Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge was the final stop on a mini road trip that had taken us via Pongola and a forest and beach lodge, before arriving at Hluhluwe for the final night of the trip (and to include a bush destination). We certainly had the dust and sand of Africa on our vehicle. It was the first time that we had taken the Subaru on a testing trip and it dealt with the road conditions without any issues.
It was a twisting and convoluted road that eventually brought us to a point where we could actually see the lodge in the distance. This was the first view of the lodge buildings, almost hidden in the dense foliage. (Oh for a drone to have an aerial shot of the lodge). From this vantage point to the reception area took us along a road that was longer than expected, but the views made the final leg of the journey worthwhile.
And we have arrived. We had no idea what awaited is just inside the imposing entrance to the main lodge building…
This rhino sculpture was donated by a local artist and I was informed that during transport to the lodge it fell of the vehicle, yet incurred no noticeable damage. A sign of great workmanship? Behind it is the lodge shop that stocked a variety of clothing items and the usual items that guests want to take home as mementoes.
Part of the main lounge. With such high ceilings, the space seems enormous and was imposing and welcoming simultaneously. For both my wife and me, it was like coming home, yet this was our first visit. When we visited the lodge back in November 2020, all the relevant COVID-19 protocols were in place, and I have no reason to believe that that has changed.
And on the other side of the main building is the dining room with the current layout being defined by compulsory COVID-19 protocols. Here to the high ceiling gives a feeling of space and would you believe, intimacy? This as a result of the uncluttered feeling that the minimalist decor enhanced.
Lunch for two. Now, this is the way that every lunch should be served. There was enough for both my wife and me to share and taste and it left us feeling satisfied but not too full.
There is a pool at the main lodge building that can be utilized by guests as well as those who are enjoying time at the Spa, which is situated behind where I was standing to take this image.
Outdoor seating from where guests can relax before or after meals or just chill and enjoy the expansive views that stretched out as far as the eye could see.
This spectacular view is just a portion of the vista that can be enjoyed from the deck outside the main lounge and dining room…or from the public pool.
The interior as night approaches. When the lights come on and the sunlight fades, the main building takes on a new ‘persona’, becoming both intimate and romantic at the same time.
The bar at night…a romantic corner of the main building. Usually, this is the place where guests would share stories of the day’s sightings, but given the current protocols, this is now just a quiet place to sit and contemplate while social distancing, if necessary.
Our accommodation…a huge bed and a stunning room! Unfortunately, due to a prior family commitment that we could not get out of, we would only be spending one night here. So it goes without saying that not too much time was spent chilling here. Unfortunate as it was a space that we could have both got very comfortable in.
There is a seating area in the main room, however, due to the aforementioned time constraints, I don’t believe we even sat on the couch.
I did make time to relax in this bath rather than using the shower as I could soak and watch the Nyala browsing outside the window.
Our accommodation had its own splash pool…and it fell to my wife to try it out. Her opinion? A wonderful spot to keep cool and with a handy pair of binoculars, keeping an eye out for passing wildlife and birds.
The perfect way to start your day, or in our case, end our stay! Perfectly prepared scrambled egg with the bacon the way I like it, C.R.I.S.P! Would we return? Heck YES. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is well worth the drive time from Johannesburg. Thanks to all the staff who made our short stay so memorable.
Find out what the Lodge is currently offering, visit their website for current specials and prices.
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