Reviews of Old Mill Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Convenient stop-over at the Old Mill Lodge
The lodge is at the outskirts of the central area of Springbok, in a side-street. It is secured by surrounding walls and an electric gate. We stayed in a semi-detached chalet - providing an interesting mixture of dilapidation and modernity. For example, the door to the chalet was warped and difficult to operate - yet the en-suite shower room was splendidly roomy (with seat-shelves under a large shower-head), generously equipped and recently renovated to a high standard. The reasonable-sized main bedroom lacked much natural illumination and felt slightly cramped because of its extra furniture (including armchairs and a third, single bed). It was, however, well equipped, with TV, fridge and (in common with other hotels visited by us in SA) a flask of complimentary sherry. We had a peaceful night on a comfortable bed followed by a solid breakfast. There was a communal kitchen in the central block available for guests to cook or prepare their own food - but we did not use this. There was also a communal drying-line out back - useful for those who need to wash out any clothes.
Immediately behind the lodge, and accessible from it, is a massive boulder, embedded in the side of a hill. It is reasonably easy to climb (in the dry) in rubber-soled shoes and, from some 50 metres above the premises, gives interesting views over much of the town.
In the evening, we walked to, and dined in, an unassuming bar-restaurant called El Dago, a couple of blocks away - where we had a satisfying meal with drinks at a surprisingly low price (equivalent to £15 with tip for the two of us).
Springbok, itself, felt like an outback town. The residents appeared fluent mainly in Afrikaans. Those we spoke with had some difficulty following our Brit-English, but were friendly and helpful. It has well-stocked shops - the last we were to see before reaching the Walvis Bay area of Nambia some six days later ( traveling, as we did, essentially along Expert Africa's Black Wildebeeste route).
As we first approached the town, we had detoured to visit the Goegab Nature Reserve, close by. We were not allowed to walk the circular hiking trail, which we had hoped for, as there was only one hour left before closure of the gates (at 16.00). Instead, we did the regular car circuit of about 20kms. Here we saw unusual mineral formations, springbok, oryx and stretches of wild flowers (though the latter collectively were not nearly as spectacular as those we had seen the day before, at the Postberg Nature Reserve). Worth a trip, we thought, if one has time to kill - but not a must-see.
Lovely accommodation in an interesting town
The Old Mill Lodge is on the edge of Swellendam slightly to far to walk to the centre. The rooms were very good but varied but equiped with tea making facilities.
We ate at the restaurant where the food was good and the service was generally O.K. The Drostdy museum complex was well worth the visit.