Panoramic views at JBay Zebra Lodge

JBay Zebra Lodge

Arriving at Jbay Zebra Lodge in Thornhill was a breath of fresh air. Perfectly positioned on top of a hill, the lodge enjoys spectacular panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, lush bushveld and rolling mountains.

The lodge is a stunning mixture of earthy tones and Afro-chic décor. We were warmly received by co-owner and manager, Florbela Mateus Duc, who was thrilled to be able to share their lodge with us.

A daring African adventure, JBay Zebra Lodge started 10 years ago when a couple – Didier and Florbela, packed up their comfortable life in Switzerland and purchased a 120ha farm in Thornhill, just minutes from Port Elizabeth and Jeffrey’s Bay.

With a 20-year background in the travel and tourism industry – and over 40 countries visited, Didier and Florbela wanted to share their love for Africa with others.

Florbela says: “We did not only build the lodge for guests, but for ourselves, as a way to express our love of Africa and as a way to always remember our travels.”

This passion can be seen throughout the lodge and rooms, with each room representing a place that has left a lasting memory with the couple.

Explore the beautiful rooms on offer at JBay Zebra Lodge

The Main Lodge is something you would expect to see in the pages of a design magazine. Tastefully-decorated by Florbela, the lounge and dining areas, offers a refined setting of light woods and interesting African décor. Local artist’s photography and artwork are also on display.

Guests are also able to enjoy the outdoor sitting area overlooking the bushveld and Indian Ocean. There is also a pool for those hot summer days.

Accommodation on offer at JBay Zebra Lodge includes the Stone Luxury Suite, the Earth Luxury Suite, the Leopard Family Room, the Colonial Safari Tent and the Country Safari Tent, all accessible via stone walkways a short distance from the main lodge.

During my visit, I experienced something truly special – a tranquil stay in the luxurious Stone Suite. Florbela explained that the Stone suite was inspired by the specular rock formations of the Drakensberg.

The suite was tastefully-decorated in soft greys, light wood finishes, while the King-size bed is framed by a stone wall.

All the modern conveniences are offered, including an elegant full en-suite bathroom with plush bathrobes, slippers and hairdryer, a fan, electric blankets, fireplace, tea and coffee making facilities and an honesty bar. The suite also has a TV with DStv. Wi-Fi is available in the Main Lodge only.

The room opens up onto a stone sitting area offering not only panoramic views of the bushveld, but intimacy with nature. Be sure to look out for the lodge’s resident Zebras as they peacefully graze on the grass below.

Dine in style!

We later headed back to the Main Lodge for our three-course meal. With a glass of Dornier Bush Vine Chenin Blanc in hand; we took in a spectacular sunset as we waited for dinner to be served. It was simply superb. If Chef Thabisa could cook for me every night, I would die a happy woman!

For starters, we had herb and garlic prawns on a bed of couscous asparagus. The mains were Angus Beef fillet served with homemade mash and Veggies. The fillet was cooked to perfection and melted in your mouth. Florbela suggested pairing the beef with a glass of Dornier Red Cocoa Hill and it raised our meal to a whole other level.

A serving of Afogato Amereto ended our meal. This coffee-based delight is a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of Amereto and homemade caramelised almonds.

Florbela and Thabisa’s hospitality made the meal even more enjoyable. With bellies full, we headed back to our suite to call it a night. Lulled to sleep by the tranquillity of the Bushveld, I had the best sleep of my life.

The next morning, we tucked into a full continental breakfast of tea, coffee, juices, cereals, fruits, cheeses, breads and jams before ordering a scrumptious omelette. Afterwards, we sadly had to head back to the office and face reality.

I have been fortunate to experience some incredible establishments; JBay Zebra Lodge outdid them all in hospitality, food and ambience. Florbela and Didier can truly be proud of what they have accomplished.

To make a booking at JBay Zebra Lodge, call 078 925 6812, or email today. Also visit their website

For great savings on life’s little pleasures visit Bargain Buys!  Know somebody who is getting married, Wedding and Function can assist.  Have kids, then you need to visit Kids Connection.

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About us

Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!


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