I often wonder if we have lost the art of picnicking and packing padkos for a road trip. You know, the old school picnics where your mother would get the rattan basket from the top shelf, add sandwiches, other treats, a lappie (dish cloth) and of course, hard boiled eggs, before the family made their way to a park, a beach or a random stop with those cement tables and stools midway between two destinations. And if your mother packed a table cloth, it was considered a gourmet picnic.
Times have changed.
Nowadays it is so easy (but unfortunate) to give a picnic a skip due to the massive spike in restaurants, coffee shops and eateries found at fuel stations, next to beaches or close to parks.
Plus, it is 2018. How many people still own a picnic basket?
Picnic ala Thunzi Bush Lodge
Thunzi Bush Lodge, a short drive from Port Elizabeth’s city centre, is a 4-star self-catering lodge situated in indigenous coastal forest, with a variety of luxurious chalets, complete with a kitchen and all the amenities you’ll ever need for a comfortable stay.
But that’s not all.
Thunzi Bush Lodge also brings back the old school picnic-in-the-park memories with their picnic offering, open to day visitors as well as overnight visitors. And you don’t have to pack a hard-boiled egg, or remember a knife and this and that; no, they do it all for you. You make a picnic reservation, choose items from the menu, show up, get your picnic basket (already packed with your chosen items) and go make yourself home at one of their five secluded picnic sites. Each picnic site is equipped with a picnic table, pillows and shade; you just have to show up.
There’s more to a Thunzi picnic than just the freshly baked bread and treats.
To make the most of your experience you have to set aside a few hours to just enjoy your surroundings. The close proximity of a variety of biomes means that Thunzi Bush Lodge is home to 352 bird species; including five different Kingfishers, the Knysna Loerie and even the elusive Narina Trogon, African Rail and Grey Sunbird to name a few.
With all the peace, quiet and bird calls you’ll find yourself blinking every now and then just to make sure: “Is this place really so close to Port Elizabeth?”
And then, after your picnic, you can do the short hike through the forest and also try bass fishing on the two dams; visitors are allowed to bring their own rods, but you can also get rods and lures from reception, free of charge.
Details of the Thunzi Bush Lodge Picnic
It is necessary to book your picnic spot in advance; you can’t arrive with your own food, but you are allowed to bring your own wine or champagne (R30 corkage fee). You can buy other drinks (including alcohol) at reception.
Picnic prices are R390 per basket for two people and this includes the food selection as well as the setup, cutlery, crockery and the time you’ll spend at Thunzi. Each basket will include melba toast to go with the pates, and a freshly baked loaf of bread while the food menu includes meats, cheeses, dessert, salad and pickled things (click here to see the options).
Picnics are offered every day of the week, except for Monday and day visitors may arrive any time from 12pm.
Accommodation at Thunzi Bush Lodge
Whether you are an out-of-towner looking for a place to stay or a local from the Bay looking for a weekend break, a staycation or a romantic getaway, you’ll find that Thunzi Bush Lodge might just be the peace and quiet you’ve been looking for.
All chalets are self-catering and range from 2- to 6-sleeper units and start from R1195 per night for two guests. All tariffs include fishing rods, private lapa, undercover braai and sand boards to use at the Maitland Sand Dunes (just 3 km from the lodge).
To take your relaxation to the next level, a spa treatment in the comfort of your own chalet can also be arranged.
For more details, visit www.thunzibushlodge.co.za.