WINTER GETAWAY: KWAFUBESI TENTED CAMP BRINGS A TOUCH OF INTIMATE LUXURY TO THE GREAT BUSH EXPERIENCE
The Sandton Times is making the best of the chillier weather by exploring some of the most desirable winter weekend getaways, with the first in a series of travel posts heading to Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp in Limpopo.
Situated just outside of Bella Bella, Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp, on the edge of the magnificent Mvubu plain, in the heart of the Mabula Private Game Reserve, offers safari-seekers an uncomplicated fusion of raw Africa wrapped in modern-day luxuries.
With a warm welcome by the General Manager upon arrival at Mabula Game Lodge, it’s time to transfer to a bush-vehicle and head-out, through the Limpopo bushveld to the private Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp. Kwafubesi, incidentally, means ‘Place of the Giant Eagle Owl’, which can be spotted on the odd occasion just outside of the camp.
After a brief 8km drive, featuring a literal Zebra crossing, it’s a friendly welcome at Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp, as the team offloads the bags to the blended-with-nature accommodation for the weekend. A smile as warm as the refresher towel, makes for a great start to this boutique hideaway in the bush, among Africa’s wildlife. Equipped with a bar and pool, under a lapa, next to an outdoor fire area, Kwafubesi Tented Camp is a very intimate and personal place to engage with nature.
The layout of the tents, only 5 in total, allows for privacy and a front-row seat to the great outdoors. Inside the tent, it’s like stepping back in time to an era of exploration, yet decked with all the modern luxuries of a warm shower and bath, a basin and a grand comfortable bed with electric lights. It just holds back on too much of the modern world to not spoil the safari mood.
The personal touch and engagement at Kwafubesi Tented Camp is ever present and getting to know the other camp companions is part of this African adventure, either on one of the twice-daily game-drives or at the thrice-daily, three-course home-style meals.
An early-morning (really-early) game drive is not to be missed, with coffee and rusks served lake-side, watching a family of hippos wake-up as the sun rises over the bushveld. From here, it’s a 2-hour drive around the vast game-reserve to spot some of Africa’s great wildlife, before heading back for a hearty breakfast and a day at leisure.
There are two daily game-drives for those who cannot get enough of spotting the selection of large mammals including the Big Five, other predators such as Hyena and Jackal, and a variety of antelope from Red Hartebeest to Eland, Gemsbok to Blesbok. That’s not to mention the elusive Cheetah, cheeky Honey Badger and the omnipresent crèches of Warthogs.
Kwafubesi Tented Camp is a great opportunity to disconnect from an ever connected world and take in the sunshine, fresh air and peace of nature. For those somewhat more adventurous, the main lodge at Mabula offers spa treatments, horseback safari and quad biking, to name but a few activities, which should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.
Some of the highlights of this weekend escape include the game-drives, which offer some beautiful, up-close game viewing with a virtually spontaneous driving itinerary and the dinner in the boma, around a crackling fire, under a star-filled sky with a South African braai and traditional accompaniments, whilst sharing some laughs with fellow-glampers.
Every night, the rangers at Kwafubesi Tented Camp ensure for a safe and insightful escort back to each tent after dinner, to avoid any encounters with some of South Africa’s inquisitive wildlife, even though the camp has unnoticeable perimeter fencing. Do keep an eye out for the resident Porcupine that hides in the bushes alongside the campfire, when retiring for the evening.
Two to three nights seem an ideal duration to enjoy all that Kwafubesi Tented Camp has to offer and on the drive home, an elephant sanctuary, just off the main road, offering some up close and personal encounters with these beautiful, large mammals is worth a visit. It’s a most memorable stay for those enjoying a very personal safari experience, blended with an outdoor flavour and a touch of home comforts.
Don’t miss more of The Sandton Times travel posts over the next few weeks, exploring some of the most desirable winter weekend getaways.