Rural dream calms urban nightmares

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The story has been doing the rounds in tourism circles for quite some time - that South Africans hardly explore their own country, while foreign tourists enjoy its beauty.

This week I took the challenge and made myself an internal tourist by heading to Glenburn Lodge conveniently situated in the Cradle of Humankind, a place that has recently been declared a world heritage site.

It was a good decision because I found peace of mind in the God-given surroundings. I was in touch with nature.

Glenburn Lodge, which is only 30 minutes' drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, is just outside Krugersdorp.

For those who do not have a rural area to call home and who would like to have a rural-feel environment not far from the Johannesburg metropolis, this is your place. You would think that because it is situated in the Cradle of Humankind, and a world heritage site, one would find the place teeming with tourists. But that is not so.

When we were there, we found ourselves among several South African families enjoying soul food, the famous Glenburn Lodge Sunday lunch, popular with families from mainly Pretoria and Johannesburg.

For about R100 one is able to enjoy quite a sumptuous meal served in the form of a buffet, ideal for a family set up.

However, come evening, the place emptied itself of diners as they filed out of this quiet and beautiful place. The reason being that most of the visitors who go there actually drive there for the popular lunch.

With a flowing stream next to it, a choice of top class hotel suites or tents, a tennis court, swimming pool, adventure golf course and a spa, this lodge is so quiet that it is suitable for those who would like to enjoy isolation to get in touch with their inner self.

It is a place where one would go, for example, to finish off that novel which has reached a dead end because of writer's block.

There is no way one cannot be creative in this environment because it has creativity all over the place.

I must say that it is the only place I have travelled to and not sighted a single foreign tourist.

How beautiful to see South Africans visiting their own country.

The suite that we slept in really felt like home the night that I and my family spent there.

I really think that I am not done yet with this place. Who would not want to watch a slow flowing stream, listen to birds chirping fantastically and enjoy a rural-like environment only 30 minutes away from Johannesburg? The last time I enjoyed this kind of set up was eight years ago many miles away. It was in the rural outskirts of St Alban's in England. How ironic that I had to fly more than 10 hours to enjoy a setting that I could have enjoyed only 30 minutes away from Johannesburg? Such is life.