Unyati Safari Lodge, a hidden gem.

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The pool near the chalets is for the use of all the guests and it overlooks a vast swath of bushveld.

 

Once we turned off the N4 that had brought us from Johannesburg, the next 4.7km on Jeppe’s Reef Road was filled with some of the worst potholes I have ever had to negotiate. Luckily, there is enough gravel on either side of the road to drive on that rather than wrecking our suspension on a road that could be considered as a series of LARGE potholes surrounded by a minimal amount of tar. However, once we had negotiated the potholes and turned onto the tarred, pot-hole free Strydom Block Road, the next 10 km to the main gate of Unyati Safari Lodge were a pleasure. If, like me, you use Google Maps as a GPS, do not use the first wooden gate on the right as indicated…that turns you onto a gravel road running parallel to the tar. Rather continue about 1km down the road where the actual main gate is well sign-posted on the right. The gravel road from the gate to the camp is well maintained and easily navigated. There is an enforced speed limit here as you are in a game reserve and there are herds of Impala and Zebra that freely roam across the area. The road will take you past the tented section of the Lodge and deliver you to the main lodge building/public lounge and dining area. The smaller building next door is the office where you can check-in.

Fact: For those visitors looking for gifts, the main building has a small shop with a selection of curated gifts, which almost immediately caught the attention of my wife who enjoys supporting local craft producers.

 

The regulation paperwork was filled out in this seating area, one of two that guests can relax in before going off to their accommodation. The seating is very comfortable and those that choose to spend time here will be entertained by the eclectic choice of music emanating from the bar.

 

An alcohol-free welcoming drink awaited us upon our arrival. I think that we caught the General Manager, Pollen, and his staff off guard as we arrived earlier than either they or we anticipated. This due to the fact that our previous lodge had been closer than we thought and the drive shorter than anticipated. But, they were most professional and were even able to change our accommodation for us! Well done to all concerned.

 

A stay at Unyati Safari Lodge includes both a buffet-style Continental breakfast as well as a sit-down dinner in the evening. We were there for two dinners and on both nights the food offered was very different. All the meals had one thing in common, deliciousness. The braai (barbeque) that was served in the Boma on our final night offered especially mouth-watering meats and salads, so much so that I have to admit going back for seconds. ( But I did wait for the French tour group to dish up their meals before I returned to refill my plate.)

 

Looking to enjoy a pre-dinner drink? Then settle down in THIS comfortable corner and it is only a few steps to either the bar or the dining area.

Fact: Do be careful when you try to move the dining room chairs…they appear to have been fixed to the floor when in fact they are just exceedingly heavy and somewhat difficult to shift. They caught both my wife and me off guard and we felt most foolish, but the experience did make us both laugh.

 

The high-ceilinged thatched dining and bar area. The reception area and the gift shop are through the sliding doors in the centre of the wall. The buffet ( both breakfast and dinner) was set out on the serving area to the right of the picture. The staff were excellent if just a tad hasty in clearing away the used crockery and cutlery.

 

Mood lighting used to give the vast room a warm ambience. And it succeeded, with the tables in semi-darkness offering guests some privacy in a rather public space.

 

The barmen certainly make a mean Rock Shandy!

 

The view from the verandah in front of our chalet. The trees to the right of the picture are Madagascan Palms and are a haven for the bird and bug life that abounds here. There are various species of plains game, like Impala and Zebra that walk through the property occasionally, but they did not make an appearance within the camp during our stay. (we know that they are on the property, as we passed them as we drove into the camp)

 

Our accommodation at Unyati Safari Lodge was this family chalet that was set a short distance from both the swimming pool as well as the dining room. Both of which were well utilized, the former as the weather was hot and the latter because on holiday one is ALWAYS hungry… Visitors staying in the chalets are allowed to park next to their accommodation. However, those staying in the tents have to leave their vehicles in a designated parking area. Although the property does not offer game drives or walks as park of their DBB package, the staff will gladly organize trips to Kruger, guided walks or adventure activities that are on offer close by. We chose to relax, read, eat and swim. That was more than enough activity for us after a very busy week of travel.

 

The main bedroom is filled, literally, with this huge bed and side tables. There is an AC that we kept going through the night to keep the mosquitos at bay. They were rather persistent and would ‘attack’ the moment it was turned off. But between the AC and a bug spray, neither of us was bitten. There is a door that can separate the two sleeping areas, giving the occupants privacy from those family members or friends sleeping in the ‘second bedroom’.

 

This is the second bedroom that also has a dressing area and leads into the shower room and toilet.

 

The last time we saw towel animals were on a cruise ship. These swans added a touch of elegance to the room.

 

Forgot to bring a torch? Unyati Safari Lodge has THAT covered. These were on hand for a French tour group that was staying in the luxury tents.

 

This is the alternative accommodation to the chalets at Unyati Safari Lodge. There are 45 of these luxury tents on offer. While we were there were French tours groups who were ensconced here at night. The lodge specializes in large tour groups, team-building exercises and their speciality, bush weddings.

 

Aside from comfortable beds set up as either twin or a double bed, the tents also have an en-suite bathroom/toilet and shower.

 

And so our stay here, as well as our bush road trip, came to an end. A final sunset at Unyati Safari Lodge before heading for dinner and then bed. There was a long drive home that I wanted to be well-rested for.

 

There is no television in either the chalet that we stayed in or the tents, however, there is one in the bar (of course) and then, on our final night, the staff turned on the ‘bush TV’. What a great way to end off our stay here.Two days of doing absolutely NOTHING at all.  Many thanks to all the staff for making our stay such a memorable one.

 

To find out more about the lodge and the services that it offers, click on their logo.

 

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