Thursday, November 30, 2017

The River Lodge @Thornybush Game Reserve. Mpumalanga

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The entrance to the main lodge building.
At one point I thought that we had got lost driving from the gate,
and when we found the lodge I was relieved.
The simple, yet elegant façade hides an interior beauty that we were about to discover. 


Looking back towards the main building from the grounds near the waterhole.
The swimming pool is the focus of the deck where meals are served
 or relaxation time can be enjoyed.

The doors were sourced from India,
although they do look similar to those found in Zanzibar.
The antique doors from Zanzibar are now protected 
and can no longer be exported.

The devil is in the detail...
and here it certainly was.
Both in the public areas as well as the suite we stayed in

A guest book can tell a lot about a lodge and their commitment to service excellence.
At River Lodge the guests were so enthralled that they drew pictures of the animals they had seen.

One of the differentials of this lodge is the fact that the kitchen is not hidden away.
In fact, it is in plain view of all the guests, situated just behind the grey counter
at the one end of the main reception building.

Meals can be served on the deck depending on the weather.
This is also a great vantage point for game viewing.
The Nyala and Warthogs use the area in front of the deck as a highway,
and the waterhole was frequented by a herd of buffalo,
that claimed ownership for an entire morning.

Lunch as a taster meal for two.
There were vegetarian options as a standard as well as fresh salad and dessert.

This was the sight that greeted us when we arrived at the Royal Suite,
which was to be our accommodation for the duration of our stay.
The bedroom was off to the right, while a lounge/dining room/ kitchen
was in the building at the top of the stairs.
The size was so overwhelming that my wife thought that it was a second reception area!

This is the interior of that building.
Beautifully designed and laid out, it was a pity that we were not able to spend more time here.

The Royal Suite.
Our en-suite bedroom, which represents only a PART of our accommodation...


A seating area that was part of the indoor accommodation.

The en-suite bathroom included an indoor and outdoor shower
as well as a walk in dressing area!

This eating/relaxing area outside the bedroom had a mini kitchen.

The décor was superb and the designer's eye for detail was reflected in the smallest of items 

Our own private plunge pool.
We were told that elephants often drank here,
unfortunately none came to visit us during our stay.

Even during the hottest months, blankets are always welcome.
It might be warm when the vehicle stops, but when moving it can be somewhat chilly.

We found this leopard up a tree with a grey Duiker kill.
She had already eaten some of the carcass, but as we sat and watched, 
she decided to fastidiously clean herself.
Our ranger said that we would come back first thing in the morning...
I do hope that she decides to overnight here and not take her kill somewhere else

Time to head back to the Lodge as the sun vanishes below the horizon


A Boma dinner to end off the day...
and what a day it had been
From wild horses in Kaapsehoop in the morning,
to a leopard sighting as the sun set.
THIS is why I love Africa.


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