Just when I thought I had seen it all on Safari, I quickly realized I had seen so little. I have been fortunate enough to spot “The Big Five” more then five times. I’ve felt the thrill of being surrounded by a pride of Lions in Tanzania, Ive viewed a crash of Rhinos at a watering hole in Namibia and most recently witnessed a pair of Leopards with their kill in Masai Mara. While these are priceless memories for me, I do admit the chase can be quite hectic. Fast paced 4×4’s rushing to each sighting with the constant announcements that come blaring from the radio between rangers. It’s easy to lose sight of what drew you to the bush in the first place as you rapidly become immersed in a self curated checklist of African wildlife.
The Outpost Lodge offers a completely different experience, a unique, custom-tailored safari for each of their guests which reminds you why you fell in love with the bush in the first place. Located in the most northern region of the Kruger National Park, an area which offers some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes in the remote wilderness. While it is a “Big Five” territory, it is the diverse landscape, 350+ bird species and intimate encounters with Elephants and Antelopes that give the area it’s charm. Plus, the unforgettable sundowner locations which consisted of stunning African sunsets, great conversation and of course Amarula!
Walking Safaris allow you to experience the bush with an unparalleled perspective. Without the sounds of engines and other visitors, the bush comes to life before your eyes as you walk on the same land as the infamous predators and prey you have come to witness. These bush walks are extremely educational as you learn about the Flora & Fauna, track leopard and Hyena prints in the sand and touch, smell and taste some of the plants that locals have utilized for centuries. The fever tree forest is a scene straight out of a fairy tale, while Crooks Corner allows you to gaze upon the meeting point between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe whilst learning the history of the area! As our ranger Garry points out, “Safari by vehicle is like watching the movie, but safari on foot is like reading the book.”
The Outpost is stunningly situated on a hilltop overlooking the Luvuvhu River. With 12 stand alone spaces connected to the main lodge by a 500m Zimbabwean teak walkway. Each space is open concept with clean lines, an award winning bathroom and an incredible 180 degree view of the surrounding area. Watching the sunrise from your pillow is a unique experience to be cherished and the shower – well, that is a memory all on it’s own.
FOOD & DRINK
African inspired dishes are seamlessly fused with traditional favourites, all elegantly plated and served in a variety of locations. Breakfast is served in the dining area while lunch can be arranged as a picnic on safari along the river banks or back at the hotel. Dinner is exceptional in flavour and presentation and can be served in the dining area or courtyard beside the pool and fire pit. A romantic and unforgettable setting is dining under the stars in the bush at the base of a candlelit Baobab tree.
A fully stocked wine cellar is located in the main dining area and offers a large selection of South African wines while the bar offers a variety of cold beers and cocktails.
This is a special place, an accommodation as memorable as the destination itself. The friendly Makuleke staff who welcome you back to the lodge with a smile after every game drive, the most knowledgable guides I have come across in a dozen safaris and accommodations that are as uniquely positioned in a natural setting as possible. I will forever remember my time at The Outpost, though perhaps the fact I chose Lanner Gorge (which is only accessible by staying at the Outpost and one other camp) to pop the question had something to do with it!
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As always, the opinion is that of the author.