I recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa. I could write for days about the things we did, saw and ate. But for now, I want to share a little bit about one of my favorite experiences: the bush (a.k.a. safari).
More specifically, the accommodations in the bush. This is a design journal after all, and the lodge itself was incredible enough for its own entry. (The elephants deserve a separate story entirely.)
Buffalo Thorn Lodge is situated in a private area of Pilanesberg National Park, called Black Rhino Game Reserve. The resort comprises five stand-alone chalets and a main cabin for gathering. It is at once modern and rustic, wide open yet cozy, stunning but unassuming.
The lodge is named after the Buffalo Thorn Tree, which is commonly found in the area, but still terrifying at every encounter.
No detail was overlooked during our stay. Beds were turned, fires were kindled, tables were set — all while we were out on our daily game drives. It was a wonderful feeling knowing we were coming back to a clean and cozy room. Everything was beautifully decorated, down to the perfectly-rolled-and-stacked bath towels. I would describe the style as “contemporary-comfortable,” a neutral color palette with pops of reds and oranges and African-themed accessories. It really set the tone for the trip — very laid-back and luxurious. I could definitely live there.
Our private cabin included a king bed plus a loft to sleep two more, sitting area, spa tub, outdoor shower, deck with lounge chairs and LOTS of roommates — insects like I have never seen before!
Just one of the many interesting critters we discovered on the trip.
The spa tub was lovely, but the real pièce de résistance was the outdoor shower (seen behind the tub). So refreshing!
See what I mean? No detail was too small.
Thatched roofs are used in many high-end resorts in South Africa (and other tropical locales), which is ironic, since it’s actually an inexpensive method employed in poorer areas using the local vegetation. The thunderstorms in South Africa are incredible — it seemed like the world was ending when it rained for two days straight — but these roofs (nearly a foot thick) can stand up to the unrelenting weather.
The main cabin included a living room, pool table and kitchen with gorgeous high-end appliances that we never touched because there was an amazing outdoor braai (grill).
Looking out to the fire pit, braai and pool area.
We roasted marshmallows one night and sat around the fire chatting. So peaceful and relaxing…what I wouldn’t give to go back!
Life has revolved around packing recently, and I have absolutely no complaints. I’ve been preparing for the biggest trip of my life: SOUTH AFRICA. 16 days. Wedding. Safari. Birthday. Beach. Wine tour. Tiger cubs! All with seven of my closest friends. Is there a word for “so-excited-I-have-to-stop-writing-about-it-because-I-might-start-crying-from-overwhelming-excitement”?
PHOTO: Kim Kurcz via flickr