This posting is a reminder that there is a world outside of our doors and walls. We just cannot access that currently. In the spirit of staying positive and productive, Travel & Things will continue to publish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the 21 days of Lockdown. That being said, I have travel plans in place once we are all FREE again.
Sit back and enjoy a virtual glass of bubbles with me as I take you on a whirlwind tour of the stunning Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa. This is a return visit for me and I found it interesting that aside from the fact that the lodge, rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2013, has settled into its new ‘skin’ I could see no obvious changes since my last visit. The Vogel family who own the lodge obviously believe in the adage; “If it ain’t broke. don’t fix it”
Who needs to go on a game drive when staying on the deck will allow guests to sit in front of the main lodge and the animals will come to them, This mom and daughter pair of White Rhino were spotted regularly while I was at the Lodge.
While the rhino pairing wade through the grass in front of the lodge, a Mom and daughter of the human variety sits on a couch and watches the passing parade of wildlife that walks to and from the waterhole and the mud wallow. Much of the terrain in Welgevonden is flat and open, which makes sightings of the larger species relatively ‘easy’.
Food, glorious food…there was more often than not something to eat on offer. Breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner all play an important role in the overall guest experience.
Speaking of food, these are just some of the meals that I enjoyed during my stay. Given that this lodge is many km’s from a major town or city (NO Vaalwater, you do not count as either) guests might not fully appreciate just how spectacular the food offerings coming out of this kitchen are! Any of these dishes could be presented at a major urban restaurant and diners would gladly pay top price for them. Starters, mains and desserts were all superb and all the guests, while I was at the lodge, spoke very highly of the food. Well done to Chef and all the kitchen staff for the wonderful food memories.
There is an atmosphere in the public spaces that intrigued me on my previous visit and it is those areas that drew me back again. The juxtaposition of earthy African tones with a subtle European undertones makes both local and international guests feel comfortable and at home. The expression “Your home away from home” is often overused by lodges to engender a feeling of familiarity, but in the case of this lodge, it is true.
This carved cow skull caught my attention every time I walked past it. This stunning creation epitomises how decor can repurpose what might seem to be unsuitable and turn it into memorable understated artwork. If I could have brought home any item, it would have been this. Congratulations to co-owner (and interior designer) Myriam Vogel for creating a space that is warm, welcoming and familiar.
There are several areas in the interior public spaces, subtly lit to enhance the feeling of intimacy while sharing the space with other guests.
A great place for a nap…if you don’t mind other guests watching you sleep. The gentle motion of this suspended chair and the 360 degree it offers was one of my favourite places to spend time when I was not in the underground hide.
The main deck is split into several areas that can offer both seating and eating areas with just a quick rearranging of furniture. All the seating looks out over the “Serengeti” like area in front of the lodge, allowing guests to view many species without even leaving the comfort of their chairs.
This quote from the guest book says it all…
and may not be used without permission.