Only a few hours drive from Johannesburg but you enter another world. The lodge itself comprise some 30 individual lodges which are very clean with comfy beds and reasonably well equipped. Some of the outside verandas offer no views as they back onto a hill but several have far reaching views (our friends stayed in no 20 and had a fab view unlike our suite no 23). Staff were all very friendly and obliging food in the restaurant was buffet style but quality was good (French chef?). Shadow took us out on a quad bike tour of the local area which was both fun and interesting as we drove through some local village areas (don't expect mud huts we are talking corrugated iron) and he also arranged an archery competition for the teenagers.
I think our main disappointment was with the game drives. We accept that we did not see any of the big cats, that was just our bad luck as they are there but what disappointed us was the number of private cars that are let into the reserve. We had an interesting situation when one rather grumpy extremely large elephant came bearing down on a jumble of some ten cars. All ok but several drivers of private cars were not particularly sensitive to the animals. Also we had an image of stopping somewhere quiet to enjoy our sunset drink but were in a gated area (understand that part!!) which we shared with dozens of others and the gin that I had requested had already been opened and half polished off - not a major problem but when you are miles away from a replacement was slightly disappointing.
All in all for a quick weekend with a difference it was lovely but for a real safari experience you probably have to go farther afield.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Within the northern region of the Pilanesberg National Park lies an ancient amphitheatre and its in this basin, surrounded by volcanic spires and rolling savannah grassland, that Ivory Tree Game Lodge has been beautifully crafted. The central guest areas include lounges, bar, a dining room and feature rock pool. Small intimate guest areas have been created to retain warmth and seclusion for the individual guests. Sweeping patios provide the ideal venue for delicious English breakfasts and light luncheons with the boma reserved for fire-side dinners. 60 Luxury chalets have been carefully positioned along foot-hills ensuring optimal views of either the mountainous surrounds or the central open area. Each chalet featuring an outside shower, air-conditioner, mini bar fridge, tea and coffee making facility, has been tastefully decorated in earthly tones. This theme is carried through to the spacious bathroom, and it is here that you may choose to relax in your bath beneath a panoramic window or step out for an invigorating shower. Ivory Tree boasts a new wellness experience presenting a wide variety of treatment options designed to relax mind, body and soul. The unique design and position of the treatment rooms ensure uninterrupted views of the reserve. Ivory Tree presents generous bed capacity and has been carefully designed to ensure optimal guest privacy whilst being able to create unique incentive experiences. Whilst our attention is focused around close and unrestricted encounters with Africa’s big game, incentive experiences also include bush dinners, our own version of the amazing race, and numerous additional activities. The lodge also boasts an equipped conference facility. Striving to maintain high levels of personal attention and guest comfort, game drive vehicles are custom built ensuring optimal panoramic visibility. Amongst the most experienced in the Pilanesberg, our rangers and hosts are committed to binging you close encounters with a wide variety of big game, including the big 5, cheetah and wild dog, during morning and evening game drives. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ivory Tree Game Hotel Pilanesberg National Park