MAGNIFICENT ADDO VIEWS: Kuzuko Lodge - enjoy a little piece of African heaven
Have you ever stopped to consider how lucky we are to be living in the Eastern Cape? People from all over the world travel thousands of miles and spend an absolute fortune just to experience what we have on our very doorstep!
Within a two-hour drive, in any direction from Port Elizabeth, we can enjoy some of the most amazing locations and activities on earth – things that many around the globe may only dream of. Kuzuko Lodge is one such amazing experience, as I discovered on a recent retreat with my wife.
After following the N2 and then the N10 towards Cradock, we finally turned onto the gravel R400 towards Jansenville and Kuzuko Safari Lodge. Views of rolling hills and untouched Karoo plains set the tone of our getaway. We even had to give way to a large rock monitor lizard on our journey towards what seemed to be an endless stretch of African bushveld.
On arrival at the Kuzuko Lodge reception building, our luggage was loaded onto an open game-drive vehicle while we signed-in. We were then driven to the lodge – about 8 kilometres inside the reserve. Again, we had to stop along the way as two young bush tortoises sparred on the road.
Before long, we arrived at Kuzuko Lodge, which I found perfectly set atop a hill with pristine views of the surrounding greater Addo bushveld. Gretchen, Front Office Manager at the lodge, welcomed us with warm hand towels and drinks as she talked us through the program for our overnight stay.
We soon relaxed on the lodge’s veranda and enjoyed a High Tea or as they like to call it Karoo afternoon tea & snacks, while we literally gazed at the splendour of the plains below. The magnificent views were as far as the eye can see in either direction. After our tea, we ambled around the lodge area and took some time to appreciate Kuzuko Lodge’s iconic crystal-clear pool, lounge, bar area, wellness centre, couple’s therapy room and conference facility.
At five o’clock that evening, we gathered for a sundowner excursion with a couple of international visitors. Jonathan, our ranger, took some time to explain the size of the concession area (15 000 hectare) and the animals we could be privileged to see. Within the next three hours, we had ticked off a number of buck, buffalo, lion and elephant – some being more elusive than others.
The only creatures we could not find were the cheetah. With the prospect of another drive at six o’clock the next morning, we headed back to the lodge and prepared for dinner.
Any chill left over from the fresh evening game drive air was soon warmed by our broccoli soup appetisers and deep-fried camembert and cranberry starters. A little red wine complimented our chicken with bacon and blue cheese sauce (for my wife) and generous hake portion (for me) both served with mash and seasonal vegetables. We rounded our evening off with delicious malva pudding (for me), ice cream with chocolate sauce (for my wife) and two coffees, before retiring to our luxurious chalet for the evening.
At about 5:30 the next morning, we enjoyed a cup of coffee before embarking on our final try to locate the cheetah. It wasn’t long before we had located the lion again and soon afterward found the cheetah – we even managed to walk up close to within 10 meters of them. As the sun rose higher in the morning sky, we headed back to enjoy a continental starter and full English breakfast at Kuzuko Lodge’s restaurant.
Sadly, our getaway had come to an end. After bidding farewell to Kuzuko’s friendly staff and packing in some wonderful gifts from a curio shop close by, we drove home rejuvenated.
Kuzuko Lodge, which is part of the Legacy Hotel Group, is close enough for a convenient bush retreat and lacks nothing in its luxury finishes, gourmet food, heavenly views and abundant wildlife. After wanting to visit the game reserve for a long time, our visit was every bit as enjoyable as we had imagined it would be.
I highly recommend Kuzuko Lodge to anyone looking for a true Karoo bush experience close to Port Elizabeth. You can make your booking now by contacting them on 042 235 1037, 079 521 7490/1 or by emailing:[email protected] or visiting: www.kuzuko.com
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