Best Of Three

Trio of Limpopo lodges offer a variety of bush adventuresTrio of Limpopo lodges offer a variety of bush adventures


Pachyderm and panoramas

Situated along the Nbesi River in the heart of the Blue Canyon Conservancy is Moditlo. The name means ‘place of the elephant’ and, despite our guide telling me that there are vast herds on the property, it was only on the final drive that we discovered a lone bull. Like one of these pachyderms that negotiate the bush in almost absolute silence, the lodge and its surroundings exude a quiet charm and elegance that are hard to beat. The pool is obviously the centre of attraction, especially on a hot summer day when guests can use it to cool off in, and then wander over and enjoy a meal on the deck, which runs the length of the main building and offers easy access to the lounge, swimming pool and dining area. Being covered, it offers protection from some of the elements for those who want to be outdoors, but don’t want to be exposed to the harsh rays of the African sun.

The panoramic views from the bridge that links the public areas to the accommodation are breath-taking. The camp is unfenced, so getting to your room at night involves being escorted by a staff member – better safe than sorry. The 18 luxury rooms are set far apart from each other to offer privacy and solitude… and space for whatever you might need protection from. The room décor is minimalist, but less is more – covering every wall and flat surface with African-themed curiosities has become a bit of a cliché.

Monkey business

Chacma Bush Camp is in the Maseke Balule Game Reserve, an 8,000ha private property that shares open borders with the Kruger National Park. It is named after the troops of baboons that frequent this area and that often sleep in the rocky outcrop behind the camp. The main bedroom of Grysbok Chalet overlooks the koppie behind the camp, and guests might even be lucky to see a leopard walk past after dark.

Chacma offers guests breakfast, lunch and dinner as part of the package, and all the meals that I had were well presented and delicious. It is said that the best sightings are always either the day before you arrive or the day after you leave. In this instance, an English guest ha  left that morning not having seen a leopard during his stay and, as we returned from an evening drive, there was a leopard in the camp! I did send him a picture to let him know what he had missed by just a few hours. I don’t know if he appreciated it…

Sit and watch

Nambu Camp, a property that has been in the Drinkwater family for almost four decades and has been passed down through generations, has retained many of the family memories, and some of the décor from bygone days has been seamlessly incorporated into the more contemporary design elements. This building is home to a lounge, dining area, kitchen and offices, all sitting side by side in perfect harmony. The wrap-around deck allows visitors to scan the bush below for signs of wildlife and, more often than not, they are rewarded with a variety of different species that go about their business without even knowing that they are being observed.

The accommodation offered a comfortable king-size bed with a headboard featuring a series of socket outletsand charging ports, a bonus that other lodges should take cognisance of – perhaps they could follow suit. Each corner of the vast and airy public space that is the main building serves a different purpose, yet they work together as a cohesive whole – a reception area, dining space and lounge area. It has been immaculately furnished with a variety of new and old furniture, helping to keep it in touch with its roots.

Guests are encouraged to share a long table for meals. However, for those who do not want to sit at the long table, or who are celebrating a special event, alternative seating for dinner can be arranged on the deck. At night, the main buildings take on an appealing intimacy, allowing guests to relax around a bonfire and enjoy themselves, or to sit quietly in the dark watching the stunning night sky.

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