Luxury safari in South Africa: Getting in touch with the Big Five, enjoying unspoilt nature, experiencing 100% privacy in the superior suite with a private pool, as well as being pampered in the award-winning spa.
An unforgettable experience!
After the flight with Qatar Airways from Vienna via Doha to Johannesburg, I fly farther north east. After another hour flight time I arrive in Hoedspruit at the edge of the Kruger National Park.
The luxury safari/adventure in South Africa can begin.
It starts at the smallest airport I have set foot on. After the landing, I look out of the airplane window and see a warthog family running next to us.
Welcome to the African bush!
The AM Lodge: Luxury Lodge with its own Game Reserve
From the airport we are picked up by an air-conditioned minibus, as well as a jeep.
I take a seat in the jeep. It’s pleasantly warm, my hair flies in the wind and after a short time we turn into the area of the AM Lodge. From here we continue on the unpaved roads through the African bush.
No civilization anywhere to see.
I already love this place.
Only signs show the way to the main building of the lodge. After 15 minutes we finally arrive.
The staff at the AM Lodge are already awaiting us with a warm welcome from manager
Shaun Boyd, as well as the AM team. They serve us a towel to refresh and a welcome drink.
After a short tour around the main building of the AM Lodge a late lunch is served.
Afterwards I’m taken to my Superior Suite (own lodge) by jeep.
The lodges are spread across the area. By calling the reception I am picked up whenever I want to to get back to the main building.
Since the individual lodges are distributed in the area and I am in the middle of the African bush, a walk back to the main building isn’t possible.
And if I’m quite honest I wouldn’t have found my way back.
The intricate paths and dense vegetation make an orientation almost impossible.
As much as I love animals; I would’t like to meet any of the wild animals while walking around…
100% Privacy – Superior Suite (Lodge) with Private Pool
How awesome. I have 100% privacy in my superior suite.
I enjoy the silence and tranquility. The quietness is only interrupted by birds chirping and other animal sounds.
The Superior Suite / Lodge features an entrance area, living room with flatscreen, bar and kitchen unit, as well as a spacious bedroom with flat screen, office desk and make-up area. The large bathroom is equipped with a free standing bathtub. In addition to the large rain shower inside the suite, there is also an outdoor shower.
From the bedroom, as well as the living room, the pool deck can be reached easily.
Evening GameDrive in the AM nature reserve
At 17:30 I’m picked up at my suite/lodge. After all the others are collected from their suites too, we meet at the main building. In two large jeeps we drive along the huge area of the AM Lodge.
Already after 5 minutes I see for the first time in my life Kudus. Shortly afterwards followed by giraffes and a herd of buffalos.
As the sun sets over the Drakensberg mountains, we hear a leopard screaming close by.
It feels like being in the Disney movie: The Lion King.
In the darkness our tracker searches the terrain with the use of big lights.
Soon afterwards a lion walks along the path in front of us. He emerges from nowhere and disappears again soon. A little later we meet him again. He roars and walks a few yards away from us.
I’m deeply impressed by the size and power of the lion.
Seeing animals at the zoo is one thing; A wild lion in his territory, a very different matter.
After the lion leaves us roaring (more in the video ↑) and disappears in the thicket, our driver asks us if we want a drink in a bar. We agree, of course, but I can’t imagine where there should be a bar nearby.
Bush bar and star gazing
Later we meet the rest of the group and the bush bar is opened. A “table” is built on the hood. There are South African wine, beer and anti-alcoholic drinks and snacks. With a bottle of beer in my hand, I listen to the explanations of the constellations. The milky way and thousands of stars sparkle above us.
I also see two shooting stars.
Early Morning GameDrive in the Manyeleti Game Reserve
At 5 o’clock in the morning I get a wake up call.
The morning GameDrive in the neighboring Manyeleti Game Reserve starts!
We drive about 35 minutes until we arrive at the Manyeleti Game Reserve.
Within 2 hours we are fortunate to see all the BIG FIVE up close. Thanks to the trained eyes of our trackers and driver, I’m able to observe a leopard a few meters away from me.
As I learn later, this is one of the rarer experiences.
The safari experience in South Africa impressed me a lot (at least as much as the Cage Diving with Great White Sharks in South Australia).
It’s hard to put into words, the kind of (positive) emotions, I was facing during the game drives.
I can only recommend to anyone doing a safari at least once in a lifetime.
Information about the AM Lodge and Safari:
From the airport in Hoedspruit the AM Lodge is about 20 minutes away. From Nelspruit airport you can reach the AM Lodge in about 2 hours.
During my stay at the AM Lodge at the end of March, I haven’t seen any mosquitos. In the lodge nor the bedroom were any mosquitos at this time of the year. During the Game Drives / Safari, flies and beetles are annoying, especially near water and close to the wild animals.
Length of stay:
At least 3 days to have enough time for the GameDrives, to enjoy the suite as well as spa treatments. My preferred length of stay: 5 days.
Luxury lodge of a special kind:
The AM Lodge in the Klaserie region at the edge of the Kruger National Park specializes in luxury safari as well as luxurious spa treatments. In 2016 the AM Lodge won the World Luxury Spa Award.
In 2017 the spa is again nominated for the World Luxury Spa Award.
Food at the Safari Lodge
The food at the AM Lodge is delicious. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served as a buffet. I had vegetarian and vegan food. The fruits and food are fresh; the African cuisine is very tasty. One night we had a Boma dinner, I can highly recommend. It’s a barbecue with African food, accompanied by local African dancers/singers.
Price for the AM Lodge:
I stayed in the superior suite. At the time of my trip (end of March), the Superior Suite (240 sqm) cost € 1000 per night (depending on the season).
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, game drives (safaris) are included in the price.
More about the AM Lodge including prices and availability: AM Lodge, Hoedspruit
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I was invited by South Africa Tourism, South African Embassy in Vienna and the AM Lodge. The opinion is as always mine. This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase via a link I receive a small commission for it.