Impala Camp, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Overlooking a wooded stretch of the Rufiji River, Impala Camp offers a fabulous location in the wild, majestic Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania. Being one of the most popular camps inside the Selous, Jonathan and Sophie visited to see for themselves

Review by Jonathan and Sophie Ellaby.

It’s late afternoon and we’re cruising along on a boat trip to Lake Siwandu – enjoying the views, the breeze (quite a relief in the 36 degree heat) and, naturally, the abundant wildlife that inhabits this great body of water – hippos grunt left, right and center, crocs laze on every sandbank. Suddenly we come to a halt – Charles, our guide, is excitingly pointing at a flock of birds, flying beautifully in a tight formation, right above the surface of the water, almost skimming it with their beaks. African Skimmers! Being twitchers, this is a real treat for us, thanks to our guide’s efforts.

View over the Rufiji River

View over the Rufiji River

On our way back to camp, we stop for sundowners at the edge of the old airstrip, but this is no average sundowner stop. While we’ve been out on the lake, Victor has set up a beautiful table with champagne glasses, snacks and, naturally, a cold bottle of South African champagne! We sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning sunset through the palm trees dotting the riverbank. Yellow becomes orange, orange becomes purple and suddenly it’s almost dark and time to return to the camp.

We meet up with the other guests for pre-dinner drinks around the fire, and chat to Sylvia, the friendly and charismatic assistant manager, about our plans for the following day. For dinner we sit under the stars and enjoy a scrumptious 4-course menu of vegetable soup, aubergine rolls, beef fillet, topped off with cheesecake for dessert. We’re accompanied back to our tent by a Maasai guard, leading the way down the long path, a tight grip on his spear and shining the torch up every tree, down every hippo path. There’s no unaccompanied walking during the night as the camp is unfenced – an aspect that we really enjoy, especially waking up to the sounds of at least 15 different bird species outside our tent.

Impala Camp

Impala Camp

The tents at Impala are built on stilts and each has its own verandah with deck chairs to enjoy uninterrupted views of the bush and/or water. Simply decorated, unpretentious yet comfortable with all modern day amenities, such as electricity, hot water and a plug point. The camp also boasts a pool and a lovely bar with great views of the water – nothing beats game viewing with a cold Kilimanjaro beer in hand!

Selous Game Reserve is one of the great wildernesses remaining in Africa, and the safari action here centres around a clutch of lodges on and around the Rufiji River. Partly water-based, and with fewer crowds than the parks of northern Tanzania, it’s a fine alternative to the beaten tracks of the Serengeti.

Sundowner drinks, Impala Camp

Sundowner drinks, Impala Camp

For our morning activity the following day we do a game drive with Charles and our fellow French guests. We are lucky to see two different prides of lions (one coalition of 6 males and another consisting of 2 females, each with her own set of cubs), a day-old hippo kill with more than 50 vultures (we spotted 5 separate species!) competing to be king of the carcass, while a few spotted hyenas lurked in the background. A wonderful way to end our stay at Impala Camp.

Good for:  Those seeking a semi-luxurious bush experience in the world-famous Selous Game Reserve. Good for families (double tented units available).

Not so good for: No communal dining so the camp has less of an intimate feel than some others

Our verdict: A beautifully located camp with great range of activities (game walks, drives, boat trips, fishing)

Mwagusi Safari Camp, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Some say Ruaha National Park is best kept secret in Tanzania. Jonathan and Sophie check out Mwagusi Camp to find out for themselves.

Review by Jonathan and Sophie Ellaby.

There’s something special about Ruaha – the rippled plains stretching far away to hazy mountains. But it’s the baobabs that make it unique – forests of them – huge, ancient trees keeping watch over the plains, giving the place an almost haunted feel.

We’re impressed before we even arrive at Mwagusi, a delightful little camp on the banks of the Ruaha river, and with a warm welcome from hosts Ryan and Dalerie, we’re immediately endeared to the place.

Mwagusi main lodge

Mwagusi main lodge

We head out on a game drive with guide Justin and driver Vincent. Justin is excellent on his birds, which we like to see – in our experience, a lot of guides in East Africa lack basic guiding skills and knowledge, relying on merely finding the Big Five to satisfy their guests. Not so at Mwagusi, where the guide culture is among the best we’ve seen in Tanzania, with a strong emphasis on training.

An elephant carcass looms into view between some giant baobabs and a pride of lions are hungrily feeding. Now there’s not many places in Africa where lions are bold enough to regularly hunt elephant, but Ruaha is one of them. It’s a superb sighting, something we’ve never seen, and we all discuss it excitedly around the campfire, and later over dinner under the stars. Meals are communal which lends an informal and familiar feel to the camp, and it’s easy to make friends with like-minded people.

The camp itself blends in perfectly with its stunning location, with a comfortable thatched communal area and bandas (suites) strung along the river with enough birds and game wandering past to keep us happy for hours.

Banda overlooking the Ruaha River, Mwagusi

Banda overlooking the Ruaha River, Mwagusi

Next morning we head out for a half-day in the bush, with a picnic breakfast. This routine is popular in Tanzania (but uncommon on Southern Africa safaris). At first we were sceptical – it’s a long time in a vehicle, and everyone knows there’s nothing much to see in the heat of the day. But there is in Ruaha. It’s midday and searing hot, and we’re watching a young female leopard stalk a herd of impala. Justin, our guide, laughs. “This is normal in Ruaha,” he says. “Our cats hunt at any time of day!”

We watch spellbound for half an hour as she crawls between drainage lines, shifting position with the changing wind, using the trees as cover, before slinking into long grass for the final approach.

It was a Lilac-breasted Roller that gave her away, perched on a stalk, and when it gave its alarm call, the impala looked up. It was too late. They scattered, and our leopard skulked away, hungry.

Up-close at Mwagusi

Up-close at Mwagusi

On our last night we have a romantic dinner for two set up in the dry riverbed just below our banda. The wind picks up, a hot wind fuelling a big fire, it’s just us, a table, two chairs, and a delicious three-course meal, in the blackness and we feel the rawness. African safaris are as much about this as the animals.

Later that night, safely tucked up in bed, the wind drops and the night is still, so still we can hear a leopard lapping from a pool just below.

Ruaha might very well be the best kept secret in Tanzania – one of the largest national parks in East Africa, with none of the hoards of safari vehicles that are drawn to the northern parks. And with its rustic, laid-back atmosphere, Mwagusi is its perfect complement.

Good for: Great game and a friendly atmosphere away from the crowds

Not so good for: Those that demand a high level of privacy

Our verdict: A delightful camp with excellent guiding in a stunning, relatively little-known safari area

Welcome to Schoone Oordt Country House

Schoone Oordt Country House is a charming country hotel in Swellendam South Africa, possibly the best of Swellendam accommodation, with 10 luxury bedrooms set in lush gardens, an intimate Conservatory restaurant, a sparkling saltwater pool and a passion for people, family, food, wine and the environment.

Francois talks about their trip to Schoone Oordt Country House.

KC:  How far is Schoone Oordt Country House from Cape Town?

Francois:  After about 2 and a half hours’ drive from Cape Town you will discover Swellendam (one of South Africa’s hidden treasures) with Schoone Oordt Country House being one of the gems within this beautiful village.

Schoone Oordt Country House

KC:  What made you decide to stay at Schoone Oordt Country House?

Francois:  About 3 years ago we drove through Swellendam for a quick lunch and I saw this beautiful Victorian building as we were looking for a place to eat. I immediately asked my wife to settle the kids somewhere suitable – as I wanted to go and see if this striking building could be a boutique hotel… and it was!

Since then I have wanted to experience this charming establishment firsthand.

KC:  What was your first impression of Schoone Oordt Country House on arrival?

Francois:  Attention to detail and authenticity – old world charm, handmade furniture, antiques, wooden floors, rich textures and friendly warm smiles greeting us as we arrived.

KC:  What was the service like?

Francois:  Very attentive and friendly. We were fortunate to meet the owners (Alison and Richard Walker) with their lovely children. They made us feel right at home and it really felt like we were old friends getting together.

Schoone Oordt Country House

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Francois:  Yes, with Schoone Oordt’s owners having 4 kids themselves – everything has been tested as child friendly and our kids were very welcome. They even arranged a babysitter for all the guests’ kids while we were having dinner.

KC:  What activities are offered at Schoone Oordt Country House?

Francois:  The Conservatory Restaurant is onsite and known as one of the top culinary experiences in the area. There are also many activities that can be arranged from the Schoone Oordt concierge service – from wine tours, horse riding, excursions to the De Hoop reserve and more – or just take a stroll down Swellendams main road with antique shops, coffee shops and other treats.

KC:  What was the food like?

Schoone Oordt Country House

Francois:  We were privileged to have been invited by Alison and Richard to a traditional braai and spent hours along the long dinner table in the Conservatory Restaurant sharing stories and laughter with the other Schoone Oordt guests. The food was great.

Breakfast was also fantastic and Schoone Oordt’s eggs benedict with salmon has my vote any day!

KC:  What was the highlight of your stay at Schoone Oordt Country House?

Francois:  The leisurely, traditional braai in the Conservatory Restaurant with interesting people and no time restrictions.

KC:  What should potential visitors take note of?

Francois:  Driving from Cape Town can become a long trip – so make it a journey and plan a stopover somewhere in the middle (Gabrielskloof Wine Estate (in Bot River) is always a winner for us). I would also recommend that you stay at least 2 nights at Schoone Oordt to allow you to experience what this special boutique and surrounds have to offer.

KC:  Who is Schoone Oordt Country House ideal for (i.e. The type of client you would sell this product to)?

Francois:  Young and old enjoying boutique-style service with an appreciation for architecture and interior.

In short: if you have style, you will love it.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Food  5
Location  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should Schoone Oordt Country House sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

The perfectly located InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel

South Africa’s only luxury airport hotel, the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport hotel is only a 68.7-metre (225-foot) walk from the International Arrivals hall at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport.

Stephanus talks about his and his wife’s trip to InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel.

KC: How far is InterContinental OR Tambo from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa?

Stephanus: 67m… literally!

KC: What made you decide to stay at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel?

Stephanus: My wife and I travelled to Johannesburg for business and we required accommodation close to the airport.

KC: What was your first impression of InterContinental OR Tambo on arrival?

Stephanus: I’ve always driven past it on my way from the airport to wherever I was heading, so I’ve always been curious to see what it’s like to stay there. I was pleasantly surprised. The porters (with their muted African attire) were incredibly friendly and quietly took care of all our baggage. The check-in process was equally smooth and the duty manager made us feel right at home. The hotel, although modern, had a warm and welcoming feeling, and exuded the energy so typical of Johannesburg (albeit in a more relaxed way).

KC: What was the service like?

InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport

Stephanus: Superb. Fantastic. Unforgettable. Seriously, from the moment we walked in until the moment we left, our needs were always attended to in a discreet and unobtrusive manner. Regardless of the request that came their way, nothing ever seemed to be an issue. They have simply thought of all the details: fruit bowel with champagne upon arrival, together with a gift bag and card. Then you have all the other niceties in the room that you’d expect from a 5-star hotel (but which, quite frankly, not all 5-star hotels offer): Nespresso machine, iPod docking station, large flat screen television, mini-bar, clothing press, gowns, complimentary Wi-Fi, electric safe, etc. The windows are triple-glazed (this was a first for me), so despite being only 67m from the airport, the noise levels are less than what you would fine in a hotel overlooking lake Geneva. In fact, the rooms are 100% sound proof, so you don’t need to worry about listening to CNN with your hotel guest next door at 1am in the morning. The bathrooms were exquisite: stylish, light brown marble featuring double basins with a separate bath and shower (and a separate toilet). The hotel manager also called us shortly after check-in just to double-check that we were 100% satisfied and whether there was anything else that we’d require.

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Stephanus: Yes, although the hotel is obviously geared more towards upmarket business and leisure travellers. If a family vacation is what you have in mind, you will probably want to visit Mauritius instead. Nevertheless, they accommodate kids and make them feel just as special as adults. And yes, they offer babysitting services as well.

KC: What activities are offered at InterContinental OR Tambo?

Stephanus: The hotel features a nice gym and swimming pool on the top floor overlooking the airport runway, which is pretty, particularly at night when all the airstrip lights are on. There is also a spa where you can enjoy a massage, including a business centre, various conference rooms for functions of all sizes, a lovely restaurant (which is also open for the public), disability services and 24-hour security, to name but a few.

KC: What was the food like?

Stephanus: It was really delicious – very unlike typical airport food! Everything was so fresh, tasty and stylishly presented. We unfortunately didn’t have dinner there (we had a dinner appointment elsewhere), so I can’t comment on their dinners, although we had a fantastic breakfast (room service).

KC: What was the highlight of your stay at InterContinental OR Tambo?

InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo

Stephanus: The overall experience was genuinely unforgettable. It is one of the few places where I honestly couldn’t think of anything else that I would have wanted to experience differently. Also – and I know it sounds cliché – but the people were really so helpful and went to all extremes to make our stay extra special. Although airport hotels don’t ordinarily come to mind when I think of an idyllic holiday destination, I can honestly say that this is the kind of hotel where I won’t mind staying 2 or 3 days, particularly if you just want to relax. The rooms are lovely and I’ll definitely do my utmost to think of another excuse to travel to Johannesburg, even if it’s just to stay there!

KC: What should potential visitors take note of?

Stephanus: Because the hotel is literally 67m (i.e. walking distance) from the airport, you obviously don’t need to rent a car or catch a shuttle between the airport and the hotel. Furthermore, it’s incredibly convenient to literally check out of the hotel, walk a few meters and 5 minute’s later check your bags in at the airport (assuming you’re flying out). Conversely, if you arrive at the airport late at night, you can be dressed in a gown and slippers or sleep in pure cotton linen in a matter of minutes.

Stephanus: Something else that I really found appealing about the hotel is their emphasis on being environmentally friendly, not just in terms of electricity usage, but even in terms of the breakfast take-away packaging.

KC: Who is InterContinental OR Tambo ideal for (i.e. the type of client you would sell this product to)?

Stephanus: Mainly top-end business travellers, but also luxury leisure travellers who need world-class accommodation at the airport.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should InterContinental OR Tambo sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve! Ultimate Luxury

Nestled between mountain and sea, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star eco-paradise showcasing the incredible Flora and Marine life of the Southern Tip of Africa. Home of the “Marine Big 5” – whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and with unparalleled floral diversity, Grootbos offers you a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

KC:  How far is GROOTBOS from Cape Town?

Team:  Grootbos is only a 2 hour drive from Cape Town.  It is a really beautiful scenic drive, so it doesn’t feel far at all.

KC:  What made you decide to stay at GROOTBOS?

Team:  We as a team thought Grootbos would be the perfect place for an amazing team getaway!  We had absolutely the BEST time as a team.

KC:  What was your first impression of GROOTBOS on arrival?

Team:  Peaceful, beautiful, natural and definitely luxurious.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

KC:  What was the service like?

Team:  Outstanding.  The staff at Grootbos are always ready to assist you with anything. We could tailor-make our itinerary and just relax. The best part is that they are all doing it with a SMILE as well.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

KC:  Is Grootbos child friendly?

Team:  The Klein Collection Team stayed at Forest lodge, which caters for children over the age of 12. However they have the Garden Lodge suites nearby which cater for children of all ages.

KC:  What activities are offered at GROOTBOS?

Team:  There are so many wonderful activities to choose from.  Too many to mention them all, but here are a few:

Guided 4×4 drive through the reserve

Guided walks through the extensive Milkwood Forest

Guided horse rides through the reserve (for beginner and advanced riders)

Guided excursions to the Klipgat Cave, one of the most important archaeological sites in South Africa (ten minutes from Grootbos)

Guided trip along the nearby coast to view the whales (July to December)

Whale-Watching Boat Trip (July—December)

KC:  What was the food like?

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Team:  The food was amazing.  We were served a 5 course meal made from the freshest ingredients that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

KC:  What was the highlight of your stay at GROOTBOS?

Team:  The 4×4 Sundowner drive.  It was absolutely freezing on the mountain but an incredible experience.  The view was just amazing as we could also see the “super moon” rising.  We were offered some drinks and snacks whilst enjoying the beautiful sunset.

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

KC:  What should potential visitors take note of?

Team:  Forest Lodge is definitely for the travellers that would like more peace and tranquility, whilst Garden Lodge is more relaxed and geared toward accommodating children.

KC:  For whom is Grootbos ideal (i.e. The type of client to whom you would sell this product)?

The discerning traveller that is looking for an experience with nature, luxury and value for money!

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Bedroom  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should GROOTBOS sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book.

La Clè des Montagnes

Sophisticated style and breathtaking beauty is the essence of La Clé des Montagnes.

La Clé des Montagnes offers an idyllic accommodation setting a short stroll from the historic village of Franschhoek. A selection of four unique villas await you on a working wine estate, surrounded by picturesque vineyards, plum orchards with a magnificent mountain backdrop.We invite you to enjoy an unparalleled luxurious accommodation experience in the heart of the beautiful Franschhoek valley.

Francois talks about their trip to LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES

KC:  How far is LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES from Cape Town?

La Cle des Montagnes

Francois:  LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES is conveniently located in the centre of Franschhoek about 60 kilometers from Cape Town.

KC:  What made you decide to stay at LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES?

Francois:  With the launch of LISA (Luxury in Southern Africa) I had the opportunity to read about this exclusive getaway and the images and reviews made it a bucket-list item for me.

KC:  What was your first impression of LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES on arrival?

Francois:  This place is suited for royalty!

KC:  What was the service like?

Francois:  Not only are the staff efficient and friendly, they also understand personal space and the need for privacy – always a difficult balance and they have perfected it. The personal butler service dedicated to a villa is also a unique touch.

La Cle des Montagnes

KC:  Is it child friendly?

Francois:  Yes. LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES offers 4 separate standing villas with ample space for children to run around without disturbing the other guests.

We stayed in the original manor house which has two massive bedrooms, own library, two additional lounges, dining room, kitchen, scullery and more…. Privacy, space and open areas – just what our children love.

The private swimming pool, exclusive garden and grass area made this a wonderland for our two boys. Other than a quick walk to a nearby restaurant, we literally did not leave La Cle’ from the minute we arrived.

La Cle des Montagnes

KC:  What activities are offered at LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES?

Francois:  LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES is centrally located and is within short walking distance from Franschhoek’s main road and guests have access to the diverse offering of this special town. Stroll in the La Cle vineyards, swim in the private pool, cycle or just read a book in your private library or the villa’s hammock – there is enough to do for every age and interest.

KC:  What was the food like?

Francois:  The wine selection offered in the villas is fantastic and the inclusive breakfast, prepared in our villa, raised the bar yet again. LA CLE’ offers its own Cap Classique available to guests only. One can request a private chef – or cater for yourself … the choice is yours.

La Cle des Montagnes

KC:  What was the highlight of your stay at LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES?

Francois:  I loved the exclusivity, quality, privacy, spacious manicured gardens and inspirational interior.

KC:  For whom is LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES ideal (i.e. The type of client to whom you would sell this product)?

Francois:  Kings, Queens and other individuals wanting to be treated like royalty.

I would like to say a special thank you to Chantel for going out of her way to make us feel very welcome and right at home. It’s always a pleasure to meet someone who is so warm and friendly, whom you can see takes pride in the product he or she has to offer.

Also, thank you to our personal butlers, Siyanda and Labani for being so friendly and efficient at all times.

The staff at La Cle des Montagnes, definitely play a role in making the experience a memorable one.

Point out of 5
Service  5
Location  5
Food  5
Facilities  5
Décor  5
Attention to detail  5
Value for money  5

Should LA CLE’ DES MONTAGNES sound like music to your ears, contact Klein Collection at info@kleincollection.com to book your stay.

Morukuru

African Safari Review by Jonathan and Sophie Ellaby

Set on its own private concession within the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve, Morkuru’s three ‘mini-lodges’ promise a different formula and a different experience. We find out how it compares with other Madikwe offerings.

Sometimes we can tell straightaway when a place ‘has it’. Well, Morukuru has it. It’s a combination of a great many things all coming together, but first, a bit about how Morukuru is different.

Instead of one lodge, Morukuru consists of three ‘mini-lodges’ – the Owners House, The Lodge, and The Farmhouse, which each sleep 2-10 guests, and are booked exclusively. Each comes with its own team of dedicated staff – guide, tracker and hostess, chef, butler and back-up staff so whether you’re a honeymoon couple, a family, or group of friends, this team is at your very own disposal throughout your stay, including your own private safari vehicle.

Our whole team is waiting to meet us when we arrive, with a cold cocktail and traditional African song before our hosts, Anthony and Amy, accompany us to our villa. We’re staying at the Owners House – the house originally built by Ed and Anka Zeeman, who fell in love with Madikwe after their first visit here in 2003, and built this incredible bush house on the site of giant Tamboti tree (Morukuru means Tamboti in Tswana).

Owners House Suite

Owners House Suite

Imagine your idea of a luxury safari suite overlooking a wooded river bed (or if you can’t, read some of our other blogs). Then quadruple it in size, add several outdoor decks and wooden walkways among the trees, add a dining room as well as a lounge, kitchen, library and study, and finally a private heated rim-flow pool (larger than many a 5-star lodge’s communal pool) that appears to hover among the trees, and you have an idea of what this place is like.

There’s even an integrated sound system, where you can play different music in different parts of the house (including speakers in the outdoor shower).

And this is just for the two of us. But it gets better.

“At Morukuru, we don’t work on any schedule”, Anthony explains. “We can go for game drives whenever you like. Joyce [our chef] can cook for you whatever you like, whenever you like. We’re all at your disposal”.

Breakfast with our hosts, Morukuru

Breakfast with our hosts, Morukuru

This is not normal. Most top-end lodges have a strict schedule – from a wakeup call to meal times and game drive times, and although you can skip whatever you like, you can’t tailor every day to your personal wishes. At Morukuru, you can.

Of course having infinite choices can be stressful. Do you go to check out those lions you heard roaring earlier, or relax instead in the pool while Evanz [our butler] plies you with cocktails? Should you choose a vintage wine from the owner’s private collection instead of a house wine, and if so, what? Luckily, everyone from your chef to your guide is on hand to make recommendations and we’re happy to follow them for our stay.

It’s time for our afternoon game drive and Anthony takes us on a tour of the 1,000 hectare private concession that forms part of Madikwe Game Reserve. Madikwe has a lot of lodges and it can get quite crowded at sightings, but here you’ll only see other Morukuru vehicles, although they also have access to the rest of the reserve. So we had a beautiful lion sighting to ourselves, and stared down a rare African Wild Cat before a private dinner on one of our decks, and a moonlight swim (the pool is heated to 30C today).

Dinner with a view, Morukuru

Dinner with a view, Morukuru

Next morning we combine a game drive with a stop at the Farmhouse – a bigger mini-lodge sleeping up to ten, different, but just as luxurious. Here you virtually have your own private reserve as well as a private lodge, as the huge grounds, complete with many antelope, are fenced, so completely safe for children.

Morukuru is generally fantastic for children, who can accompany adults on game drives, or be whisked away for their own drives or other activities, such as tracking, setting up camera traps and a host of other exciting activities. And all in a malaria-free part of the country. For kids, it doesn’t get better than this.

In our experience, individually owned (as opposed to corporate) lodges are often more intimate, and Morukuru is no exception; the owners’ touches are present everywhere, right down to the specially customised safari vehicle. And the owners must be doing something right, as Anthony and Amy have been with them for two years, perfecting the art of guiding and hospitality.

Sundowners, Morukuru

Sundowners, Morukuru

With all your own dedicated staff, you might think there’d be people fussing over you the whole time. But this is not ‘yes, sir, no, sir’ service – that is not what hospitality is about. When it’s done properly, you don’t notice – everything just happens the way you want it, effortlessly. It’s easy to say, but requires great skill and experience to achieve. Morukuru manages it where many others fail.

If all this sounds a bit mediocre to you, don’t despair. There are a few things we’re not mentioning – call them Morukuru family secrets if you like – that might just blow your mind. Don’t ask because we’re not telling, but if you’re curious there’s only one way to find out…

Good for: Exclusive, tailored, Big Five game viewing and other activities, with the best hospitality around, including for children.

Not so good for: We’re struggling with this one.

Our verdict: State-of-the-art quality across the board