Ultimate luxury in Zimbabwe
Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Zimbabwe
Singita Pamushana offers visitors the unique combination of absolutely undisturbed wilderness and unsurpassed luxury. This picturesque lodge nestles in a mopane forest on a hill overlooking the Malilangwe Dam. on a pristine reserve that hosts the Big Five. With only six suites and a villa. it is peaceful and exclusive. The lodge boasts the fine dining and first-class service that has become synonymous with the Singita brand, accompanied by a full spa. private candlelit dinners. wine cellar. lounge and top game rangers.
Good to know: The family villa at Singita Pamushana is the perfect
set-up for big groups or families looking for that bucket-list holiday. Accommodating up to 7 0 guests. the villa features en-suite bathrooms. indoor and outdoor showers. a fully equipped kitchen and on-site staff to cater to your every need.
Cost: For the standard or two-bedroom family suite, expect to pay R7 9 226 per person sharing for the remainder of 207 8. and R20 97 6 per person sharing in 207 9.
Panoramic views and plunge pools
Makweti Safari Lodge, Welgevonden Game Reserve
Just a three-hour drive from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. towering cloudscapes and gorgeous mountainous terrain await. Makweti Safari Lodge is located in the malaria-free Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. The rooms are chic and tastefully decorated. drawing inspiration from the zebra. Mealtimes are a chatty communal affair. until the food arrives. The silence is a testament to the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs cuisine. Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is the global hallmark of brilliance in cuisine and fine dining. Game drives take place twice daily.
Good to know: Welgevonden positions itself as a proactive and forward-thinking reserve. so ask about the interesting conservation projects. Guests are collected from the gate. No self-driving is allowed. Cost: Prices vary depending on the duration of the stay and room selection. From R6 67 2 per person sharing. including meals and game drives.
Sleep eye level with the trees
nThambo Tree Camp, Klaserie Private Game Reserve
This eco-friendly lodge is a hub of wildlife activity- elephants drink from the pool and wild dogs have been witnessed making a kill in
the camp. The camp is small and intimate. and can sleep 7 O people in five wooden chalets on stilts. The menu is inspired by traditional South African recipes like milk tart. bobotie. pap and braais. Staff members are warm and friendly- we arrived as guests and left as friends.
Good to know: The camp is not fenced so guests are escorted to their rooms at night. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted. Preventative malaria medication is recommended. Cost: R3 500 per person per night includes accommodation, all meals, game drives, bush walks and warm beverages. R3 995 per person per night includes local drinks and certain alcoholic beverages. Price excludes conservation and gate
Blissful isolated beaches
Gugulesizwe Research Camp, KwaMpukane
Gugulesizwe Research Camp is situated 4km from the Indian Ocean. hidden among wild date palms and flame lilies. The camp has a homely rustic charm and offers an easy-going beach and dive holiday destination. The lounge deck is conducive to reading and watching the Nguni cows stroll past. Low tide at Lala Nek is not to be missed – the snorkelling is sublime! Birders flock to the area to glimpse the rosy-throated longclaw. and loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles can be seen laying their eggs from November to February. Humpback whale season is from July to September
Good to know: The camp has a well-stocked open-plan kitchen and dining area. and offers both self-catering and catered options. The catered option needs to be booked well in advance. The menu includes three tasty vegcentric meals a day, but can include meat on request. The camp sleeps eight people sharing in four tented units with breathtaking ocean views. It is only accessible by 4×4 vehicles. but transfers can be arranged.
Cost: Exclusive use rate per night is RS 000 (low season) and R10 000 (high season). Add R300 per person for catering. Transfer fees. activity costs and park fees are excluded. Book: www.maputalandtravel.co.za
Birds and flowers
Rocherpan Nature Reserve, Western Cape
A birding and west coast flower hotspot. Rocherpan Nature Reserve is an easy-access photographer’s paradise consisting of multiple bird hides. No 4x4s are required. Gulls visit the beautiful secluded beaches. and the pan – created in the 1830s – is an important birding hotspot and home to the Cape shoveller. black oystercatcher and the critically endangered Cape horned pondweed. Enjoy the meandering trails among the sandveld fynbos. Rocherpan is an idyllic weekend spot graced by stunning sunsets.
Good to know: Rocherpan has eight eco-cabins that utilise a waterless dry flush toilet system. There are units for couples and groups of four. Western Cape Water restrictions apply to guests and due to the poor rains the pan was not full during our visit in August – it was still well worth a visit. Guests can drive or walk to the beach. but swimming is not encouraged due to the riptide. Price: From R850 per night. self-catering.
A night on the floodplains
Lakeview Tented Camp, Camdeboo National Park
With the Nqweba Dam as a central focus point. breathtaking views and plenty of game viewing opportunities. the tented units are perfect for visitors seeking a break from city life. There are only four tents available. ensuring an intimate. quiet experience. Each tent is furnished with two single beds, a small bar fridge and kettle, but the communal kitchen is well equipped for a comfortable stay. The communal ablutions offer canvas showers. perfect for the warmer spring weather. The Valley of Desolation is one of the main attractions – only a short drive away. it’s the perfect spot to experience the geology of the park.
Good to know: The park surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet. Guests staying inside the park can access restaurants in town. but the rest camp gates are closed from 22:00- 07:00 daily.
Cost: Between R980 and R7 275 per night for the unit. sleeping up to four people. Excludes conservation fee of R40 for adults and R20 for children.
At home in the forest
Grootvadersbosch cabins, Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve
Spend a few nights in one of the most significant indigenous forests left in the south-western Cape. Some of the units are situated right next to the forest. while others are built to enjoy spectacular views of the distant hills. The units are tastefully decorated. and ideal for groups looking for a relaxing break. After a day of hiking. bird watching or cycling. you can unwind with an ice-cold drink next to the braai. The units include a fully equipped kitchen and gas stove. but the braai area is an entertainer’s dream. During cooler nights. canvas encloses the area. and in the warmer weather it can be opened up to enjoy the evening breeze.
Good to know: Outdoor enthusiasts will love the reserve·s many hiking and cycling trails.
Cost: Between R7 7 00 and R7 750 for up to four people. excluding conservation fees of R40 for adults and R20 for children.
Room with a view
Oranjekom Gorge Cottage, Augrabies Falls National Park
When visiting the Oranjekom Viewpoint. it is often difficult to drag yourself away. With the Orange River snaking through the gorge below. the sound of rapids echoing from beneath and the call of an African fish eagle in the distance. it offers the perfect surrounds. Oranjekom Gorge Cottage is located just below the viewpoint and presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy the scenery a little longer. Glass sliding doors offer unparalleled views into the gorge. The cottage is furnished with a queen-size bed. fully equipped kitchen with gas stove. and a comfortable living area. Ablution facilities are a short walk from the main unit.
Good to know: Temperatures in the rocky surroundings can be very high, so be prepared. It is about 30 minutes from the main rest camp. but driving is not allowed after 19:00. All provisions need to be taken with you.
Cost: From R7 737 for two. excluding daily conservation fee.