Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sabi Sabi Selati Camp. A return visit.

It has been 5 years since my last visit to this lodge
and I was uncertain as to what I expected to find had been
 changed in those intervening years.
What guests are often unaware of is the fact that
 often small decor alterations are ongoing.
However trends change and it was time for a major refurbishment for Selati.
And the reason for my visit...to experience these changes first hand. 

The ubiquitous "Welcome drink"...
In this instance a Rock Shandy which was both thirst quenching and delicious.
Although there is a dedicated reception area,
arriving guests are welcomed in the lounge that forms part of the bar area.
A wonderful space with walls adorned with railway memorabilia.
In the 1890's there was a railway line that ran from Delagoa Bay to the Selati Goldfields.
Those trains are long gone but their ghosts linger.
The lines have been removed, but the embankments can be seen close to the camp.

Towards evening I noticed that the table decoration in the lounge had  changed...
Instead of the book, statue and the welcome drinks,
I discovered this trio of salt shakers...
Yet another reinforcement of "the devil is in the details".

This old clock had invoked a special memory for me.
After leaving school, I entered into an apprenticeship 
with the now defunct South African Railways and Harbours.
I served my time on the harbour in Port Elizabeth
and I had to clock in and out every day
on a model similar to this one. 
Standing in front of this brought back a flood of memories
of those 4 years...some good, some bad.
This particular model even has an old clock card in the slot!

These train lanterns might be collectors items now,
but I had a couple of them for a few years.
I seem to think that they were lost in a move.
They certainly add to the ambiance of the public spaces in the lodge.

SURPRISE!
When I walked through the door of my accommodation 
I was in awe of the changes that had taken place.
A huge bed and the suite was very tastefully decorated.
Aside from tea and coffee, a Nespresso machine seems
 to have become standard in these lodges.

If it seems that there are too MANY pillows,
it might be as a result of the top most one being mine.
I have very specific requirements when it comes to a pillow,
so mine has traveled the world with me.
Sometimes I am surprised and the lodge pillows
 will meet my exacting standards,
but I would rather be safe than sorry.
A good nights sleep in very important.
The excellent linen and the unexpected hot water bottle
 made certain that I did get a relaxed night.

Most lodges have an outdoor shower...
but an outside bath?
Most unusual...and a great way to relax
 and watch the resident antelope wander by.
There is a wall to protect guests from unwanted intrusions.
There is an outdoor shower as well, should you feel that a long soak
is not what you were wanting.

Both bath and shower are duplicated indoors as well, 
should the weather not permit the use of the exterior ablutions.
A double sink with "old" fitting added a layer to the detail in the decor.

Another "The-devil-is-in-the-detail" moment?
This toilet roll holder is made from a horse bridle.

The armchair in the corner of my room was covered in a fabric
 from the iconic Ardmore collection.
It was a treat to sit here and just stare out over the
expanse of grass that lies in front of the waterhole.

This old steamer trunk doubles as a table for books/ magazines.
If it could talk, I wonder what tales it would tell.

If you wish to be more social and mingle with the other guets,
then this covered deck is one of the shared public spaces.
Like most all of the exterior public spaces, 
it looks out towards a large waterhole that can just be seen
 glinting in the right hand side of this image.
It too has had the interior decor totally revamped
and, as a result, it blurred the line between indoors and outside.

The interior designer seems to have a fascination with Dung Beetles.
And examples of this intrepid and hard working insect can be spotted all over.

This structure was not here on my previous visit.
But the newest addition has been so well designed and placed
that it looks like it has been here since the camp opened.
This is a rather intimate area
that can be utilized for a number of purposes.
I, together with the other guests, had lunch here.

The same area, but looking out towards the waterhole.

My last morning and this HUGE herd of Buffalo descended on the waterhole.
There must have been in excess of 120 animals 
and they drank here for the longest time.
They were not the only visitors...
Impala, giraffe, zebra and even a lone bull elephant stopped by. 

While I was in camp, a couple of Australian guests
 actually chose to try out the pool after their morning drive.
Their verdict...
"Chilly but worth it".

Breakfast of champions...
Just some of what is on offer for the buffet breakfast...
And if this is not enough, 
there are several hot breakfast options to choose from

Apart from the game drives and the food on offer,
shopping is also important.
Taking home a memento of your stay at Selati is always worth considering.
Aside from clothing and books, the shop stocks a range of artifacts
that would look stunning on a mantelpiece anywhere in the world.

Time for an early morning game drive.
The meeting point is right outside the entrance 
and guests are assigned vehicles on their arrival.
In case you are not "awake", there is good strong coffee 
and a muffin or two on offer before you leave.

This area is well known for leopard,
and guests are always hopeful that they will be successful
 in spending time with this elusive predator.

An African sunset ...
The perfect ending to a day in the bush. 

To find out more about what the camp has to offer,
visit their website: 



 
My camera brand of choice for more than 4 decades!
Photo:

Photo:
When it is time to print out my special images,
this is the company that I rely on to do that.

A new clothing sponsor has come on board...
Welcome to Kallie Khaki.
Bush gear to make me blend in...
in comfort and style.


I have worn these shoes in the jungles of India
and on the beaches of Croatia.
Not to mention, many game reserves in Africa.
They are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes
that I have ever owned.

Photo:
When I get home. I rely on this ISP
to provide me with high speed fibre connectivity 
to enable me to get my postings published in record time.

Photo:
This powerbank is my constant companion
 while I am travelling.
It can do up to 4 full re-charges of my phone before
needing to be charged.
Supplied by...


When offered an option...
ALWAYS be Batman.
The newest of my travelling companions.
To find out more about the collectable Funko range of figurines,
visit:

My new addition, this awesome laptop bag from Solo.
Padded for protection and with enough pockets to keep
almost everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink in,
this is definitely an stylish addition to any business presentation.
Be it in the boardroom or the bush.
This bag can also be worn as a backpack. 
There are straps in a hidden compartment that can be deployed
when you need both hands for other purposes.
To find out more about the stylish Solo range,
visit:


A new "tool" in my camera bag.
This locally made product was indispensable when using a long lens.
The ball and socket might look simple...and it is, 
which is why it should be in the gear bag of every serious photographer.
This locally made, deceptively simple device is ideal 
for tracking birds in flight or animals in motion.
The base can be used on a beanbag or a tripod,
with the ball being fitted to the camera.
The simplicity of the device allows to to move from supported
to hand held in a fluid motion.
There is also a version that can be used on a car window.
To see more about the product, 
visit their Facebook page:
Or order directly from:



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and may not be used without permission


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