Review: Mantis and Moon

With two Durbanites on holiday in Brazil (in the form of @the.travelling.lens & @travel_blogged) I had some serious FOMO setting in. I was in need of a getaway but didn’t have the time or resources for an overseas trip. Luckily enough we have a tropical beach forest paradise nearby: Mantis and Moon.

Welcome to Mantis and Moon

Welcome to Mantis and Moon

Get lost in the private jungle of Mantis and Moon, not even a 5 min walk from Umzumbe blue flag beach, and experience the warm welcome of the Mantis and Moon family.

With the weather gods not on my side I was determined to make the most of this magical weekend in the tree tops. I took a leisurely one and a half hour drive in some light drizzle (1h15m usually) and was welcomed by Sarah. I was taken on a tour by Teresa who showed me the ins and outs from tree houses, glass cabins & teepees to the Vegan restaurant, yoga studio and other communal spaces. It was time to unpack and settle in to the tree house.

Mantis and Moon: Bunny Hut

Tree House Suite: The Bunny Hut

How amazing does that look!? Set amid the treetops of a lush jungle, find yourself in a spa bathtub, flowing with foam. Relaxing to the sounds of nature and experience hidden views.

After settling in I went to write my name on the meals board to ensure that I was signed up for the vegan dinner at the Cafe. Much of the afternoon was spent reading to the sound of rain showering the canapes, drinking coffee and chatting to volunteers.

At dinner I met Gadge and B, the power couple, who run the Cafe and Mantis: legends. I also met Anusca at the cafe, she helped out and was full of smiles. This little cafe was revamped in 2019 and serves the most wholesome vegan meals: cruelty-free, super filling, healthy chow! With the food tasting as good as it does, it really got me thinking. After dinner, you could chose from movie night in the bar area, yoga with Claudia or sensual massages with Tay. Fun fact: these two Joburgers combine as a musical duo: What On Earth. They’re dope.

Thank goodness you don’t have to sign up for breakfast because I slept in: do I blame the wine or the rain, not sure? A short stroll to grab some coffee and see the activities board, weather forecast and quote of the day – then off to the Cafe for breakfast: hummus on toast plus so many more vegan delights. I missed my window to check out the beach: the rain stopped for breakfast, then continued forever after. So, I’ll leave you with a beach pic from a sunnier day courtesy of Mantis and Moon’s Instagrizzle.

Umzumbe Beach: Blue Flag

Umzumbe Blue Flag Beach

On a normal KZN day I definitely would have headed down to the beach, but living that freelance life I took the opportunity to use the free WiFi and work remotely. Spent quite a bit of the day to doing some work and making coffee trips, after which I rewarded myself with a few beverages. Vegan Burgers were on the menu for dinner and filled the spot.

With the rain continuing, the bar home to a pool table, foosball, an arcade and a giant spinning wheel with prizes! And obviously a few drinks and the friendliest bartender: Riaan. That night I hung out with some volunteers and a group of guys from Joburg on a road trip to Cape Town: Mantis and Moon was their first stop. I also chatted to Annelee about everything from surfing to cultures to the vastness of space and time to surfing (she loves surfing).

Foosball Table in the Entertainment Area

Foosball Table in the Entertainment Area

On a Mantis and Moon trip you could choose from:

  • Surfing – Great surf spots just a stones throw away and offer surf lessons with local Pro’s
  • Horse Riding – Arrange a lovely ride out through the sugar cane fields, indigenous forests and banana plantations.
  • Yoga – The serene HOhm Yoga Studio offers a range of styles of yoga. Classes every morning and evening
  • Diving – Scuba to snorkeling, caged dives to guided swims with the sharks. Pristine reefs, one either end of the coast.
  • Local Tours – With a variety of activities, cliff jumps to cultural tours and beautiful hikes.

Breakfast was a split decision between sweet or savoury delight, so I had both. Peanut butter on homemade banana bread drizzled with honey vs hummus on health bread with grilled mushroom, rocket, seeds and balsamic reduction. Difficult to compare, winners in their respective categories.

And like that, all good things must come to an end. Thank you so much to the wonderful Mantis and Moon family for your hospitality. An ideal getaway that’s really close to Durban and super affordable!

Instagram: @themantisandmoon
Facebook: @mantisandmoonbackpackers

Don’t hesitate to get in touch and find out more from the Mantis and Moon team!
Call: 039 684 6256

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