ShotLeft to the Vaal

During our courting years, one of the things that my +1 and I loved doing was taking spontaneous trips and discovering South Africa. We would select a location, take a drive and explore. It was effortless, this was our quality time.

We particularly loved long weekend, it was a great excuse to take a short getaway or ShotLeft, as its now referred.

With another long weekend approaching, we found ourselves planning a getaway but then our reality sunk in, we both have hectic work deadlines and unfortunately for us the timing is off.  We spent a few minutes reminiscing about our last trip to the Vaal. It being #TravelTuesday I decided to write a blog post about our recent visit.

We chose the Vaal primarily because we were looking for a local destination that did not require a long drive or flights. We were both familiar with the area, most of my visit were business related. It was great to visit the area on leisure. A refreshing thing about the Vaal is that the drive is ± an hour away from Johannesburg and offers a tranquil escape from the grind of the city life.

Due to our last minute travel arrangements, the hotel we wanted to stay at was fully booked.  We did however managed to find a room at the Three Rivers Lodge & Villa Anna Sophia. We were both very reluctant about this place, granted it looked decent online.  We have been to places where they look great online but when you arrive the hotel is old and has not been maintained.

We arrived at the lodge and were pleasantly surprised, the lodge is well looked after. The garden is impeccable and it’s surrounded by large trees which create a peaceful/calming environment.

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The lodge is in the heart of the upmarket suburb of Three Rivers in Vereeniging, a few minutes from the business district and within close proximity of golf courses and River Square Shopping Centre. It caters to the business and leisure travellers.

Three Rivers Lodge has 25 rooms and Villa Anna Sophia offer an additional 16 rooms. We were booked at the Tuscan style villas. The room was as descent size en-suite room with full bathroom, flat screen TV with selected DSTV channels and very good WiFi.

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A full range of services available include conference venues seating from 10 to 200 delegates, the Bethel Chapel seating 90 guests which is used for weddings.

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Their fine dining restaurant – Anna’s Kitchen is favourite amongst the locals. We had brunch there and I had the most delicious Egg Benedict – the caramelized onions used added a lovely flavour and the hollandaise sauce was perfect.

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Our short stay was enjoyable, a real home away from home.

Things to do at the Vaal:-

  1. Ponte de Vaal
  • Enjoy French countryside cuisine overlooking a tranquil stretch of the Vaal River. Relax for the afternoon at one of their handcrafted dining tables or drinks lounges, either inside the restaurant building, outside on the deck, at a terrace or Privé Booth.
  • Take a 30m river cruise.
  • Book a stay-over or get pampered at the BELLE FOI SPA
    • Tel: 016 004 0019
    • Address: 212 Boundary Rd, Vanderbijlpark, 9585
  1. Play Golf
  • I’m not much of a golfer but have hosted some golf day events at the Vaal. Below is a list of some of the places

a. Vaal de Grace

  • ‘Vaal de Gráce offers an 18-hole championship golf course situated on an island of incomparable quiet and beauty in the middle of the tranquil waters of the Vaal River.’

b. Maccauvlei Golf Club

  • ‘Situated adjacent to the Vaal River, a mere 45 minute drive from bustling Johannesburg, it’s essentially a world apart from the industrialized hub of Vereeniging.’

c. Riviera on Vaal Country Club

  • The premium Gauteng golf course is located on the banks of the Vaal River, boasting an immaculate 18-hole Gauteng golf course.
  1. Vaal Adventure
  • If you are more of an adventure traveller, you can contact Vaal Adventures. They have many activities to choose from such as white water river rafting, paintball, quadbiking, kayaking, snorkelling, raft fishing safaris and lots more.

On our Sunday drive exploring, we stumbled upon Castle Marina in a town called  Deneysville.

‘The Castle was built in the early 1960’s by an Englishman, Lord Sumner, who fell in love with the area, the vast body of water and the rich history of Deneysville.

In the early 2000’s the Castle experienced a new restoration – and became a venue for Engagements, Weddings, and other Celebrations.’

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The possibilities at the Vaal are vast and it caters to a wide range of travellers.  A must visit for anyone in the Jozi region looking for a simple getaway.

I loved taking walks in the morning along the river. The air is fresh and I have a deep love for being out in nature.

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This truly was another Splendid Experience and we continue to travel and make lasting memories.

TS!

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