Ujabule Lodge is being run by Liezel Coetzee who I first met when my wife and I visited a nearby game lodge about a year ago. Small world! Her husband still works there, so she, together with her 1-year old daughter, run this property during the day and drives the 140km round trip every day so that she can be at home with her husband in the evening. True dedication for the whole family.
From the main road of the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, you might mistake this for another uninspiring property, but you will be mistaken. In this case first impressions DON’T count!
A place of tranquillity and silence, with the bush just a few meters away…
Although the pool was inviting, it was REALLY cold, so I was prepared to ‘sacrifice’ my feet, but I was not prepared to plunge in, even for research purposes! That being said, I did spend time here contemplating the meaning of life and the Universe in general.
A trio of decorative cushions.
The lodge has 4 identical rooms that have all the required amenities for either self-catering or bed and breakfast if you wish for that. I travelled with cereal and a bowl, so I cannot comment on the breakfast. However, I had a coffee while watching a fellow guest enjoy her ‘full English’.
I was at this lodge for two nights and I enjoyed my self catered meals on the verandah while looking out over the bush. While sitting there I could hear rutting Impala, watched two large Nyala bulls feeding in the undergrowth and my ears were assailed by the screams of a pack(?) Banded Mongoose. I have never heard the sound before and it was somewhat terrifying, to say the least. Luckily it was during the early evening while I was still able to see exactly WHO was causing the hair on the back of my neck to rise.
Given the density of the vegetation within the estate, it is no wonder that there is such diverse birdlife. Although I could hear numerous species, this Hornbill was one of the few that I saw, let alone got to photograph.
The devil is in the details…
A welcoming flower in amongst the bushveld colours of green and brown.
The sun rises to signal the start of another day in Africa…
My breakfast of champions. Liezel will prepare a breakfast of your choice should you want that as an option.
Looking back at the lodge. The rooms are on either side of this area. Guests are able to utilize the pool and the braai facilities.
The lodge at night takes on a different persona.
Contact person: Liezel Coetzee
Address: 413 Rotsvy Road, Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate, Hoedspruit, South Africa
It has been more than a year since my last drive to this area and certain road seem to have deteriorated badly as a result of the large, heavily laden trucks that use roads that I don’t believe were designed to carry the constant flow of heavy traffic. It was for research purposes that I tried two routes and despite the cost of the tolls on the Tzaneen route, the lack of potholes and the potential damage and expense make it the better option in the future.
This is the direct route but the POTHOLES on are legendary and dangerous…especially if you are traveling in the dark. The 58km stretch from Dullstroom to Lydenburg has become almost a guaranteed graveyard for tires and rims. Add to this section the numerous large trucks and you have a recipe for accidents just waiting to happen.
Only one toll plaza (at the time of writing the cost was R66.00)
Johannesburg to Belfast: 224km. On a major route that is in good condition
Belfast to Dullstroom: 35km (this is an 80km zone and when there is dense fog on this section it is a VERY scary drive).
Dullstroom to Lydenburg: 58km. The potholes on this section of the route are legendary and can and have swallowed cars. This is where concentration is required and trying to spot the potholes before falling in was a challenge, to say the least.
Lydenburg to Hoedspruit: 137km. Leaving Lydenburg can be a nightmare as the roads are not in the best condition.
Total distance is approximately 454km
For my return journey, I chose this route: (There were 4 toll plazas with a combined cost, at the time of writing, of R184.00)
Hoedspruit to Tzaneen: 120km
Tzaneen to Polokwane: 95km
Polokwane to Johannesburg: 322
Total distance approximately 537km (83km longer, but not a single pothole)
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