Ranger Diaries

It’s Time for a December Breakaway with Luxury Wildlife Accommodation The festive season is almost upon us and, now that the seasonal slow-down in work activities is providing us with the perfect opportunity to start planning a December breakaway, many South African families will already be shopping around for new swimsuits, body boards, some smart shades, sunscreen and insect repellent, as they prepare for the drive or a short domestic flight to one of the country’s coastal resorts. Among those who are not, quite a few are likely to be engaged in an online search for a lodge that offers them luxury wildlife accommodation in one of the nation’s many game reserves.

How to Combine an Awesome Wildlife Experience with Luxury Accommodation Given the celebrity status that is now enjoyed worldwide by Africa’s iconic Big Five, no safari adventure can really be regarded as complete if it does not offer the opportunity to spot each of this famed wildlife quintet. Among the regions of South Africa where this is possible, Limpopo has grown to become one of the most popular. As a result, this northernmost province now attracts large numbers of both local and international visitors throughout the year. To cope with this influx, there has been a parallel growth in guest accommodation and a portion of this has been aimed at those who would prefer to offset the demands of their bushveld venture with a touch of luxury.

How Would You Define a 5-Star Game Lodge? The excitement of a game drive is something that everyone should experience at some time, and South Africans are especially privileged to live in a country that offers so many opportunities to pursue what, for many of those living overseas, is likely to remain just a distant dream. Even on the outskirts of our cities, it is not too difficult to find a lion or cheetah park, or perhaps a crocodile farm where one can spend an hour or two viewing these exotic creatures in their natural habitat. Such a brief excursion, however, amounts to a mere taste of what is possible, should you decide, instead, to devote a full weekend to visiting one of the country’s larger wildlife reserves.

Luxury Accommodation and a Unique Wildlife Experience at 57 Waterberg Sadly, the future of many wild creatures has long been threatened by mankind’s growing need for space and its continued competition for natural resources. Urban sprawl, deforestation and environmental pollution have already decimated the populations of innumerable species, while some will never be seen again. Elephants and rhinos have been slaughtered without mercy, so that humans may profit from the sale of their tusks and horns, driving them ever closer to the brink of extinction.

Ensure Malaria-Free Accommodation for a Safe Bushveld Experience It is an alarming fact that the female anopheles mosquito is responsible for more human deaths than great white sharks, man-eating tigers, rogue elephants and all the alpha predators, plus venomous snakes, scorpions and poisonous spiders, put together. It is estimated that up to 550 million people may have contracted malaria in 2010 alone, and that as many as 1.24 million of those may have died. Such figures should certainly spur most people to give some serious thought to finding malaria-free accommodation when planning a bushveld adventure. In fact, this could prove to be a far more effective precaution than simply taking a chance on one of the, frequently unreliable, prophylactics recommended by a pharmacist or family doctor.

What Makes a 5-Star Game Lodge Experience? Given the continued weakness of our currency, fewer South Africans are able to enjoy overseas vacations than was the case in the past. Fortunately, the ailing rand has also made our country more attractive to international travellers, who are assured of exceptional value in exchange for their much-needed dollars and pounds.

Convenient Bushveld Accommodation and a 5-Star Game Lodge in Limpopo With the rand hovering around record low levels, the option of an overseas vacation is no longer within reach of many South Africans. On the other hand, these same meagre exchange rates have served to make this country an exceptionally attractive destination for foreign visitors, and a welcome source of hard currency for the local tourism industry. Together, these circumstances have contributed to a growing number of both locals and visitors who wish to experience the local beauty and, in turn, there has been an increased demand for bushveld accommodation, such as campsites and game lodges.

Luxury Accommodation within Reach of the Waterberg Mountain Range Although there will always be many intrepid travellers who have what it takes to enjoy a bushveld trip from tented accommodation at a campsite, many more of those who choose to visit wilderness regions, such as the Waterberg, are likely to be in search of a little more luxury. While most South Africans and many overseas visitors enjoy a braai in the great outdoors, not all of them are quite as keen when it comes to sharing an ablution block each morning or spraying themselves with insect repellent before clambering into a sleeping bag each night. One man’s meat, it seems, can indeed be another man’s poison.

Luxury Wildlife Accommodation in Limpopo’s Magnificent Welgevonden Game Reserve Part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 2001, the Welgevonden Game Reserve extends for around 4 000 square kilometres. The reserve’s name is derived from a Dutch phrase that means “well found” and, given the area’s stunning natural beauty and abundant flora and fauna, it could hardly be more appropriate.

Why Not Combine an Awesome Wildlife Experience with Luxury Accommodation? The idea that venturing into the South African bushveld in the hope of spotting some of its wildlife automatically entails “roughing it” for a few days, has become an outdated one. In fact, some of the accommodation offered for this purpose today is notable for its evident luxury. For those less intrepid travellers who prefer not to carry their temporary homes and survival equipment in the boot of an RV, or even on their backs, the prospect of enjoying an air-conditioned, en-suite room, replete with facilities normally only found in a 5-start hotel is, in some locations, no longer a dream but a welcome reality.