Good morning from the bush!

Good morning from the bush!

The world we live in has changed, but there has been now better time to travel – Kruger awaits! 

The Kruger is the experience of a lifetime, where the spirit of the continent will course through your veins. The wildlife sights have never been better, combined with wide open spaces where “social distancing” comes naturally, we can confirm, now has never been a better time for a visit.  

As we start seeing our world of travel slowly returning to our borders, we paid a visit to a few safari lodges to see what is new and what has changed. We are happy to report that it is still amazing! In fact, it is better than ever.  

From incredible wildlife sightings to newly refurbished lodges, we take you on a journey from the Northern part of the Greater Kruger National Park, all the way south to the Sabi Sands, ending with a spectacular visit to the new Kruger Shalati – a lodge in a train, on a bridge. 

Karongwe Private Game Reserve: 

Overlooking the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, and a mere one-hour drive from Hoedspruit Airport, the Karongwe Portfolio offers an extraordinary game viewing and accommodation experience.  Five lodges are located in the reserve, each offering their own unique feel and layout – there is something for every kind of traveller.  Recent refurbishment and upgrades, offers an exceptional product, especially for families, honeymoon or a destination wedding. 

Thornybush Game Lodge and Saseka Tented Camp: 

Guests talk about the “Thornybush Feeling” when you enter the Thornybush Private Game Reserve.  This opulent feeling is carried throughout your game viewing, dining and accommodation experience

Thornybush Game Lodge, the grand old dame in the portfolio, is still sophisticated in offering luxury accommodation, and exceptional game viewing opportunities from the deck overlooking the dry riverbed.   

The new Saseka Lodge exceeds all expectations, offering eight spacious luxury tents, with private plunge pools.  The public areas are unique in elegantly combining old with the new, and with the quirky design. Definitely a unique lodge in the Greater Kruger area, perfect for special celebrations. 

Kapama River Lodge: 

We call it our home away from home, as every time we visit here, we are welcomed with open arms.  Having operated numerous groups here since 2010, Kapama offers the best of both – luxurious accommodation and an incredible safari experience.  For the past 3 years, Kapama has undergone huge renovations, from the new grand entrance and lobby, supersize pool and bar area, to the newly renovated rooms.  33 of the 40 Standard Rooms have been beautifully refurbished into light and luxurious Deluxe Suites. Cleverly designed to make best use of space, with modern touches throughout. Watch this space as they reveal the new dining room pretty soon…

Mala Mala: 

At Mala Mala it is all about safari.  Slightly different than most lodges in that you enjoy a mid-morning brunch, afternoon tea with selection of sweets and savouries, and of course a set menu dinner, as opposed to breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This enables one to be out on safari for longer in the morning, as well as late afternoon/evening – up to 4 hours each, dependent on the guest preference! The quality of safari lives up to its reputation and is exceptional. Main Lodge is very comfortable and rooms luxurious, where Rattray’s offer a step-up exclusivity and grandeur. 

Sabi Sabi:   

Sabi Sabi is a legend to the Sabi Sands, with 4 very distinct lodges that reflect their safari experience with lodge architecture that focus on the romance of yesterday, the comforts of today, and the visionary designs for tomorrow.  

Earth Lodge is the flagship lodge, with 12 luxury suites. From the arrival area the lodge is undisclosed, but like a river the pathway meanders with a steady slope into the open reception. The lodge lobby opens to some captivating design found in the architecture and furnishes. The suites, completely refurbished in 2019 echo with design and sophisticated finishes that elevates a feeling of luxury.  

By choice when time allows between open vehicle safari, or meals, you can enjoy the comforts of your own plunge pool overlooking the open bush, or relax in the comfort of your spacious lounge. The safari experience at Sabi Sabi as always provides some breath-taking animal sightings.  

Lion Sands Tinga & Narina:  

There is just that “something more” that stands out when one visits a More property.  The More energy and hospitality are clearly visible from the very first point of arrival, until your departure from Skukuza Airport.  It brings a smile to your face and adds a sense of comfort when you arrive.  

Lions Sands Tinga and Narina both offers exceptional safari accommodation and safari activities. What stood out was the added benefit of being able to do game drives in their private concession within the Kruger National Park, as well as within the Sabi Sands concession, so you have so much more to explore.  

Kruger Shalati:  

As you cross the lower Sabi Bridge 10 minutes from Skukuza Airport there is a new permanent sighting that captivates your attention. A unique experience, boasting unexpected luxurious accommodation, with panoramic views over the iconic Sabi River. Meals served A La Carte while you look onto elephants grazing the lush shores of the river. Local art and architecture intertwined into the guests’ experience, a proudly South African journey. This is Kruger Shalati – The Train on the bridge. With 26 rooms spread over 13 carriages all custom designed to quantify a true bespoke experience.

The morning and evening also extend into an open vehicle safari in the Kruger National Park, and with expert rangers with a refined eye for nature, it provides some memorable sightings. Visiting here as a child, the Kruger National Park was a family self-drive safari to create memories, evening braai (barbeque) in one of the camp sites, and spending dads pocket money at the camp curio shop, but Kruger Shalati is now a bespoke home from home. This once empty train bridge is now a new destination for the traveller with zest for a bespoke unique experience.

To conclude, as the world is still coming to terms with Covid-19, we found travelling at this time in South Africa, easy, safe and comfortable.  

Regular safety checks are done, temperature taken and plenty of hand sanitizing stations available throughout, masks were mandatory for the duration of the flight and in public areas, but once on game drive, in your room, or while eating, you can remove the mask.   

Comforting protocols are observed by all lodges, and staff wear their masks religiously.  Upon asking, it was re-assuring to know that all front-line staff has been fully vaccinated and are ready for travellers to come visit.  

Just being in the Kruger out in the fresh air, recharges and touches one’s soul on a different level.  Travelling once again has reignited our energy, our love to explore and our passion to help you plan your travels.  

We are ready and waiting for you, so go ahead and book your next safari!  #Southafricaistravelready