The most recent addition to portfolio of properties
in the Greater Mabula Game Reserve.
Safari Plains is a winner and the time that I spent there
will not be forgotten easily.
Secreted behind an island of indigenous succulents,
their imposing entrance is almost hidden from arriving guests.
The reception area doubles as a small shop that stocks
a variety of curios and branded clothing.
Done in muted colours it is both bright and welcoming.
As was the staff when I arrived!
(Something that was continued throughout my stay,
with all of the staff that I interacted with.)
This covered walkway joins the reception (and the public restrooms)
to the luxury spa as well as the main public areas.
For birders, you do not have to go far to spot your first species.
This female Masked Weaver was checking out possible accommodation.
Fun fact #212: These females are very picky and
males will often have to rebuild nests several times
before approval has been obtained.
Every lodge has a WOW moment...
This was IT for me...
Walking through the doorway and finding this huge bar area was NOT
what I was expecting.
And the fact that it has very high thatched roof makes it even more imposing.
Literally floor to ceiling and stocked with a variety of alcohol,
that would satisfy the most discerning connoisseur.
My non-alcoholic welcoming drink
was most welcome.
This space doubles as part bar area
and part lounge.
Once again, the high roof adds another design element
that I have not seen replicated anywhere else.
The huge windows and doors add to the "inside/outside" feeling
For some reason, the main pool deck reminded me of a cruise ship.
"Why"? I hear you ask...
I actually have NO idea.
One thing that I did notice is that ALL the pool loungers
were perfectly aligned.
This "obsession" with lining items up extended to the main dining room,
where all the table decorations were laid out with military precision.
And at night, the candles on each table were meticulously set
so that looked at from either end, guests could only see one candle.
If the "devil-is-in-the-detail", then Safari Plains is the epitome of that quote.
Just SOME of the delicious meals that I enjoyed during my stay.
Unlike many lodges that only serve two main meals,
here I was served breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And not forgetting a high tea before leaving on afternoon game drive!
If you don't feel like a game drive,
then stay in camp and see which animals come to the waterhole.
Situated near the main pool, it offers and unobstructed view
of the wildlife that often frequents it.
Fun fact #456: Giraffe have the same number of vertebrae as humans(7)
except that they are A LOT bigger.
Having been sidetracked by all that was on offer at the main building,
it was a while before I eventually reached my accommodation.
Canvas walls under thatch...can that really be called a tent?
There are several types of accommodation at Safari Plains.
I was fortunate to enough to stay in a luxury family tent.
This was an absolute gem and so comfortable that I really did not want to leave.
All the tents have air-conditioning, which was well utilized during my stay.
Summers in this part of the world can be very warm.
A huge master bed, with a veritable plethora of pillows.
Off to the right is a second bedroom that can be used
for two more guests.
Great for families with small children
who want a room with a door!
No outdoor shower, but a bathtub with a spectacular view.
There is an indoor shower that I made use of.
The bathroom area has doors that lead to both bedrooms,
giving privacy to all the occupants.
There is also a dressing area that has space to hang clothes
and includes small safe.
A walkway from the side of the each luxury accommodation tents are these...
Known as a "SALA" or living room, it is ideal
for relaxing and either watching the animals or the sky at night.
They are yet another feature of Safari Plains that I have not seen elsewhere.
As a result of the rains that preceded my visit,
the grass was as tall as a buffalo so using the loungers
for game viewing was not on the cards.
But in winter, this will be a space that can be utilized for both activities.
An African Sunset.
And that means several things...
1] If you out on a game drive, it might be time to start heading back to camp.
2] Dinner and drinks are awaiting your arrival.
3] Your bed might be calling you.
Aside from the huge bed there was also a seating area
within the tent walls.
This particular corner was a favourite of mine.
I spent several hours here, reading between game drives and meals.
At night the mozzie net adds a touch of the Old Africa
that early pioneers might have experienced.
That being said, I am certain that those hardy folk
would be envious of the comfort and amenities that Safari Plains offers.
This lodge is situated before you get to the turnoff to the main Mabula Game reserve.
Keep an eye open for this wall on the left hand side of the road.
And by the way, Google maps still has not rectified their directions.
If you are going to follow them , then use Bela Bela as you destination.
Once there you can enter Safari Plains to get you to the correct gate.
A big thank you to each of these brands
for coming on board.
This has been my constant travel companion
for the past several years.
It might look worn,
but that represents the kilometers/miles
we have shared together.
From Kilimanjaro to the beaches of India.
To coach trips across Europe and Vietnam
and to a variety of game lodges and road trip destinations
in South and Southern Africa.
BEST SUITCASE EVER!
Check out their Facebook page:
This torch has been turning heads!
The Olight SRS2UT Intimidator.
Marketed locally by:
When it is time to print out my special images,
this is the company that I rely on to do that.
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.
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.
When offered an option...
ALWAYS be Batman.
My constant travelling companion.
To find out more about the collectible Funko range of figurines,
I could not do without 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,
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:
To see who else were winners in 2018, visit: