The last time we were at Pomene Lodge the much-loved managers Neville and Wendy Ayliffe were about to leave, a significant change for the place. We spent their last week with them, alone in the resort. It was closed due to a cyclone, we were the only people there, they looked after us like old friends and even shared their biltong.
This time we learnt that the lodge (est. at least 20 years ago) has just been sold to an Italian-Swedish cruise company MCC. All the wooden houses and buildings are being pulled down. Cruise ships will cruise (that is what cruise ships do, right?) from Durban, stop, and then return to SA. The ship, with 2,500 people, will stop at Pomene. About 60% of the passengers will disembark and hang out at the new lodge and do activities (that’s 1,500 people!!! Current residents at Pomene Lodge – estimate 20). A few passengers will stay overnight at the 6 star lodge, including where our shack at the end of the spit now is – it will be $2,000 a night.
The change of ownership happened on our last day in Pomene. Some people are sad, change is hard. It will hopefully be good for the local community, and it’s an eco-company, whatever that means in Cruise-ship Reality. These last wild places on earth are precious and fragile.
Amongst the last visitors at Pomene Lodge