Mhon­doro, where hu­mans and ele­phants rub shoul­ders

Spir­i­tual re­treat in the heart of the Bushveld

Sunday World - - Viewpoint - By Ma­pula Nkosi

In fact, one of the pub­lic­ity images of a lone bull slurp­ing away from the pool, with a guest sun­bathing on a lounger a few me­ters away, had height­ened my cu­rios­ity to visit the lodge.

It seems lady luck was with me as, on my first night at the lodge sit­u­ated in­side the Wel- gevon­den Sa­fari Re­serve, a cheeky­bull­came nearthe­p­ool, flapped away the cover and mer­rily drank from it. He was so close, one only needed to ex­tend a hand to pat his task.

Guests im­me­di­ately aban­doned their food to cap­ture the ex­pe­ri­ence on their cam­eras.

It is such a sig­na­ture ex­pe­ri­ence at the lodge. The es­tab­lish­ment runs a com­pe­ti­tion toen­cour­age guests to up­load their self­ies with ele- phants drink­ing from the pool on the back­ground, if one is lucky enough to see this, for a chance to win a stay at the lodge.

My drive to the lodge, that is owned by Dutch cou­ple Frank and Myr­iam Vo­gel, was pleas­ant­lyquick, just overt­wohours. Sit­u­ated just out­side Vaal­wa­ter, off the main Polok­wane N1 high­way in the Water­berg area.

Be­ing put up in a lux­ury hon­ey­moon suite at Mhon­doro meant a stay fit for A-listers.

The suite has its own­plunge pool, large bath­roomand­shower area where the in­door show- er leads to a rugged bath-time ex­pe­ri­ence of their out­door shower.

No lux­ury has beens­paredin the con­tem­po­rary afro-chic in­flu­enced decor. When I ask about their world class fur­nish­ings, I learn­from­front of­fice­as­sis­tant, Tashinga Dzwukutu, that Myr­iam is the one who dec­o­rated the lodge.

“We hada firea fewyears ago at the main house and she had the pre­fect op­por­tu­nity to re­fur­bish it,” she said.

The hon­ey­moon suite is sit­u­ated a stone-throw away from the four other suites for pri­vacy.

On my first day I savoured the room and­watched the sun­set from the heated plunge pool. The lodge can ac­com­mo­date 14 to 18 guests in their four suites, but those with

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