- Overall Impression
- Common Areas
Of course there was more to this family friendly luxury lodge facing the Mkuse River than rain. The new looking and well styled lodge was comfortable and the staff welcoming. We enjoyed our spacious and handsome river fronting suites (mine even had a Jacuzzi and hammock), creature comforts like warm refresher towelettes and cocktail beverages on our return from the game drives, in room massages and foodie oriented meals.
We especially appreciated the staff’s friendliness and nice touches. Pieter, one of the staff members, was unfailingly service oriented and attentive. We would recommend this property to friends and colleagues seeking a family friendly luxury game viewing property in KwaZulu Natal, a low risk malaria zone when we were there.
Class Of Accommodation Luxury safari lodge
Connectivity There was no Internet connectivity or cell phone signal within the camp while we were there.
General Manager Alwyn Wentzel
Handicapped Access Yes, a River Suite had some wheelchair access features.
Length Of Stay Two nights
Location The lodge is about 350 kilometers or a three hour drive from Richard’s Bay and about 450 kilometers from Durban, the main city in the region.
Owned Simon and Jan Kat
Pets Allowed No
Size There were eight suites and 38 employees at the lodge located within a 12,000 hectare reserve shared with the Mkuze Falls Lodge.
Year Opened-Renovated The lodge opened in 2000. The most recent renovation took place May 2009 when the main lodge buildings were re-thatched and the deck had maintenance work.
The floors were of polished and sealed concrete, making them cool to the touch. Indoor temperatures were regulated via two individual wall air conditioning units, one in the living area and another in the sleeping area. Earth tones and African artifacts rounded out the wood, glass and concrete décor.
Sliding glass and wood doors led into each air conditioned suite which had soaring thatched ceiling and large windows to let in the sunlight. The living area had comfortable informal furnishings, a peach colored two-seat sofa, two cushioned wicker armchairs, and several wood tables. A long rectangular framed mirror hung above the sofa and a coarse area rug was at my feet. There was a built in wood cabinet against the wall with a beverage filled mini refrigerator filled. On top of the cabinet there was a coffee and tea service.
In the bedroom, the comfortable queen bed with mosquito netting took up most of the space. It was framed by identical wood night tables with lamps. There was also a vanity table with mirror and a luggage rack. The bed in the River Suite had no mosquito netting and there were many insects which was disquieting initially. There were also many mosquitos at the entrance to the River Suite and few to none at the entrance to mine, perhaps because it was slightly further back from the river.
Facilities The lodge had a restaurant, bar, pool, library corner and gift shop selling handcrafted jewelry, silk scarves and African mementos.
Pool An attractive pool, surrounded by lounge chairs and foliage, was about 9 meters long, 5 meters wide and 1.25 meters deep at the deepest side. We were surprised to discover a number of sound filled frogs in the pool as we walked by one early morning on our way to our game drive.
During our visit we had an opportunity to spend quality time with a pride of lions on more than one occasion, including two male lions and mother and two juveniles making an affectionate greeting; and several lions feeding and playing. We also saw a cheetah feeding for a few minutes before we drove away. Other animals we saw: Elephant, warthog, wildebeest, impala, nyala, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, bushbuck, thick tailed bushbaby, and monkeys. We also saw malachite kingfisher, tawny eagle, martial eagle, wolly stork, and European bee eater.
Date Of Review October 2009
Reviewers Article by Elena del Valle
Photographs by Juan Cooper
Service There was twice daily room service. Since it was raining so much and I had few changes of clothes with me I was very pleased that my laundry was returned the same day. My requests for an animal list and about the possibility of a frog tour remained unanswered.
On the night we got soaked I was chilled to the bone from the cold and rain and was thrilled to find a surprise steaming hot bubble bath in my suite on our return from the drive. To add to the ambiance the bathtub and nearby area were decorated with bougainvillea flowers and leaves. By dinner time I had warmed up and was ready to enjoy the tasty meal.
Would You Stay There Again? Yes
- Farm Vergelegen,
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- Pongola, South Africa
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