Why not swap the company of your colleagues for the Big Five?
After a hectic day, week, or even month at work, it’s easy to start dreaming of that idyllic getaway and substituting the sound of ringing phones and email alerts with tranquil peace. Or perhaps the roar of a lion.
Although relaxing on a warm, sunny beach may seem like heaven initially, the novelty can soon wear off after the first couple of days. If you’re after a more exciting experience, Africa’s safari trips are second to none.
For exclusivity, the 16-person capacity Makanyane Safari Lodge provides an intimate setting perfect for unwinding either with family or friends. Located in the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa’s second largest; it is situated amongst 1,800 hectares of private ground, with no boundaries within the reserve in the North West Province.
Of course, as with any top safari you can expect to view the so-called ‘Big Five’ game animals – the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo roaming. But the safari resort, which is named after the Tswana name for the African Wild Dog, is one of few places to spot the rare breed which is on the Worldwide Wildlife Federation’s (WWF) endangered list.
In 1991, over 10,000 animals from 27 species were reintroduced to the area over the course of seven years in a mission named operation Phoenix, the largest translocation of game ever undertaken.
The lodge itself provides everything you need to combine relaxation and invigoration. Take time out in a secluded heat-filtered swimming pool, pamper yourself in the bush spa or work up an appetite for the lodge’s delicious cuisine in the gym.
Talking of dining, food is complimented by wine from the resort’s extensive wine cellar which includes such classic labels as Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer and Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance.
Makanyane’s main lodge stands overlooking a stream-filled waterhole shaded by a canopy of trees, while inside the lounge area has two rock fireplaces and sofas to provide a cosy setting. With a wooden deck hanging over the ravine and a waterhole below, there are plenty of places to get a good view of the wildlife.
There is also an open air dining deck, named the boma, that looks out to the idyllic Marico River, and a separate viewing deck where you can scan the vast grasslands to spot a roaming cheetah, lion or zebra.
The suites themselves are as luxurious as the rest of the resort, with the wide glass doors allowing you to take in the breathtaking views from the comfort of your own bed. And if there is an unexpected emergency at the workplace, don’t fear…the conference facility provides a computer with full internet access.