WATCH: We rate Mdluli Safari Lodge at Kruger National Park
Clinton Moodley spent two days at Mdluli Safari Lodge.
He shares his views on the experience:
The lodge is located inside the south-western region of the Kruger National Park, a 5-hour drive from Gauteng and accessible via a private road from Numbi Gate, which is the closest gate from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport if you are flying.
The hour journey from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport was worth it. Driving into Mdluli Safari Lodge felt like I was entering a new world, especially since there's plenty of space to social distance and get some fresh air.
During the drive to the lodge, you may be fortunate enough to see animals meander in the blistering heat. The real treat is when you reach the lodge, which offers many spots to enjoy nature and take in its exquisite design.
Even though it was my first time at Kruger National Park, Mdluli may be a tough act to follow the next time I visit this famed national park.
Who visits here?
The lodge receives both international and local travellers.
Check-in took around six minutes. After getting my temperature checked, I filled out a form that required Covid-19 related information and other personal details. The staff sanitised everything in front of me, from the pen I used to sign the form to the other surface areas at the reception desk.
Even with their masks on, staff were friendly and accommodating. I especially enjoyed my time with game rangers, Promise, Lennox and Sonny Boy. The trio offered much insight about the lodge and Kruger National Park.
Mdluli boasts 50 luxury tents. According to its website, it showcases a "carefully curated fusion of raw timbers and canvas textures with the authentic charm of Siswati tradition."
The tent itself (I stayed in tent number 28) is spacious enough for a family and finely decorated with all the luxury amenities for a modern traveller.
The tent features free wifi, wheelchair friendly access and design, air conditioning and heating, mosquito nets, a double sleeper couch for children under 12, private indoor and outdoor showers, mini bar fridge, a writing desk and more. There's also a golf cart shuttle to/from your tent to the main lodge available.
I particularly adored the oversized private patio where I enjoyed my morning coffee and my afternoon reading. The view from the patio is worth a mention.
Dining is a treat at Mdluli, and there's plenty of options for vegetarian and pescatarian travellers.
On our first night, we enjoyed a traditional boma dinner under the stars with a range of South African cuisine paired with some of the county's finest wines. Breakfast, with the view of the park, includes a cold buffet spread as well as the option of ordering a hot breakfast.
Enjoy a buffet lunch at the open deck area, poolside or in the restaurant. Buffet dinners at the restaurant are served by the staff. I tasted the best bread and butter pudding on my second night.
Mdluli Safari Lodge offers two game drives a day and guided bush walks where you get to learn about the flora and fauna of Kruger National Park. Guests can also take a walk to Granite Rock that offers a 360 panoramic view of Kruger National Park. The lodge staff can arrange for you to have sundowners at this spot.
The infinity pool is another of the lodge's features that you must utilise. Not only does it offers grand views of Kruger, but you may also see a few animals quench their thirst at a watering hole nearby. We enjoyed views of elephants, buffalo and warthogs during our stay.
The lodge is ideal for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or want to reconnect with nature. As a safari enthusiast, I will stay here again.
Rates start from R2, 150pp and include breakfast and dinner. Other rates also include game drives and all meals. If you are a member of Cape Union Mart Friends and Family community loyalty programme, you will receive a 10% discount on weekends and 15% if you book on weekdays.
Call 087 980 0431 or email [email protected]
Clinton Moodley was hosted by Cape Union Mart during a two day trip in November 2020.