A typical day at Lalibela – What to expect during your stay
You’ve booked your safari, your luggage is all packed and you are counting down the minutes left until you see the Big 5. You are now wondering what a typical day looks like at Lalibela. At Lalibela, everything is taken care of for you. You will spend your days relaxing, going on game drives and eating plenty of food without having to lift a finger. Who wouldn’t love that? So what does a typical day look like at Lalibela? This is one of the most frequently asked questions that we receive.
Here’s what you can expect a typical day to look like on safari:
Your arrival at Lalibela:
Check-in time at Lalibela is between 12h00 and 14h00 on your day of arrival. The entrance to Lalibela, which is situated just off the N2 National Highway, is clearly marked so you wouldn’t miss it! Once you enter through the entrance gate, you will proceed to our reception area where you will be met by the warm smiles and friendly hospitality of our reception ladies. You will complete a few check-in documents and sign your indemnity form and before you know it, you will be whisked away to your lodge. If you arrive in your vehicle, you will leave your vehicle at our reception for the duration of your stay with us and we will transfer you to your lodge in a Lalibela vehicle.
Your lodge at Lalibela – your base in the bush:
Our lodges are situated about a 20 minute drive from our reception. During the drive to your lodge, it’s no surprise that you will get to see various species of wildlife, so you may even be fortunate enough to tick a few animals off your sightings list before your safari has even begun! Don’t panic if your driver doesn’t stop for long as you will have the opportunity to see plenty more during your game drives. Upon arrival at your lodge, you will be met by a lodge manageress who will welcome you to the lodge and show you around so you can familiarize yourself with the lodge. They will also explain the “do’s and don’ts” as your safety is one of our primary concerns.
Your lodge manager will leave you to settle into and explore your room. This will give you some time to take those “Instagram photos” to show your friends and to make them jealous, unpack or even spend some time relaxing. At roughly 14h00 (our times change as the season’s change), you will head to the main lodge for lunch. During lunch, you will get the chance to meet other safari-goers with who you will most likely be spending the next few days.
Later that afternoon, around 16h00 (our times change as the season’s change), you will meet your guide who will take you out on your first visit game drive. This is the moment you have been waiting for! A guide, who will take you on the game drives is allocated to you for the duration of your stay at Lalibela, so you will be getting to know him, or her well. During the afternoon game drive, your guide will stop for a short break which will allow you to enjoy a refreshing sundowner (a safari tradition that includes an ice-cold beverage) and some game drive snacks while watching the sunset over the horizon. You will then continue with your game drive and as it starts to get dark, you will head back to your lodge for the evening. This is the ideal time to keep your eyes open for those rare nocturnal creatures who may pop out and surprise you around a corner!
By now, you may have started to feel slightly peckish, but fear not, a safari cuisine dinner awaits! Our lodges serve buffet-style meals (except for Mills Manor and Kichaka Lodge). A buffet is perfect as it allows you to dish your portions up, which means you get to try a little bit of everything. After dinner, if you are up for it, join the other guests around the fire with a drink in hand while you chat about the day’s adventures and their travels, or you can decide to retire to your room for a peaceful night’s rest.
The following morning you have an early morning wake-up call, so prepare yourself for a very early start! This may all seem very daunting but you will soon realize it will all be worth losing a few hours of sleep. All guests will meet in the main lodge for a cup of coffee or tea and a light snack.
You will set out on your early morning game drive which will be filled with more exciting encounters of wildlife. Midway through your morning game drive, your guide will stop for a quick leg stretch while you enjoy a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate whilst overlooking the beautiful landscapes of Lalibela. You will continue with your game drive as the guide slowly makes his way back to the lodge in time for a scrumptious brunch.
If you are checking out, you will be transferred back to reception for check-out. If you are fortunate enough to be spending another night or two with us, you will have time to relax between brunch and the afternoon lunch. This is the perfect time to have a power nap or soak up the sun around the swimming pool with a good book. From here on, the daily programme is repeated until your departure day.
Your departure from Lalibela:
Check-out from your lodge is after brunch on your day of departure at 11h00. You are transferred from your lodge back to reception where your vehicle is parked.
We recommend that you spend a minimum of two nights but ideally three nights to get the most of your safari experience. Staying at a safari lodge is one of the most rewarding holiday choices that you could make. The combination of early mornings, great food, fresh air and a good night’s sleep is food for the soul.
In search of more reading? Here’s what to pack for your next safari!
Lalibela Game Reserve is located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, close to Port Elizabeth and Addo, which means it is not only malaria free, but spans 5 ecosystems, resulting in a breath-taking diversity of flora and fauna.