No, this is NOT a drone shot. This was the view that awaited me as I stepped out onto the deck of my accommodation at Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa. Stretching as far as the distant horizon, with nothing to impede the spectacular view of both the bush and the sky (and if you look carefully, several animals around the waterhole). A devastating fire in 2013 caused the closure of the lodge until 2015. But the owners never gave up, and like the mythical Phoenix, the Lodge rose up out of the ashes and was reopened in 2015. 5 years on and the new building has settled into the hillside on which it sits, proudly ready to welcome guests to a very special place. This posting shares my accommodation experience with readers.
FYI: The word Mhondoro means lion in Shona and relates to the ancestral spirits of either chiefs, kings or other royals. It is believed that these spirits reside in the body of a lion until they have found a host in which they can live on for eternity.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… The accommodation was as I remember it when I last visited a couple of years ago. The ubiquitous HUGE bed, with lots of pillows and great linen that literally lulled me to sleep. On the nights that I was there, I was lucky if I managed to read one page in the book that I had brought with me before I felt my eyelids yield to gravity and sleep swiftly overtook me.
Oh, how I wished that it had been cold enough to get this fire going. In the winter months, it will be most welcome when guests return from dinner. Hunkered in the alcove here, it looks as if this just might be Darth Vader’s dressing area.
I loved the sentiment that this notice used to convey the request not to flush strange objects down the toilet…I hope that given the stunning beauty of this Lodge that not many Hopes & Dreams were lost here.
Very clever using the grey facecloths for makeup! I am certain that the laundry department must be most thankful. Trying to return white cloths to their pristine colour must have been an almost Herculean task that needed to be completed on a daily basis.
No, the bathroom is NOT built at an angle, but given my view from the toilet, this is the only way that I could get the entire ‘feature’ in. Loads of towels and a variety of toiletries were more than sufficient for my needs.
There is a mini-bar as well as tea/coffee facilities available to guests in their rooms. The African themed tea boxes caught my attention. Another touch by the owners to prove the adage “The devil is in the detail”!
The deck outside my room. Due to the fact that my trip was research I was doing in preparation for an upcoming magazine article, I got to spend very little time lying here.
I did spend time on this deck at night after dinner, watching the full moon (the last one of the Southern Hemisphere summer) and drinking in the sights and sounds of the bushveld below me.
What a vantage point. Even though my room was perched at the highest level on the property, this “sky-bed” gave extra height and added to what was already a view of note.
I have to admit that I did spend a brief time here. Just too comfortable and with a spectacular view, how could I resist. If the weather had been just a bit warmer, I might well have slept out here…
Any 5-star lodge worth its salt HAS to have an outdoor shower! I stepped into mine just as the sun dipped below the horizon. What a way to end a day in the African bush.
Was the dressing gown pretending to be Napoleon? I always wonder if these are ever utilized by guests? But, like the HUGE beds, travellers have come to expect them. It is like finding an old friend when I step into a room at a lodge or hotel I am visiting for the first time.
Sunset. Saying goodbye to another day in paradise…
Time to try and find the opening in this mozzie net. The last few lodges I have visited have caused me much merriment as I try to find the opening to get into bed. My only hope is that the mozzies are having as difficult a time getting in. Time to get some sleep as the 05h00 wake up call is not that far off.
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