A room with a view
Updated: Sep 17, 2018
Camping , evokes childhood memories of rainy weeks in the Rosebud foreshore in Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula , where my dad would pitch the family tent in the lowest possible patch of land and we would be invariably flooded out . He would say it was character building !
African camps and lodges, the way #iconicafrica organise them for their clients are nothing like the above! For a change of pace i want to share with you some amazing lodges that made my stay in Africa so utterly memorable .
I have a new appreciation for boutique lodging which caters for your every request and whim . Companies like #onefortyeight #Asilia #andbeyond are exceptional in the way they master both the big picture of the luxury offer and the smallest attention to detail.
When you are so personally attended to: individual guides, accomodating chefs, always available management for anything from iPhone charger replacement to company while having a cup of tea , constantly attentive and super efficient housekeeping ...how can one return to daily drives to the supermarket and the never ending to do list !!
A visual overview
The beauty of the small lodge is that they successfully create the personal and
the communal .
The effect is a sense of ease and of home... albeit very stunning homes .
Rekero Camp , Asilia Lodges in the Mara .
The camp design was clever, genuine and not wanting for anything ( complete with torch lights , walkie talkies , dressing robes , 'crack of dawn tea' brought to your room before a game drive at 600 am in the morning !and 'in your face' animal crossings while you're having breakfast .) #Asilia
The stunning Nxabega lodge in the Delta .
Sheer perfection , except for the elephants knocking down the pool enclosure to get to some berries up a tree ( as you do), Take particular not of the giraffe shortbread biscuits which would always accompany your cup of tea . #andbeyond
The Royal Livingstone in Livingstone , Zambia
A perfect location from which to see the Falls while taking in colonial opulence #royallivingstone
Xaranna, in the Delta
Just when you thought you had experienced pretty lofty heights in "the glamping" scene
you arrive at Xaranna . Amazingly beautiful and yet totally unpretentious and genuine . Take particular not of that bathtub which was filled with candlelights and bubbles on my last night !
Eastern Africa was , of course , all about the animals , the sunsets and the sounds but it doesn't hurt to come home to stunning accomodation . These guys certainly know how to make you feel special .
The food fiesta
I m surprised that the scales didn't have a meltdown on my return home . Although you start early you can still have a wakeup tea or coffee at 600 am with delicious little biscuits to tantalise the senses.
Breakfast is then served only to be surpassed by sumptuous lunches which are always perfectly timed to be ready after the morning game drive .
Just in case you still feel hungry, afternoon tea is a smorgasbord of delights before the afternoon drive .
And wait ..it doesn't end there. Sundowners are provided at the end of the afternoon's outing with cocktails , nibbles . The Caipirinhas at Xaranna are to die for !!
Alchoholic mellowness , dusty drives homes and the warm sunset glow seep into your body and by the time you return to the lodge you can be sure there is a welcome home drink waiting for you upon arrival ..just in case inebriation hasn't as yet set in .
By now i have to be carried to my room to get ready for more food and merriment .
This is the daily routing which ,at first your body, used to breakfast on the go, a banana for lunch and toasties for supper , decides to protest . But its amazing how quickly one can settle into such indulges.
So many people warned of belly bugs and "stay away from salad" comments . Take it from me , the food is healthy , plentiful and delicious... and i didn't need to touch my gastric medication once . (Im sure the gin and tonics helped boost my immunity as well).
It was heartening to see the staff, whether it was the guides or the kitchen , and the guests interact more as members of a large family . It was a given that the guides, for example would join the guests for dinner. Such a hospitality model made the experience holistic and endearing .
The wonderful Julia Fryer from #iconicafrica who expertly designed my itinerary and came to my first stop to greet me and join me for dinner.
What agencies go to such effort !!
Management and staff working side by side at #rekerocamp
Benn ( my African son due to his having the same name as my Sydney son)
Jose and Kook , expert guides in the Delta
#Nxabega who could also make a mean gin and tonic .
Hats off to the management of such lodges, to their staff and to their ability to make the stays memorable #luxurysafaris
Next post will be the last on Africa.. where i would like to share a few insights that i considered special and extraordinary ....see you then .