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touch of au­then­tic lux­ury. From splendid hon­ey­moon suits to spa­cious fam­ily rooms, all liv­ing spa­ces show­case sim­ple, clean, and el­e­gant de­signs, with both nat­u­ral and bold colours accentuating the African feel of the lodge’s en­vi­ron­ment.



As we left Pre­to­ria be­hind rather late in the day, Fri­day traf­fic out of the city proved more chal­leng­ing than ex­pected, so our ar­rival at Mabula was de­layed, and we missed the last game drive of the day.

Al­though some­what dis­ap­pointed, we de­cided to set­tle into our Fam­ily Room be­fore tak­ing sun­down­ers at the de­light­fully ap­pointed Le­gothla Bar. Of course, ar­riv­ing late has its perks, as we could sit down to a re­lax­ing din­ner in the Ko Bo­je­long restau­rant be­fore the evening’s game drive ar­rived back at the lodge.

With its new cold wells, the main restau­rant at Mabula was an un­sus­pected de­light, with a buf­fet of­fer­ing of tra­di­tional South African favourites in­clud­ing a carvery, de­lec­ta­ble In­dian dishes, and an ar­ray of cheeses, crack­ers and desserts.

Other din­ing venues scat­tered around the prop­erty in­clude the Ter­race and Ndlovu Boma.

Sur­rounded by tow­er­ing Baobab trees, chirp­ing birds and a tran­quil water­fall, the Ter­race is the ideal place for an out­door break­fast, or a spot of af­ter­noon tea and treats.

The boma, an all-time favourite with guests, cre­ates a fes­tive am­bi­ence and a din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence like no other. On our sec­ond and last evening at Mabula, we en­joyed din­ner un­der the African sky, with stars jot­ted across a can­vas of black, while the crack­ling fire and tra­di­tional danc­ing kept the party go­ing into the night.

Other ameni­ties in­clude the Mabula Game Lodge spa that of­fers a va­ri­ety of ex­clu­sive treat­ments – I en­joyed a sooth­ing back and neck mas­sage– un­der the ex­pert hand of the ex­pe­ri­enced ther­a­pist on duty. Chil­dren are also well catered for, as kids can try their hand at ten­nis or en­joy a lit­tle fun in the sun at the pool. Mabula Game Lodge of­fers a play­room called Cubz Club for the younger ad­ven­tur­ers, where kids can be oc­cu­pied for hours on end.

With an abun­dance of wildlife and splendid scenery, we felt at home in the heart of Africa while vis­it­ing this ma­jes­tic part of the coun­try. Apart from Mabula’s other ex­pe­ri­ences – game drives of­fer guests the op­por­tu­nity to look out for four of the Big Five ei­ther at sun­rise, or sun­set.


While busy­ing our­selves with the hus­tle of our every­day ex­is­tence, it is easy to over­look the many nat­u­ral gems and au­then­ti­cally South African ex­pe­ri­ences that are quite lit­er­ally on our doorstep.

Mabula Game Lodge proved to us that a bush break­away is more man­age­able, and more af­ford­able than we may be­lieve, while the Hyundai Grand i10 that took us safely there and back with­out a hitch, proved that you don’t need a big car to en­joy an African safari, a lit­tle car with a big heart will do just fine.

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