Having just returned from a desert destination, I was really looking forward to bush time at the recently opened (January 2023) Kingfisher Villa in Limpopo Province.
From Johannesburg to the Villa is an easy 2.5-hour drive on a major highway that is properly signposted.
From the main gate of the reserve we found the well-signposted route to Kingfisher Villa and these drinks, which is where our story starts…
This Villa is designed for single group/family use, however the suites can also be booked as ‘stand alone’ accommodation.
It is not often that the media are able to bring partners, and in this case my wife was ecstatic at being included on the weekend.
For now, I will bypass the stunning interior and show you this poolside relaxation area, which became the meeting point of the group that my wife and I were with. A group of women, with me being the only man, who represented various corporate and businesses. From a luxury magazine editor to a travel agent and several other interesting career choices in between.
Not only was this a diverse group, but had an outsider been listening in, they would have thought that we were lifelong friends having a reunion, rather than a media group who had only met hours earlier. I think that our host was relieved to see JUST how well the mix worked and we laughed and ate in that order for the entire time we were at the Villa. Actually, there were safaris but those also contained eating and laughing…
There is an indoor mezzanine lounge above the bar that leads out onto a deck that overlooks the dam in front of the lodge. It was from there that I took this picture of the main lounge which had the biggest flat-screen I have EVER seen. With a wood fire burning, this was a great place to relax before dinner or even just to watch TV. That being said, I have never understood guests who arrive at a lodge and just plonk themselves down in front of the closest TV, when nature, in this case a crocodile, birdlife and a dam were just a few steps away.
This is the aforementioned fire that was lit at breakfast and again in the evening. Even though the the temperature was mild, it was chilly in the early morning as once the sun had vanished.
There is one of these in both the public spaces in the main villa building.
This should not be called a dining room, but possibly a banqueting hall. Not quite Game of Thrones, but superb on every level. Especially the chairs that seemed to wrap around us, willing us to sit and chat…before, during and after meals. I believe that I can speak for the group when I say that we all enjoyed and participated in some most interesting topics of conversation.
I could post all the food that the Chef prepared for us, but that might spoil the surprise for those who choose to visit Kingfisher Villa, so I will focus on the three that stuck in my memory…for all the right reasons!
This was a de-constructed cheesecake. Seeing I consider myself a cheesecake aficionado, I had to try this for research purposes. It passed with flying colours.
This was a butternut and pea soup, the likes of which I have never tasted before. I discussed the prep with the Chef and he explained the science behind this dish. Certainly a testament to his skill and expertise.
Certainly NOT as easy as it looks.
This was just a visual delight and worthy of being one of the featured dishes.
That being said, each of the meals that we enjoyed, be it fish, meat or vegetarian options was cooked to perfection and plated with pride. (My wife even commented on her breakfast poached egg which was served to her exacting specifications. Not an easy feat I can assure you, dear reader)
A rainbow touch on what could be an abstract map of Africa, but is, in fact, the granite slab of the bar in the centre of the reception area.
If my wife had her way, this swing would have been dismantled and re-assembled back at our home in Johannesburg. As it was, with the sound of the pool, bird calls from the dam and the gentle rustling of the reeds, this turned out to be a great place for a nap.
Our accommodation. The name on the door said ‘Giant Suite’ and it certainly was.
The suite consisted of a huge bedroom with a walk-in closet, a desk as well as a well stocked tea/ coffee station with a Nespresso machine and a SMEG kettle.
There was a large flat-screen hanging on the wall opposite the bed and at the correct height so that watching it did not cause you to have to make a chiropractor appointment.
The bathroom was not what we expected and it was so large that we could have moved our bed in there and there would STILL have been space to carry out ablutions without feeling claustrophobic.
The bathroom was, as they say in the classics, “worth the price of admission” and contained all that a guest might require in the way of lotions and potions. This bathroom also contained more plugs that I have seen in ablutions before…and I am not just talking about shaving plugs. There were regular plugs on the wall between the shower and the bath. There was a shelf underneath, so I am assuming that they could be used to charge devices that could be placed there. But I might be wrong.
A spa bath which was tested and found to be ideal for a soak after a day of game drives and food.
Aside from the bath, there was a shower cubical large enough for two that contained a single HUGE shower head, and a toilet. There was also a bidet for those international guests that see then as a necessity and not a luxury.
A bedtime chocolate being guarded by a rather fearsome looking predator. A different way of serving the traditional chocolate-on-the-pillow.
Time to say good night.
In the morning we got up and did it all over again.
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