There are over 10,000 safari lodges and camps in Africa – a frightening quantity with regards to making a call as to the one or two which might be greatest to go to! To assist handle this massive quantity the Safari Guild was arrange in 2008 which now consists of over 5,000 safari specialist companies.
Annually they maintain the Safari Awards in London. The Awards are given throughout a spread of classes from one of the best ecolodge to greatest design to greatest guiding group. Anybody can nominate a safari park/lodge wherever on the planet. Nevertheless, the awards are judged by 16 Safari Agent Specialists so requirements are excessive.
In 2018 the general winner of Greatest Safari Expertise was Kwandwe Lodge in South Africa. Kwandwe is situated within the Japanese Cape Space and is made up of 26 rooms – a combination of lodges and villas – over 22,000 hectares.
Having visited fairly a couple of luxurious safari lodges throughout Africa I used to be eager to expertise the Greatest Safari Expertise for myself. What made Kwandwe distinctive? How did it provide a brilliant visitor expertise to the numerous excellent safari lodges throughout the continent?
The property itself is gorgeous. There are 2 lodges and three villa choices. Nice Fish River Lodge was my residence for my keep. The 9 luxurious free-standing suites are all located on the Nice Fish River however far sufficient aside for max privateness.
The lodges are superbly and thoughtfully designed. Ground to ceiling glass doorways actually permits visitors to really feel that they’re in the course of Africa – while having fun with all the fashionable conveniences. The curved bathtub comfortably balances on two items of wooden and affords spectacular views.
Every lodge has its personal personal plunge pool. Better of all mine was continuously visited by a household of very cute warthogs!
The lodge has a central space for stress-free and consuming with an enormous verandah for the admiration of the views. This space is splendidly snug while being extraordinarily fashionable and excessive finish.
The meals was excellent. Contemporary native substances, attention-grabbing mixtures, delectable desserts, great recreation drive picnics – it was all on provide.
Kwandwe, after all, has the massive 5 however it is usually identified for its excellent chicken watching. On the twice-daily recreation drives, we have been even rewarded with a kill and fairly uncommon species are sometimes noticed.
All of that is great however to be trustworthy it’s nothing significantly totally different from among the different great lodges I’ve visited akin to Kicheche within the Masai Mara or Moremi in Botswana.
It was on the second day that I began to note what made Kwandwe distinctive. A bush bbq arrange as a shock for the sundowner. Glowing wine chilled and able to be loved in my room. A pair in my automobile had been delighted to return to their room after dinner and discover tub had been drawn for them, candles gentle and bubbles on ice – once more all a whole shock.
My espresso order was all the time remembered. Small ideas have been made or provided to please – from attention-grabbing snacks to cocktails. Every recreation drive provided a brand new and sudden deal with.
It was instantly clear that the guides have been of a excessive normal. Nevertheless, it quickly grew to become apparent as to why Kwandwe additionally gained the highest prize for guided safaris. The guides actually took the time to clarify what was happening as they have been driving. Each cease was a possibility for them to clarify how they have been going about doing their jobs – the form of the tracks on the trail, the consistency of shall we embrace the stays and the looks or non-appearance of different animals.
The motive force had additionally been taught to drive while turning round to talk to the passengers! I had actually by no means seen this earlier than. Once I enquired he defined that usually when drivers are talking and driving it’s troublesome for the passengers to listen to clearly. Additionally, the dearth of eye contact, after all, reduces the affect of the dialog.
While these are generally identified points I had by no means been wherever that not solely recognised these however had give you a technique to overcome them by instructing their guides to drive while trying away from the highway! Additionally it is to their credit score that this by no means as soon as felt even barely unsafe.
What made Kwandwe an expertise I’ll extremely suggest to others was the extent to which each potential visitor want had been thought-about – after which was methods to please visitors. All of this was delivered virtually with out the visitor realizing – it simply felt like an exquisite and private expertise as a result of the eye was within the little particulars.
All of this was additionally delivered in a splendidly relaxed vogue. Kwandwe is completely prime finish when it comes to meals, lodging and expertise – nevertheless it genuinely felt like staying in a great pal’s beautiful residence. The employees and guides all the time gave the impression to be genuinely having fun with themselves and laughing which created an exquisite pleasant ambiance.
A few of the different visitors I shared recreation drives with had been to much more excessive finish/safari luxurious experiences than I had and knew what they appreciated. By the top of the journey, all of them have been commenting that this was their greatest safari expertise and that they might even be recommending Kwandwe.
Satirically for a safari lodge what made Kwandwe so great was not in regards to the recreation or extraordinary viewings (which are sometimes fairly a bit about luck) however the good old school principal of exceeding visitor expectations by means of real delights.
Amanda OBrien is Proprietor of The Boutique Adventurer. The Boutique Adventurer focusses on luxurious adventures in rising locations that finish with a excessive thread depend on the sheets within the night.
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