16 May Wildlife Accommodation
Experience South African Wildlife and Enjoy Exceptional Bushveld Accommodation
The image of a safari party sweltering in the heat of the sun, plagued by swarms of biting insects and at night, taking turns to watch for predators between fitful naps under the stars, may seem romantic, but it is not an experience that most of today’s wildlife enthusiasts are keen to share. Instead, most will be looking for more comfortable accommodation and a guide to transport them in a well-equipped Land Rover, to the best animal viewing sites.
TV documentaries produced by leading naturalists and conservationists have served to boost the already large number of tourists who have always preferred to head for the bushveld rather than the coast when they are looking to escape the confines of the city. To cater for their needs, there has been a substantial, parallel growth in the number of campsites and game lodges that are now to be found at numerous national parks and similar locations throughout South Arica’s nine provinces. While each of the nine offers something to attract the tourist, it is in the country’s northern regions that most of its wildlife is to be found, thus, this is also where the need for suitable bushveld accommodation is greatest.
The facilities offered to tourists in the region vary quite widely and many will, for instance, be acquainted with some of the close to 40 rest camps and safari lodges that serve visitors to the world-famous Kruger National Park. The park straddles much of the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, and includes both tented camps, as well as more permanent options. At certain of the rest camps, both the familiar Mugg & Bean and Wimpy restaurants have been providing the park’s visitors with fast food services for the past three years and more franchises are set to join them.
Not too far from the border of the Kruger, the Welgevonden Game Reserve is rapidly gaining popularity, having remained unspoilt by this type of commercialism. In addition, the reserve is a malaria-free area that offers some of the best wildlife encounters and bushveld accommodation to be found anywhere in the country. Furthermore, apart from a chance to view 300 or more species of raptors and 50 mammalian species, the park is home to the lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo that together make up the iconic Big Five. Incidentally, the adjective “big” alludes not to their size, but the difficulties and dangers involved when hunting them.
A guided tour of a bushveld reserve, though highly enjoyable and full of exciting opportunities, can also be a tiring experience. When the day is done, not everyone may want to retire to a tent and a camp bed. For those with a taste for a spot of luxury, Fifty Seven Waterberg, in the heart of the Welgevonden Reserve, is a game lodge with a difference. Rather than cramped rooms furnished with the bare essentials, our guests may plan their wildlife safaris and recover from them in select accommodation consisting of just five air-conditioned luxury suites. Exceptionally spacious and with king-sized beds, private patios and en-suite bathrooms, they offer a guarantee of undisturbed peace, yet are within easy reach of the elegant restaurant and bar that complete the experience of our exceptional wildlife reserve accommodation.