Art and I had always wanted to go on Safari. Each of our ten days at Vuyani was a dream come true. We were met at the airport in Johanessberg by Andre. From the first moment we met he was easy to speak with and very knowledgeable and proud of his country. Although the drive is close to six hours, it is worth the time. You get of feel for the country that you could not from a book. Rina met us at the door and made us feel special from the first moment. Vuyani had planned a night drive, so dinner was earlier than usual. The four other couples greeted us and made us feel like family. Gerard is an excellent chef and very personable. Dinner always started with an excellent soup and dinner was a five star experience. We sat together at a large table where everyone shared stories of their experiences from the day. Art and I soon learned that we had so much in common with the other guests.
For our first five days. Mike was the diver for the drives and OJ (can't spell his real name) was the tracker. They were outstanding. Being on a private reserve affords you the opportunity to drive off road. That's an experience in itself. We saw many animals on each of the drives. There is a drive in the morning and one in the afternoon before dinner. Sometimes we would see the animals on the road or very close to it. On one of the night drives Mike found the large male lion and a female sleeping. He must have been able to get within 30 feet. On one of the morning drive we saw a pair of cheetahs stalking impala. The list of experiences is endless.
One sunny afternoon, I decided to stay at the lodge while the others went on an afternoon drive. I was sitting on our deck when a Nyala came out of the trees and started to graze no more than a few feet from me. Eventually there were dozens. One actually sniffed my shoe.
Justine was a genius at arranging tours. We were able to do every trip we wanted and actually had the driver we requested for each trip.
Pierre was the driver for the next five days. He is very knowledgeable about the animals including interesting tidbits about the. If you go, ask him about squirrels and woodpeckers.
George drove his to the rehabilitation center and taught me how to massage a warthog. He was also our driver into town and back to the airport. George would point out animals along the way. I don't know how he did it while he was driving, but he spotted two white rhino.
I don't remember who told me that you will cry when you leave Vuyani, but I did. It felt as though we were leaving family.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Vuyani Safari Lodge is located on the Moditlo Private Game Reserve within the Blue Canyon Conservancy which is more than 36,000 acres in size. Located next to the Kruger National Park, at the foot of the Drakensberg mountain range, Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of South Africa's premier luxury safari lodges, in the country's most famous area for African wildlife. The Vuyani Safari Lodge is one of only 3 lodges on this reserve, and with only 10 suites, it offers one of the most exclusive African safari experiences in South Africa. The reserve offers a unique opportunity to observe all of Africa's large game such as the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, hippo and crocodile as well as some of the very rarest species, amongst others the wild dog, the brown hyena, the ground hornbill, cheetahs and several other highly endangered animals. Almost 400 various species of birds have been counted. Some of the rarest European migratory birds visit the reserve in the European winter months. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vuyani Safari Hotel Hoedspruit
- The Vuyani Safari Lodge South Africa/Hoedspruit