A petrifying roar pierced the stillness of the night air then another. I woke up with a start. It sounded as though the lion was right outside my door but fortunately I had been warned of this and knew that he was actually much further away than his roar would lead me to believe. I snuggled back into the luxurious cotton percale linen and fell into a deep slumber until my alarm announced that it was time for the early morning game drive.
Later that morning, I stepped out on to the deck of my private suite as the sun rose and glanced wistfully at the plunge pool and deck chairs, wishing that the weather was warm enough to take advantage of it. With my coffee mug in hand I surveyed the miles of bushlands in front of me. It was peaceful and tranquil, a revitalising antidote to the stressfulness of the concrete jungle.
Our home for the weekend was the Royal African suite at Zwahili Private Game Lodge, a five-star game lodge at the foot of the Waterberg Mountains in the Limpopo province. The lodge is in a malaria-free region and lies about 2 hours north from Johannesburg. It is small and intimate, consisting of just 10 beautiful rooms, guaranteed to make you feel at one with nature.
The Royal African suite is the lodge’s masterpiece and epitomises regal opulence and grandeur in the bushveld setting. Featuring a huge bedroom area flanked by a cosy lounge area and a lavish bathroom as well as a private deck with your very own private plunge pool and outdoor shower, the suite is geared for romance. The dark wood finishes and African prints help create the perfect ambience. You can choose to have your meals in your suite or on your private deck. You can even have a massage in your suite, if you so wish. When the thundershowers rain you in, as they did with us, it becomes even more of a private sanctuary. A discreet haven for you and your loved one in unspoilt nature, it is perfect for a romantic weekend away or a special, intimate celebration. Even housekeeping is done while you're at meals or on game drives to avoid disturbing you.
There are two game drives a day and guided bush walks can also be arranged. The 2000-hectare private game farm is home to abundant plains game including zebras, giraffes and several different species of antelopes, vibrant bird-life, elusive leopards and hyenas. The magnificent lions are part of a breeding program and are in enclosures. Basil, the knowledgeable field guide kept us entertained and informed as we ventured on our game drives.
Over and above the wildlife, the area boasts a rich history too. There is evidence of past inhabitance in the form of rock paintings on the cave walls and archaeological remains. More recent historic significance can be found at “Witkop”, a koppie which was used by the Boers as a hide-out from the British for almost two years during the Anglo-Boer war. Other activities on the premises include a small spa, bushveld picnics, lawn croquet and silhouette shooting.
There is an extra-special resident at the lodge who will keep you enthralled. Zebu, the adorable young zebra who lives at the lodge was rescued when his mother was killed by lightning a few months ago. Too young to fend for himself, the lodge staff took him under their wing and fed him by bottle.
The beat of the African tribal drums announces mealtimes. Breakfast is served with the Zwahili Chronicle, which contains the menu and interesting titbits of food trivia. At dinner-time, as we sat down to the sumptuous table-d’hote meal, Charity and her team fussed over us. Indeed, the service from all the staff members was warm, attentive and welcoming ensuring that you are treated to a true African experience in comfort and luxury.
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