united front preventing unscrupulous developers from covering our precious reserve with concrete and cars. We have reintroduced Zebra, Wildebeest and Giraffe and to our great joy have discovered many endemic species quietly living in ur midst like Nyala, Eland, Kudu, a pair of Brown Hyena, Leopard, Duiker, Reed Buck, Aardwolf, Jackal, Chervil, Mongoose, Cape Clawless Otter to name only some.
Our bird life is spectacular too, Fish Eagles a Huge Martial Eagle graced us with his presence yesterday sitting 10 meters away from the river deck and wowing the guests and us. We have Kingfishers, shrikes, White faced Whistling Ducks, a guinea Fowl knocking on the glass door here as I write and of course our great pride is that the rare African Fin foot has chosen to nest across the dam where staff and guests alike voyeuristically peer over the rims of our coffee cups grouped like paparazzi hoping for a glimpse of this gorgeous elusive creature. Animals are our joy.
The name “Lethabo” which means “Joy” in Tswana, was inspired by a horse that came here to recover or die. Navajo used to colic every week. When he arrived he stuck his head in the corner of his stable threatening anyone who attempted to enter with a jabbing hind leg and bared teeth. Within a week he was hanging his head out asking for treats bright eyed and bushy tailed and never colic ked again.
Our dogs visit guests “guarding” them and , naturally assisting them should they need it with disposing of their food, our horses greet guests in the car park and often hang out outside the front door just to see what going on inside. They give joy to those of our guests who appreciate the relaxed farm style approach here which works hand in hand with the elegant comfortable environment.
This you will see from our blog and Facebook postings where most of the photos and comments are about various animal interactions….and food! We adore really good food and our guest all rave! Our produce is fresh, best quality, organic and free range and mostly, the vegetables are from Steve’s heritage seed garden where tobacco or khaki bos teas are the only pesticides allowed!
Lethabo was inspired by a dream of sustainability and to that end everything was built here to blend with the surrounding countryside using local material, rocks, thatch and stones as well as employing people who live locally to build it. In this way, we have supported the local community, both black and white, land owning and tenants. For example, Matsimela’s, (which means roots in Sotho), Spa products are used in our Spa and manufactured by the Nels, our across the river neighbours.
We will be here for a long time to come, having built a legacy of minimal interference; (we use only 5% of our total land which includes along with the buildings, driveways, paddocks and Kikuyu grass which is not indigenous), and maximum joy to our guests, who continue to flow through Lethabo bringing their many celebrations like the river that feeds our souls.
Ways to prepare for a more Romantic Getaway
Wanting to spend one on one time with your new love interest, maybe you need to reignite the passion in your relationship or perhaps escape the hum-drum routine of everyday life?
If you’re from South Africa needing a romantic weekend break, or a traveller from abroad wanting to experience exotic Africa, why not treat yourself and your significant other to a revitalising unforgettable stay at Lethabo Estate, situated on the outskirts of Pretoria in the province of Gauteng, South Africa.
South Africa is rated highly on the romantic getaways destination list. It is not only known for its romantic beaches and world class luxury hotels but also for its idyllic and exotic luxury lodge experiences on private reserves, surrounded by rich historical culture, breath-taking natural beauty and its majestic wildlife.
Sometimes the best gems are not the obvious ones – Often, when planning luxury romantic getaways, the more well-known cities in South Africa come to mind, but please don’t make the mistake of overlooking the incredible diverse landscape and astounding beauty of our exclusive lodge, situated in the private Crocodile River Nature Reserve. Our gorgeous estate offers a choice of five lodges for couples as well as self-catering accommodation for larger groups. The self-catering accommodation comprises one unit with two rooms that sleeps 4 and another larger unit with four rooms that sleeps 8.
Our venue is the perfect setting for celebrating weddings, however, not only honeymooners deserve romance right? Birthdays and anniversaries could also be the perfect opportunity to fan those flames of love.
Romantic getaways are the perfect way to show your partner how much they mean to you. A trip away with just the two of you allows you to spend quality time together without the interruptions of jobs, timetables, children and household chores, but for those of you that may find it difficult to plan a getaway, here are some tips, you might find useful –
Romantic Getaways:18 planning tips
- Be enigmatic – unexpected getaways are about as romantic as it gets. Keep your destination a secret until you travel.
- If secrets aren’t your thing – skip the surprise and select a destination both you and your partner would like to travel to. Ideally, choose a destination that neither of you have been to.
- It could cost a pretty penny – Discuss your budget and if necessary, give yourself time to save up. There is nothing more disappointing than being financially strapped when wanting to indulge a little or a lot, to create those wonderful memories together.
- Location, location, location – To make sure you’re both on the same page, research your destination as well as the types of accommodation. There are various accommodation options such as a hotel, self-catering, bed and breakfast, or a luxury lodge.
- Make it last longer – Both you and your significant other should decide on how many nights you want to go away for. If your getaway is for a weekend, book it over a long weekend. Those extra two or three days will make all the difference in helping you and your partner unwind.
- A room with a view – waking up to a beautiful view just adds that special inspiration to your stay.
- A little planning goes a long way – plan out an itinerary that incorporates a few things you both would like to do, but don’t over-do it, allow room for some spontaneity and down time too. This is a great way of planning a trip and to find out more about your partner.
- Choose romantic activities – consider what romantic activities your location may have to offer, going on a hike, fighting white water rapids in a tandem kayak or horse riding could all be considered romantic, depending on your relationship.
- Smart timing is key – Organise your trip during off-peak time. Travelling during tourist peak times usually means increased accommodation prices and if you need to travel by plane increased air-fares, not to mention the larger crowds. Nothing kills romantic getaways than throngs of people and hiked prices.
- Make it a kid free vacation – for those couples that have little ones, now and again it’s nice to have time dedicated just for the two of you. Make arrangements for a babysitter so you can completely relax with one another for the duration of your stay.
- Just in case – Try not to over-pack, but leave space for the special dinner outfits and romantic gear to set the mood. This includes your own perfumes, colognes, lotions, massage oils, bubble bath, music, candles and of course let’s not forget the chocolate body paint (wink, wink).
- The divine is in the detail – Surprising your partner with something they really like or want is the height of romance. A surprise can be as large as an unexpected guided tour on your vacation or as small as a secret gift. Whatever you choose, make sure it speaks their love language.
- All you need is love not WiFi – electronic devices will just distract you from each other, it’s best to lock them away.
- Add some va va voom to your vacation – Don’t be afraid to explore and keep all five senses engaged.
- Room service – plan some room time. Although it is important to explore, remember the trip is about your relationship. Nurture that by spending time in the bedroom.
- Make use of accommodation resources – When you check in, tell the staff that you’re in town on a romantic getaway; they will offer suggestions to make your stay a romantic one.
- Bring along a loving memory – a favourite bottle of wine, music from your dating days, or pack something that you’ve shared together before and incorporate it into your trip.
- A little me time is perfectly okay – Take a little time apart from each other during the getaway to do things you like. You’ll have a new story to share with each other over dinner.
Romantic Getaway at our Rustic Lodge Accommodation?
So what does romance look like should you choose to stay at our lovely rustic lodge accommodation?
- An exclusive luxury lodge that is splendidly furnished and tastefully decorated to blend in with the beautiful natural scenery surrounding you. The much needed privacy that our lodge provides, will give you and your partner the opportunity to relax and enjoy each other.
- Private picnics day or night at a number of secluded spots are available for your use. Exclusively designed for ultimate comfort and romance, whilst enjoying the inspiring panoramic vistas and some of our delectable cuisine catering to all dietary needs.
- Delight in some fun in the sun whilst swimming with otters or plunging into a private rock pool to cool off from the South African heat.
- Cosy up in a hammock, feel the African breeze softly caressing your skin, listening to the melodic flowing water and birds calling in the background. Let nature sweep you off your feet.
- While looking over the picturesque nature reserve at dusk, submerge in a Jacuzzi bath surrounded by candles enjoying delicious snacks and wine or bubbly. Is there a more beautiful backdrop than mother nature?
- Allow us to take you on a gastronomic joy ride, enjoy an intimate candle lit dinner for two, overlooking the captivating Crocodile river.
- Take an evening stroll. It’s not only the day that provides you with magnificent views but also the glorious African night where the moonlight shimmers across the dramatic landscape and alluring stars adorn the night sky.
- During the colder months, our private lodge will keep you cosy as you wrap each other up in bed with a fireplace to keep you warm and music to set the mood. Alternatively, you can snuggle up and watch movies under the covers of our large luxurious bed.
- Pamper yourself with a treatment at our resident Namaste Spar. We offer a variety of treatments catering for every need –
- Let our Riverside Restaurant take care of all your culinary desires. Join us along the serene Crocodile River for a scrumptious meal. Our cuisine is created from organic produce procured from local markets and carefully prepared by our Chef.
Should the need arise to take a break from all the R & R (romance and relaxation), there are some activities and attractions on the outskirts of the estate that may be of interest –
- The Lion Safari Park – roughly 11 kilometres travel from Lethabo Estate. The Lion Park has become Gauteng’s number one tourist attraction due to its friendly staff and the amazing wildlife experience it offers. Attractions at the park include – safari drives, game drives, Giraffe feed, bush walks and interaction as well as restaurants and an African shopping experience. This world class tourist attraction is in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind, another must see attraction.
- The Centres for the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site – around 50 kilometres travel from Lethabo Estate. The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. The area is of vital universal value, because it contains complex palaeo-anthropological sites, which have unearthed some of the most valuable evidence world-wide, of the origins of modern humans.
- Croc City Crocodile and Reptile Farm, approximately 15 kilometres travel from our estate, gives you the unique opportunity to get up-close and personal with a baby crocodile, exotic snakes, and a tarantula.
If you wish to venture further out, Pretoria and its surrounds is a great place to start. A beautiful city affectionately known as Jacaranda City is draped with purple blossoms when the Jacarandas are in bloom. Here are some attractions in and around Pretoria that may be of interest –
- The Hazel Food Market – Discover a uniquely international food market in the heart of Pretoria’s old East. The tastes and smells of the world will have you salivating with food from Greece, Portugal and Italy to name just a few.
- The statue of Nelson Mandela – This magnificent statue is positioned in front of the Union Buildings in Gauteng, Pretoria, with beautiful surroundings and awesome scenic views.
- The Union Buildings – The official seat of government and houses the offices of the President of South Africa. Considered South Africa’s Architectural masterpiece, was designed and built by Sir Herbert Baker and completed in 1913. Herbert Baker chose Meintjieskop in Pretoria for the site because it reminded him of the acropolises of Greece and Asia Minor. The overall design is influenced by the neo-classic architecture of the Italian Renaissance as well as Cape Dutch.
- The magnificent Voortrekker Monument – Is situated in the northern part of South Africa in Pretoria. It is a unique Monument which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country.
- Sammy Marks Museum – a Victorian mansion and heritage site on the farm Zwartkoppies, 20 kilometres east of Pretoria and treasures the legacy of Samuel Mark (1844-1920) the industrial, mining and agricultural magnate, a symbol of entrepreneurship in South Africa.
- Johann van Heerden’s Art Gallery – Situated roughly 20 kilometres from Pretoria. This contemporary art gallery hosts 34 exhibitions per year, featuring the works of an array of artists from across South Africa. The gallery boasts a menu on deck with various meals, an art class studio as well as a picture framing shop.
- Wonderboom Nature Reserve – Situated in the north of Pretoria, it straddles the Magaliesberg Mountains. Its major attraction is the massive wild fig tree, more famously known as the Wonderboom or ‘Miracle Tree’, which is over 1 000 years old. Enjoy scenic hikes with remarkable mountain views as well as a man-made cave and waterfall.
So if your ideal romantic getaway includes delicious food, having some fun, communing with nature, unwinding, rejuvenating and reconnecting with your partner, then consider Lethabo Estate, the hidden African gem you shouldn’t miss out on.