The SOA Road Trip: Shangri-La Part 1

Another splendid blog by Erik Brits about his experience at South of Africa’s Limpopo portfolio as part of the SOA Road Trip.  The blog is written in two parts, with Part 1 below, and Part 2 published tomorrow.

Sunset at Shangri-La
Sunset at Shangri-La

THE BLOG – Part 1 (by Erik Brits):

There is a certain romanticization of the act of driving down a long dusty road to your ultimate destination, which should ideally erupt from the bare earth in front of you like a sneaky oasis. From my sceptical tone, you may have guessed that in my experience, this seldom happens, and upon a little reflection it seems obvious that places that are surrounded by bare earth and long dusty roads generally tend to be bare and dusty! Fortunately, every once in a  while you will find one of these sneaky oases jumping up out of the dust, and that’s precisely what happened to me when I arrived at the Shangri-La Country Hotel (at the end of, you guessed it, a long dusty road).

For those who prefer to shed their stresses in ways that are less likely to involve adrenaline and a bit of pain, Shangri-La is a rare treat. Nestled within a lush green forest on top of a majestic koppie in the middle of the bush veld, the ambiance is fantastic, and there are numerous spots to sit and gaze out over the world. These breath-taking views are at their best when enjoyed from the Zen garden, which blends the local rock structure and rugged vegetation into a magically peaceful place to sit and ponder.

Of course, I desecrated the Zen garden by connecting to the Wi-Fi and sending e-mails, but despite my best attempts at heresy I could not get much work done as I was soon wrapped up in watching a family of mongooses at war with the vervet monkeys, battling it out for the shadiest corner of the garden. I don’t know how long I sat and watched them for, but the next thing I knew, I was watching the world turn pink as the sun set, and one magnificent dinner later I was lying in my room wondering if I really had to go back to the city.