Arrival at any lodge worthy of a star rating is always greeted with a non-alcoholic welcome drink of some description. This was waiting for my wife and I once we had parked our car and made our way to the dining room. This was to be a return trip for me, having last visited in 2018 and a first for my wife. As it was almost lunchtime when we arrived, we decided to enjoy both the drink and the food before heading off to our accommodation to unpack and relax before the afternoon game drive.
“The large print giveth and the small print taketh away” There is always paperwork to fill out on arrival. Aside from the ubiquitous indemnity forms, there are now reams of COVID-19 forms to fill out. I did ask if this magnifying glass was in order to read the fine print that not a single guest ever seems to read before signing. I confess that I am one of those who when I put pen to paper, very seldom, if ever have I read every paragraph of the indemnity that I am signing. I usually joke with the lodge manager that if I am eaten by anything with teeth and claws, someone must take pictures, sell the images to an international magazine and split the profits between the photographer, my wife and my daughter.
The garden of the lodge has not been blessed with rain as yet this year, but there is enough foliage to conceal certain of the public spaces around the main lodge buildings. This is actually a secondary dining area, but it can be used for a variety of events or celebrations. Like the main building, it too shares a view of the waterhole that is situated out in front of the main deck.
This is the way that I always want to be greeted… There were a few giraffe that were also enjoying a drink while we were sipping on ours. However, unlike us who could not wait to quench or thirst after a long drive from Johannesburg, these mammals are very cautious when arriving at the water and will scan the area for the longest time before adopting this splay-legged position to drink.
Finally, we head towards our accommodation…
There is always one space in a room that attracts us, and in this case, it was this particular armchair, situated just to the left of the front door.
Not time for bed…yet. But it did look very inviting and we did have a short nap before it was time for high tea and the afternoon/evening drive. The large bed was very comfortable with crisp and inviting linen that enveloped us both.
I do like walls that are filled with ‘things’. And this wall spoke to me for a variety of reasons. The opposite wall consists of glass doors that lead to a private deck that was frequented by a variety of wildlife.
The bathroom is the link between the bedroom/lounge and the indoor bathroom and toilet. There is also a small desk (made from a converted Singer sewing machine) and a cupboard that offers more than enough hanging space for more than one person.
The indoor shower…seen from floor level. Thatched roofs fascinate me and if I find myself under one I tend to count poles and spaces, which helps me to get to sleep far quicker than waiting for the flock of sheep to arrive.
And if the weather is warm enough, then the outdoor shower beckons. But does one actually need good weather to shower outside? You can do it in the rain or even in the cold if one is brave enough.
I did get to spend a long soak in this tub after dinner on one evening and it was so comfortable and soothing that I found it very difficult to get out of. Lying and looking up at the vast expanse of our African sky is a humbling experience. Knowing that we, or in this case me, are just a tiny part of the vastness of the world in which we all live In fact, it was such a warm night that I almost ended up falling asleep in it.
But, if the outside does not beckon, then there is an indoor bath that you can enjoy.
The old (on the left) and the new(on the right) await guests that are heading off to experience a true African safari adventure. Obviously, the wagon is no longer in use and the Landcruiser has taken its place. I have an abiding respect for those who crossed our land in ox-wagons. What a time and adventure that must have been, given the hardships that they must have had to endure and the trailblazing that would have needed to be done over mountain ranges that had no roads or possibly even tracks to follow.
Part of a pack of wild dogs that we encountered on our first drive. There were 4 or 5 pups in the pack and this one decided that the exhaust pipe was an ideal chew toy. Given the fact that it was relatively warm, I am amazed that its nose was not burnt.
Not quite a full moon, but enough to light the bushveld as I lay in bath in the small garden attached to our accommodation. Goodnight from the depth of the African bushveld.
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