Upon arrival at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, think bushveld everywhere, there is no hotel in sight. Uh? Where is the luxury 5* safari lodge? From this outside spot you really have no clue what lays ahead. Of the sensory revelation you’re about to see ànd feel.
A concealed pathway leads down to a dramatic entrance opening: a panoramic view of the endless bushveld.
Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, unfenced
Not only is this hidden gem designed in harmony with nature but it also instills a sense of peace. Macbooks, phones and busy city life are characteristics of a totally different world instantly.
Luke, ass. manager, awaits us with open arms and drinks. He informs us about the lodge routine which comes down the fact that they ‘ll take care of everything. And they did, being here is about going with the daily Sabi Sabi safari flow:
05.30 – Wake-up call by a knock on the door of our ranger, Tayla. Who at the same time checks if no wild animals decided to camp on the pathway between our private lodge and the main lodge. Since the wilderness is interrupted as little as possible, the area is unfenced… Tea and fruits in the open dining area. Yes, the one with the panoramic view.
06.00 – Morning safari in an open land-cruiser. Never experienced something like this before. Check My First Safari for more.
09.00 – Breakfast. With a capital B. Anything a food snob like me could wish for. And beyond.
10.30 – Walking safari. Or holistic Spa. Or whatever you wish. Guess what I did.
13.30 – Lunch with view of the water pond. We had lunch while a herd of elephants was having theirs as well. Only 50 meters away …
16.00 – High tea and meet ‘n greet with other guests and rangers. Exchanging stories about who saw what.
16.30 – Evening safari. See morning safari but add sundowners in the bush. As in GT’s.
20.00 – Dinner. Think candlelit tables set up around the central ponds, inside and out. Fine dining 4 course tasting menu with local produce and superb wines by executive chef Conradie Kruger. A guy with specific flair, a South African version of Jamie Oliver. This was a true safari dining experience, luxury in the bush.
Luxury lies in the warmth of African people
The team at Sabi Sabi Earth lodge truly believes in the philosophy that guests should feel at home. By knowing your name right from the start. Remembering how you like your eggs or which wine you preferred. Effortless, it seems. This is my first hotel experience where hugging the staff members at departure was a natural thing to do.
Feeling at home wasn’t that hard in our luxurious lodge, btw. Decorated in earthy tones with clay and wood materials, it appeared both innovative and minimalistic. About 60 m2 and directly facing the savanna with opening views towards the bush. From the large (shower while watching rhino’s!) bathroom. From the bed. From the private terrace and from the private plunge pool. Add the finest bedlinen, binoculars, wildlife coffee table books, stuffed free minibar and a range of spa amenities to these stunning wildlife views and you’ll understand the feeling of Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge bliss.
If it wasn’t for Lotte (tnx!) of Talisman Travel, who convinced us this was the place for our first safari, we wouldn’t have picked this lodge since from the photos you can’t really see its true nature.
That would have been a bloody shame since in this case it’s about what you not see is what you get. And so much more.