Nestled in nature, in the spirit of the African Bush lies this five star safari experience. This first-class luxury escape radiates an authentic African spirit, and oozes the very heart in all that we love and appreciate about being African.
Is there any other place on earth you can fall asleep to the calls of the spotted eagle owls? And then wake up to the most resplendent African sunrise? Is there any other location where you can rest and relax in isolation – in five star opulence – in the middle of the bush? Well it seems we found just the spot. The only issue is, we never wanted to leave.
Home to a system of over sixteen streams and rivers fed by crystal clear mountain water, the Mhondoro Game Lodge basks in nature and all her glory. Mhondoro is family owned by a Dutch couple, Frank and Myriam Vogel, who have a passion for South Africa and its wildlife. Watch herds of elephants sip out of the main lodge pool at lunch time, witness a family of rhinos drink the fresh water from the water hole in front of the lodge, or pry in the underground waterhole hide at a dazzle of zebra passing by. You’re so close you can hear them masticate, you can hear their hoofs scrape the red earth… you can even hear them breath. It truly is one of the most captivating wildlife experiences between humans and creatures.
You could say it’s strange how such magic exists right on our doorstep, but also strange to ignore it. The Waterberg is a place where water spills out of every cavity and fig trees stand majestic and tall. The flora is in bloom and the ever-changing landscape is mesmerising, especially on a three-hour game drive. Around every corner there lies a new setting, a new ecosystem awaits – and when your only problem is spotting the wildebeest amongst the rhino, then you know you’ve found nirvana.
It feels as if Welgevonden has more rhinos than the whole of South Africa. It’s the most beautiful site to see amongst a world of poachers. There are fifty white rhino, and any place where they flourish is a place we want to be. Mhondoro is not just about the rhino; we also saw leopard, cheetah, elephants and countless giraffes and zebra, as well as a pack of jackals basking in the sunshine. Thanks to the stringent anti-poaching measures, these animals are all protected.
At the epicentre of the bush is the lodge. The furniture is locally sourced and has an eco-friendly charm – an all-natural aesthetic with a European flair. We had a two-night stay, but highly recommend a three-night safari. The lodge sleeps twenty guests in total, so it’s ideal for a family celebration, a milestone birthday, family vacation and even a honeymoon. There is also a six-sleeper villa with its own butler, pool, kitchen and dining room!
One of the standouts of this trip had to be the exquisite dining experience. It’s not often one gets served soft shell crab with coconut soil and chilli saffron ice cream for starters, and peppered ostrich with cauliflower puree for mains. Expect to star gaze on the deck, whilst indulging in a fine dining dinner with a touch of ‘safariesque’ elements. Forget feeling sluggish and slothful after a meal – not at this safari lodge!
Mhondoro Yoga & Detox Programme – 20 – 25 November 2017.
The programme consists of a (pretox) 3 day phasing, a 3 day juice fast (detox), a (retox) building for 3 days, spa treatments, yoga sessions, bush walks and safaris, meditation and personal coaching.
Need to know
Your stay includes two game drives per day, three meals and/or guides safari walks.
It’s a malaria-free safari lodge.
They host the big five! (Incredibly) It’s only two and a half hours drive from Joburg.
It’s a 50 minute flight from Johannesburg, and there are daily flights.
It’s located in the Limpopo Province.
The reserve encompasses 37 500 hectares.
The lodge has been rebuilt and renovated since 2015.
They have an offsite meetings and function facility that can accommodate up to ten people.
There’s a full spa and gym.
There is an outdoor jungle gym for the kids.
Winter Break Special
Mhondoro Game Lodge has introduced a ‘Local Winter Break’ for South Africans that offers 20% discount on 2-nights stays between 1 May and 31 August 2017. The special offer is valid mid-week only and is subject to availability for SA Residents only. Discounted rates start at R3920 per person sharing per night in a Deluxe room, inclusive of twice daily safari activities, all meals and soft drinks, as well as local beers and select house wines.
Welgevonden Game Reserve Main Gate S 24° 12.150’ E 027° 54.099’
T: Reservations – 087 075 1274
T: Lodge – 014 755 4917
Bianca Spinner is the Lifestyle Editor at Hello Joburg Magazine. Bianca is taking strides as in independent woman in the workforce and combined with her deep seated passion and love for her community, she is sure to increase her insatiable appetite for success.