When you are in the hot, dusty, windy wilds there is nothing like arriving at an oasis. One where you can cool your raging thirst, dust off and settle down to a meal and some relaxation for your weary bones.
Well I happened upon just such an oasis. What a refreshing experience. Makanyi Lodge has recently opened in June within Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in Limpopo and is the bush experience you have been dreaming of. For me it was like stepping onto a movie set. Too beautiful for words and a little surreal.
On arrival, the lodge manageress, Carmen (the most beautiful name ever, right?), presented us with smiles and lovely pink drinks that cooled the temperature some and cold cloths to wipe the dust and sweat from our brows (this happens when driving in a game vehicle and encountering Big 5 game). While we were told about the Lodge and all important details (like meal times) we sipped at our drinks and started to absorb the relaxed atmosphere.
Walking down the paved path surrounded by lush greenery, I noticed the fully functional gym and was quite pleased (even though I didn’t get the chance to use it). Sam, the gentleman walking me to my spectacular suite tells me how I need to be accompanied at night just to make certain of my safety. The leopards sometimes manage to sneak onto the property. This had me more excited than anything. The chance of seeing a leopard. Yay me!!
With a friendly greeting I stepped into my little slice of paradise. Every girl at some point dreams of pampering like this. I absolutely love it. Being tactile means that I am into textures. While the suite is beautiful in every detail and aspect, attention has been paid to textures too. Juxtaposing different fabrics on the oversize cushions and the massive clean white (zillion thread count) pillows and soft beds ensconced in softly draped mosquito netting that is a most romantic (and practical) touch. A luxurious lounge space with fireplace for those cold nights and red wine indulgences.
The view is something really special. The dam immediately gets your attention with the hippo’s being vociferous in their greeting. Rolling bush and wildlife fill my plane of view and I immediately realise that the outdoor shower is a must! How can you experience this place and not take an uplifting step the outdoor shower? However, if you decide this is a little risqué, you still have the option of an indoor shower and gorgeous freestanding bath – also with a view. The exposed stone and wood give a sophisticated feel to the whole affair with dimmers on the lights included. The toilet is a rather unusual experience being in a round room with lighting all around you. I felt cocooned and it made me want to stay longer (I’m random right!). But well done to the lodge for creating a comfortable space where most people just want to get business done. 🙂
After trying out the robe and slippers in all their velvety delight (I know you do too) I pulled up a mug and made some coffee with the nespresso machine and headed out to the porch to pull up a leather styled chair and gaze upon nature in all its magnificence. I get the overwhelming impression that we will never in all our cleverness be able to have such style and natural class as nature does. This being said, the circular walls (styled on the Zimbabwean ruins) with exposed stone definitely blend into their surroundings in the most serene fashion; and the attention to detail would make the most fastidious person happy.
Soon it is time to head off to a meal and drinks. We are fortunate to sit on the porch, although meals can be enjoyed outside or in the dining room too. The lounge area beckons you to pull up a seat with couches that would make Alice in Wonderland feel like putting a hold on the adventure and staying a while. The deck leads out to the infinity pool and on into the wilds which is exactly where you feel your mind drifting off to. It is a place you could easily get distracted at and spend a fair amount of time on a lounger between a cold beverage, a book from the comfortable library and the bounty of wildlife.
My train of thought got derailed 🙂 Makanyi Lodge has the power to do this to you. To lose yourself and find yourself at the same time.
The staff are ever so friendly and invite you to attend the meal with the menu and specialties being described by happy faces. Folks here are so eager to share an amazing experience with you that you cant but help take it with both hands and enjoy it. Food under the stars somewhere in Africa 🙂 The food is amazing. Gourmet treats with a decidedly South African flair. You will not want for more after this flavour journey.
Amongst the things to do here, relaxing is foremost. You can take a drive with the gregarious rangers and get to indulge in their personal knowledge packaged into your experience. All the Big 5 are here, so you may get a viewing par excellence. But either way it will be a unique experience.
All in all, this is not something you would want to pass up. You can get further contact details at http://makanyilodge.com/
If you are keen to see how they rate in the short time they have been open take a look at some of the reviews on Trip Advisor.
See you on the road…