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LIFESTYLE: Travel: On the edge of the wild

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The Outpost

Ashley van der Merwe visited The Outpost Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park

Before we had our first child, it was my great dream to do the whole camping thing with my wife and to give her the chance of appreciating the amazing feeling of being in the great outdoors, especially in our own country, South Africa.

As much as I tried, this just did not materialise. Instead, three years and a few months ago we were blessed with a wonderful baby boy.

Of course life changes quite drastically when you become parents. One gets caught in the day-to-day activities of working hard to achieve mutual and personal goals, trying to prosper in your career, and maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle – along with many other family duties. But something that remained important to us is taking the time to get away from the daily hustle and bustle and do the things that make us laugh, feel happy and appreciate time together as a family.

So, although we are parents now, I still had that immense desire to do a camping or nature reserve trip with my wife. When my sister offered to babysit for a weekend to allow us to spend some quality time together, we accepted her offer without hesitation.

Bags packed, car checked and fuelled up, we were soon heading to the Kruger National Park. The incredible seven hours’ drive from Johannesburg was spent chatting and admiring the breathtaking scenery and captivating country we live in, right from the city to the Limpopo River and the border of Zimbabwe, and then to the east, to Crook’s Corner and Mozambique.

After entering the Kruger National Park at Pafuri Gate, the most northern gate, we proceeded excitedly. We were on the lookout for anything wild that was worth photographing (or just staying away from). Finally, we found ourselves at the entrance gate of The Outpost Safari Lodge. After three kilometres on the road to the lodge we were road-blocked by a huge young male elephant which forced us to reverse back two kilometres and eventually resulted in the Outpost game ranger hunting us down as we had failed to arrive at the scheduled time. Thank goodness for her intuition!

With the sun already fading, we arrived at the Outpost. Nothing could have prepared us for the warm welcome we received. The staff and service were world class and the architecture and décor simply astonishing.

This was exactly the kind of vacation I had in mind; it was well worth the wait. But this was only the beginning …

The Outpost accommodates 24 guests in 12 standalone open-plan en-suite rooms, or living spaces, resting on a hill overlooking the Luvuvhu River. The rooms are connected to each other and the central lodge area by a 500 metre Zimbabwean teak walkway.

These contemporary rooms have been cleverly designed, making full use of space, concrete and steel with state-of-the-art retractable screens offering 180-degree uninterrupted views of the Luvuvhu River Valley.

The open feel of the room extends into a comfortable lounge and an award-winning bathroom (which can be screened off for privacy) with a stone bath and open shower boasting views extending as far as Mozambique.

The Outpost offers a variety of places to dine. Breakfast and lunch are served under cover in the dining area in the main building with views of the Luvuvhu River Valley. Or you may opt to have your lunch as a picnic out on safari, under the baobabs, or on the riverbanks. Dinner can be enjoyed either in the enclosed courtyard under the stars or on the deck next to the pool.

Despite its remote location, the Outpost strives to provide excellent cuisine. The style of food draws from its African surroundings and care is taken to source the best produce.

The large wine cellar, filled with outstanding South African wines, including some amazing Sauvignon Blanc produced by the lodge owner, is separated from the main dining area by a glass partition. ❐

For reservations please email: reservations@theoutpost.co.za or call +27 (0)11 327 3920 for more information. www.seasonsinafrica.com

Author: Ashley van der Merwe

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