Rockfig Safari Lodge is an oasis for the mind, heart and soul. Located an easy 30 kilometers from Hoedspruit’s East Gate airport, this Lodge will refresh you while immersing you in it’s beautiful surrounds which is Timbavati Nature Reserve.
The main lodge and suites blend beautifully with the landscape, with much attention having been given to include large glass doors and windows to allow natural views wherever you are.
Extensive use of wood as decor features strongly in all areas of Rockfig. My personal favourite being the pillars of the patterned Leadwood trees on the verandas in the communal areas of the Lodge.
The sumptuous outdoors area at Rockfig allows you to comfortably sit back and relax. It is also a superb place to have a drink and watch animals coming in to quench their thirst at the watering hole. All kinds of wildlife saunters through here and the elephants occasionally come stretch their trunks over into the swimming pool for some water too.
People at Rockfig
I receive a warm welcome as I arrive at the Rockfig Lodge. Even though it is Winter, the midday temperature ensures you are wearing short sleeves and acquiring your daily dosage of Vitamin D from the sun.
Martin, Almero, Chanti and Sam all stand and chat with me and guide me through to the communal area. Solo travel can sometimes be challenging, but you know you have found a remarkable place when you feel so at home so quickly. The welcome allows me to immediately feel like part of the family here (if your everyday experience is that of Royalty 🙂 ).
From the Rangers, to Trackers, to Front of House, the Chefs and Hostesses, there is a genuine warmth of South African hospitality which is most endearing.
The communal area of the Lodge includes an indoor and outdoor lounge area, kitchen and dining space, which affords the opportunity to meet other guests. The outdoor lounge on the deck looks towards the watering hole and has a stunning horizon pool that allows you to take in the sunset and the wildlife as you cool down.
Alongside this lounge area are deck loungers that encourage you to take the pace of life a little slower and indulge in the magic here.
Framed by trees, you can sit in the outside lounge and chat, read a book or put your binoculars to good use scanning the bush. Of course, if you are wanting to pop off pictures on your phone to friends and family, you can do so while linked to the Lodge wi-fi. The couches and comfy pillows encourage you to rest a little and relax, which is exactly what guests are here to do.
There are six individual Suites at Rockfig Safari Lodge. They can host up to 12 adults and 4 children at a time, which means the experience you have here is an exclusive one.
Use of stone, wood and muted colours ensures that the Suites blend in perfectly with nature. The Lodge tries to ensure that it is as eco friendly as possible, using glass containers, aluminium water bottles in the Suites and for guests to use on game drives. This decision has been made to ensure that the Lodge decreases the practice of using single use plastic.
The Suites are impeccable and very comfortable. They have been decorated in tranquil colours with splashes of green and are warmed by the wood used in tables, the canopy on the bed, the bathroom area and porch. At night you can close the bed off with a mosquito curtain to ensure you have a peaceful rest.
When you walk in, the smell of Lemon Verbena refreshes you. In fact, all the lifestyle amenities are from Healing Earth , whose products are indulgent but also manufactured with 100 percent natural ingredients and bio degradable containers.
The main areas of the Suite are your tea and coffee facilities with bar fridge, bathroom, bedroom and porch.
The bathroom has an oval bath for two with view that is wonderfully indulgent.
Just add water, bath salts or bubble bath and light the candle alongside the bath while you read, sip wine, or watch the sun go down and moon rise. It is a recipe for blissful relaxation.
There is also an indoor shower furnished in stone and glass which ably sprays away the dust from your journey. On warmer nights you can treat yourself to a private shower under the stars with your Suite view blocked from any vehicles or other guest. What a way to enjoy nature! Don’t be overly concerned at any wildlife staring at you, it’s nothing they haven’t seen before. 😉
The Bedroom has a relaxed quality and the bed will ensure a very comfortable nights sleep. You may wake during the night on hearing lions roar, but it will not keep you awake for very long as the pillows draw you back into dreamland.
The Chefs and kitchen staff delight in providing tasty food and snacks. It is rather like having your own genie in a bottle for food. Their infectious laughter and smiles indicate that they are happy when the guests are full.
From coffee and biscuits before your early morning game drive, to both a continental and warm breakfast, a fresh and filling lunch and the expansive three course dinner. You will not want for anything. The menu is varied and caters to a diversity of tastes and appetites.
The dining set up is not fixed, so it changes daily. You could enjoy your meal inside, under the roof on porch or under the stars on the deck. Everyday is a surprise that you will find you relish.
It is magnificent to be able to watch wildlife or hear them calling while you are about your dining.
Being someone that finds solace in the bush and nature, I was particularly excited at the idea of going on game drives. Rockfig ensures their guests a special experience by having no more than four guests along with the Ranger and Tracker team.
It is a benefit learning from the extensive knowledge of the Guides and Trackers. Almero and Sydney were entertaining as well as being informative and had us immersed in the bush in no time. The first game drive I was privileged to experience seeing three treed leopards from a dry river bed with two kills and hyenas scrounging around under the trees desperately hoping for scraps.
It is the first time I have ever experienced this and also witnessed the strength of a leopard as a male launched into a tree with his kill with a hyena in hot pursuit (luckily for the leopard the hyena can’t climb trees).
On the following evening drive, I enjoyed sundowners after seeing a male lion sleep and try conserve energy.
It seems that he enjoyed his sleep so much that he took to hugging himself. Even the King of the Savannah needs some TLC sometimes.
We were also told about the plant and tree life in Timbavati. On asking how Rockfig got its name, we were told about a resident leopard that had her cubs at the base of a Rock Fig tree. This is how the name came about. The tree is hardy and grows on exposed outcrops, but is not found in large numbers in this area of the country.
Coming across elephants is always a special treat. Whether they are in herds or by themselves. I enjoy sitting admiring them as they rumble to communicate with one another. These giants that are capable of large scale destruction, but are also playful and gentle, especially when it comes to teaching their young.
When allowed to sit and stare, it is amazing what a sense of tranquility you get around elephants.
Rockfig has early morning and late afternoon game drives, which is the best time to be able to find wildlife. Be sure to bring your camera equipment to capture the amazing experiences that you will have here.
Rockfig is a very hard place to leave. Not only because you have been treated like royalty, but there is just a magic about this destination that is hard to describe. Everything in the city encourages you indoors and to indoor tasks, whereas here at Rockfig great attention has been paid to ensure that everything draws you outside to celebrate Timabavati and it’s wildlife.
Rockfig is absolutely exquisite without being at all pretentious. On chatting to guests, most of them were trying to figure out when they could return for another break here. I for one, would encourage anyone who has the chance to experience this, to take it with both hands.
You can find more details about Rockfig on their website. If you are from any of the SADC countries, be sure to mention this to obtain your discounted rate. You can follow what is happening at Rockfig on social media on Facebook or Instagram.
Until then…see you on the Road