We spent a night at the Oribi Gorge hotel, nearing the midpoint of our tour of eastern South Africa. The hotel is easy to find, some distance off the N2 and down an unmade approach road. This I imagine could be difficult for a conventional car to navigate in very wet weather. There had been some confusion over our booking (which we made two months in advance), but this was amicably and quickly resolved. On the Sunday night we stayed, there were few guests apart from ourselves. We were offered sherry on arrival (around 4pm) and in the gathering gloom strolled down a path to view Camel and Chimney Rocks, and to take in the views of the gorge itself and its waterfalls.
Our room was very spacious, on an upper floor with a shared balcony looking onto the trees and woodland that surround the property. The facilities were quiet and comfortable. Off the lobby a tree grows (in the building) and lends a earthy aroma to the staircase area. We had a pleasant, decent value evening meal in the hotel’s Eagle’s Eyrie restaurant in the midst of a violent thunderstorm. Breakfast likewise was enjoyable and filling, part buffet and part cooked on request.
Our plan was to go horse-riding early in the morning to see the remaining parts of the gorge. This facility I understand is offered by a separate organisation. We experienced some difficulty in making contact with the proprietor, but eventually agreed to meet her at 8.30 on the Monday. Unfortunately she did not appear. The farrier eventually brought us to the horses, but this was almost an hour later. I became concerned, as we had a long onward drive that day. As it happened, the animals were much bigger than we expected (we know nothing about horses) and as a novice I found mine very awkward and uncomfortable to sit on. So we abandoned the attempt, but paid the farrier for his trouble.
I forgot to hand in my room key on departure, but posted it back first class some two days later, and hope the hotel received it safely.