Seven money bags
ULTRA-LUXURIOUS, SEVEN STAR, THE FINEST JUMP TO LODGES
Money is no object when you choose these lodges which, for most people, would be the experience of a lifetime. Clients require seclusion, privacy, and the remarkable service and attention to detail of the world’s best hotels. These lodges are all in Sabi Sand apart from two each in Kruger concessions and close to Hoedspruit airport.
Creature comforts – food, wine and pampering – are an important part of the offering. Your every desire will be fulfilled provided that it is humanly possible (and legal). If you can find fault with these places then we would be very interested to know.
At Sabi Sand’s ultra-exclusives, land is totally private, traversing is extensive and exclusive. At these reserves there are few other vehicles out and about, and you can take as much time as you want at sightings. Lodges in this price category that do not control land have their work cut out to compete with this experience.
ACCESS TO WATER
In Sabi Sand and the super-luxury concession lodges (Tinga and Lebombo), there is plenty of river access and consequently plentiful viewings. Elsewhere lodges must rely on other sources of water to attract dense concentrations of game. They usually solve this conundrum with a waterhole location.
INTIMATE GAME ACTIVITIES
Game drives never have more than six participants. This ensures that everyone has a seat on the outside of the vehicle, and allows the guide to pay close attention to any particular interests that you may have. You will be allocated your own guide who will have extensive qualifications, possibly a related degree. You may have your own vehicle and tracker (although Mala Mala doesn’t “do” trackers).
VILLAS & SUITES
If you are in a family staying in a villa you will have a private vehicle and guide. Activities will be tailored to the interests of your kids. Villas and family suites are separated from main lodges, have communal spaces, and often come with a butler and possibly a chef and private kitchen.
A wider range of activities in the bush will be on offer to adults, for example, fishing, star gazing, archery or cycling. Golf at Leopard Creek is an option at all of these lodges, though you may need a helicopter trip to get there.
Your suite will be huge and stylish, with bathroom(s) with his-and-her sinks. There is probably a private plunge pool. The suites are well spaced out with lots of privacy, and a real sense of solitude.
Cuisine will be rarefied, with five courses or tasting menus overseen by chefs with international experience at fine dining restaurants. Any diet or taste can be catered for, and food conjured up on demand.
HIGH TEA, SUNDOWNERS
High teas, served before your afternoon drive, will resemble a visit to a patisserie in a capital city. Refreshments on a drive are a special treat, with all sorts of surprises sprung on you at spectacular sundowner spots.
WINE & WHISKY
The selection of wine and spirits will be exceptional, with a temperature controlled cellar on site stocked with wines to accompany any meal. Wine tasting is on offer, often with a sommelier to hand. Some lodges offer their caves as a dining venue.
Spa and treatment facilities are fantastic, and a destination in their own right. Massages will be available in your suite or in a dedicated space. Additional exercise activities may be on offer such as running trails or cycling.