Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mhondoro Game Lodge, Welgevonden. An overview.

An African sunrise over the plains of Welgevonden Game Reserve,
as seen from the deck of Mhondoro Game Lodge.
I do enjoy this time of the morning...before game drive,
and before the lodge starts to gear up for the day

A cup of  coffee before setting off to see what the drive has in store.
Many visitors believe that rangers know where all of the Big 5
and can therefore find them without too much effort.
This is not always the case. But, working within a particular reserve
the rangers come to understand where the game MIGHT be.

A view of the rebuilt Mhondoro lodge.
All of the public spaces were destroyed in a fire in 2013.
Two years of renovation saw the lodge being reopened to the public
in December of 2015

The public swimming pool (some of the accommodation offers private pools)
overlooks the open area in front of the lodge.
The well equipped gym and sauna are directly behind it.
So, no excuses NOT to work out!

This 65m tunnel will lead visitors to a hide that is at eye level
with a waterhole were the wildlife that come to drink.
The lighting is eco-friendly and is sensor controlled.

Part of a herd of Zebra that came to slake their thirst on a hot afternoon.

Most of the species that I watched were very relaxed...
except for a group of Warthogs that were intent on chasing each other,
despite the heat and the dust.

One of the differentials that Mhondoro has to offer is their cuisine.
The lodge has 5 chefs on staff and considering that the Lodge
 can only accommodate 20 people that is a ratio of 1 chef to 4 guests!

And I have to make mention of their pastry chef, Abby,
who produces mouth watering delights, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
(See my earlier comment about the gym!)
This is what she had to say about her role at Mhondoro:

Dinner is served...
Beautifully plated food that appeals to all the senses.
And a well stocked bar and wine cellar to compliment the meals.

One of the spots where we stopped for "sun-downers".
Even though the drought has had an effect on the ground water,
this river is still flowing.

We had company...
This young Baboon sat and watched us between
bouts of play with siblings who eventually decided to leave

This is why visitors come to Welgevonden...
The reserve boasts one of the largest Cheetah populations,
and they are reproducing regularly...a good sign that they are "happy".

The reserve is also home to the largest privately owned
herd of White Rhino.
They are protected by armed guards, 24/7...
a fact that visitors are made aware of before they even enter the main gate.

This is how close I got to one of Africa's most dangerous animals.
The African Buffalo.

Blue (Brindled Gnu) are often mistaken for Buffalo.
This is an antelope that was designed by a committee,
using "left over" parts from other species.

Visitors to the lodge are able to go on guided game walks.

Being on foot allows guests to see  things
that might be missed when on a game drive vehicle.
Like this spider web.

Returning from my game drive/ game walk,
I certainly put my outdoor shower to good use

And African sunset...just to make the day special.


Lodge Manager, Ronel Breytonbach
had this to say about the property:

 Friendly and efficient staff who have a passion for their customers.
Based on my experiences over the past few months
and in five different cities, I highly recommend them.
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