Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mhondoro Game Lodge,a Phoenix risen from the ashes. Welgevonden.

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Mhondoro Game Lodge was first opened in 2008.
A devastating fire in 2013 completely destroyed the lodge
and it was closed for repairs for two years.
It reopened its door again in October 2015,
 and has been a hit with old and new guests alike.
The "rebirth" has allowed the owners to completely change the offering
and to raise the bar as far as both accommodation and food is concerned.

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Aside from the "usual" merchandise,
the curio shop also carries a limited range of digital products.
Always a plus when you have run out of memory cards etc.

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The new furniture has modern, clean lines.
Being a light wood, it makes the outdoor eating space
both welcoming and comfortable at the same time.

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Looking out over the (heated) swimming pool,
towards the open plain in front of the reception/main lodge building.
The owners have capitalized on the views
and the configuration of the lodge accentuates those.

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There is comfortable seating provided on all the levels of the deck.
This gives guests the opportunity to "catch" some sun,
or to still enjoy the view from the shade.

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One of the differentials for me is the addition of this hide.
Easily accessible via a 65m tunnel, it allows visitors the opportunity
to get really close without scaring the animals too much.
Being a new addition, it will take time for the various species
to become comfortable with the movement inside the hide.

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Just one species of game that came to drink at the dam in front of the hide.

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Yet ANOTHER seating area at the main lodge.
The owners have maximized the view from every room
as well as the Villa.

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Not an animal skin or stuffed head in sight!
Modern, light colours and very comfortable
are some of the adjectives I would use regarding the new decor.

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Is the weather inclement?
Then you can relax here and watch the "passing parade"
from behind closed doors.
The Lodge also boasts great Wi-Fi connectivity.
Not only in the public spaces, but in all the accommodation.
Being able to post pictures, make comments have become the norm.
Tourists/ travellers want to be in contact constantly,
and the Lodge can actually benefit from this form of "marketing".

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The bar it at one end of the main building.
Beautifully lit, it is stocked with a range of beverages.
Mhondoro also boast a comprehensive wine cellar. 

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Yes, there is a gym...
Did I use it? No...
But I did do exercises on the deck in front of my room.
The view while on the equipment is over the pool towards the waterhole.
There is a sauna and change room that can be accessed from here.
There is also a massage suite and a trained therapist on staff.
Due to time constraints, I was unable to take advantage
 of the services on offer...a reason for a return visit I do believe. 

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Part of my accommodation.
The bed was REALLY comfortable,
and the pillows were a winner for me.
Exactly how I like them, firm not too hard.
Even though I travel with my own pillow, it was not required.
Beautiful as the accommodation is, I did not spend much time here,
aside from sleeping and showering.

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This was MY private sun-bed that was just to the right of my private deck.
A great place to chill, if you don't feel like being in a public space.
Some of the accommodation offers private pools.
Bearing in mind that there is only room for 20 people,
if you want to be specific about your choice of accommodation,
then don't book at the last moment.
If you want to really be in the lap of luxury,
then book "The Villa"...it is bush chic personified.

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"My" deck...
This is where I did my early morning exercises
and late night star gazing.

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An indoor/ outdoor shower...an absolute must in hot weather.
For the uninitiated, it is a "rite of passage" to have an outdoor shower...
on a mid winter morning, BEFORE game drive!

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I have to compliment the management on the size of the writing
on these products.
Normally, I forget to check which is which, and after taking off my glasses,
I battle to read the usually tiny font.

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All the amenities that you could think of.
And a fully stocked mini bar.

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Some of the awesome African night sky.

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The swimming pool at night.
If you think it looks inviting for the guests,
imagine how tempting it looks the local elephants. 

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Lodge Manager, Ronel Breytonbach
had this to say about the property:
https://soundcloud.com/david-batzofin/zoom0004mp3

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A highly recommended destination.

 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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