How do we add to the excellent comments made by others? Vuyani is all we expected and so much more. So how can we help go ready to enjoy the experience of a lifetime?
Accommodation: You have choices! there are 3 rooms within the lodge itself; 2 separate honeymoon suites within 50 yards walk from the lodge and, as of mid October 2013, 2 brand new honeymoon sites. We were in one of the original honeymoon suites which is a self contained thatched building consisting of a small entrance porch, a spacious bedroom with king-sized bed. This opens out to a private veranda with chairs and table and your own hot tub. Continuing inside there is a bathroom with good sized bath. This opens out to an outside shower.
The newer honeymoon suites are very similar to this but have an additional indoor shower. (a good addition as it is sometimes a bit cold for an outside shower!!)
My preference would be to be in one of these honeymoon suites, but there is a down side. As you are not in some sanitised hotel with fences keeping nature at bay, you will be visited by lots of animals. For the most part this is delightful - kudu and nyala grazing feet from your window - but in the dark it means that you have to be escorted to and from the main lodge which feels a little constraining. That said, having gone to sleep listening to the roar of the nearby lions, we were happy to comply!!
The Game Drives: Game drives are provided twice a day. Again, nothing sanitised here. You go out with an experienced ranger (who acts as the driver) and tracker. Most other lodges use a single Ranger. The advantage is that with two pairs of experienced eyes they pick up on the tracks of the animals and are able to follow them far better.
Be prepared, temperatures can vary tremendously. We experienced early morning drives that required multiple layers, hats, scarves and gloves when they set off at 5:30am - but you were stripped down to tee-shirts by the time you got back to the lodge 3 hours later. While daytime temperatures were getting into the high 30's C, at night it was down to 5 or 6 degrees.
This is no zoo so there is never any guarantee that you will see the particular animal you want to see but the tracker and ranger are so good at finding interesting things and teaching you about the bush we enjoyed every one of them. Oh, and we did get to see the 'big five' as well as more impala and wildebeest than you could shake a stick at.
Getting Some Exercise: This is a problem. You cannot exactly go for a jog (or even a walk) given the abundance of predators around you. There is a small swimming pool but not big enough for meaningful exercise. Combine this with fabulous food and wine and you should be prepared to put on a couple of pounds... but its worth it for the fabulous photos and the great company.
Finally... go now! Africa is changing fast. The increased human population and the scourge of poaching is threatening this beauty and diversity. Over 700 rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers this year alone. Simple maths say that at this rate you will not see a rhino in the wild in 5 years time. And it's not just rhinos. With the number of tigers in Asia dropping, the eastern medicine trade is turning its attention to lions; and then there are the plants and birds that are being poached. If you put this trip off for 10 years you simple will not be able to take it.
Leave your makeup and fancy clothes at home and be prepared for the time of your life.
Thank you Vuyani... a great great honeymoon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Vuyani Safari Lodge is located on the Moditlo Private Game Reserve within the Blue Canyon Conservancy which is more than 36,000 acres in size. Located next to the Kruger National Park, at the foot of the Drakensberg mountain range, Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of South Africa's premier luxury safari lodges, in the country's most famous area for African wildlife. The Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of only 3 lodges on this reserve, and with only 10 suites, it offers one of the most exclusive African safari experiences in South Africa. The reserve offers a unique opportunity to observe all of Africa's large game such as the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, hippo and crocodile as well as some of the very rarest species, amongst others the wild dog, the brown hyena, the ground hornbill, cheetahs and several other highly endangered animals. Almost 400 various species of birds have been counted. Some of the rarest European migratory birds visit the reserve in the European winter months. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vuyani Safari Hotel Hoedspruit