With a large variety of mammals and over 300 bird species, Madikwe Game Reserve is the ideal location to experience a true African safari. Situated along the Botswana border, Madikwe is 75,000 hectares of malaria-free reserve notable for its community upliftment programs and preservation of Africa’s wildlife.
In the west of the Madikwe Game Reserve lies the Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge. This unique African gem was purchased by Dr. Chai Patel and his family in 2004, and boasts an elegant, yet comfortable environment suited for families and children of all ages. Dr. Chai Patel was first born in Uganda and moved with his family to stay in the UK; but just as any other African at heart, he knew that one day he would return.
Highly recognised, the Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge has been awarded “World Luxury Hotel Awards” for 2010, 2011 and 2013. The lodge carries a strong emphasis on creating unforgettable experiences and caters for the whole family. Children of all ages will be well taken care of as Royal Madikwe provides a special Kids Club which includes: bush baking, animal tracking at the watering-hole, African beading lessons, game drives with storytelling and other exciting activities.
While the kids are being entertained, parents and honeymooners will also be spoilt for choice with Game drives, expertly guided bush walks, African drumming lessons, Zulu dancing and Star Gazing – a few of the many opportunities to experience at Royal Madikwe Safari Lodge.
Royal Madikwe is the ideal location for exceptional “Big Five” viewing, and guests are almost guaranteed sightings of Elephant, Leopard, Lion, Buffalo and Rhino. The highly endangered African Wild Dog or Painted Wolf was introduced to the Madikwe Reserve in 1994, and has since populated into three different hunting packs, increasing your chances of seeing this fascinating animal.
The lodge accommodates 14 guests in 3 Luxury Suites, the Royal Villa and the Emperor Suite. Villas and Suites include: deluxe king size four poster beds adorned by mosquito nets, indoor/outdoor showers, en-suit bathrooms, and viewing deck with immaculate views over-looking the Madikwe Game Reserve, or watering hole. For a more intimate family getaway, or for smaller groups, Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge also offers the exclusive use of a whole lodge.
Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Located in the Madikwe Game Reserve, Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge is made up of 75 000 hectares of pristine, untouched land and is home to the most superlative number of Wild Dogs in South Africa.
The lodge and five luxurious villas portray the true essence of the bygone, African colonial era that includes rich mahogany woods, earth tones of creams, beiges and light greys with a mixture of contrasting silver and brass furnishings. Each villa includes exceptional outdoor amenities such as a luxurious sala and outdoor shower. Breath-taking views of the waterhole, allows couples to experience the African wildlife from the privacy of their own private rim-flow pool.
The romance flows indoors with a magnificent antique four-poster bed – draped in whites, an opulent walk-in dressing room and luxurious bathroom overlooking the African bush. At Madikwe Game Reserve there are an abundance of over 300 different species of birds, Vervet monkeys, Lion, Elephant, Leopard and of course the Painted Wolf – or Wild Dog.
The Jamala experience doesn’t fall short with the wildlife, as the lodge also provides guests with an exceptional gastronomic journey. Highly acclaimed chef, Nico Verster will leave guests amazed with his ‘5 star award winning’ cuisine and degustation menu. Guests may dine al ‘fresco, under a blanket of stars, or for a more intimate dining experience may dine in the privacy of their own villa. Note gastronomic dinners are an all-round experience and not only limited to Valentine’s Day.
Sausage Tree Camp
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Nestled on the banks of the Zambezi River, Sausage Tree Camp is an idyllic safari experience and is voted BBC Holiday Programme’s number one ‘Ten Best Luxury Destinations’. The camp is unfenced and allows the African wildlife to venture freely, giving guests the opportunity to experience animals up close, but at a safe and respectable distance.
Sausage Tree Camp consists of eight luxurious tents with five being their Signature Tents, two Honeymoon Suites and one Family Suite, or Kigelia House. The eight tents are spread out along the Zambezi and encompass a Bedouin –style roof with soft African elements and subtle furnishings. More simplistic, yet sophisticated décor are placed throughout the five Signature Tents and each come with its own four-poster bed, open-air en-suite bathroom and private butler. The two Honeymoon Suites are especially romantic as they have their own expansive wooden deck with private plunge pool. Sausage Tree’s Family Suite or Kigelia Family House includes two lavish en-suite bathrooms, a lounge, dining area, private pool and wooden deck.
Guests can look out onto the open plains from the privacy of their own rooms, spotting various animals such as Aardvark, African Elephant, Lion, Caracal, Leopard and Buffalo. For those more romantic moments, Sausage Tree Camp offers intimate dining experiences by moonlight, starlight or by candlelight making this camp the ideal ‘Valentine’s Day’ destination.
Maasai Mara, Kenya
Settled in the Mara Triangle along the edge of the Great Rift Valley, Angama offers guests expansive views over Kenya’s Maasai Mara and is also home to the world’s magnificent, Great Wildebeest Migration.
Angama Mara is the idyllic place for romantic getaways as the camp is made up of fifteen intimate suites, each with their own breath-taking views over the Mara below. Each tent was carefully designed by Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens alongside the King of Canvas who artfully put together the suites outstanding canvas walls and ceilings. The fronts of the tents are lined with floor to ceiling glass inviting guests to look out upon an unimaginable and unforgettable world. Views can also be seen from the bath, shower, bed and sitting area. Suites are decorated with soft, romantic tones of creams and olives with woven chairs and pops of Maasai red.
To really experience Angama, guests need to treat themselves to a very special picnic on top of the hill where the classic movie, ‘Out of Africa’ was filmed. The picnics are very intimate, romantic and exclusive to couples as it can only comfortably accommodate two. In the early hours of the morning, wake up to a phenomenal scene of hot air balloons floating past the African sunrise. You’ll simply lose yourself at Angama Mara.
Hermanus, Western Cape
For a coastal experience, the Birkenhead House is a luxurious 5 star hotel, situated on top of a small cliff and overlooks the majestic oceans of Walker Bay. This is a marine lover’s paradise and is the ideal location for whale-watching, sea kayaking, shark cage diving and is less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
Owner Liz Biden is the creative genius behind the interior of the Birkenhead House. The hotel consists of eleven rooms, none of which are the same but carry a mixture of contemporary design combined with a sophisticated, laid-back style. Rooms are decorated with unique artworks, antique-style furnishings and splashes of colour. Each room also includes a signature king-size bed and an exquisite Liz Biden designed en-suite bathroom.
Birkenhead House is the ultimate experience for couples who enjoy fine cuisine and wines, as the hotel encompasses a small wine cellar which includes some of the best South African wines. Guests have the opportunity to help forage with Birkenhead’s Executive Chef, Ziyaad Browne and taste some of the Cape’s most exquisite dishes. Chef Ziyaad Browne has a predominant Cape Malay influence combined with Asian flavours and will leave guests in awe.
Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge: Images are property of Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge
Sausage Tree Camp: Images are property of Sausage Tree Camp
Angama Mara: Images are property of Angama Mara
Birkenhead House: Images are property of Birkenhead House
Makanyi Private Game Lodge is a true African inspired, luxury experience and is located in the southern Timbavati Nature Reserve – a superior area for wildlife. Here, guests will be able to witness Africa’s ‘Big 5’ (lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino) as well as the rare and fascinating white lion.
Owner Jessica Gold, fell in love with Makanyi in 2013 and decided to substitute the haphazard city of London for the more serene African lifestyle. Together with her superb team, Makanyi Lodge go out of their way to encapsulate guests with an authentic African experience, combining their love of conservation, community and luxurious living.
What sets Makanyi apart from any other lodge in the Timbavati is that they give special attention to detail. While on game drives, there are no time restrictions at sightings, congestion of vehicles and guests will be guided by expert trackers who’ll trace animals without being notified of their whereabouts.
Along with your afternoon and morning game drives, guests may request other activities such as bush walks, star gazing, fishing, a photo safari with highly acclaimed photographer, Hilton Kotze, or an art safari with artist of the year 2016, Warren Cary. For those who prefer time-out or a little R&R, can lounge around on the pool deck, sip on cocktails or enjoy a good read while the ‘calls of the wild’ echo in the background.
Makanyi consists of a luxury main lodge and seven suites; each aesthetically designed with immaculate views overlooking the dam. The main lodge is spacious, exudes elegance and unsullied furnishings, still keeping to the authentic African essence. Each suite is a marriage between modern and rustic elements with different wood textures and stone wall overlays. Two of the seven suites are especially ideal for newlyweds as they’re further away from the main lodge, offer more privacy and have their own plunge pool. All rooms include special amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, telephone, mini bar and Nespresso coffee machines.
Catering to your every need, Makanyi will make sure that you’re well fed with the most nutritious and locally sourced foods. If you’re missing your own cuisine back home, Makanyi will accommodate to your specific taste preference, ensuring your stay is nothing less than memorable.
All images are property of Makanyi Private Game Lodge.
Fine brandy aficionados will be delighted to know that the world’s most iconic restaurant, the Test Kitchen is now home to some of South Africa’s finest brandies.
Highly acclaimed and recently awarded “Best Restaurant in Africa” and “22nd Best Restaurant in the World”, the Test Kitchen has undergone a complete design revamp showcasing a fresh, innovative sensory concept of a “dark” and “light” room exclusively available for dinner service.
Along with this experience, Luke Dale-Roberts has introduced his guests with the opportunity to taste the unique flavours of South Africa’s finest brandies.
Chef Luke Dale-Roberts describes his latest offering by mentioning that “The new concept of The Test Kitchen is an all-in experience,” and “It’s like being invited to someone’s home.”
Brandy is typically ideal as an after dinner digestive and pairs beautifully with sweet desserts and chocolates. As part of The Test Kitchen’s new set menu, the brandies will be presented by sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka and will be displayed on an elegant liquor cart.
Once guests have decided on their particular brandy of choice they are given the opportunity to savour the brandy’s tantalising flavours as they finish off their meal.
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