Monate Game Lodge – Mookgophong
Known as the gem of the Bushveld, Monate Lodge is a superb choice if you want to treat yourself, or someone special, to an elegant getaway. Less than two hours’ drive from Pretoria, this peaceful game lodge has deluxe accommodation options that include a private splash pool overlooking the Bushveld and in-room fine dining. Combined with early morning game drives and a visit to the spa, Monate Game Lodge is the epitome of luxury Bushveld breakaways.
Details: Modimolle, Mookgophong / 014 718 7000 / www.monatelodge.com
Cruise-N-Snooze – Vanderbijlpark
Cruise-N-Snooze has luxury houseboats for rent on the Vaal River. Approximately 90 minutes from Pretoria, these fully equipped houseboats are moored in a private lagoon, separated from the main river by a small island. While on the boat you can fish, suntan and stargaze. If you need a couple of hours on solid ground, there are a number of spas, restaurants, a golf course and a casino on the riverbank. Each houseboat sleeps four guests.
Details: 37 Windsor on Vaal, Loch Vaal, Vanderbijlpark / 084 550 8798 / www.cruise-n-snooze.co.za
Stone Tin Lodge – Dullstroom
Stone Tin Lodge is situated on a private farm outside Dullstroom, a two-hour drive from Pretoria. Overlooking two trout-filled dams and nestled between the hills, this tranquil country home runs almost completely on solar energy and gas. Stone Tin Lodge has three en-suite bedrooms, two comfortable sleeper couches in the lounge and a large fireplace that forms the centrepiece of the open-plan kitchen and dining area. The spacious veranda is a great vantage point for breathtaking sunrise views. Stone Tin Lodge is a wonderful destination if you enjoy fishing, hiking, bird watching and relaxing in front of the fireplace. The lodge also offers regular game drives.
Details: 25km outside Dullstroom towards Lydenburg / 013 254 0251 / www.stonetinlodge.co.za
La Provence D’Afrique – Magaliesburg
La Provence D’Afrique is a wonderful old-French experience, located in Magaliesburg, a one-hour drive from Pretoria. A cobblestone bistro, with a fountain, leads off to seven uniquely decorated suites, each with a fireplace, to create a chateaux-like ambience. Breakfast is served on the riverbank among the willow trees and is the perfect setting to transport visitors even further into the romance of this destination. The Forest Spa is situated on the premises and adds to the tranquillity of this beautiful venue. La Provence D’Afrique often hosts yoga, drumming and art workshops in the main manor house, as well as a French food market, which means you’ll have plenty of soulful activity options.
Details: Rustenburg Road, Magaliesburg / 082 900 8205/ www.laprovencedafrique.co.za
Big Creek Guest Lodge – Magaliesburg
Big Creek Guest Lodge is situated in a valley facing the beautiful Magaliesberg Mountains, a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Pretoria. Located in the heart of the Magalies Meander, a well-known arts and craft route, the area offers visitors an array of activities from which to choose, such as canopy tours, game drives and hot-air ballooning. Cycling enthusiasts will especially enjoy the scenic on- and off-road routes surrounding the lodge. After a full day of excursions, the lodge lounge, overlooking the lovely green lawns and a small dam, is the perfect place to relax. The lounge has DStv, a pool table, a dartboard and a bar. Big Creek Guest Lodge has a variety of self-catering accommodation options that include cottages, log cabins, tented units and a camping site.
Details: Rustenburg Road, Magaliesburg / 014 577 0042 / www.bigcreek.co.za
Elephant Springs Hotel and Cabanas – Bela Bela
Elephant Springs Hotel and Cabanas is a one-hour drive from Pretoria and is value-for-money accommodation. Conveniently located opposite one of Bela Bela’s prime tourist spots, The Hydro hot mineral springs, this three-star hotel is a popular choice among visitors to the Waterberg area. The hotel has 50 air-conditioned rooms and the 20 self-catering cabanas each have three bedrooms sleeping six in total. Bela Bela and the surrounding Waterberg area offer visitors a diverse range of activities: hiking, zip-lining, fishing, game drives, museums, flea markets, spas and a casino. Not to mention excursions to the Thaba Kwena Crocodile Farm or De Wildt Shingwedzi Cheetah & Wildlife Breeding Project. (Please note that the swimming pool at the cabanas will be under construction during July and August 2017 and cabana guests will have access to the hotel swimming pool during this period.)
Details: 31 Sutter Road, Bela Bela, Limpopo Province / 014 736 2101 / www.elephantsprings.co.za
Brookwood Estate And Trout Farm – Krugersdorp
Brookwood Estate and Trout Farm, a one-hour drive from Pretoria, has five well-stocked dams and excellent fishing spots along the Blaauwbank River. The largest dam boasts bass, carp and bream – a dream destination for anyone who enjoys fishing. Brookwood has two fully equipped self-catering chalets that each sleeps four people. The fireplace and large verandas overlooking the water add to the English countryside feel of this beautiful estate.
Details: Cradle of Humankind, Krugersdorp / 011 957 0126 / www.brookwoodtroutfarm.co.za
Phudufudu Tented Camp – Borakalalo Game Reserve
Located 60km north of Brits, Borakalalo – translated as “place where people relax” – is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Pretoria. The bird viewing from Phudufudu Tented Camp, one of two camps in Borakalalo, is exceptional. Phudufudu Camp has 10 safari tents; four double tents resting on stilts and six standard tents with two single beds each. It has a fully equipped kitchen and communal braai area, making it a great spot for a group getaway.
Details: Borakalalo Game Reserve, Brits, North West / 021 252 0131 / www.borakalalo.co.za/phudufudu or http://www.tourismnorthwest.co.za/borakalalo-national-park
By Jana van der Linde