From Montana to the Bush: Holiday Adventures at Lindani

From Montana to the Bush: Holiday Adventures at Lindani

My children have been born and raised within the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, but they feel a deep connection to the South African bush. For nearly two decades, our family has been coming to Lindani to celebrate Christmas and New Years amidst the beauty of the Waterberg. Full disclosure: I am married to the second son of Lindani’s owners, Peg and Sam van Coller.

Every other December we leave our gorgeous, snow-covered peaks to spend as much time as we can spare “on the farm” among the giraffe, zebra, monkeys, eland, impala, and my personal favorite, the warthog piglets. For an American, it is a never-ending delight to walk and cycle amongst these creatures as they go about their daily routines. The whole family welcomes this break from winter, and relishes the time we get to swim at the Koperspruit, picnic alongside the dam, hike to the lookout, and cycle a range of amazing routes through the bush.

Each year our kids reconnect with cousins as if no time has passed, and we all unplug from the stress of work and school (as well as the never-ending drama of recent American politics). This is the gift that Lindani gives: as much privacy as you need, and plenty of opportunity to gather for meals, adventure, and competitive rounds of board gaming (yes, the van Coller clan can get competitive!)

Last night we had the most magical evening meal at the Makgethelolapa. Amidst the blessed sound of flowing water, a cadre of family dogs explored along the rocky banks as we all sipped refreshing sundowners, and marveled at the view. What followed was a delicious three-course meal, elegantly served on a beautifully set table. It is my favorite combination of luxury and simplicity, in part, because it allowed the entire family to relax and share stories, catching up on two years past. It was a perfect way to end our stay.

Each visit makes it a bit harder to leave. We are grateful to live in Montana, where elk and bison still roam our plains, and the mountain views are hard to beat. But even after 18 years, we remain anxious to get back to Lindani, and find out what new additions to this lovely place the van Coller’s will think up next.

Nancy Mahoney

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