15 Feb Stay: The Outpost Lodge
One look at The Outpost Lodge’s Instagram account and you’ll completely understand why I; the self proclaimed liker of aesthetically pleasing things; needed to visit this place. Located about a six hour drive from Johannesburg in the remote northern part of Kruger National Park, The Outpost Lodge is one of only three lodges, in this previously inaccessible wilderness region, all of which exist as a result of a Concession between the local community and private investors. And it is this remoteness that simply put, makes this lodge a really beautiful backdrop to live your best life. The kind of well rested life we all deserve.
Rooms at The Outpost are referred to as spaces because they only have one concrete wall completed by steel pillars and beams and a set of remote controlled thick canvas screens, which enclose the rest of the space to form a “room.” These spacious stand alone luxury contemporary suites are all interconnected to each other as well as the main pool and restaurant area by a wooden walkway, which one shares with the local dassies population on the property.
Simple, modern, yet earthy the spaces offer privacy and openness all at the same time. Something I took full advantage of when I took my baths in the “you must take a photograph in me” stone bathtub whilst looking out into the wilderness with the screens fully open.With no phone signal in the spaces, your time whilst you’re in the space has very few interruptions or reminders of your everyday life back home. From the sunrises (which you do get to witness because the game drives leave at 05:30) to the simple act of drifting in and out of afternoon naps as a soft breeze wafts through the room as well as quietly watching the sunset over the Luvuvhu River; you find yourself being very present because it is so quiet. I personally experienced being gently, yet forcibly quietened down by the humbling awesomeness and stillness that was nature during this trip.
Things to Experience
When I was doing my research on the northern Kruger and wildlife sightings in the area, prior to our trip, I read a review somewhere that one should not expect to see any of the big cats, because whilst they can exist in the region, most of them reside in the southern Kruger region so visiting this area is better for second time safari goers. With that being said, we were pretty lucky in that we spotted two leopards during one of our evening game drives sleeping in a tree after finishing off a hunt, as well as herds of elephants, buffalo and more almost every drive we had because our game ranger Bongani really did go the extra mile to track and try make sure that we spotted wildlife during our time in the bush.
Beyond seeing the wildlife, the incredible accommodation and hospitality, one of the reasons I believe that places like The Outpost Lodge warrant the price point of the stay is because of the access one gets to special experiences like watching the sunset over Lanner Gorge. This viewpoint, as well as the others we experienced whilst having our morning coffees with Amarula or G&T sundowners, are simply put inaccessible via public tourist roads or paths. I wouldn’t even know how to get to where we stopped on our first morning game drive to watch two bull elephants metres away jump and play in the water, or how to navigate my way to the sandy banks of Crooks Corner: an area where the natural borders of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet.
A Final Word
The Outpost Lodge experience in my opinion, is really about unwinding and being present. As your days unfold in the midst of nature, with hardly any cell phone signal, no televisions anywhere (not even in the main area by the pool, bar and restaurant), embracing the slowness of the day is recommended. Besides the game drives, other activities one can engage in include taking afternoon naps (yes… I consider this an activity), booking an in room massage, soaking up the sun by the pool deck and taking a leisurely swim in between game drives and going on a walking safari, which we were unable to do, due to the fact that the grass and trees were quite dense and it would not have been safe to do walking safaris during our stay. The point I am making is that activities aside, The Outpost’s remote location and secluded unique luxury accommodation as well as the amazing overall hospitality is what makes it one of those magical spaces.
Tips & Points To Consider:
- Subscribe to the Rare Earth Retreats mailing list to get updates on specials.
- All per person rates include accommodation, access to 2 Game Drives and all meals but excludes drinks and conservation fee of R 180.00 per day.